The Only Mediator Ordained By God

Hopefully whoever reads this believes there is a God, and the chances are that if you do, you agree with the need to receive His pardon, at least from time to time. The world offers lots of ways for this to happen, as do some religious groups, but what does God Himself say about this matter?
The Only Mediator Ordained By God
Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2016 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete).

It is good when someone is conscious of God and their need of forgiveness from Him. However, a problem that often occurs is that many seek God’s forgiveness and His help in a way not sanctioned by Him. Instead, some go to what they feel is a godly human whether living presently or has passed on. Has God provided a number of mediators?

Clearing Up Terms

Before we present His answer, it would be good to clear up the confusion some have with the terms “mediator” and “intercessor.” In dealing with God and His ways it is always best to

look directly into the ancient languages of the Holy Bible. Let us first look at intercession, examining the term that is used in 1 Timothy 2:1 since that verse is part of the context of the main verse of Holy Scripture we will use in this article. “Intercession” in 1 Timothy 2:1 is “enteuxis” (ent’-yook-sis) {1} which can mean, “a falling in with, meeting with; an interview; a coming together; to visit; converse or for any other cause; that for which an interview is held; a conference or conversation; a petition, supplication.”

For “mediator” which appears in 1 Timothy 2:5 the Greek word used is “mesites” (mes-ee’-tace) which can mean . . .
1.) one who intervenes between two, either in order to make or restore peace and friendship, or form a compact, or for ratifying a covenant.
2.) a medium of communication, arbitrator.

When it comes to mediation between God and us 1 Timothy is very clear that only Christ can hold that position: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” Many passages explain why God’s chosen mediator is Christ. Here are a few:

“For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” -- Romans 5:10

“For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” -- Colossians 1:19-20

“And this is why He is the Mediator of a new covenant, in order that, after He had suffered death for securing redemption from the offenses committed under the first covenant, those who had been invited to share it might obtain the eternal inheritance promised them.” -- Hebrews 9:15 (Williams)

As you see from just these three verses (and there are many more) the work of Christ was the only means to bring reconciliation between God and man. So it is clear that, except for Christ, no human presently living or who has passed from this life could make reconciliation, and therefore they are not mediators. No church or religious group can act as mediator between God and mankind. The only mediator ordained for salvation, and for forgiveness of sins after we are saved, is Jesus Christ.

Mary, The Mother Of Jesus

Since millions throughout the world pray to her, we now address Mary, the mother of Jesus. So far I have not seen in any Catholic theological literature where it is stated that Mary, the mother of Jesus, is a mediator in regard to producing reconciliation between God and mankind. That does not mean the Catholic Church does not deem her such a mediator. Regardless, the wording of certain prayers indicates she can be considered as facilitating salvation. She certainly is presented by the Catholic Church as a major intercessor, and despite the fact there is a difference in the Greek between “intercessor” and “mediator,” the distinction between these two terms becomes blurred due to a lack of knowledge of the authoritative Word of God. We will look at intercession later, but we need to see that though it might not be outright stated by the Catholic church that she is a mediator, the wording of prayers and certain titles attributed to her would declare her as such.

First we shall briefly look at some titles as listed on page 426 of the Saint Joseph Sunday Missal {2}. Among many titles, attributed to her are “Ark of the Covenant,” “Gate of Heaven,” and “Morning Star.” On that last title, Mary is placed as equal with Christ because He calls Himself “Morning Star” in Revelation 22:16.

Jesus said He was the door to the sheepfold (John 10:7 and 9). Matthew 7:13-14 records that He exhorted His hearers to “Enter at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go that way: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it.” In the verses that come after that, verses 15 to 27, He indicates the gate is Himself. So the Catholic Church giving Mary the title of “Gate of Heaven” makes her equal with Christ.

The Ark Of The Covenant foreshadowed the redemptive work of Christ. Inside the ark was to be the pot of manna, The Ten Commandments, and Aaron’s rod that had budded. These were not just souvenirs, but to some degree an indictment against God’s people in regard to their faithlessness, repetitive sin, and rebellion. Like us, they were worthy only of God’s wrath. However, a Mercy Seat was on top of the ark and it was sprinkled with the blood of a perfect animal sacrifice once a year. By obediently obey the Law the Jewish people were pardoned each year, but not cured of their sin nature. That had to be done by the Messiah, but until He came the sacred ritual would point to His loving, redemptive act wherein all those who fully trust in Him find protection from the wrath of God. Surely, to call Mary “The Ark of the Covenant” makes her a mediator between God and man. 1 Timothy 2:5 states there is only one mediator, the Messiah, the Christ.

Evidence of Mary acting as a mediator for salvation is found in some Catholic prayers, such as this portion from a prayer titled “Act of Reparation” {3}: “O most holy Virgin and our Mother, . . . we prostrate ourselves at thy feet to prove the sorrow we feel for the grievances that men cause thee, and to atone, by means of our prayers and sacrifices, for the offenses with which men return thy tender love.
   Obtain for them and for us the pardon of so many sins. A word from thee will obtain grace and amendment for us all.
   Hasten, O Lady, the conversion of sinners, that they may love Jesus and cease to offend the Lord, already so much offended, and will not fall into hell.  . . .”

Note first, “. . .to atone, by means of our prayers and sacrifices, . . .”. A careful and prayerful reading of the Holy Bible will show that only the blood sacrifice of Christ is sufficient for atonement. Furthermore, the atonement He made for us is entirely efficacious. One Holy Scripture among many that show this is Hebrews 7:25, “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them.”   

“Obtain for them and for us the pardon of so many sins” and “Hasten, O Lady, the conversion of sinners” show that she is considered a mediator of salvation. This is contrary to the Word of God and a great insult to the sacrificial work of Christ.

Joseph, the husband of Mary, is also depicted as a mediator when he is termed the father of one’s salvation and then we come to the words “Obtain for me great purity of heart” in the Prayer To St. Joseph {4}. Before that phrase, this prayer


also has “. . . Dearest St. Joseph accept the offering I now make of myself to thee. I dedicate myself to thy service, that thou mayest be my Father, my Protector and my Guide in the way of salvation.”

Christ commanded His disciples in Matthew 23:9, “And call no man your father upon earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.” As you see, the above Prayer to St. Joseph is in direct conflict with the explicit teaching of Christ. Catholics are instructed to call Joseph “my Father,” and not just that, but “my Father . . . in the way of salvation.”! And the words, “I dedicate myself to thy service” should be said only to Christ.

With disregard to Holy Scripture, the Catholic Church has deemed numerous select people who have passed from this life to be mediators and intercessors in addition to Joseph and Mary, though these additional people are of less importance. Such multiple mediators between God and man is a form a gnosticism, which is strongly condemned in the New Testament. Having many mediators leaves the impression that the work of Christ is insufficient, that God is unable to handle everything, and that Christ is not good enough to be the sole mediator.

Intercession

We have briefly shown that the role of mediator between God and man in regard to salvation can only be had by Christ. Intercession is different. Biblical intercession can be defined as praying to God for others or for a situation (1 Timothy 4:5). As we read in 1 Timothy 2:1, the true disciples of Christ are to be intercessors. But what about Joseph, Mary, and others who are no longer physically with us?

One might readily reply that they are dead, but Christ indicated that the people of God who have passed from this life are still very much alive (Matthew 22:32). So, since they are still living, though not here visibly, should we pray to them and ask for help?

First of all, there is not one example in the New Testament of anyone praying to the deceased Mary, Joseph, or anyone else. It is not commanded. There is not even the slightest suggestion in the Word of God that we do so.

Secondly, the Holy Bible does not indicate that the godly in Christ who have passed from this life are actively engaged in anything that directly affects us. It is written in Revelation 14:13, “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, ‘Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth:’ “Yea, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.” Grant it, this speaks of a point in the Great Tribulation which, as of the date of the publication of this article, is still to come. However, we may figure this is presently true because when Paul and Peter spoke of their impending deaths they never said they would be helping us along after they departed from this life.

In rebuttal to this second point one might refer to Hebrews 11, the “Hall of Faith” chapter, which lists a number of Old Testament people who are then termed witnesses in Hebrews 12:1, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, . . .” However, there is nothing present that indicates those witnesses are currently watching us, but the purpose and wording of Hebrews 11 presents the fact that the records of the lives mentioned stand to encourage us in our race to final salvation as well as to condemn us if we shrink back from Christ.

Christ Is Our Only Mediator

I was raised Roman Catholic and went to Catholic grade school. I recall that while in class, if we were taking a quiz, a test, or perhaps writing something, we would first mark “JMJ” at the top of the page for “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.” While that was for the purpose of their intercession, it was easily not far from our minds that Mary and Joseph were mediators too, as already noted in the few Catholic prayers mentioned in this article, and there are even more such prayers!

For a short time I was convinced that the saints, not just Jesus, were available to us, if not for mediation then for intercession. However, when I came to Christ it was quite clear that Jesus, the Son of Man (meaning by context fully man) and Son of God (meaning by context fully God) was all that I needed. The Holy Bible will confirm that to you.

At one point in His ministry Christ selected certain disciples, one of which was Peter, to go with Him to a certain mountain. While there, Christ was transfigured. With Him appeared two great Old Testament people, Moses and Elijah. Peter then said (Matthew 17:4), “Lord, it is good for us to be here: if you want, let us make three tabernacles; one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” The Holy Bible then records (Matthew 17:5-8), “While he was speaking, behold, a great cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear him.’ And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were very afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, ‘Arise, and be not afraid.’ And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.”

That is a main theme, not only in the New Testament, but also in the Old Testament. There is only one who is the mediator of salvation: Jesus Christ. His atoning work is all sufficient for our salvation. No more needs to be done for our salvation, and neither Joseph, Mary, a godly person who has passed on, a godly person still here, a church, denomination, fellowship or anything or anyone else can secure salvation for us or act as mediator for sins past, present, or future. Let us trust Christ alone.

Notes:

{1} From an electronic version of Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance by James Strong incorporated in the Online Bible program, and so throughout the article whenever the ancient language is referred to and no other authority is cited.

{2} Hoever, Rev. Hugo H., S.O.Cist., PhD., editor: Saint Joseph Sunday Missal (Catholic Book Publishing Co., New York) 1953-57

{3} Ibid. p459

{4} Ibid. p469

Find more apologetics information at http://thesureword.expertscolumn.com/ , and please visit this ministry’s apologetics index at http://sapphirestreams.com/life/api.html .



Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit www.sapphirestreams.com.

Last updated on 22-07-2016 256 1

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  • nbillett  28-12-2016
    Once corruption has taken over and the vision of God's alliance has faded away, those who recognize their part in the will affecting the whole of society must make positive gestures regarding money and the enjoyment of it, which will be for all a sign and a call to conversion.
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