A Little Time With The 1689: Day 144

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Day 144

Of Christ the Mediator.

Chapter 8, Paragraph 3.

“...which office he took not upon himself, but was thereunto called by his Father;

Scripture Lookup

Hebrews 5:5

Reflection

You’ve probably heard it before. The harsh, stern, vindictive Father, demanding in His laws, unyielding in His punishment. The meek, gentle, loving Son, who fulfills the law and brings grace. But pitting the Father against the Son is not what the Bible teaches. The Father and the Son – indeed, all the members of the Trinity – are behind the redemption of the elect, 100%.

The Father never sat and brooded over the offense committed by man. There is no vindictive bitterness in Him. Rather, He was proactive in seeking reconciliation. In eternity past, He entered into covenant with the Son, appointing Him to the office of mediator and surety. Love towards the elect was and is the continuing motivation of the Father in sending Jesus to earth. Look at Ephesians 1:3-6:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

It is the Father who blesses us in Christ! It is the Father who predestined us in love! It is the Father whose will is kind! “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us…” (1 John 3:1)

Likewise, Jesus was not a rebel. Time and time again in the Gospels, we read of Him doing the will of the Father: “…I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent me.” (John 5:30) “…not My will, but Yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)  He came to make His Father known. (John 17:26) There is no renegade Son, no schism in the Trinity. The Son willingly agreed to be the mediator between God and His people. The covenant of redemption was entered into freely.

The Father and Son are of one mind concerning the redemption of sinners. The roles they play in carrying out that redemption differ, but their goal is the same. God is love. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are love. Let’s not fall into the trap of pitting one against the other.

Questions to Consider

  • Do you attribute love to one member of the Trinity more than another?

A Little Time With The 1689: Day 143

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Day 143

Of Christ the Mediator.

Chapter 8, Paragraph 3.

“...he might be thoroughly furnished to execute the office of Mediator, and Surety;

Scripture Lookup

Hebrews 7:22

Reflection

Stand in awe at the wisdom of Christ. Reflect on His holiness. Explore how Jesus is full of truth. But if you stop there, then you miss the reason why Jesus is all these things. For every quality of Jesus existed to enable Him to be a mediator and surety.

Jesus executes the office of mediator and surety. What does it mean for Jesus to be a mediator? There is conflict between sinners and God.  Jesus is the go-between among the two. He brings reconciliation and peace between God and His elect. Not only is He the mediator, He is also the surety. What’s a surety? One who takes a role of responsibility in the place of another who is liable. Jesus pays the debt that we owe as a result of our transgressing God’s law.

No Joe Schmo could be the mediator and surety between sinners and God. The credentials and qualities of such a man must be literally impeccable. “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). Jesus, fully God and fully man, is thoroughly furnished for those two offices. Full of grace and truth, He is our advocate before the Father. Being holy and undefiled, He is able to make the payment necessary due to our sin.

Before the Throne my Surety stands,
My name is written on his hands.

-Charles Wesley

Questions to Consider

  • Could anyone else be our mediator and surety?

A Little Time With The 1689: Day 142

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Day 142

Of Christ the Mediator.

Chapter 8, Paragraph 3.

“...and full of Grace, and Truth,

Scripture Lookup

John 1:14

Reflection

Jesus is full of grace. He does not cast anyone away, but freely welcomes them to Himself. How many times does He invite sinners to come to Him? To follow Him? As corrupt humans we are so fickle. We drop “I love you” like it was as common as air, but then that person hurts us and we want nothing to do with them. That never happens with Jesus. He will never leave us or forsake us. His sheep are never snatched out of His hand, and that hand is of the Great Shepherd, who does not cast away His sheep, but lays down His life for them. No matter how many times we sin, His grace is ready to cover it.

Jesus is also full of truth. Absolutely no falsehood is found in Him. To know Him is to know Truth. He declared it Himself: “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) Jesus never yielded in speaking the truth. His words were sometimes hard to hear: “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?” (John 6:60). Yet although He never compromised His stance on truth, He spoke it in love. For as He was full of truth, He was also full of grace.

To be full of grace and truth, as Jesus is, is a wonderful thing to behold. Yet like His being holy, harmless, and undefiled, His being full of grace and truth enabled Him to be our Mediator. We could not ask for a better one than Jesus.

Questions to Consider

  • How does Jesus being full of grace and truth help Him in His role as Mediator?

A Little Time With The 1689: Day 141

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Day 141

Of Christ the Mediator.

Chapter 8, Paragraph 3.

“...to the end that being holy, harmless, undefiled,

Scripture Lookup

Hebrews 7:26

Reflection

In His humanity, while united with His divine nature, Jesus was sanctified and anointed by the Holy Spirit. All fullness dwells in Him, to the pleasure of His Father. With such exultations by the members of the Trinity, it is no surprise that Jesus is holy, harmless, and undefiled. But what does it mean for Him to be so?

Jesus is holy: Jesus, in both His human and divine nature, has no sin in Him whatsoever. We have seen in previous days how He was set apart by His miraculous conception, so that His human nature was no corrupted. Throughout His life, Jesus never had an impure thought or acted sinfully. Every moment of His life, whether alone or in the midst of a crowd, conformed to God’s law. “… I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.” (John 8:29) There was no deviation. He is perfect.

Jesus is harmless: Jesus never injured anyone. As the Great Physician, His main mission was and is to heal sinners. A deceitful word never fell from His lips. His tenderness is unsurpassed, as He “gently leads those that nurse their young” (Isaiah 40:11) and “a bruised reed He will not break.” (Isaiah 42:3)

Jesus is undefiled: Our sin does not taint Him. “This man receives sinners and eats with them”, but He does not succumb to their ways. No one has any evil influence upon Him, and He never was an accomplice to anyone’s sin. He has total immunity from our transgression.

These traits of Jesus are wonderful in themselves. But they serve a larger purpose in Him: they are qualifications enabling Him to be the mediator between God and man. All of Him serves the purpose of saving sinners. And He is all we need.

Questions to Consider

  • Could anyone other than Jesus have saved sinners?

A Little Time With The 1689: Day 140

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Day 140

Of Christ the Mediator.

Chapter 8, Paragraph 3.

“...in whom it pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell:

Scripture Lookup

Colossians 1:19

Reflection

 In Jesus we have everything necessary for salvation.

Do you believe that?

If we rely on our efforts to be as perfect as possible in order to merit salvation, we lessen Jesus. If we try to be authentic enough, or broken enough, or hip enough to merit salvation, we lessen Jesus. If we make Jesus out to be solely our moral example, we lessen Jesus. If we make Jesus out to be solely our best buddy, we lessen Jesus. We must never think we can add anything to Him. “Thou must save, and Thou alone!”

Considering the universal self-promotion that goes on nowadays, it may be easy to overlook the grandeur of Jesus. He did the will of His Father, and did so with humility. Yet when the Father exalts Him above all, and makes Him the means of reconciliation between sinners and God, then we better pay closer attention to who Jesus is. “In Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form…” (Colossians 2:9)

To add anything to Jesus’ mediatorial work on our behalf for justification undercuts the majesty and glory that is due Him. And ALL glory, honor and power are due Him, for He is not a lesser being than the Father or Spirit, but is equal with them. All fullness dwells with Him, and it is from this fullness found in Him that we as Christians receive every spiritual blessing. “For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.” (John 1:16)

Trust in Christ, then, with all your heart, and lean not on yourself.

God the Father is infinitely satisfied in Christ. He is all in all to Him. Surely if Christ is an object sufficient for the satisfaction of the Father, much more, then, is He an object sufficient for the satisfaction of any soul.

-Jeremiah Burroughs

Questions to Consider

  • Are you seeking fullness in Christ alone, or are you attempting to add to His fullness?

A Little Time With The 1689: Day 139

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Day 139

Of Christ the Mediator.

Chapter 8, Paragraph 3.

“...having in him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge;

Scripture Lookup

Colossians 2:3

Reflection

Do you seek wisdom? Do you long to grow in knowledge? Where do you go to find these things? Many look for enlightenment by following some self-help guru, or a best-selling book, or the philosophies of today. Some think if they could just get a special sort of knowledge, they could unlock all the secrets of the universe. But Jesus is the only One that contains all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

During His life on earth, Jesus grew in wisdom and stature. Through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in His human nature, Jesus was the wisest man to ever live. He became to us wisdom from God. (1 Corinthians 1:30) And how vast is that wisdom! “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!” (Romans 11:33) His wisdom and knowledge are demonstrated throughout Scripture. It is Jesus that made the Father known. (John 15:15; 17:26) It is Jesus that sends the Helper to us to guide us into all truth, the truth that is His. (John 16:13-15)

You need not seek elsewhere for wisdom. Jesus has all the wisdom you need for a life of godliness. Look to Him, ask Him for it, and He will no deny you.

There is a fulness of wisdom in him, as he has perfectly revealed the will of God to mankind. Observe, The treasures of wisdom are hidden not from us, but for us, in Christ. Those who would be wise and knowing must make application to Christ. We must spend upon the stock which is laid up for us in him, and draw from the treasures which are hidden in him. -Matthew Henry

Questions to Consider

  • Are you seeking wisdom by going to Jesus, or are you looking elsewhere?

A Little Time With The 1689: Day 138

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Day 138

Of Christ the Mediator.

Chapter 8, Paragraph 3.

The Lord Jesus in his human nature thus united to the divine, in the Person of the Son, was sanctified & anointed with the Holy Spirit, above measure;...

Scripture Lookup

Psalm 45:7

Acts 10:38

John 3:34

 

Reflection

Why would Jesus, who always did the will of His Father, need to be sanctified by the Holy Spirit? Why was He anointed with the Holy Spirit? To sanctify means to make holy, or set apart. While the human nature and the divine nature of Christ are inseparably joined together, they are still distinct natures. The human nature of Jesus was sanctified by the Holy Spirit. In His very conception, the Holy Spirit set Him apart. He was born of a woman, yet not born by ordinary generation. The Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary, thus ensuring Jesus to be born without the corrupt sinful nature passed down from Adam and Eve.

As the Messiah, or “anointed one”, Jesus was empowered to carry out His role as mediator between God and man. Where did this anointing come from? From the Spirit. As a human, He held all the essential properties of being a man. That includes all the infirmities humans possess. How much stress can one man endure? How long can someone keep up such a ministry before physical ailments occur?  Jesus, in His human nature, was empowered by the Spirit to endure the agony and suffering necessary to atone for sin.

This sanctifying and anointing of the Spirit in Christ’s humanity was without measure. He was given all that was necessary for His task, and more so! We see through this the importance that the Trinity places on the redemption of the elect. All three persons determined to save a people for God’s glory. Our salvation is surely secure!

 

Questions to Consider

  • Have you ever considered the role of the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ life?