Chapter 8: Of Christ the Mediator

  1. It pleased God, in his eternal purpose, to choose and ordain the Lord Jesus, his only begotten Son, according to the covenant made between them both, to be the Mediator between God and man;1 to be the Prophet,2 Priest3 and King; to be the Head and Saviour of his church, the heir of all things, and judge of the world.4 To the Lord Jesus God from all eternity gave a people to be his seed [(spiritual) descendants], in time to be redeemed, called, justified, sanctified, and glorified by him.5

1 Is 42.1; 1Pt 1.19-20 2 Acts 3.22 3 Heb 5.5-6 4 Ps 2.6; Lk 1.33; Eph 1.22-23; Heb 1.2; Acts 17.31 5 Is 53.10; Jn 17.6; Rom 8.30

  1. The Son of God, the second person in the Holy Trinity, is truly and eternally God, the brightness of the Father’s glory, of one substance and equal with him. He made the world, and upholds [sustains] and governs all things he has made. When the fullness of time had come, he took upon himself man’s nature,6 with all its essential properties and common infirmities, yet without sin.7 He was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary: the Holy Spirit came down upon her, and the power of the Most High overshadowed her, and so he was made [took his nature from and was born] of a woman, made of the tribe of Judah, and made a true descendant of Abraham and David, according to the Scriptures.8 In this way two whole, perfect, and distinct natures were inseparably joined together in one person: without conversion [change of nature], composition [combining or mixing together], or confusion [loss of distinction]. This person is therefore truly God and truly man, yet he is one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man.9

6 Jn 1.1-14; Gal 4.4 7 Rom 8.3; Heb 2.14, 16-17; Heb 4.15 8 Lk 1.27, 31, 35 9 Rom 9.5; 1Tim 2.5

  1. The Lord Jesus, his human nature thus united to the divine in the person of the Son, was sanctified and anointed with the Holy Spirit without measure [limit].10 The Lord Jesus has in him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge11 and it pleased the Father that in him all fullness should dwell.12 All this was in order that – being holy, harmless, undefiled,13 and full of grace and truth14 – he might be thoroughly [completely] equipped to execute [carry out] the office [work or function] of a Mediator and Surety.15 He did not take this office upon himself, but was called to it by his Father,16 who also put all power and judgement in his hand, and gave him a commandment to execute this very thing.17

10 Ps 45.7; Acts 10.38; Jn 3.34 11 Col 2.3 12 Col 1.19 13 Heb 7.26 14 Jn 1.14 15 Heb 7.22 16 Heb 5.5 17 Jn 5.22, 27; Mt 28.18; Acts 2.36

  1. The Lord Jesus undertook this office entirely willingly [voluntarily and readily].18 To discharge it he was made under [subject to] the law and perfectly fulfilled it,19 and also underwent the punishment due to us, which we should have carried and suffered,20 being made sin and a curse for us:21he endured exceedingly grievous sorrows in his soul22 and exceedingly painful sufferings in his body; he was crucified, and died, and remained in the state of the dead, but he experienced no corruption [decay].23 On the third day he rose from the dead24 with the same body in which he had suffered,25 with which he also ascended into heaven, where he sits at the right hand of his Father,26 making intercession.27 He shall return to judge men and angels at the end of the world.28

18 Ps 40.7-8; Heb 10.5-11; Jn 10.18 19 Gal 4.4; Mt 3.15 20 Gal 3.13; Is 53.6; 1Pt 3.18 21 2Cor 5.21 22 Mt 26.37-38; Lk 22.44; Mt 27.46 23 Acts 13.37 24 1Cor 15.3-4 25 Jn 20.25, 27 26 Mk 16.19; Acts 1.9-11 27 Rom 8.34; Heb 9.24 28 Acts 10.42; Rom 14.9-10; Acts 1.10-11

  1. The Lord Jesus – by his perfect obedience and sacrifice of himself, which he (through the eternal Spirit) offered up once [needing no repetition or addition] to God – has fully satisfied the justice of God,29 has procured reconciliation, and has purchased an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven for all those whom the Father has given to him.30

29 Heb 9.14; Heb 10.14; Rom 3.25-26 30 Jn 17.2; Heb 9.15

  1. Although the price of redemption was not actually paid by Christ until after his incarnation, nevertheless its virtue, efficacy [assured results], and benefit were communicated to the elect in all ages successively [continuously] from the beginning of the world. This was accomplished by means of those promises, types, and sacrifices in which he was revealed and signified [represented, demonstrated and declared] to be the seed of the woman who should bruise the serpent’s head31 and the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.32 He is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.33

31 1Cor 10.4; Heb 4.2; 1Pt 1.10-11 32 Rev 13.8 33 Heb 13.8

  1. In his work of mediation Christ acts according to both natures, each nature doing that which is proper [appropriate] to itself. However, because of the unity of his person, that which is proper to one nature is sometimes in Scripture attributed to the person denominated [indicated] by the other nature.34

34 Jn 3.13; Acts 20.28

  1. Christ certainly and effectually applies and communicates [imparts or bestows] eternal redemption to all those for whom he has obtained this redemption.35 He makes intercession for them and unites them to himself by his Spirit, revealing to them, in and by the Word, the mystery [revealed truth] of salvation.36 He persuades them to believe and obey. He governs their hearts by his Word and Spirit37 and overcomes all their enemies38 by his almighty power and wisdom. All this he does in such a manner and such ways as are most consonant to [perfectly in harmony and consistent with] his wonderful and unsearchable dispensation [government].39 And all this is of free and absolute grace, without any condition foreseen in those he saves to procure it [bring it about].

35 Jn 6.37; Jn 10.15-16; Jn 17.9; Rom 5.10 36 Jn 17.6; Eph 1.9; 1Jn 5.10 37 Rom 8.9, 14 38 Ps 110.1; 1Cor 15.25-26 39 Jn 3.8; Eph 1.8

  1. This office of mediator between God and man belongs exclusively to Christ,40 who is the Prophet, Priest, and King of the church of God. This office may not be transferred from him to any other, either in whole or in any part.

40 1Tim 2.5

  1. This number and order of offices is necessary [essential]: with regard to our ignorance, we need his prophetic office;41 with regard to our alienation from God and the imperfection of the best of our services, we need his priestly office, to reconcile us and to present us acceptable unto God;42 with regard to our averseness [antagonism] and utter inability to return to God, and for our rescue and security from our spiritual adversaries [enemies], we need his kingly office, to convince, subdue, draw, uphold [sustain], deliver, and preserve us for his heavenly kingdom.43

41 Jn 1.18 42 Col 1.21; Gal 5.17 43 Jn 16.8; Ps 110.3; Lk 1.74-75