Biblical Doctrine, Plainly Stated

By William S. Plumer, 1875


I. No one can read the Scriptures without seeing that great prominence is given to Christ Jesus in the plan of salvation. He is there said to be the First and the Last, the Alpha and the Omega, the Author and Finisher of faith. He is the Shepherd of souls, the Fountain of living waters, the Head of the church, the bright and morning Star, the Rose of Sharon, the chief among ten thousand, and altogether lovely. Paul was so taken with him that he "determined not to know anything among you, but Jesus Christ, and him crucified." 1 Cor. 2:2.

II. To the Old Testament church he was known by such names and titles as the Angel of the Covenant, the Angel of the Lord, Wonderful, Counselor, the righteous Branch, the Messiah or Anointed. He is also there called the Mighty God, and the Lord Almighty. Isaiah 6:3; 9:6. In the New Testament his personal name is Jesus, or Savior. Matt. 1:2; Luke 2:21. His official name is Christ, or Anointed One. He is also called Emmanuel, or God with us. He is often called God and Lord.

III. A mediator is one that comes in between parties who are at variance, in order to reconcile them. Where there is no variance there can be no mediation. "A mediator is not the mediator of one; but God is one." Gal. 3:20. If there are no parties there can be no mediator. A mediator differs from an advocate, because the latter, strictly speaking, looks to the interest of one alone, while the former has a regard to both. Christ is called the Mediator of the new covenant, the Mediator of a better covenant, and the Mediator of the New Testament. Heb. 8:6; 9:15; 12:24. In the Old Testament a mediator is called a daysman.

IV. It is right and fit, perhaps it is necessary, that a mediator should be the equal of both parties. Jesus Christ has this fitness for his work. He can lay his hand both upon God and sinners. He knows God's will and God's rights. He knows man's sins and man's wants. He will not betray either party. It is no robbery for him to claim equality with God. Phil. 2:6.

V. Strifes and controversies are of three kinds.
1. Such as arise merely from mistakes;
2. Such as result from wrong on both sides;
3. Such as come from wrong on one side only.
Man's controversy with God is of the last class. Man alone is to blame. Man alone has done wrong. The Lord's ways are equal. It is man's ways that are not equal. Compare Ezek. 18:25, 29; 33:17, 20.

VI. Jesus Christ is the sole Mediator of the new covenant. So says Paul: "There is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." 1 Tim. 2:5, 6. If it is wicked to believe in two or more Gods, it is no less wicked to believe in two or more Mediators. Moses is once called a mediator. Gal. 3:19. The history of the event there referred to shows that the meaning is simply this, that he was a messenger to make known God's will to Israel, and to make known the desires of the people to God. The passage refers to the giving of the law, when the display of the divine majesty was so terrible that Israel said to Moses, "Speak you with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die." Exod. 20:19. In mediation between God and sinners, so as to secure salvation, there is no Mediator but Christ. Acts 4:12; 1 Cor. 3:11.

VII. The great end of Christ's mediation is the salvation of his people. So said the angel that announced his birth: "You shall call his name JESUS; for he shall save his people from their sins." Matt. 1:21. "Christ is the head of church; and he is the Savior of the body." Eph. 5:23. As a Mediator he is no respecter of persons. Birth, blood, riches, honors, color, nationality, are nothing with him. He utterly disregards all distinctions made by are or by man's device. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Gal. 3:28. "In Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which works by love." Gal. 5:6.

VIII. The necessity for a mediator is found in the holiness and justice of God, and in the fears, guilt, and miseries of man. God is so holy that he cannot look upon iniquity. Hab. 1:13. And how can man, left to himself, be just with God? Job 9:2. No two things are more contrary to each other, than the vileness of man and the purity of God.

IX. To the office of Mediator Jesus Christ was chosen by his Father. Isaiah 42:1; 1 Pet. 2:4. Nor was any other ever chosen by God to the same work. He was no intruder into his office. His Father repeatedly declared himself well pleased in Christ and with his undertaking. His raising him from the dead and exalting him at his own right hand, was the highest possible proof that in Christ he was well pleased. God greatly honored Moses when he buried him in a secret place; but he never set Moses at his right hand.

X. It is a great thing to live under Christ's mediation. Through him we have wonderful discoveries of the character and glory of God. Through him heavenly influences are sent down to draw us to God. Never were there so glorious proposals made to creatures as are found in the offers of life and salvation. To those who accept the mediation of Jesus Christ, the very richest blessings are given. Thus says Paul to believers: "All things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and you are Christ's: and Christ is God's." 1 Cor. 3:21-23. "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Cor. 3:17, 18. "We know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." 2 Cor. 5:1. "I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." 2 Cor. 6:17, 18. All these countless blessings are made sure to him who accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as all his hope and all his salvation. Eternity itself will not exhaust the unsearchable riches of Christ made sure to believers.

XI. It is a solemn thing to live under the gospel. No man can despise the mediation of Jesus Christ without incurring the greatest guilt, and exposing himself to the greatest peril. "For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation! which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to his own will." Heb. 2:2-4. There is nothing more sinful or dangerous than treading under foot the Son of God, treating his blood as an unholy thing, and doing despite to the Spirit of grace. Heb. 10:28, 29.