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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What Must I Do To Be Saved? [video]

(What Must I Do To Be Saved?) Bible Lesson. Teen Bible Lesson. Video Lesson.

Thank you for reading and following this blog for the past two years. Thank you for your support, feedback and prayers. My last post is scheduled for Monday December 30th. After that date I will be devoting my blogging time in 2014 at RefreshMyHeartInChrist.wordpress.com.

To check out previous videos you may have missed, click the “Video Lessons” tab in the menu bar above.

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TAGS: salvation, what must i do to be saved?, plan of salvation, forgiveness, repentance, baptism, gospel

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Return Without Repentance?

(Return Without Repentance?) Bible Question.

Question:

“We have some members here who quit attending services for a long time. A few months ago they came back, began to attend regularly, and are now being asked to lead prayers and teach. They did all of this without confessing any sin or requesting forgiveness. Is this right?”

Answer:

I understand your concern. If people are to take part in the body life of the church, they should represent the body well. If sin has taken place, they should acknowledge that and seek help from the body of believers. But, recall what John the baptizer told his audience . . .

“Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. (Luke 3:8a; New International Version)

John had a lot of religious-looking people coming to him for baptism. But he was not as interested in the form of religion as he was in the heart behind the actions. He insisted that their lives reflected what the baptism represented. If baptism is for forgiveness, then people should act as if they were cleansed. If their baptism indicated a renewed dedication to God, then the lives of those people would bring forth fruit that demonstrated that dedication.

Using those principles, it seems to me that the people who had forsaken the assembly of the church (Hebrews 10:25), and then returned, have demonstrated a change of heart (which is repentance). From what you have described, they have produced fruit worthy of repentance. They have proven a change of actions (fruits) since they were not attending and now are.

If you are concerned about the sincerity of their repentance, then follow the Lord’s teaching and personally go to them . . .

“If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.– Matthew 18:15 – 17 (New American Standard Bible)

In a personal conversation with these people, you can express your concern for them, and they in turn can explain their actions and convictions.

I recently came across an article about how to leave and not leave a church. You may find it helpful. Here’s the link:

How (Not) To Leave the Church (Frank Viola)

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