Do We Need A Human Mediator?

Do We Need A Human Mediator? Bible Question.

Question:

“Does a time ever come in the life of a Christian that he sins to the point that, even though he repents, he cannot pray for himself, but must have some righteous brother to pray for him?”

Answer:

The answer to your question is given clearly by the Word of God itself . . .

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,1 Timothy 2:3 – 5 (New American Standard Bible)

First, God wants all people to be saved. Second, there is one mediator between God and us – Jesus Christ. That just does not leave room for any other person to be a mediator between any Christian and God.

The Scripture show that the church of the Lord is “the household of God” (1 Timothy 3:15). Then the apostle Peter writes, “Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:1 – 5)

Notice that we – Christians – are a holy priesthood. Christ is our High Priest (Hebrews 4:15, etc.). But each of us is a priest of God, and as such, we have access to God without the intervention of any other human being.

It is right and proper to ask others to pray for us (1 Thessalonians 5:25; 2 Thessalonians 3:1; Hebrews 13:18; etc.). Quite often one feels the need to confess his sins and weaknesses to other brothers (James 5:16), and even to the church, so that they can pray for him. But when one repents, he can ask God to forgive him right then.

Our forgiveness is not based on someone else praying for us, for that would make that person a mediator through whom we must go to have access to God. Christ is the only mediator. That means your brother in Christ, the preacher, the elders, nor even the congregation can serve as a mediator. Your forgiveness is between you and God, with Christ as the advocate or intermediary.

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From Generation To Generation (Psalm 78:1 – 8)

From Generation to Generation (Psalm 78:1 – 8). Bible Lesson. Teen Bible Lesson.

Scripture Text:

Psalm 78 (New American Standard Bible)

Listen, O my people, to my instruction;
Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings of old,
Which we have heard and known,
And our fathers have told us.
We will not conceal them from their children,
But tell to the generation to come the praises of the Lord,
And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.

For He established a testimony in Jacob
And appointed a law in Israel,
Which He commanded our fathers
That they should teach them to their children,
That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born,
That they may arise and tell them to their children,
That they should put their confidence in God
And not forget the works of God,
But keep His commandments,
And not be like their fathers,
A stubborn and rebellious generation,
A generation that did not prepare its heart
And whose spirit was not faithful to God.

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Questions:

1. People in Biblical times did not have universal access to Scripture. What took the place of history books, schools and seminaries?

2. What were your favorite stories when you were young:

  • Mother Goose?
  • Aesop’s Fables?
  • Grimm’s Fairy Tales?
  • Home-spun stories?
  • Bible stories?
  • Others: ___________?

3. What are the favorite stories for any children you may have (at home, in school, in church)?

4. Who is the keeper of your family stories and traditions? Do you ever hear of times when your folks or grandparents were young? What warning to future generations is implicit in their oft-repeated stories?

5. What do you know about your family history? Why is that important to you?

6. What does the psalmist say about the history of God’s family in verses 1 – 3?

7. Think about some of the oldest stories in Scripture – creation, Adam & Eve, Noah’s Ark, the Tower of Babel. Why is it important that these stories are not lost? Why are they meaningful today?

8. This psalm was written by Asaph. What do we know about him (1 Chronicles 6:31, 39; 1 Chronicles 15:16, 17, 19; 1 Chronicles 16:4, 5)?

9. What did Asaph say was the responsibility of the present generation of God’s family to the next generation? Briefly look at Psalms 73 – 83. How did Asaph fulfill that responsibility? How can Christians emulate his example?

10. American essayist George Santayana wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” What does that mean to you?

11. Compare Santayana’s quote with Psalm 78:7, 8. In what ways are these two authors saying the same things?

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Application:

These are some ways Christians/churches pass along God’s Word (and their faith) to the next generation. . .

  • Vacation Bible School
  • Sunday School
  • children’s worship services
  • parents reading the Bible to their children
  • multigenerational Bible studies
  • multigenerational service projects and mission trips
  • mentoring between older and younger church members
  • special church services where the “senior saints” of the congregation are honored and given time to offer their stories
  • potluck meals and church social events that give time for older people to share their stories and their lives with younger people

1. Which of these methods does your congregation currently use to pass the Word from generation to generation?

2. In which do you currently take part? What activities could you join to help pass on God’s Word to those who are younger than you?

3. How do these methods live out Psalm 78? Which of these methods would be most effective to add to your congregation?

4. Come up with some other good methods your congregation could use that are not on this list.

5. How did God’s Word get passed on to you? Tell your story to one of your peers and/or someone younger than you?

6. Why is it important that believers continue to help the next generations learn and grow?

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Is Obesity A Sin?

Is Obesity A Sin? Bible Question.

Question:

“I have been a Christian for a few years. Lately, I have come to think my being overweight is a sinful issue. So many believers are overweight, surely God is not pleased by this?”

Answer:

Actually, the Bible nowhere condemns the size of a person’s stomach. God does speak of excess and intemperance . . .

Listen, my son, and be wise, And direct your heart in the way. Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine, Or with gluttonous eaters of meat; For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty, And drowsiness will clothe one with rags.Proverbs 23:19 – 21 (New American Standard Bible)

Gluttony in these verses does not refer to the size of the person, but the size of the appetites (for wine or food) of the person. God is not condemning obesity, but the human desire to overeat, overindulge and to cater to one’s appetites. The spiritual issue concerns what you worship. Is it food, or is it God?

That is why we are admonished, All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything (1 Corinthians 6:12). The apostle Paul tells us that food is to be received gratefully (1 Timothy 4:3, 4), but that we should not be enslaved by it. Obesity is a health risk. But obesity itself does not indicate someone who is out of control in eating. In fact, some can be quite thin and fit, and still be gluttonous. God is more interested in the condition of the heart than in the size of the waistline.

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