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The Mediator And Advocate

In 1 Timothy 2. the mediatorship of Christ is brought before us as a central and fundamental truth, consequent upon which exhortations to those in the house of God are given, "that supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings, be made for all men"; "This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who willeth that all men should be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, one Mediator also between- God and man, Himself Man, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a Ransom for all; the testimony to be borne in its own times."

The threefold repetition of the word "all" in these verses is of interest. The range of our prayers, and the extent of testimony is universal, for, and toward all men. The salvation of all men comes within the ambit of God's will, and this is proved by the fact that Christ gave Himself a Ransom for all. The mediatorial work of Christ is therefore seen to be, between God and all men. A mediator is one who comes between two parties for a definite purpose. If the parties be estranged or in dispute, a mediator may effect reconciliation and bring about agreement. If the purpose is to find common ground of agreement with a view to future relationships being established, a mediator may act in stating or conveying the terms and conditions necessary to both parties coming into covenant relationship. Both of these purposes are seen in Scripture. Moses stands out conspicuously as mediator in the deliverance of the children of Israel from the thraldom of Egypt. He acted on God's behalf in dealing with the haughty and mighty Pharaoh, and on behalf of the children of Israel in their sore trouble and sorrow. He is also seen as the mediator of the covenant between God and Israel after their miraculous deliverance from Egypt. When they came to Sinai, God gave them His law, "it was ordained through angels by the hand of a mediator" (Galatians 3.19).

Moses later said, "I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to shew you the word of the LORD" (Deuteronomy 5.5).

"And Moses ... set before them all these words which the LORD commanded him." "And Moses reported the words of the people unto the LORD" (Exodus 19.6, 8). Thus, upon the acceptance of the conditions laid down by God in His law, they became His people, and HR: became their God in covenant relationship, which covenant was dedicated with blood, sprinkled upon the altar, the book and all the people.

The mediatorship of Christ excels that of Moses, even as the new covenant has an abiding, surpassing glory, excelling that which passeth away (2 Corinthians 3.).

In this dispensation - of grace all national distinctions have been obliterated in the great mediatorial work of the cross. All men are seen to be accountable to one God. The whole of the race is under sin, under the authority of darkness, without hope and without God in the world, and brought under the judgement of God. If deliverance is to be wrought for men, it must be by a man who can stand between God and men to represent both, and effect reconciliation. Such a man could never be found of Adam's fallen race.

"There is no daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both" said Job (Job 9.38).

Christ Jesus is the One' who came down out of heaven (John a. 13), the Son of Man amidst the sons of men, perfect, spotless, sinless, holy, harmless, undefiled. He alone could be the Mediator between God and men in regard to the question of sin, which had estranged men from God.

God could only meet men in judgement, unless someone could stand between to bear that judgement, and satisfy the claims of divine righteousness.

Christ became answerable for the whole of the human race. Of His own voluntary will He gave Himself a Ransom for all, and this has been accepted. There is, and can be, only one Mediator between God and men, the claims and pretensions of mere sinful men, whatever their garb, are nullified by this clear statement of fact, " There is one Mediator."

In His mediatorial work Christ did not act as a neutral on behalf of other parties, as though He had no personal interest. He between God and men with an intense personal interest in both, and He acted according to the necessities of the case in the interests of both.

We may think of the Godward side of that work in which He revealed, as the Mediator, the infinite pity, love, grace, and mercy of God to men. "Then He is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit, I have found a Ransom" (Job 33.24).

He would not, and could not, misrepresent God in the slightest degree, He could not by-pass the least of God's claims. - God's honour must be upheld and vindicated in full and absolute righteousness. At the cross He was actively engaged in this work because He willed to act, for He Himself had a real personal interest in the outcome, as He acted as Mediator between God and men.

On the other hand, He representatively acted on behalf of all men in becoming accountable Himself. The life of perfect obedience whichmen could not live by reason of sin, was lived by Him. Thus as the only perfect Man who had fulfilled the requirements of the law, He yielded His life substitutionally in sacrifice, a Ransom for all.

In His mediatorial work He thus acted on behalf of men in rendering full satisfaction by His obedience unto death. He identified Himself with the race of men (sin apart) and by His work procured the fullest blessings it was possible for divine favour to bestow. In this too He had a real personal interest, He did not stand detached, for He Himself is "Man, Christ Jesus." The full results of His mighty mediatorial work eternity will reveal, but we know now, that " While we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son" (Romans 5.10).

"He is the Mediator of a better covenant, which hath been enacted upon better promises " (Hebrews 8.6).

Unconditional blessings flow out to the believer in Christ on the basis of what Christ has done once for all, "having been once offered." "For by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified" and "Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more " (Hebrews 10.14, 17). "He is the Mediator," not was. He abides, and His work abides, hence He is Himself the Guarantor of all the promised blessings of the covenant. There are also conditional blessings of the new covenant for those upon whose hearts and minds the Spirit of God has written God's law and who respond thereto in obedience (Hebrews 8 10; 10. 16).

THE ADVOCATE

The only place where the word "advocate" is used concerning Christ is in 1 John 2.1. The same word is used four times in reference to the Holy Spirit, and is translated "Comforter" (John 14. 16, 26; 15.. 26; 16.7).

It means one called alongside of another to help, counsel, comfort, befriend, to take his part, to represent, and plead his cause.

It is evident from John 14.16 that the Lord Jesus was, while on earth, the true Comforter of His disciples, for He says, "And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may be with you for ever."

The Lord Jesus has died, and has been raised from the dead. No longer now on earth, He is an Advocate with the Father. That other Comforter, the Holy Spirit, has been sent, and indwells every believer; hence we have two Comforters or Advocates, the Holy Spirit present with us, and Jesus Christ the righteous in God's presence for us.

It is for our encouragement., as we journey on through this wilderness toward His Father's house, to that place -Christ is preparing for us, that we have the present help, counsel, guidance and comfort of the Holy Spirit. True comfort has the thought of helping and strengthening, as well as consoling, and all this we need in this dark, cold world; "The Spirit Himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered" (Romans 8.26). As we journey on amidst the temptations of sin, beset around with the snares of the devil, and the evil tendencies of the flesh within, it is evident that God has graciously foreseen and provided for the needs of His children as they may stumble and fall, perchance being overcome by Sm.

There is no such thing in this world as sinless perfection, for "If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us" (1 John 1.10).

There is nevertheless no licence given in Scripture for the commission of sin. "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye may not sin" (1 John 2.1). " Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. We who died to sin, how shall we any longer live therein? " (Romans 6.1, 2).

Sin to-day, is being made to look respectable by medical or psychological terms. The public conscience is being hardened. Lying, stealing, and all manner of deceit is practised, and is considered of little account; just the thing to do if you can get away with it, seems to be the general attitude.

It would be sad in the extreme if children of God were affected by such standards of conduct, the believer is called upon to "mortify the deeds of the body " by the Spirit, and he " shall live " (see Romans 8.12-14). We cannot, however, prevent the presence of sin in us. The old man,. that evil, corrupt nature within, is ever active, seeking to use our members in sin 5 service, that it may occupy the throne of our hearts. Hence the injunction-" Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey the lusts thereof" (Romans 6. 11).

After using all the resources at our disposal to prevent the commission of sin, which we should, we are nevertheless daily conscious of the defiling power of sin affecting our thoughts, words and deeds, and we might well be cast down and despair if we had no Advocate. "And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (1 John 2.1). We have an Advocate, and He is the propitiation for our sins.

Everything that Christ has done in relation to sin finds its true value in Himself, and "with" (toward) the Father, as our Advocate, is the righteous One. Being righteous in His own Person, and in all He has done, and is doing, He will never plead an unrighteous cause before a righteous Father. He is Himself the answer to every accusation, and His advocacy on behalf of God's children is effectual by virtue of His intrinsic righteousness.

Let us not deal with sin lightly, for what sin means to God can only in measure be understood by us in the light of the dreadful sufferings of the Cross. God longs that His children may be maintained in fellowship with Him, hence, "If we confess our sins," the advocacy of Christ, and the all-sufficiency of His precious blood, provide a perfect reason for the exercise of forgiveness, and so "He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1. 9).

"Fear not to come, if sin o'ertake

Confessing all to God.

Who will forgive us for His sake,

And cleanse us by His blood."