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’ve previously seen reasons why the mediator had to be God. This week I want to start looking at why the mediator had to be man. Firstly the mediator between us and God had to be man to be obedient to the law for us.
All humans have to keep God’s law if they wish to be prosperous. Moses said: ‘Cursed is the man who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out…If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God: You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country’ (Deuteronomy 27:26-28:3).
But sadly no human keeps God’s law perfectly. Paul says: ‘for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23).
So what are we to do? We need someone to keep the law for us so that their good works become our good works and we can be accepted by God. But that person must be human or it won’t count – for example an angel can’t make up for us as they aren’t human. They’re not right substitutes.
Thankfully the mediator Jesus Christ is fully God but also fully human. Thus he can keep the law on our behalf. This is part of what Paul is talking about in Galatians: ‘But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons’ (Galatians 4:4-5). Jesus was born under the law as a human being and kept it perfectly so that we could become children of God and have God see us as obedient children.
How can you have Jesus be obedient to God for you? Simply trust that he lived a perfect life for you.
Have you trusted in Christ’s perfect life so that you are right before God?
Joel Radford, Preaching Elder.