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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We Win!

On January 8, 1815, General Andrew Jackson commanded an American force that defeated an attacking British regiment in the Battle of New Orleans. Over 2,000 men were killed. But the battle was unnecessary. The War of 1812 had already ended. The peace treaty had been signed in Ghent, Belgium two weeks earlier. But the news had not yet reached Louisiana. Although the war was over, this tragic event still claimed many lives.

Our war with Satan is similarly tragic. Although his defeat is certain, the battle continues. Carefully read Revelation chapter 12. Here’s are some of the key players:

  • “the woman clothed with the sun” (verse 1) represents God’s people; the faithful remnant of Israel
  • “the enormous red dragon” (verse 3) is Satan
  • “the male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter” (verse 5) is the Messiah; Jesus Christ (Psalm 2:9)
  • “the rest of her offspring” (verse 17) is the church

A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.

Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:

“Now have come the salvation and the power
    and the kingdom of our God,
    and the authority of his Messiah.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
    who accuses them before our God day and night,
    has been hurled down.
They triumphed over him
    by the blood of the Lamb
    and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
    as to shrink from death.
Therefore rejoice, you heavens
    and you who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
    because the devil has gone down to you!
He is filled with fury,
    because he knows that his time is short.”

13 When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach. Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.  Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.

(New International Version)

What an awesome picture of victory! Jesus was born to destroy Satan’s stronghold on earth. While Satan attempted to destroy Christ by having Him killed, that sacrifice only sealed his defeat. But the devil is a poor, sore and vindictive loser. We see and experience the havoc he stirs up constantly (crime, terrorism, substance abuse, jealousy, lies, worry, any good deed left undone, etc.).

And he still attacks the church with persecution and accusations. But Jesus protects us during times of temptation and weakness. Our Lord provides us with the power of His teaching in Scripture and the strength of the Holy Spirit.

We have been redeemed but the Accuser, the Liar, the Destroyer wants to remind us of our guilt and unworthiness. While he will continue to create havoc when he can, we must not be discouraged. We must keep our minds on the victory of which we have been assured. We must persevere and remain faithful (Revelation 2:3, 10).

Although he may appear to be winning, Satan has already lost! He is defeated. His power is limited. But our Lord is victorious! And all Christians can share in His glorious victory.

How Can God and Christ and the Holy Spirit be one person?

Question: 

“How can God and Christ and the Holy Spirit be one person?”

Answer:

I don’t believe that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one person. I believe They are “one God”. There is a difference. “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:4, 5 – New American Standard Bible). The Bible speaks of the “Deity” (Colossians 2:9), which Jesus Christ represented in bodily form on earth (Hebrews 2:12 – 15). The word for the “name” of God is “the LORD” – and is so translated in the New American Standard Bible (see above). However, the word for “God” is different.

The Hebrew word for “God”, which is used extensively in the Old Testament, is the word “ELOHIM.” This is a word similar to “group” or “team” – a word that indicates a unity of more than one person. It is used in the creation account of Genesis 1. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image” (v 1, 26). Notice the plural pronouns, “us” and “our” in Genesis 1:26. There is “one God,” who uses “us” and “our” with reference to Himself!

I don’t know that we will ever (on this side of eternity) understand the concept of the trinity. But that is exactly what Jesus describes in Matthew 28:19, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit”. The apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Corinthians 13:14).

The “Deity” of the Bible is composed of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. While Jesus was on earth, He often prayed to the Father in heaven (Matthew 6:9; John 17:1; etc.). Notice His promise to the apostles, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth” (John 14:15 – 17a). There you find all three members of the Deity. Jesus (on earth) would pray to the Father (in heaven) for the Holy Spirit (in heaven) to be sent to earth to guide the apostles. So, while there are three “Persons” in the Deity, they are still only “one God.