Q. 36. Who is the Mediator of the covenant of grace?
A. The only Mediator of the covenant of grace is the Lord Jesus Christ, who, being the eternal Son of God, of one substance and equal with the Father, in the fulness of time became man, and so was and continues to be God and man, in two entire and distinct natures, and one person, for ever. (Westminster Larger Catechism)
Christianity is exclusive. If it were not, evangelistic zeal would be for naught, and the church a mere social club. But to say that Christianity is exclusive is to say that Christ is exclusive. Christianity is not an isolated set of propositions; it is trust in a Person. Christ is the only Mediator between God and man. There is no other Who can claim such a title, and Christ most certainly does not share His throne. The culture would love to keep Christ as a deity, but not the Deity. Such exclusion grates against the modern, multicultural, polytheistic empire we find ourselves in.
Yet within the walls of the church, we find a far more startling phenomenon. Many, many churches are happy to affirm that Christ is the only Mediator. But they have long ago ceased to teach their congregants about the Word of God, and therefore, the things in the Word that describe Who Christ really is. In other words, most could hardly describe the Christ they claim to love. And when asked to go into detail or specifics, they give an eerily familiar answer: “oh we don’t go into all that theology. It’s complicated, and worse, it’s quite divisive. Let’s just all be Christians together. You love Christ, right? So do I!” If you just flip a few words out, this sounds exactly like the answer the culture at large gives about coming together across religious lines.
My brother-in-law and I have had such an answer thrown at us in our discussions with Mormons. They would like to claim Christianity, yet we had to ask them “Who is this Christ that you worship?” Such a simple question, but the answer can be quite revealing. Obviously, in the Mormon cult, the Christ they speak of is nothing like the God-man that the Scriptures describe, and, worse, His deity is not unique but ubiquitous, as the Mormons believe they too can become gods. And when everyone is a god…
But I digress. The biggest problem here is not the self-delusion of the Mormon boys who thought they could call themselves Christians; it is that, especially in recent decades, most people attending Christian churches would actually agree with them. Now some could be due to mere ignorance of Mormon theology. But perhaps another part is that preachers across this land have ceased to teach Who Christ is. It is vitally important that we know Who it is that we are worshipping. To worship a tree and call it Christ does one little good in his journey to get to God. Instead, like our ancestor in the faith, Boniface, we must take our axe to the tree, fell it, and build a church on the site. And in that church, we must begin to teach the people of Christ and Who He is. For the Gospel can mean nothing if the people do not know Christ.
So Who is this Christ? He is the second Person of the Triune God, a God Who is one God, yet three Persons, equal in power and glory. He is the eternal Son of God. He was “with God in the beginning,” that is God the Father. By Him, “all things were made.” He is the “Logos,” the “Word,” the only Person through Whom we can begin to truly understand anything. When man sinned, the Father promised to send Him to us to be the “Head-Crusher,” to trample underfoot that old tempter, the dragon of the apocalypse, the Devil. He came as a Prophet, revealing God to us, for He is God Himself. He revealed to us not only the law of God, but He revealed the perfect keeping of it by doing what no other man could do. No single blemish of sin was found upon Him. He came as a Priest, as not only the One making the sacrifice, but the Lamb itself, put to death on the altar. Why? Why did He have to die? For the wrath of God was against us for our depravity and rebellion. We deserved death, not merely physical death, but the second death, eternal fire and judgement. But He satisfied fully the wrath of the Father, and we can now be called “sons” of God. No, we are not the Son of God like He is, but we share in His reward, His inheritance. He is our elder Brother now, leading the way.
And now He is raised. The Father showed to the world that His Son hanging on the tree for the sins of the world was in fact an acceptable sacrifice by raising Christ from the dead. He did not leave immediately, for some five hundred people saw Him before He left. And when He left, He sat down as the King, where He sits now, still physically and totally man, but with a glorified body. And there is no other god sitting there with Him. In fact, all other pretenders are being rounded up continually to be put under His feet. Eventually the last enemy, death, shall be done away with, and that old tempter will be cast into the lake of fire. And Christ will come again, and put His throne here, on earth, a new earth that will be renewed, just as our bodies will be renewed. The sin and curse of the world will be gone, and the kings of the world will come from miles around to the true King, paying homage and praising His name. What a glorious day that will be.
All these truths are wonderful truths to know. Without them, there is no gospel. Without them, there is no church. Without them, there is no evangelism. But with them, our hearts are filled with zeal, for we have been chosen to proclaim this good news here and now. No, we do not need to hop a boat and go overseas for God already gave you neighbors to love as yourself (for what is evangelism if not the way by which you can love someone)? He gave you family. He gave you coworkers. He gave you a community, a people, a nation. Such people need to hear such glorious truths! And where is the best place for them to hear such truth? The church, Christ’s body. As we consider the ways in which the Lord has blessed us in New Braunfels, let such blessing spur us on to continue to spread the good news of Christ, and bring more people in to the fold. And let us always be on our knees, praying that the Lord may bring more sons to glory, that they too can find the truest of joys in being united to the Lord Jesus Christ.