“For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and man: the man Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 2:5)
The Reformers discovered from the Scriptures that God’s covenant promises are mediated to men by Christ alone. They learned further that the riches of salvation are fully possessed by those who are united to Christ. He is the only and all-sufficient Mediator between the holy God and sinful men.
We need a mediator because we are hardened sinners: rebels, hostile to God, lawbreakers, guilty, ungodly, and wicked; we stray like dumb sheep (Romans 8:7; 1:18; 3:29; Isaiah 53:6; Ephesians 2:12; 4:18). We need a man (a God-man!) in the middle—someone to stand between us and God, someone to represent God to us and us to Him. Jesus Christ is that middleman, God’s “last word,” whose “single offering has perfected forever those who are sanctified” (Hebrews 1:1, 2; 10:14).
Christ is God’s Prophet to represent Him to us by being and bringing the Word of God (1 John 1:18; Hebrews 1:1, 2; John 15:15). Christ is God’s Priest to represent us to Him by offering an acceptable sacrifice, by which communion is established and maintained between us and God (Hebrews 9:14,28; 2:17). Christ is also God’s King, the crucified One whom God resurrected from the dead and made both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36). Jesus possesses all authority and power to establish His kingdom by saving His people, ruling and defending them, and eliminating all His and their enemies. As J.I. Packer says, Christ Jesus, the divine Mediator, was “God bringing God to men in grace and power in order thereby to bring men to God in faith and repentance.”
We need no other than Christ. He saves “to the uttermost” all those who come unto God by Him. This blessed truth is not universally accepted by professing Christians today. The Roman church, for instance, imagines that she must stand between God and sinners; salvation is possible only to those who receive her “sacraments” and absolutions. Neo-pentecostalists allege that Christians need more than Christ; indeed, they say, a “second blessing” is necessary—a special work of the Holy Spirit over and above redemption, regeneration, justification—evidenced, they say, by speaking in tongues, healing, and other miracles.
John Calvin summarized it well: Christ “performed the office of a Redeemer by dying for our sins, by rising again for our justification, by opening heaven to us through His ascension, by Sitting at the right hand of the Father, whence He will come to judge the quick and the dead; and, therefore, He procured for us the grace of God and salvation” (Institutes, Aphorisms, 11–42).
Jesus has done it all, paid it all, procured it all. He is our all-sufficient Savior. Soli Christo!
Reprinted from Equip, the leadership magazine of the PCA, January–February 2000.
Rev. Paul Settle one of the original founders of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), serves as assistant pastor at the Park Cities Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Dallas, Texas.