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Bible Dictionaries

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary


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A person that intervenes between two parties at variance, in order to reconcile them. Thus Jesus Christ is the Mediator between an offended God and sinful man, 1 Timothy 2:5 . Both Jews and Gentiles have a notion of a Mediator: the Jews call the Messiah the Mediator or Middle One. The Persians call their god Mithras, a Mediator; and the daemons, with the heathens, seem to be, according to them, mediators between the superior gods and men. Indeed the whole religion of Paganism was a system of mediation and intercession. The idea, therefore, of salvation by a Mediator, is not so novel or restricted as some imagine; and the Scriptures of truth inform us, that it is only by this way human beings can arrive to eternal felicity, Acts 4:12 . John 14:6 . Man, in his state of innocence, was in friendship with God; but, by sinning against him, he exposed himself to his just displeasure; his powers became enfeebled, and his heart filled with enmity against him, Romans 8:6 : he was driven out of his paradisaical Eden, and totally incapable of returning to God, and making satisfaction to his justice. Jesus Christ, therefore, was the appointed Mediator to bring about reconciliation, Genesis 3:12 . Colossians 1:21; and in the fulness of time he came into this world, obeyed the law, satisfied justice, and brought his people into a state of grace and favour; yea, into a more exalted state of friendship with God than was lost by the fall, Ephesians 2:18 . Now, in order to the accomplishing of this work, it was necessary that the Mediator should be God and man in one person.

It was necessary that he should be man:

1. That he might be related to those he was a Mediator and Redeemer of.

2. That sin might be satisfied for, and reconciliation be made for it, in the same nature which sinned.

3. It was proper that the Mediator should be capable of obeying the law broken by the sin of man, as a divine person could not be subject to the law, and yield obedience to it, Galatians 4:4 . Romans 5:19 .

4. It was meet that the Mediator should be man, that he might be capable of suffering death; for, as God, he could not die, and without shedding of blood there was no remission, Hebrews 2:10; Hebrews 2:15; Hebrews 7:3 .

5. It was fit he should be man, that he might be a faithful high priest, to sympathise with his people under all their trials, temptations, &c. Hebrews 2:17-18 . Hebrews 4:15 .

6. It was fit that he should be a holy and righteous man, free from all sin, original and actual, that he might offer himself without spot to God, take away the sins of men, and be an advocate for them, Hebrews 7:26; Hebrews 9:14 . 1 John 3:5 .

But it was not enough to be truly man, and an innocent person; he must be more than a man: it was requisite that he should be God also, for,

1. No mere man could have entered into a covenant with God to dedicate between him and sinful men.

2. He must be God, to give virtue and value to his obedience and sufferings; for the sufferings of men or angels would not have been sufficient.

3. Being thus God-man, we are encouraged to hope in him. In the person of Jesus Christ the object of trust is brought nearer to ourselves; and those well-known tender affections which are only figuratively ascribed to the Deity, are in our great Mediator thoroughly realized. Farther, were he God, and not man, we should be guilty of idolatry to worship and trust him at all, Jeremiah 17:5 . The plan of salvation, therefore, by such a Mediator, is the most suitable to human beings that possibly could be; for here "Mercy and truth meet together, righteousness and peace kiss each other." Psal 85: 10.

The properties of Christ as Mediator are these:

1. He is the only Mediator, 1 Timothy 2:4 . Praying, therefore, to saints and angels is an error of the church of Rome, and has no countenance from the Scripture.

2. Christ is a Mediator of men only, not of angels: good angels need not any; and as for evil angels, none is provided nor admitted.

3. He is the Mediator both for Jews and Gentiles, Ephesians 2:18 . 1 John 2:2 .

4. He is Mediator both for Old and New Testament saints.

5. He is a suitable, constant, willing, and prevalent Mediator; his mediation always succeeds, and is infallible.

Gill's Body of Div. vol. 1: oct. p. 336; Witsii OEcon. faed lib. 2: 100: 4; Fuller's Gospel its own Witness, ch. 4. p. 2; Hurrion's Christ Crucified, p. 103. &c. Dr. Owen on the Person of Christ; Dr. Goodwin's Works, b. 3:

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Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Mediator'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. 1802.

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