A Little Time With The 1689: Day 166

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Day 166

Of Christ the Mediator.

Chapter 8, Paragraph 8.

“…in such manner, and ways as are most consonant to his wonderful, and unsearchable dispensation; and all of free, and absolute Grace, without any condition foreseen in them, to procure it.

Scripture Lookup

John 3:8

Ephesians 1:8

Reflection

You’re not special.

Unique, yes. Made in the image of God, yes. Created for a purpose, yes. These give you worth and value, and should not be dismissed or denied.

But there is nothing special about you, nothing deserving, that would cause Christ to die for you. Not your family, not what clique you belonged to in high school, not your salary or your job have any influence on whether you are one of the elect. Not even your decision to follow Jesus determines whether or not you receive eternal redemption.

We soooo want salvation to be about us, though, don’t we? Desiring validation and affirmation, we listen to speakers and bloggers who emphasize how special we are. The gospel becomes a L’Oreal commercial: “…because you’re worth it.” Rather than preaching Christ and Him alone, we humble brag on social media about how blessed we are or share our “authentic” filtered photos. There must be something worthy in us!

The reality is that there is nothing about us that make us deserving of redemption. There is nothing we could do – we have a corrupt and fallen nature. We have no reason to boast in ourselves. We have every reason to boast in Christ! For His work as mediator on our behalf was not done for special people, but for those who don’t deserve one bit of it. The grace with which we are saved is free and absolute. Abundant, lavish unmerited favor, with no strings attached and no hint of change, is what Christ bestows on His elect.

Remember, therefore, it is not thy hold of Christ that saves thee—it is Christ; it is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee—it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, though that be the instrument—it is Christ’s blood and merits.

Therefore, look not so much to thy hand with which thou art grasping Christ, as to Christ; look not to thy hope, but to Jesus, the source of thy hope; look not to thy faith, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of thy faith.

We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we would at once overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by ‘looking unto Jesus.’ -Charles Spurgeon, “June 28 – Morning”, Morning and Evening

Questions to Consider

  • Do you struggle with the idea that you are saved by grace, and that nothing in you has merited salvation?

A Little Time With The 1689: Day 165

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Day 165

Of Christ the Mediator.

Chapter 8, Paragraph 8.

“… and overcoming all their enemies by his Almighty power, and wisdom;…”

Scripture Lookup

Psalm 110:1

1 Corinthians 15:25,26

Reflection

Christ has defeated death. He reigns supreme at His Father’s right hand. No one and no thing can harm Him in any way. This is the same Christ who has obtained eternal redemption for His people, and He grants them protection that can only come from an omnipotent being.

Do you have any enemies? How about the enemies of the world, the flesh, and the devil? Is there not a day that we battle with at least one of these, if not all three? And such powerful foes, too! Yet Christ, in redeeming us, overcomes our enemies. The world does not gain the upper hand; the flesh is put to death. Victory is unknown to the devil.

With absolute power and unwavering wisdom, our enemies are vanquished by Christ. We can obey Him without fear, for despite the seeming strength and might of those who wish to destroy us, they are no threat to our Savior. Rest in the shelter of His safety.

The LORD is my light and my salvation;

whom shall I fear?

Questions to Consider

  • Read all of Psalm 27. Is that the desire of your heart?

A Little Time With The 1689: Day 164

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Day 164

Of Christ the Mediator.

Chapter 8, Paragraph 8.

“… governing their hearts by his word and spirit,…

Scripture Lookup

Romans 8:9,14

Reflection

Because of redemption, the elect are free from the slave master of sin. Our guilt has been forgiven; the punishment due us is borne by Jesus Himself. We are now free to do whatever we want as independent women and men, right? After all, as culture in the United States claims, freedom is being able to do what you want, when you want it, with no repercussions. Is that what Christ’s redemption has given His elect?

Christian, because of redemption your life is not your own. Yes, you are no longer a slave to sin, but you are governed by Jesus Christ. His reign is not anarchy. He does not leave His sheep to wander, but guides them with the word and with the Spirit. Such guidance is kind, showing us His will, drawing us to Himself even in times of discipline. His governance of our hearts is not something to resent but to cherish, as it is for our good and His glory.

We need not fear that Scripture and the Spirit will be at odds with one another in revealing Christ’s will. The Spirit will not lead you in a way that is contrary to His Word. Pray for the Spirit to dwell in you richly, and also richly read the Word. This way we will grow in the knowledge of Christ, and discern what is pleasing to Him.

 

Questions to Consider

  • Is there any part of Christ’s governance that you are resisting at the moment?

A Little Time With The 1689: Day 163

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Day 163

Of Christ the Mediator.

Chapter 8, Paragraph 8.

“…uniting them to himself by his Spirit, revealing unto them, in and by the word, the mystery of salvation; persuading them to believe, and obey;

Scripture Lookup

John 17:6

Ephesians 1:9

1 John 5:20

Reflection

 

Christ’s redemption of His people is breathtaking. To live, die, rise, and ascend for the elect makes Him worthy of all honor and praise. When we realize all the benefits that are ours as a result of His role as mediator, though, humbleness, gratitude and a greater love for Him should rise ever fuller in our hearts.

Because of Christ’s work, we now have union with Him through the Holy Spirit. He sends the Holy Spirit to enlighten those that are His, opening their eyes to the marvelous work of the gospel. Sinners now see the horrid state of their sin and the beauty of Christ, and they trust and obey Him. They are counted righteous for His sake. They are His, and He is theirs.

As Christians, we have the richest, most beautiful treasure: we have Christ. Often we overlook this reality, as the cares and toils of everyday life compete for our attention. May we stop and think upon Him, thanking Him for lifting the veil clouding our understanding so that we see now how exquisite He is. May we remember His claim upon us as we strive to do His will. And may we be bold to share such a treasure with others.

Questions to Consider

  • How does your union with Christ affect your life right now?

A Little Time With The 1689: Day 162

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Day 162

Of Christ the Mediator.

Chapter 8, Paragraph 8.

To all those for whom Christ hath obtained eternal redemption, he doth certainly and effectually apply, and communicate the same; making intercession for them,…”

Scripture Lookup

John 6:37; 10:15,16; 17:9

Romans. 5:10

Reflection

 

Christ has accomplished redemption from sin. Such a statement deserves a hearty “Hurrah!” But does this redemption apply to me? And how is it applied?

While some teach that Jesus died for every single person in the world, such teaching is not Biblical. A people were given to Christ by the Father, and it was for His people that Christ died. There are people from all over the world that are elect, and it was for those that Christ died. It is for those that Christ intercedes.

The redemption of Christ is certain. “It is finished!” was the cry of Jesus, and His resurrection and ascension are proof of the truth of His claim. The work of Jesus was complete. There is nothing left undone. No loophole exists to nullify His work on behalf of sinners. Thus the reliability of His role as mediator is rock-solid.

This redemption is effectual. It is not a “maybe” redemption, where Jesus bore the punishment for sin but you may be still liable to endure it. It is not a dependent redemption, dependent upon whether you choose to receive it. The elect are redeemed, never to return to the slavery of sin. Never, ever can any of the elect lose their redemption!

This redemption is communicated. The elect receive redemption, not some idea of redemption. Christian, the numerous benefits of having Christ as your mediator are yours: “who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:3). Redemption is a reality for those in Christ!

If you are His, He redeemed you. Actually. Efficiently. Truly. Forever and ever, Amen!

Questions to Consider

  • Knowing the truth of your redemption, do you live accordingly?

A Little Time With The 1689: Day 161

Capitol Hill Question Mark (Washington, DC)

Day 161

Of Christ the Mediator.

Chapter 8, Paragraph 7.

Christ in the work of Mediation acteth according to both natures, by each nature doing that which is proper to itself; yet by reason of the Unity of the Person, that which is proper to one nature, is sometimes in Scripture attributed to the Person denominated by the other nature.”

Scripture Lookup

John 3:13

Acts 20:28

Reflection

 

Understanding how Christ is the fully God and yet also fully human can be confusing. It is such confusion that groups like Jehovah Witnesses pounce on to deny Jesus’ divinity. “How can Jesus be God?” they say. “Didn’t Jesus die? God cannot die! Therefore Jesus is not God.”

We might be firmly committed to the doctrine of the hypostatic union, yet when presented with such Scriptures as the ones referenced in the “Scripture Lookup” we are thrown for a loop. How can the Son of Man descend from heaven? How can God obtain the church with His own blood?

It is important to remember that both the human nature and the divine nature of Jesus remain distinct in His work of Mediator. Red and blue do not mix to make purple here. However, these two natures are so inseparably united, that to not have one nature would be to not have Jesus. Thus Jesus can say “I thirst”, and it is true, although His divine nature does not thirst. Properties of one nature are sometimes attributed to the person named by the other nature.

Scripture uses many forms of language to convey truth. Sometimes idioms are used, as we see in the selected passages. Without such an understanding, it is easy to fall into error, and even heresy. Thankfully, those that are Christ’s will be guided into all truth because of the mediatorial work of the divine and human natures. Because of the mediatorial work of Jesus.

 

Questions to Consider

  • Do you find yourself shrinking away from difficult passages?

A Little Time With The 1689: Day 160

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Day 160

Of Christ the Mediator.

Chapter 8, Paragraph 6.

“…Being the Same yesterday, and today, and for ever.

Scripture Lookup

Hebrews 13:8

Reflection

Jesus is steadfast in His role as mediator.

All the elect throughout time benefit from Jesus’ life and sacrificial death. The means of obtaining eternal life is the same for all His people; it is only through faith in Him that anyone receives it. From the Old Testament, to today, to the great-great-grandchildren of Millennials, the way of salvation has never changed: trust in the saving work of the Messiah.

Jesus does not waver in preserving His people. He intercedes on their behalf night and day, without fail. No one can snatch them out of His hand. The good work begun in them will be brought to completion. His Church will never fail.

Undefeated, Jesus remains a victorious king over all creation. He will never be overthrown from His reign. His power and might never waned, and there is no fear of Him ever weakening.

He who saved His people in the past, who preserved them, who spoke on their behalf to His Father, is the same One who saves, preserves, and intercedes now. He is constant; He is unchanging; He is the same. You can trust Him.

Yesterday.

Today.

And forever.

 

Questions to Consider

  • Do you tend to take Jesus’ constancy for granted, or do you tend to doubt that He is steadfast?