Theme: A Matter of Life and Death
In this week’s lessons, we see what it means for Jesus to be the only mediator between God and those who have sinned against him.
Scripture: 1 Timothy 2:5-6
This has to be taken in a very personal way, because if there is one God, and if there is one mediator, then there is no other way to this God but through that one mediator. If you’ve not come to God through this mediator, then you are separated from God, and you are in danger of being separated from him forever. Whenever the gospel is taught, there are always people who react by putting it off. They did this even in Paul’s day. In Acts 26:28, as Paul was making his defense before King Agrippa and the procurator Festus, Agrippa replied to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” He didn’t want to make a commitment.
There are people who do that today. You can talk to someone as clearly as you can about the one way to God. You can quote the Lord Jesus Christ, who said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). And people will still go out and say, “Well, that’s interesting. I’m sure that’s what Christianity teaches, but I’m just going to hunt around for a little bit longer and find another way that I like better.” Listen, there is no other way because there is no other mediator. The Lord Jesus Christ is the only mediator. And if there is one God, and if that God has provided the way through the one mediator, then it is absolute folly to refuse to come by way of that one mediator and to seek for another.
Some time ago, we were talking at dinner on a Saturday night. I had been working on a verse that had to do with themes such as this as part of the series on John I was preaching through at the time. One of the themes was of the antecedent necessity of the atonement, to which I referred earlier. I thought that I would talk about it in the conversation at dinner and sort of try it out on those who were at the table to see if they could understand it. I reasoned that if they couldn’t understand it, I was sure that nobody in church was going to understand it the next morning. As I explained it, I thought I was doing pretty well. But when I had finished, one girl who was there, a friend of one of my daughters, apparently had missed it all because she asked, “Tell me, what’s the point of your sermon tomorrow morning?”
I realized I was really up against it at that point. I had talked theology, but it had made the main idea confusing, and here was somebody who really wanted to know what the point was. I think the Lord gave me the right answer that night, because what I said on that occasion was this:
There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin;
he only could unlock the gate of heav’n, and let us in.
O dearly, dearly, has he loved, and we must love him too,
and trust in his redeeming blood, and try His works to do.
That’s the meaning of our passage in Timothy. There is no other good enough to pay the price of sin, and Jesus has paid it. The door of heaven is open for all who will come.
What excuses do people make for ignoring the gospel? What does that reveal about themselves and how they view life?
Why do people dislike the idea that there is only one way to God?
Application: Who among your family or friends needs to hear about Jesus as the only mediator between God and sinners in need of his grace?