“The Mediator and the New Covenant” Part 3

Who are the parties in dispute who require mediation?

In the general sense we have already addressed this question by affirming that the dispute is between
God and the “sons of disobedience (Eph 5:6), that it is these two parties who have need of
mediation in order to facilitate reconciliation.

Now the question is, who precisely are the “sons of disobedience” upon whom the wrath of God
abides?

“And you [did he make alive,] when you were dead through your trespasses and sins, wherein you once
walked according to the course of this world, [under the direction of] the prince of the powers of the
air, of the spirit that now works in the
sons of disobedience; among whom we also all once lived in the
lust of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature
children of wrath,
even as the rest:-- but God, being rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we
were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace have you been saved),
and raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly [places], in Christ Jesus: that in
the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus:
for by grace have you been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, [it is] the gift of God;
not of works, that no man should glory.” (
Eph 2:1-9)

In the forgoing statement the Apostle makes it evident that there is now
a difference between the
standing of the Church and that of the world in the sight of God--that we 'were (
once) children
of wrath,' but, by God's grace,
are such no longer, however the world still lies in the wicked one
and are still 'children of wrath' i.e. “sons of disobedience”.

Now the question is, how did this change come about,
how was reconciliation made between the
LORD and the Church
, and was a Mediator required in this process?

“For it pleased the Father that in him (Christ) all the fullness should dwell, and by him to reconcile all things
to himself, by him whether things on earth or things in heaven having made peace through the blood of
his cross.
And you who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now
he has reconciled
(made atonement for) in the body of his flesh through death to present you holy,
and blameless, and above reproach in his sight…” (
Col 1:19-22)

We are not rebels, we are not alienated from God, but now through faith in the blood we are
children of God
, and our Redeemer assures us, “The Father himself loves you.” (John 16:27)

A mediator implies hostility between two principals, requiring the intervention of a third party,
and this is not the case with the Church
. Even before the time came in the Lord’s plan when the
Kingdom would be established, the rebels subdued, we were glad to hear the Father’s voice speaking
peace through Jesus Christ, and we came to him:
Surely, then, there is no need of a Mediator
between the Father who loves his children and children who love their Father
. However, the basis
of our acceptance with the Father was our hearty renunciation of sin and our acceptance of the sacrifice of
Jesus as covering our blemishes and condemnation of the past, and our acceptance of the Father in Christ
was on condition that we would henceforth walk in his steps, not after the flesh but after the Spirit, as set
forth in the perfect law of liberty, the law of love to God and man.”

“With the gradual opening of the eyes of our understanding we noted in
1 John 2:2 the declaration that
our Lord’s sacrifice was
a propitiation, a satisfaction for our sins, the Church’s sins, and not for ours
only but also for the sins of the whole world. We perceive that in this text the Lord sharply differentiates
between the Church and the world, between our salvation and the world’s salvation. True, at one time
there was no difference, for we were all “
children of wrath even as others” still are; but we who have
heard the voice of the heavenly Father speaking peace through Jesus Christ, we who have accepted that
message,
we who have been reconciled to God through the death of his Son (through faith in the
blood, the ransom
), are no longer of the world, but, from God’s standpoint, constitute a separate
and distinct class
.

The Scriptures tell us that we are called, chosen, separated from the world. Our Master’s words are,
“Ye
are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world,” “Ye have not chosen me but I
have chosen you, and ordained you.”
John 15:16, 19 (Harvest Gleanings 2 Page 356)

For if when we (the Church) were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his
Son, much more having been reconciled
(acquitted of all charges), we shall be saved by his life, and
not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have
now received the reconciliation (the atonement Greek, kattalage; the satisfaction of justice and
restoration of God’s favor and harmony with himself).”
Rom 5:10, 11

Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold all
things have become new. Now all things are of God
(who first instigated reconciliation), who
reconciled
us (i.e. all true believers) to himself through Jesus Christ (through faith in Christ and
membership in the body
), and has (henceforth) given us the ministry of reconciliation (of atonement,
that is to say through our membership or participation in the body of Christ we become joint sacrificers
with our Lord in the great antitypical Day of Atonement “
sin-offeringsLeviticus 16, the “better
sacrifices
” spoken of in Heb 9:23 and through this ministry or service, our joint participation in these
sacrifices we proclaim the message
), that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself
(
bringing about the at-one-ment between himself and the world), not imputing their trespasses to
them
(but laying them on Christ), and has committed to us the word (the honor of relaying the way)
of reconciliation (the means by which return to God’s favor is obtained, both presently and in the next
age
). Now then we (the Church) are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading
through us, imploring
you (those not yet reconciled, but who have an ear to hear) on Christ’s behalf,
be reconciled to God
.” (2 Cor 5:17-20)


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