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July 2020

The Mediation of Christ: A One➜Way Street

“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.”
(1 Timothy 2:5-6 ESV)
Bible words and phrases are routinely tainted by secular usage. Christians hear one thing, the unregenerate hear another. The challenge is to prevent their misunderstanding from altering our understanding. When Christians, for example, hear the word grace, we understand “God’s undeserved love for sinners.” The world conjures up visions of weightless ballerinas and socially polished debutants. When we hear cross of Christ, we think “victory” and “life.” The world hears “injustice” and “death.” We hear Easter and think “resurrection.” The world sees bunnies.
So it shouldn’t surprise us that the biblical concept of “Christ our Mediator” is tainted by the world’s misunderstanding of both mediator and mediation. In the world’s view, a mediator is someone who stands between two parties that are at odds, and whose job it is to come up with some sort of compromise (mediation) that is fair to both sides. Jesus is not that sort of mediator. He does not reach out to both sides (Creator God and fallen man) seeking mutual concessions and compromise. He does not seek to represent the rights of both parties, nor does He view the two parties as peers. Though He does proclaim the goodness of God to man, He does not extol the virtues of man to God. There is nothing to extol. The mediation that Jesus performs is all one-way. He carries nothing from man to God, for man has nothing to offer. He carries only Himself. He Himself is the good that is brought to God the Father on man’s behalf. That’s exactly what Paul was telling Timothy in the passage quoted above: “. . . who gave himself as a ransom for all.” In that way Jesus is not only the Mediator, He Himself is the mediation. He Himself is that which creates peace. What He then carries to fallen, helpless, powerless mankind is God’s declaration of forgiveness.Read More »The Mediation of Christ: A One➜Way Street

The Brief Statement of 1932: A Landmark of Confessional Lutheranism

“Always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you.”
(1 Peter 3:15)

In the early New Testament church, identifying yourself as a “Christian” (Acts 11:26) was all you needed to say to let others know what you believed. “I am a follower of ‘the Way.’” (Acts 9:2) “We preach Christ crucified and risen.”
It was not too long before the devil began to divide the church by questioning the Word of God and presenting false doctrine. Even at the time of the Apostles, there were many “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” In the epistles of Paul, Peter, and John you can find warnings against false teachers, and also find clear, confessional statements of the truth. We are admonished, “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” (2 Timothy 4:2)Read More »The Brief Statement of 1932: A Landmark of Confessional Lutheranism

TLH 383 “Seek Where Ye May to Find a Way”

Hymn 383 is referenced to Acts 4:12: “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Clearly, this Bible passage teaches that only Jesus saves. Numerous other Bible verses teach the same thing. However, many today strongly object to that truth. They find it offensive. They acrimoniously challenge us by asking, “Do you really think it’s fair that only Christians are saved? What about those millions of others who are just as faithful and devout in their religions as you are in yours? Or what about all those who have never even heard the Gospel? Would a just and loving God really condemn all those people to eternal hell, just because they don’t believe in Jesus?”Read More »TLH 383 “Seek Where Ye May to Find a Way”


Many seek refuge in all the wrong places. But because God is our refuge and strength, we can confidently say, “We will not fear—anything.”
Psalm 46:1-3 describes a scene of chaos and upheaval: the earth removed, mountains cast into the depths of the sea, waters roaring and troubled. This may be a cataclysmic event in nature, or the images may symbolize the chaos and upheaval of life. The phrase “though the earth be removed” is more literally “though the earth change.” Read More »Refuge