In our current series we’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in 1648. Recently we’ve learnt about the covenant of grace by which God forgives sin and grants eternal life through the mediator Jesus Christ, who is fully God and fully human. We saw last week that the mediator had to be God to escape death. This week I want to show you that the mediator had to be God to give worth and efficacy to his obedience.
Often when we think of sin, we think of sin of commission – we actively do what we shouldn’t, e.g. steal, murder etc. But there are also sins of omission – where we fail to do what we are called to do.
Sins of omission have arisen because when God created humans he gave them work to do. We read in Genesis: ‘So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground”’ (Genesis 1:27-28). Thus one of the things humans are supposed to do is rule over the earth. When we fail to do this, we have sinned by omission.
So if a mediator is to save us from God’s wrath, he not only needs to have power to pay for the sins we have actively done, but he must also do for us the good works that God commanded us to do. But this is impossible for one person to do for many other people. One person’s obedience is of very small value, unless they are God too. If our mediator is obedient to God and is also God, then his good works are of immense value and can be shared with many.
Thankfully Jesus is just such a mediator. Jesus always did what was right. Jesus is ‘one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens’ (Hebrews 7:26). And then as God, Jesus’ holiness can be extended to us: ‘God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God’ (2 Corinthians 5:21).
All you have to do is trust in Jesus and automatically Christ’s righteousness is extended to you. Have you trusted in Christ?
Joel Radford, Preaching Elder.