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CHAPTER XV.
OF THE FUNCTIONS OF THE MEDIATOR, AND OF HIS THREEFOLD OFFICE.

THE nature of Christ the Mediator, human as well as divine, has been already defined.

The mediatorial office of Christ is that whereby, at the special appointment of God the Father, he voluntarily performed, and continues to perform, on behalf of man, whatever is requisite for obtaining reconciliation with God, and eternal salvation.[1]

At the special appointment of God the Father. Isai. xlii. 1. 'behold my servant..... mine elect in whom my soul delighteth.' lxi. 1. 'Jehovah hath anointed me.' Hence he derived the name of Messias, of Christ, Psal. ii. of the messenger of the covenant, Mal. iii. 1. and of the advocate, 1 John ii. 1. 'we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ.' Psal. cx. 4. 'Jehovah hath sworn, and will not repent.' Rom. iii. 25. 'whom God hath <401> set forth.' Heb. v. 4-6. 'so also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest.' x. 9, 10. 'I come to do thy will, O God..... by the which will we are sanctified.' John iii. 16, 17. 'God gave his only begotten Son..... God sent not his Son into the world to condemn-.' v. 34. 'God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.' vi. 27. 'him hath God the Father sealed.' x. 36. 'him whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world.' Gal. i. 4. 'who gave himself..... according to the will of God and our Father.'

Voluntarily. John xv. 9. 'as the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you.' Rom. viii. 35. 'who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation,' &c.....'or sword?' Eph. iii. 19. 'the love of Christ which passeth knowledge.'

Whatever is requisite for obtaining reconciliation with God. Rom. v. 10. 'we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son.' 2 Cor. v. 18, 19. 'all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ: God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself.' 1 John ii. 2. 'he is the propitiation for our sins.'

Eternal salvation. Matt. i. 21. 'thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins.' 1 Tim. i. 15. 'Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.' John i. 17. 'grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.' 1 John iv. 9. 'God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live by him.' 1 Thess. v. 9. 10. 'God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord.'

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The name and office of mediator is in a certain sense ascribed to Moses, as a type of Christ.[2] Gal. iii. 19. 'the law was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.' What the nature of his office was, is explained Acts vii. 38. 'this is he..... who received the lively oracles to give unto us,' compared with Deut. v. 5. 'I stood between Jehovah and you at that time to show you the word of Jehovah.'

In treating of the functions of the Mediator, we are to consider his threefold office, as prophet, priest, and king, and his manner of administering the same.

His office as a prophet is to instruct his church in heavenly truth, and to declare the whole will of his Father. Deut. xviii. 15. compared with Acts iii. 22. and vii. 37. 'Jehovah thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee.' Isai. lxi. 1. 'Jehovah hath annointed me to preach,' compared with Luke iv. 18. Ezek. xxxiv. 23. 'I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David.' Zech. vi. 12, 13. 'behold the man..... he shall build the temple of Jehovah.' Matt, xxiii. 8. 'one is your master, even Christ.' Luke x. 22. 'no man knoweth who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.' Rev. v. 7. 'he took the book.' Hence he is called 'counsellor,' Isai. ix. 6. and lv. 4. 'a witness, a leader and commander to the people.' John i. 9. 'that was the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the <403> world.' 1 Cor. i. 24. 'the wisdom of God.' Heb. iii. 1. 'the apostle of our profession.' xii. 2. 'the author and finisher of our faith.' xiii. 20. 'that great shepherd of the sheep.' Rev. i. 5. 'the faithful witness.' Heb. i. 2. 'God hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son.' John i. 16-18. 'grace and truth came by Jesus Christ..... the only begotten Son..... he hath declared him.' iv. 25. 'when Christ is come, he will tell us all things.' xviii. 37. 'to this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.' xv. 15. 'all things that I have heard of my Father, I have made known unto you.'

His prophetical office consists of two parts; one external, namely, the promulgation of divine truth; the other internal, to wit, the illumination of the understanding. The former is mentioned Matt. iv. 17. 'from that time Jesus began to preach and to say-;' and Mark i. 14. the latter Luke xxiv. 32, 45. 'did not our heart burn within us..... while he opened to us the Scriptures? then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures.' Acts xvi. 14. 'the Lord opened the heart of Lydia, that she attended unto the things that were spoken of Paul.' John viii. 12. 'I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.'

Christ's prophetical office began with the creation of the world, and will continue till the end of all things. 1 Pet. i. 10, 11. 'the spirit of Christ which was in them..... when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ,' &c. iii. 19. 'by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison.' John i. 10. <404> 'he was in the world..... and the world knew him not,' 5 Matt, xxviii. 19, 20. 'go ye therefore and teach all nations..... and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.' Acts i. 3. 'to whom also he showed himself alive after his passion..... speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.' 2 Cor. xiii. 3. 'since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me.'

Christ's sacerdotal office is that whereby he once offered himself to God the Father as a sacrifice for sinners, and has always made, and still continues to make intercession for us.

Christ's sacerdotal office. Psal. cx. 4. 'thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.' Zech. vi. 13. 'he shall be a priest upon his throne.' Heb. v. 10. 'called of God an high priest after the order of Melchizedek.' See also vii. 17, 20, 21.

Once offered; virtually, and as regarded the efficacy of his sacrifice, from the foundation of the world, as above stated; Rev. xiii. 8. 'actually in the fulness of time, and that once for all,' Heb. vii. 27. ix. 25, 26, 28. 'Christ was once offered.' x. 10, 12, 14. 'by one offering.' 1 Pet. iii. 18. 'Christ hath once suffered for sins.'

Himself as a sacrifice. Isai. liii. 10, 'when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin.' Psal. xl. 6, 7. 'burnt-offering and sin-offering hast thou not required: then said I, Lo, I come.' Eph. v. 2. 'Christ hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God.' Heb. ix. 14. 'who through the eternal Spirit offered himself.' Being God-man, he offered himself in that capacity; 'he who thought it not robbery to be equal with God, made himself of no reputation,' &c. <465> Philipp. ii. 6, 7. He offered himself, however, more particularly in his human nature, as many passages of Scripture expressly indicate. Matt. xx. 28. 'the Son of man came..... to give his life a ransom for many.' Acts xx. 28. 'the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.' Col. i. 20. 'through the blood of his cross.' v. 22. 'in the body of his flesh through death.' Heb. ix. 12. 'by his own blood he entered in.' x. 10. 'through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ.' 1 Pet. ii. 24. 'who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree.' iv. 1. 'forasmuch as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh.' 1 John iv. 10. 'he sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins.' Rom. iii. 25. 'whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness.'

For sinners. Isai. liii. 12. 'he bare the sin of many.' 2 Cor. v. 21. 'he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin.' Gal. iii. 13. 'Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.' Heb. ix. 28. 'Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many.' 1 Pet. ii. 24. 'who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree.' iii. 18. 'he hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust.' 1 John ii. 2. 'he is the propitiation for our sins.'

Has always made intercession. Isai. liii. 12. 'he made intercession for the transgressors.' Jer. xxx. 21. 'I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto me; for who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me?' John xiv. 6, 13. 'no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.' xvii. 9. 'I pray for them.' Rom. viii.24. 'who maketh intercession for <406> us.' Heb. vii. 25. 'he ever liveth to make intercession for them.' viii. 1. 2. 'who is set on the right hand of the throne of the majesty in the heavens, a minister of the sanctuary.' He makes intercession, first, by 'appearing in the presence of God for us,' Heb. ix. 24. 1 John ii. 1 . 'we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.' Secondly, by rendering our prayers agreeable to God. John xiv. 13. 'whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do.' As to the expressions, Rom. viii. 26, 27. 'the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us,' and, 'he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God,' the preceding words of the same verse show in what sense they are to be understood; 'the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities;' and Gal. iv. 6. 'God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father;' that is, encouraging and persuading us to address God as our Father through faith. This is easily distinguished from the intercession which Christ makes for us in his sacerdotal capacity.

The Kingly office of Christ is that whereby being made King by God the Father, he governs and preserves, chiefly by an inward law and spiritual power, the Church which he has purchased for himself, and conquers and subdues its enemies.

Made King by God the Father. Psal. ii. 6. 'I have set my King upon my holy hill.' cx. 1. compared with Matt. xxii. 44. 'the Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand.' Ezek. xxxvii. 25. 'my servant David shall be their prince for ever.' Dan. ii. 44. 'the God of heaven shall set up a kingdom.' vii. 14. 'there was given him dominion.' <407> Matt. xi. 27. 'all things are delivered unto me of my Father.' xxviii. 18. 'all power is given unto me.' Luke i. 32. 'the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David, and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end.' Eph. i. 20-22. 'when he set him at his own right hand..... far above all principality-.' Rev. i. 5. 'prince of the kings of the earth.' xix. 16. 'King of kings.'

His Church. Psal, ii. 6. 'yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Sion.' Matt. ii. 5, 6. 'thus it is written by the prophet..... out of thee shall come a governor, that shall rule my people Israel.' Luke i. 33. 'he shall reign over the house of Jacob.' Eph. i. 22. 'who gave him to be the head over all things, to the church.' Col. i. 18. 'he is the head of the body, the church.'

Chiefly by an inward law. Jer. xxxi. 31, 32. 'compared with Heb. viii. 8. and x. 16. 'this is the covenant that I will make with them..... I will put my laws into their hearts.' Luke xvii. 21. 'behold the kingdom of God is within you.' John iv. 23, 24. 'in spirit and in truth.' xviii. 36. 'my kingdom is not of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight.' Hence the law of the kingdom, the gift of the Spirit, was given at Jerusalem on the fiftieth day from the passover in Mount Sinai, Acts ii. 1. in sign that the old law was superseded by the new, the law of bondage and of the flesh by the law of the Spirit and of freedom. Rom. xiv. 17. 'the kingdom of heaven is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.' Psal. lxviii. 18. compared with <408> Eph. iv. 8. 'he gave gifts unto men,' that is, spiritual gifts. Accordingly, the weapons of those who fight under Christ as their King, are exclusively spiritual. 2 Cor. x. 4. 1 John v. 4. 'this is the victory that overcometh the world.' Herein it is that the preeminent excellency of Christ's kingdom over all others, as well as the divine principles on which it is founded, are manifested; inasmuch as he governs not the bodies of men alone, as the civil magistrate, but their minds and consciences,[3] and that not by force and fleshly weapons, but by what the world esteems the weakest of all instruments.[4] Hence external force ought never to be employed in the administration of the kingdom of Christ, which is the church.

Governs and preserves. Isai. ix. 6, 7. 'Counsellor..... the Prince of peace: of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end.' Jer. xxiii. 5, 6. 'in his days Judah shall be saved.' John x. 28. 'neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.' Heb. vii. 2. 'the King of righteousness..... King of peace.'

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Overcomes and subdues his enemies. Psal. ii. 9. 'thou shalt break them with a rod of iron,' namely, at his second coming. Psal. cx. 1, 2. compared with Matt. xxii. 44. Dan. ii. 44. 'it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms.' The world; John xvi. 33. and 1 John v. 4. Death and the law, and sin; 1 Cor. xv. 26, 54-57. 'the sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law: but thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.' Satan; Rom. xvi. 20. Luke xix, 27. 'those mine enemies which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither.' Rev. xvii. 14. 'the Lamb shall overcome them.'

The kingdom of Christ is also styled the kingdom of grace, and the kingdom of glory. The kingdom of grace is the same as the kingdom of heaven, which 'is at hand,' Matt. iii. 2. The kingdom of glory is that which is destined to be made more manifest at his second advent.

The kingdom of Christ, as appears from the authorities just quoted, is, like his priesthood, eternal; that is, it will endure as long as the world shall last, and as long as there shall be occasion for his mediatorial office. This is clearly taught by the apostle, 1 Cor. xv. 24, 28. 'then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father..... and shall also himself be subject unto him;' in like manner as a period is assigned to his priestly office (although that also is called eternal) as well as to his prophetical office, 'that God may be all in all.' See more on this subject in the last chapter of the present book, on the kingdom of Christ in glory.

[1]

..... Men hereafter may discern

From what consummate virtue I have chose

This perfect man, by merit call'd my Son,

To earn salvation for the sons of men.

Paradise Regained, I. 164.

[2]

..... To God is no access

Without mediator, whose high office now

Moses in figure bears, to introduce

One greater. Paradise Lost, XII. 239.

[3]

..... To guide nations in the way of truth

By saving doctrine, and from error lead

To know, and knowing worship God aright,

Is yet more kingly; this attracts the soul,

Governs the inner man, the nobler part;

That other o'er the body only reigns,

And oft by force, which to a generous mind,

So reigning, can be no sincere delight.

Paradise Regained, II. 473.

[4]

..... by small

Accomplishing great things, by things deem'd weak

Subverting worldly strong. Paradise Lost, XII. 566.

© 2020 The Newton Project

Professor Rob Iliffe
Director, AHRC Newton Papers Project

Scott Mandelbrote,
Fellow & Perne librarian, Peterhouse, Cambridge

Faculty of History, George Street, Oxford, OX1 2RL - newtonproject@history.ox.ac.uk

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