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January 17, 2021 7:00 am
Henry Thoreau's godly aunt once asked him when he would make peace with God, to which he answered. I'm not at war with them.
Truth is, however, mankind is by nature at war with God and in desperate need of a mediator. Welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically. The God we say we love is often the God of our imagination, not the one true God of Scripture. Our enmity to God is well known to him and to those whose eyes have been opened to see it.
So what is the answer to this great dilemma joined Dr. Boyce as he explains our desperate need for a mediator between God and man and reveals the name and nature of that mediator generally difficult at all for any of us to understand this idea of a mediator today in America with world events the way they are because it seems that almost every time we pick up a newspaper or magazine.
We read about mediators between governments, I give a kind of an introduction because the text which we, in our exposition of first Timothy has to do with mediators and in fact without one mediator between God and man man Christ Jesus.
This is really the heart of this passage, or other ideas in it, but I think we have to understand that each of these other ideas are subordinated to this main theme. Paul is concerned with prayer encourages us to pray for our leaders. The reason is that our leaders might provide peace and stability climate in which this gospel of the mediator might go forth and he talked both the men and women about conduct in the world and the church and is concerned there is the same thing that there might be nothing in our conduct of the conduct of our assemblies which might work against the proclamation of the gospel of the mediator. Furthermore, we see not only the context of this passage we see it in the development of the book. Here Paul is writing to Timothy and he wants him to stand firm for the gospel not to deviate from the doctrines August personal testimony to that. He said this is the doctrine that changed my life explains a little bit how he was the greatest of sinners.
Yet God showed mercy to him and he came through the Lord Jesus Christ and Savior now in this chapter, and in this passage, he talks about the essence of that gospel. Christ mediator ship.
Here's the way it reads this is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth, for there is one God and one mediator between God and man.
The man Christ Jesus gave himself as a ransom for all men. Testimony given in its proper time.
I passage almost suggests its own outline in the first point of all is that we need a mediator on the reason we need a mediator is because there is one God, and we are in opposition to that God say it wouldn't be so bad it wouldn't be a need for one mediator. If there was more than one God, you could have your God. I could have my God things be fine. I offend your God, I'll choose another God is matter and we get on each of us the best we can.
Perhaps God's will even compete. We could play one off against the other one gets angry we could go to a stronger one and ask him to help us or how to help us, whatever it may be. Certainly that's the way the Greeks and the Romans thought the way their religion was conducted is one reason why their society was as decadent as it wants religion doesn't rise higher than the conception of its God religion paganism didn't produce even more than one God, that's possible. Or again if there's one God, but were in good terms with that God.
We don't need a mediator because mediator is one who is a British go-between, one who represents the interest of this warring party with that boring party and the interests of this party without party and tries to bring them together again if were not a bad terms with God. We don't need a mediator of the fact that we need a mediator as the Bible teaches from beginning to end is because there is the one God and we are not a good terms with say why aren't we on good terms with, or aren't we on good terms with all the Bible itself says were not. Sometimes it all we so distort biblical truth that we would pretend that that's not the case, God himself who is the God of truth and knows all things for Lisa's. We are enemies will believe that you find in the fifth chapter of Romans verse 10, Paul is talking about reconciliation and he says if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his son, how much more he goes on to talk about the living of the Christian life. You see we were enemies reminds me of something that godly aunt once said to Henry David Thoreau.
She was talking about God and always been trying to witness to him and he been opposed to it and she said David when are you going to make your peace with God and he said you don't understand I'm not at war with God only shows how little he understood the Bible or spiritual things because nothing shows how much we are at war with God as to be at war with God and deny the fact were opposing him and everything we do now is matter of our opposition to God.
Our hostility to God to see, not merely because God says were in opposition to him, but he truly seen in the way we live indeed seen in the history of the human race because Senate is basis. Hostility to God and us are wanting to go our way, rather than God's way and therefore every time you have a demonstration of sin. Whether it's the sin of the individual or corporate sensitive nation, whatever it may be a demonstration of this great truth. Where in opposition to God.
God is there, the holy right to sovereign God we don't like that, God and so we go about our way and everything that we do in our sin opposed to him as an expression of that basic enmity go back in the Bible to the beginning of the fall if I did express there in the opposition of Adam to God, that many times Adam was given this great freedom to rule the world for God, but total freedom because he wasn't gone but the greatest freedom that was possible to a created being. Adam said in the fact I don't care as long as I'm not totally free. I hate the God limits me in this way. Therefore, I'm going to rebel against him and that's what he did. Death passed upon the human race that you know the Lord told a story on one occasion in order to explain to the people what it is that they have been doing down through all the ages would do again in his case. He said there was a man who owns a vineyard. He had to go away into a far country, and so he left it in the hands of tenants and they were to take care of the vineyard and then when they had harvest the grapes made their profits. He would send somebody to collect a portion of the revenue, which was his duty did when they saw the servant coming to collect the revenue they said let's just do away with the servant keep it all for ourselves and so in some cases, they beat the servant when he said others they killed some of those servants and they thought they were doing very fine and the Lord said eventually this man who owned the vineyard said well I'll send my son certainly that have respect for my son so he sent his son, and when the keeper of the vineyard saw the sun coming. They said this is the son is the air. Let's kill him then nobody else will intrude will have it all for ourselves and our Lord said what's the owner the vineyard going to do to those unjust stewards. I stop at that point because his point was that they were going to do away with him. He was the son of God sent the prophets unsent teachers God sent lawgivers down through all the ages they beat them up and they killed some reset on one occasion which of the prophets have mock your people killed and then eventually became they killed him as well but what our Lord did not say which certainly follows from the story of the vineyard is that if the owner had come himself, they would've done to the owner precisely what they did to the sun, they would've destroyed him and that's what men and women would do with God if they could do it better and women could get God to come down here on earth they would kill him. And of course that's what God did in the sense in Jesus Christ and the proof that they would go God is that they killed Christ, the son of God, the second person of the Godhead. You see, we may say oh we're not like that when women are like that why we love God but the God we love is a God of our imagination out the true God and the enmity that we have the true God is visible God himself.
Certainly and all the way. The eyes to see the hostility is there and that's why we need a mediator. Second point. The obvious one is we have a mediator, Jesus Christ. He is the mediator is perfect mediator is precisely what we need. I think here and it's really impossible to talk about attacks like this without thinking of that classic theological work of Anselm of Canterbury goes by the Latin title core Deus Homo why the God man or why did Christ become man we want to translated colloquially. This is just a classical statement. You know, down through history of theology is manna grappled with the different problems of theology suggests there urban classic statements of certain doctrines. Certainly St. Augustine's city of God is such a classical statement of the con test and struggle between the people of God and the people of this world down through all the centuries or again you have John Owens analysis of the death of Christ's, where he talks about the atonement was a classic statements and Anselm of Canterbury's treatise on the incarnation, which is what's involved in that statement. Why did Christ become man is a classic in this area and if you ever read that, or if you have read about it. You know that Anselm's answer. There is the matter of mediation that we need a mediator and the only one who can be the mediator is one who is at the same time both God and man. Hence the incarnation and some talks in terms of debt. He says we owe a great debt to God because of our sin God because of his nature needs to redeem man who was going to pay the debt. Why man has to pay it because man owes it, we can't pay it where the ones who incurred the debt. If we could plant we would never problem only wanted to buy the dead is God and therefore for the debt to be paid by man and by God must be a being who is at the same time both man and God, and hence the incarnation that Anselm's is much better than I have.
Let me read to his statement is really a classic one. It would not of been right for the restoration of human nature to be left undone and it could not have been done in this man paid what was owing to God for sin, but that was so great that while man alone owed it. Only God could pay it so that the same person must be both man and God as it was necessary for God to take manhood to the unity of his person so that he who in his own nature wants to pay and could not should be in a person who could life of this man, he means Jesus was so sublime, so precious that it can suffice to pay what is owing to the sins of the whole world and infinitely more precise in classical statement that we have to understand, of course, when we talk along those lines. There are some qualifications and some well understood them. We think of God being one to whom the debt is old and just the very way we place that it sounds impersonal like gods off there someplace that is got his arms folded and is waiting for somebody to pay the debt. Along comes Jesus to pay the debt you have to get those ideas out of your mind because Scott himself was in Christ paying the debt was not standing back with his arms folded. God is doing what needs to be done and even when we talk of paying the debt.
We almost got a kind of abstraction to it as if this is a bare kind of substitution Jesus dying in our place for us. We have nothing to do with it. Doesn't sound right so on true biblical ideas of Jesus as man represented the whole human race is far more complex than that, but nevertheless that's the idea of mediation, hostile parties, on the one who is able to bridge the gap because in the spiritual matters. He is at the same time both God and man may say something else to Hebrews as you. I'm sure know the author talks about a mediator priest because, in the language of Scripture. The mediator was a priest I've used as an illustration of political go-between, a diplomat, but in Scripture where you're talking a man of God. Mediator is a priest. The author of Hebrews develops Latin points out that, as the mediator priest Jesus, the perfect priest, and by the sacrifice of himself. He made the perfect sacrifice and because of the perfect sacrifice is the final sacrifice we need look for no other, let me just suggest a few of those texts to you as a very important first of all, Hebrews 7 verses 26 through 28. Here he speaks of the comparison between the priests of his day, the priest to practice Judaism in Jesus Christ and he points out that the priests of his day. First of all, had offered a sacrifice for themselves by priest was going to take the sacrifice the blood of the sacrifice and the holy of holies on the day of atonement. He had to first of all make a sacrifice for himself before he entered the holy of holies because he was a sinner and in these verses the author Hebrews points out that Jesus didn't have to do that. Like other priests because he was perfect to begin with, or again in the ninth chapter of Hebrews verses 11 through 14.
He points out the Christ not only is the perfect priest is the perfect sacrifice because he sacrifices himself, and if I could just round it out in the 10th chapter, verses 11 through 14 shows in a similar way that is also the final sacrifice because now no more sacrifices need to be performed.
This is Jesus our mediator now. I made two points.
I will make 1/3 when it's related to it, the less directly.
First of all I've said we need a mediator because there is one true God, and we are in a hostile relationship that true God. Secondly, the Jesus Christ is the mediator is the only mediator the one mediator the perfect mediator.
I want to show sort of buying conclusion and perhaps by extension, is that because of that all of the essentials of Christianity are also one in Christianity is one see if there are diverse gods or can be diverse religions as are diverse ways to God or can be diverse religions, but if there is one God and one way to God. There can only be one true religion and that Christianity is if the other things are true as we maintain they are what I want to take you to hear is a verse in Ephesians the fourth chapter beginning really in verse five. Here Paul is speaking of the unity that is ours in the faith, and he speaks of seven important unities look at this. It involves the others.
There is one body. That's the first and one spirit that is the second just as you were called to one hope when you were called. That is the third one Lord number 41 faith number 51 baptism number six one God and father of all who is overall and through all and in all number seven. That's why you see the church of Jesus Christ though because some geography your history or perhaps differences of understanding on minor matters were divided into one denomination or another denomination of the church in this country are the church and another country.
Those who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ is the mediator are nevertheless one you know that in the Westminster confession way at the beginning where Westminster confession begins to talk first of all, about the church and it talks about the unity of the church. The view of the church in the Westminster confession is so high that in that early chapter of the confession. The word Presbyterian though this is a Presbyterian confession is never even used because you see if you and turned to the framers of the Westminster confession in the shorter catechisms in you and said what is that system of government that's taught in Scripture as you best understand that they would've said this confession as a whole and if you would said, what is the form of government that is most of the court was Scripture. They would've said the Presbyterian form of government they never thought when they talked about the church. They never wanted to give any indication that they thought that the true church was the Presbyterian Church because their form of government in their understanding of these things lead them. What can only be described as a church universal. They wanted to testify that though I understood the form of government to be like this, though they thought Scripture taught that the organization should be like this and therefore that's the pattern they wanted to follow, nevertheless recognized their unity with Christians in all places and all forms of government so long as the Lord Jesus Christ was there, Lord recognized is that one mediator between God and man.
Let me just say this has to be taken in a very personal way. Because if there is one God, and if there is one mediator, then there is no other way to this God, but through that one mediator you not, to God through the mediator then you are separated from them and you're in danger of being separated from them forever. You know whenever the gospel is taught there always people react by putting it off they did even in Paul's day one of the kings, you know, before whom Paul testified said well you almost persuade me to become a Christian you go now come back and talk about it again. He didn't want to make a commitment. The people who do that you can talk in a strong language as possible and on the basis of text such as this about the one way to God.
You can quote the Lord Jesus Christ is saying I am the way the truth and the life no man comes in the father but by me.
And people will still go out and say well it's interesting. I'm sure that's what Christianity teaches. But I'm just going on around for a little bit longer and find another way is that there is no other way because there is no other mediator or Jesus Christ is the only mediator and if there is one God and that God is provided the way through the one mediator that it is absolute quality reviews, by way of that one mediator to seek for another no some time ago we were talking at the band's dinner was a Saturday night and I had been working on a verse that had to do with themes such as this part of the John studies.
I was talking about it because this matter of the antecedent absolute necessity of the atonement is a difficult one and I thought in the conversation that I kind of like to try it out on those who were at the table to see if they could understand because they couldn't understand and I was sure that nobody in church was going understand that the next morning and I was trying it out and I thought I was doing pretty well, but when I had finished one girl who is there. A friend of one of my daughters apparently administered all because she said tell me what's the point of your sermon tomorrow morning and I realize I was really up against it.
At that point I had taught theology but here was somebody really wanted to know what the point was, and I think the Lord gave me the right answer because when I set on that occasion was this was no other good enough to pay the price of sin. He only could unlock the door of heaven and let us in all dearly, dearly, as he loved and we must love him to trust in his redeeming blood and try his works to do.
That's the meaning of our verse and Timothy. There is no other good enough to pay the price of said Jesus has paid it the door of heaven is opened for all the will, let us pray father, bless these truths to our hearts.
Granted if there any heard these truths expounded and understood the for one reason or another, refused to come seeking in their folly to find another way. We ask you to be with them to bring them to the point where they come through Christ in a personal way.
Bless them as they come. We pray in Jesus name, amen. You're listening to the Bible study hours featuring the teaching of Dr. James Boyce how God is unfathomable in his love and mercy towards us that thought because the prophet Micah to ask who is a God like you. If you like to learn more on the subject of the uniqueness of our God. We like to offer you a free CD entitled no one like God also by Dr. Boyce. This free CD offers our way of saying thanks for listening.
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