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Christ, Our Mediator, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
December 16, 2022 7:05 am

Christ, Our Mediator, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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Most countries have established a court system in which we can settle disputes.

At the center of that institution is someone who takes an objective look at the facts and declares the defendant either guilty or not guilty. Today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll describes the spiritual parallel. In his first letter to Timothy, Paul said, There is one God and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. This is message number 11 in a series about the names of God that concludes next week. Chuck titled this message, Christ our Mediator. I'm going to get a little bit more technical with you than I normally do, because I think it's important to understand this. When Jesus Christ died on the cross, he satisfied all of the righteous demands of God the Father against sin.

All of them. This is called the doctrine of propitiation or satisfaction. When Christ said on the cross, it is finished. He said, in effect, the entire work of salvation has been provided and he slumped into death. When he came from the grave, it was a complete transaction, over and done with. And according to John's writings in the in the letter of 1st John, from that time on, the Father was satisfied in his son.

He was propitiated. He was satisfied. The righteous demands on sin were satisfied.

They were all fulfilled. The enmity had been changed to amity. Now the reason I camp on that is because you need to understand this. God doesn't need to be reconciled to man.

That's already taken place. Man needs to be reconciled to God. We are the ones who are out of sorts. We are the ones who have moved away.

We are the ones who have moved into rebellion. God has not moved. He placed upon his son all of the sins of mankind and in his son all of those demands were satisfied. And God smiled and God said, as it were, complete mission accomplished. And he brought him back from the grave victorious and he lives forever to serve as our advocate.

That's next time. But in dying on the cross, he bridged the chasm and he brought mankind, sinful mankind, into contact and into communication with Holy God. You're looking at 1st Timothy chapter 2. The Apostle writes in the first verse, I urge that in treaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgiving be made on behalf of all, all men. By the way, that's prayers for the saved and the unsaved.

I hope because you were Christian you haven't stopped praying for the lost. Pray for all men. Pray for kings, verse 2. In our case it would be for the president. For those in authority over us, civic and state leaders. For all who are in authority. Notice all men, verse 1. All who are in authority, verse 2. In order that we may lead a quiet and a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God, our Savior. And what is it about our God that makes him unique? He is the one who desires all to be saved.

I've circled the word all. We pray for all. We pray for all who are in authority. And when we read of God, he is the one who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all.

For all. The testimony born at the proper time. Since mankind is at variance with holiness, we need a mediator. And since holiness can have nothing to do with sinfulness, there must be a mediator. And in fact there is. And he is, notice how he puts it here, the man, Christ Jesus. Well of course. Does that mean he wasn't God?

No and no way. But the emphasis on his mediatorship is an emphasis on his humanity. He became a man to be one of us, that he might bring us to God to be one of his. Look next in Hebrews chapter 8. Wonderful book, the book of Hebrews.

Its main point is clear. The book of Hebrews is written to teach the superiority of Jesus Christ. The superiority of Jesus Christ. He is superior to angels. He is of course superior to human beings like us. He is superior to the Old Testament priests as we will read. He is superior to the law.

He is the superior one. He has come and in coming. He has cancelled out the need for all of those Old Testament sacrifices and the need for human priests. Hebrews 8.

Now the main point in what has been said is this. We have such a high priest, that's Jesus Christ, who has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of the majesty in the heavens. A minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched not man. For every high priest, now he turns to the earthly high priest, is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Hence it is necessary that this high priest also have something to offer. Now if he were on earth he would not be a priest at all since there are those who offer the gifts according to the law. Who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle.

For see he says that you make all things according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain. But now he, Jesus Christ, has obtained a more excellent ministry by as much as he is also the messy taste, the go-between, the mediator of a better covenant which has been enacted on better promises. If that first covenant, the old covenant, the law covenant, if the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second. But all of that old covenant can do, all that it can do, is bring about an awareness of our sins. You've noticed that haven't you? You've noticed that the reading of the Ten Commandments in no way equips you to keep them. It simply declares that you are guilty. In fact, the surprising thing about law is that it prompts us to disobey.

Have you noticed that? There's something about a law that prompts you to do it. That's why the old covenant won't work. We need help inside.

Just being told don't, don't, don't, stop, stop won't help. We need a power. And that's the beauty of the mediator. He comes as a better priest because he doesn't come just simply to stand alongside and frown and give us a nod. He comes inside and he changes our motivation. He gives us an interest in obeying which never could come from within the flesh. All the law did was say thou shalt not and it declared the righteous demands of God but it didn't help.

We need a mediator. Over in chapter 9, very similar statement. Look at verse 11, chapter 9 of Hebrews, verse 11. When Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, he entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle.

Watch closely now. It wasn't a tabernacle made with hands. That is to say not of this creation and not through the blood of goats and calves but he entered that tabernacle through his own blood. He entered the holy place once for all having obtained eternal redemption.

This is wonderful theology. In the days of the tabernacle, the high priest once a year would take a basin of blood and with great care and according to precise liturgy spelled out in the scriptures, he would walk into the holiest of all where the, get this, the Shekinah glory of God rested. It was like resplendent light breaking through the heavens, burning down into this holiest of all places. Now what's this passage saying? It's saying Jesus entered the sacred place, the holiest place, God's righteousness dwelling there, not through the blood of goats and calves but on the cross. He entered the holiest place, look at this good word, once for all.

One time only. You know what that tells you? That tells you you don't have to keep on sacrificing to please God. You don't have to come with blood, with the blood of animals. You don't even have to come through some earthly representation. You don't need a pastor to be your priest.

You don't need a friend to represent you to God. As a child of God, because he has opened the way, you come through the merit of his blood and you come to the holiest place of all, the very presence of God. Look at the next two verses. If the blood of goats and bulls, if the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling those who have been defiled, sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh during those Old Testament days. How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered himself without blemish to God. Cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God. My friend, that is internal motivation.

And for this reason, he is the messy taste. He is the go-between, the mediator of a brand new covenant. In order that since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

I love it. The promise of eternal inheritance is ours simply because he has opened the way. It's our inheritance. When you receive an inheritance you don't have to work for it. You don't have to earn it. All you have to do is be in the right family and it comes to you because someone else has provided it for you. Your name is on it.

It's tagged. One more, chapter 12 of Hebrews, it appears verse 22 down through verse 25. Hebrews 12, again a wonderful scripture. Now, it gets pretty passionate so hang on. Verse 18, you have not come. Mark that. Verse 22, but you have come. Now let me read it. Verse 18, you have not come to a mountain that may be touched and to a blazing fire and to darkness and gloom and a whirlwind and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word should be spoken to them.

Meaning what? Mount Sinai, that place that was so fearful to the people of Israel. They stood back. There was a marking that kept them away from the mountain and God spoke from that mountain and they were filled with fear. You have not come to that mountain as a child of God today.

No. They couldn't bear command. And so terrible was the sight. Verse 21, Moses says, I'm full of fear and trembling. I'll tell you one thing, if you lived in those days, you'd have a vivid realization of what it meant to fear the Lord. People dropped like flies who disobeyed. Incredible judgment fell and fell immediately. When Uzziah touched the holy place, he became leprous.

No one could wonder about the presence of God in that scene. It's not like that now. God is still holy. Don't ever forget that.

But now there's a relationship of friendship. Look at 22. You have not come, verse 18, to that place, but you have come to Mount Zion. You've come to this magnificent, heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God, and to myriads of angels.

And look at the scene. You've come to the General Assembly, the church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, and to Jesus, the messites, the one who went between you and God. You've come to him, the mediator of a new covenant, to the sprinkled blood, his own, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.

See to it that you do not refuse him who is speaking. You know what I see here? I see three mountains. Talk about important mountains. I see Mount Sinai in verse 18 to 21. I see Mount Zion in verse 22 down through verse 23. And I see Mount Calvary in verse 24. I see a simple hill called Golgotha where our mediator sprinkled blood once for all.

He came as our go-between because we were warring parties and the wrath of God rested upon the sinner. In the Old Testament days, they needed blood regularly applied. Who knows how many hundreds of thousands of gallons of blood stained the altars in the city of Jerusalem. Day after day, month after month, year after year, the priest went through the same, same, same liturgy. Blood, blood, blood. Who knows how many thousands of animals were killed. And when Christ died, the animal sacrifice ceased. It was a hop ox death once for all, never to be done again.

Never to be done again. Charles Haddon Spurgeon for decades held the people of London, held their attention in the great tabernacle where he preached. And though he died what we would call a young man in his mid-fifties, he really altered the city of London with his influence. On his deathbed said, my brethren, my theology has become very simple. It consists of four words. Jesus died for me and he died. My brethren, our theology is resting on four words. Jesus didn't simply die. He died for you and me. He died as our mediator and his blood poured out solved the dispute. Why are we grateful we have a mediator?

Let's pause and apply this. First, because he has brought us reconciliation. Where there was once alienation, he has brought reconciliation. Why am I grateful that we have a mediator? Because he has bridged the distance that once separated us from God. We now look into his face through the power and the presence of Jesus Christ and of all things we are able to call him our father. He has brought reconciliation where there was once alienation. He has bridged the distance where there was once separation and very simply according to Ephesians chapter 2, we are grateful for our mediator because he has become our peace.

Like a river glorious is God's perfect peace and he has become that for us. Turn finally, if you will, from Hebrews to Ephesians chapter 2, let me read verses 11 to 16 in closing. Ephesians 2, 11 to 16. Therefore, remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who were called uncircumcision by the so-called circumcision which is performed in the flesh by human hands, remember that you were at that time, meaning when we were lost, separate from Christ, list them here, separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope, without God in the world, I count five in the list. Verse 13 is a transition, but now there's a difference. But now in Christ Jesus, you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. That's the work of the mediator. He has brought us near, for he himself is our peace. Who made both groups into one, the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man, he broke down the barrier of the dividing wall by abolishing in his flesh the enmity, which is the law of commandments contained in ordinances that in himself he might make the two into one new person, one new man, thus establishing peace and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross by it having put to death the enmity. Maybe you have been a Christian so long that you have either forgotten what it was like for you outside of Christ, or you have forgotten how many people this very day and on into this very night long to know peace with God. I hope you haven't forgotten that.

Bow with me, will you please? Thank the Father for peace with him. No, everything isn't perfect in your life, but you know, maybe that's because you haven't given all of those problems to him and handled every one of them. It isn't because you have to somehow work your way into his presence or pay a severe price.

No, that's all been taken care of. What you need to do is simply thank him for being there, for being your go-between. Thank you, dear Father, for giving us peace through the price of Jesus' death. Thank you for loving us in such a great way that it was satisfactory to you to send your son. Thank you for the driving force of his sacrifice, his love for us.

And in all of the benefits that come our way, we pause to give you a special thanks in our hearts for the go-between who bridged the gap, who settled the argument, who reconciled us to you. Thank you, Lord. Thank you in Jesus' name.

Amen. You're listening to Insight for Living and the Bible teaching of pastor and author Chuck Swindoll. Today's topic, Christ our Mediator. Chuck will bring a closing thought in just a moment, so please stay with us. And if you'd like to learn more about this ministry, we invite you to visit us online at insideworld.org.

This daily Bible teaching program and all of its companion resources are prepared just for you. And we love getting your emails, letters and phone calls because we enjoy hearing your stories. For instance, this one said, Chuck, my story is a long and sordid one that would take entirely too much time to tell. Suffice it to say, my past looks much like the battlefields I've personally seen in the Middle East. Ironically, listening to your program has gotten me through many sleepless nights and chaotic days in those countries. Chuck, your program has helped me fight the spiritual battles that have plagued me for so long.

From one Marine to another, Semper Fidelis, and God bless you for all you do. Well, on behalf of this listener and countless others like him, we want to thank all those who give generously. Your contributions are having a generational impact on families. Here's Chuck. Time has a way of distilling the truth.

The issues that seemed a little fuzzy in our twenties and thirties came into complete focus in our sixties, seventies, and eighties. Well, in October, I passed another birthday, and I'm here to profess that God is faithful. The one whom I embraced as a young man has never once let me down. In fact, as I remained committed to a long obedience in the same direction, my trust in my God was fortified by the promises he continually kept.

We're coming to yet another milestone. It's December 31st, which marks the end of another ministry year for Insight for Living Ministries. God has been magnificently faithful to this media ministry that aired its first broadcast back in 1979. And now, I want you to look back and reflect on God's faithfulness to you. Do you remember the time when he entered your life and extended his amazing grace to you?

Do you recall the first time you sensed God's grace through Insight for Living? Well, as you reflect, I'm asking you to reciprocate, to express your gratitude by giving a generous year-end gift. We will continue to do our part. What I'm asking you today is to do your part. In fact, I covenant with you to keep teaching God's Word with the same passion and the same focus you've come to expect from me, with a track record that dates back to our very first broadcast in 1979. At Christmas time, we celebrate the humble arrival of God's Son Jesus in Bethlehem. As Mary laid her precious baby in the manger, the fullness of grace bloomed like a rose, later to be crushed for all our sins, its heavenly fragrance released. Now it's up to us, you and me, to keep spreading that fragrance of grace all around the world. So let's give generously together, so all might come to know and receive God's greatest gift to us, His one and only Son.

Thanks, Chuck. By responding today, you can be the one who delivers this gift of grace to a listener in need. Please jot down this contact information to get in touch.

To give online, go to insight.org slash donate. Or you can call us. If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888.

That's 800-772-8888. We look forward to hearing from you soon. I'm Bill Meyer. Join us when Chuck Swindoll wraps up his series on the names of God called His Name is Wonderful, next week on Insight for Living. The preceding message, Christ Our Mediator, was copyrighted in 1988, 1992, and 1998. And the sound recording was copyrighted in 1998 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-15 15:16:14 / 2022-12-15 15:24:54 / 9

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