Wednesday, July 3, 2013

1 Timothy 2:5 as the Key to the Bible

From CJ Mahaney's helpful book Christ Our Mediator: Finding Passion at the Cross:

If you were searching for a single sentence in Scripture to best capture the story line and theme of the entire Bible, what would you choose? Where would you look?

Many of us would on doubt go right to the beloved and familiar words of John 3:16, with good reason. But let me suggest we search no further than… the opening pages of Paul’s first letter to Timothy. Fix your thoughts on this sentence:
For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time (1 Timothy 2:5-6).
J.I. Packer says it isn’t too much to describe these verses as “the key, not merely to the New Testament, but to the whole Bible, for they crystalize into a phrase the sum and substance of its message.”

In this one sentence, Paul succinctly captures the main theme and essence of the entirety of holy Scripture – as well as answering the desperate cry we heard from Job for someone to arbitrate between God and man. Yes, Paul declares, there is a mediator! There’s someone to arbitrate between us, to lay His hand on us both and remove the rod of God’s wrath so His terror frightens us no more. There’s a unique intermediary between God and man: the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all. The Bible’s complete message hinges on this one point.

Because of God's amazingly gracious heart toward those who thoroughly deserve only His wrath, He both planned for and provided this mediator to resolve the divine dilemma - a mediator who, through His blood, would accomplish a unique assignment utterly unlike any other work of mediation. In the mystery of His mercy, God - the innocent, offended party - offers up to death His own Son, to satisfy His righteous wrath and save the guilty party from it.

"The glory of the gospel," says R. C. Sproul, "is this: The one from whom we need to be saved is the one who has saved us." John Stott expressed it this way: "Divine love triumphed over divine wrath by divine self-sacrifice."


For more:
"Blood Work" by Anthony Carter: A Review"The Cross of Christ" by John Stott: A Review
"In My Place, Condemned He Stood"
"It is Well"
"Precious Blood": A Review 
"Death by Love" by Mark Driscoll 
Its Not Just a Theory: Stott on Penal Substitution
John Stott on the The Human Enigma
Theology Thursday | Does McLaren Reject Penal Substitution: A Review of the Evidence
Brian McLaren and Emergent Soteriology:  From Cultural Accommodation to the Social Gospel
God as Butcher: McLaren on Penal Substitution  
The Postmodern Social Gospel:  Brian McLaren Proves My Point  
Brian McLaren and Emergent Soteriology:  From Cultural Accommodation to the Social Gospel
Does McLaren Reject Penal Substitution:  A Look at the Evidence
Allison: A History of the Doctrine of the Atonement
"Salvation Brings Imitation": Piper on Christus Exemplar
Where Theology and Life Intersect: A Theological Case for Christus Exemplar and Why It is Necessary - Part 1 - Introduction
Where Theology and Life Intersect: A Theological Case for Christus Exemplar and Why It is Necessary - Part 2 - Christus Exemplar and the doctrine of sin and depravity
Where Theology and Life Intersect: A Theological Case for Christus Exemplar and Why It is Necessary - Part 3 - The History of Christus Exemplar
Where Theology and Life Intersect: A Theological Case for Christus Exemplar and Why It is Necessary - Part 4 - Christus Exemplar and Humility
Sanctification Demands It: The Necessity of the Atonement
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