We Have ONE Mediator Not Many

Picture taken at a rest stop along the highway in central Idaho

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all… (1Tim 2:5-6, ESV2011)

The Lord drew my attention today to this word mediator. He wanted me to see just what a great and thorough salvation we have been given to us in Jesus Christ. So I looked up the definition of mediator in Vine’s Dictionary of New Testament Words and found the following:

<Grk. mesites>

lit., “a go-between” (from mesos, “middle,” and eimi, “to go”), is used in two ways in the NT, (a) “one who mediates” between two parties with a view to producing peace, as in 1Ti 2:5, though more than mere “mediatorship” is in view, for the salvation of men necessitated that the Mediator should Himself possess the nature and attributes of Him towards whom He acts, and should likewise participate in the nature of those for whom He acts (sin apart); only by being possessed both of deity and humanity could He comprehend the claims of the one and the needs of the other; further, the claims and the needs could be met only by One who, Himself being proved sinless, would offer Himself an expiatory sacrifice on behalf of men; (b) “one who acts as a guarantee” so as to secure something which otherwise would not be obtained. Thus in Heb 8:6; Heb 9:15; Heb 12:24 Christ is the Surety of “the better covenant,” “the new covenant,” guaranteeing its terms for His people.

Mesites not only means “to go and stand in the middle,” but to accomplish the task for whom He was sent. God sent Jesus to the earth with not only His own attributes and mind, but he was given the attributes and understanding of mere men, yet without sin. Or as it says in the letter to the Hebrews:

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb 4:14-16, ESV2011)

What can be added to that? Our salvation has been made complete as we abide by faith in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. This is why the writer of Hebrews goes on to emphasize that there remains a rest for the people of God and warns us not miss that place of rest like the Hebrew people did in the wilderness. How do we miss it? By not resting, but rather choosing to do works, the works of the law, and the works of religion as we try to justify our existence as Christians. Yet the scriptures tell us, “The just shall live by faith.”

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Eph 2:8-9, ESV2011)

Even our faith is a free gift from God and not something we conjure up by positive thinking. Our salvation and faith is not of works! We rest in Christ as sons and daughters of God.

As I thought on this it became clear to me just how many “mediators” we who call ourselves “Christians” cling to in our constant state of un-rest, even though Paul makes it clear that there is only ONE Mediator between us and God. These can all be summed up as works, dead works!

For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Heb 9:13-14, KJV)

The writer of Hebrews was addressing the works of religion. We can serve our dead works or we can walk by the Spirit and serve God. In this same chapter about entering into God’s rest we read,

…Today, after so long a time; as it is said, Today if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. (Heb 4:7, KJ2000)

“While it is yet today” we are to enter into His rest. Today means moment by moment, living in the now. When we are bound by sin and our self-centered ways we are driven by thoughts of the past, by guilt or by worries of what tomorrow may bring. God’s voice is in the now. He calls Himself, the I AM, not the I Was or the I Will Be. We must leave our old ways of doing things and stop listening to our own thoughts long enough to hear HIS voice moment by moment while it is still called “Today.” We don’t listen to His voice because we habitually listen to our own inner voice and the confusion of our own thoughts. God calls this state of affairs a hardened heart. Yes, today after so long a time we must start listening to His voice, and when we obey that voice we start doing live works instead of dead works.

These dead works were being done by Jewish Christians, Hebrews who were still clinging to the Old Covenant. For them it was all about what the voice of God said Yesterday! All their religious activities were separating them from the perfect work of Christ as their ONE Mediator. They were still loyal to that other mediator of the Old Covenant, the Law of Moses, instead of the New Covenant of the Living Christ (See Jeremiah 31-31-34). They failed to enter into the Promised Land because of unbelief. They had works, but no faith and rebellion against God was the result.

Christianity has many traditions that we as Christians rigidly cling to that are not to be found in the New Testament writings. These traditions stand between us and God and displace Christ as our Mediator. We use them as a shield in our unbelief, just like Adam and Eve who made themselves garments of fig leaves to cover their nakedness after they sinned. Some of our traditions are regular church attendance, tithing, Sunday school, church hierarchy, the need for “all things spiritual” to take place in a special religious building, fellowship based on believing in and adhering to the same doctrines, outward appearances rather than being adorned by the hidden beauty of a heart that is resting in God, or receiving one another only to get into “doubtful disputations.” etc. There is no end to this list. Each of these things we judge as necessary to please God. They are MEDIATORS! They stand “in the middle (mesos)” between us and God and displace Christ as our All, the ONE Mediator between God and man, the Living Logos of God. Jesus told the law keeping Jews, “So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God.” (Matt 15:6, ESV2011) This condition contributes to us failing to enter into our Father’s rest because they are all of works and not of faith alone in Jesus Christ. There is no “Jesus And.” He is either our All in all or He is nothing at all. Paul wrote,

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. (Eph 1:17-23, ESV2011 – emphasis added)

Christ is our Head, not men. He is our fullness. All we can do is walk by faith and abide in God’s perfect rest as we abide in Jesus. Man was created at the end of the sixth day for a reason, that we might walk with God in His seventh day of rest and abide in heavenly places IN Christ. We must labor therefore to enter into that rest (see Hebrews 4:10) and cease from all our (religious) works as God ceased from His works and rested. The origins of religion (the offerings of Cain and Abel) were the direct result of sin consciousness. By faith in Christ we are set free of sin consciousness. Christ is the fulfillment not only of the Old Covenant law, but also of any laws that we might construe from reading the New Testament. There is nothing we can do or adhere to that can add to what Jesus has already done. Are all works dead works? No, if we do not harden our hearts and obey His voice within, the resulting works will be enlivened by His Spirit and will bring forth good fruit. If we are truly IN Christ as our Life, what can we add to that? As John put it, “In Him was Life and the Life was the light of men,” and it still is!

“…for you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (2Cor 6:16, KJ2000)

11 comments on “We Have ONE Mediator Not Many

  1. Judi says:

    Hi Michael 🤗
    Wow! I was just at Susanne’s blog leaving a comment on her latest post and here you are today with a word on the heart and rest.
    I don’t think we need ever stop sharing that Christ is All and desires to be ALL IN ALL and that IN Him All is finished, the Law fulfilled. We are Accepted IN the Beloved, and enter into His rest Today…and every Today.
    What GOOD NEWS!
    Never tire of reminding us of who Christ IS, Michael, the GREAT I AM!
    Thanking God for you and all the saints.
    In His Love, Judi

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Thanks for the encouragement, Judi. The Spirit keeps showing me this same lesson over and over. It is a truth that has many facets and Christ our “mediator” was the facet He was showing me today. Yes, He is our ALL in all what more could we need?

      In His love for you, too,
      Michael 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. This is a very timely blog article, Michael! ⭐

    We truly have only one mediator between God and us little human beings. This definition you pasted from the Greek makes a lot of sense to me, esp. as to Jesus possessing this double nature as being man and God at the same time. It reminds me of what Jesus once promised us where He said,

    “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Mt 18:20 KJV)

    What I remember from the Latin word ‘mediator’ is that it describes someone who is (as a helper) ‘in the middle’ of two parties. The Latin verb mediare means ‘being in the middle/midst’. That means for me that if we agree on something on earth which is God’s will, Jesus who is in our (hu-man) midst brings Heaven down on earth – as He is God – and it will be done to us. 🙂

    “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” (Mt 18:19 KJV)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Michael says:

    Susanne, this was a great comment. I had never put verses 18 and 19 together in this thought before. Duh!

    Yes, W.E. Vine often nails it. I think he was inspired. He often speaks of the intimacy of God that is ours IN Christ. He was the one who drew out the depths of the meaning of the Greek work, ginosko – to have an intimate knowledge with that which is known as in,

    “…That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:” (Eph 1:16-17, KJ2000)

    Yes, our wisdom and revelation and all good spiritual gifts are IN our personally KNOWING Him. What a Savior and Lord we have!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ha, I never did this before, either, Michael! 😂

      Yes, this deeper meaning of ginosko you once explained on your blog was a precious confirmation for me, too. ❤️

      “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3 NIV)

      Liked by 2 people

  4. You are so right, Michael. The rituals and regimens men devise to attain holiness are worthless. Christ alone intercedes for us w/ the Father.

    With love in Him,

    A. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Thanks, Anna. Like Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” That covers a lot of ground when it comes to the works of our carnal natures. He also said, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine.”

      In His love for you,
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Allan Halton says:

    Hi Michael, thanks for this, and for Vine’s elucidation of the word “mediator.” Now I have a richer understanding of two verses in which God through the mouth of the prophet Isaiah says that He will give His Servant to be “a covenant of the people…” It’s the New Covenant He has in mind:

    “I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles…” (Isa. 42:6).

    “Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages…” (Isa. 49:8).

    That is quite something. He is not only the one mediator betwixt God and man, He Himself is also the very Covenant that He mediates.

    What a wonder. I’m still trying to “wrap my head around” that. It is taking a while.

    Much appreciated your words on the Rest as well, Michael. I have been dwelling much on those two vital chapters in Hebrews (3 and 4).

     

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Hi Allan,
      I am glad you wrote. Yes, Jesus Christ is the Mediator of the New Covenant and more importantly HE IS the Covenant. Apart from Him we would have no fellowship with the Father for we are but dust. HE is truly our ALL in all! How do creatures with finite minds ever fully grasp such a great salvation? ALL in itself is so vast of a concept. All we can do is rest in Him as our sufficiency. Yes, Hebrews gives us much to dwell on and pray over regarding our standing in His NEW and Lasting Covenant.

      Love IN Christ,
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving, Michael! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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