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The Mediator and His Work


The Mediator

[1]        All humankind “perished” in the fall and is now dead (not merely ill) coram Deo. 2.6.1.

[2]        In the wake of the fall there is no saving knowledge of God apart from the Mediator.  2.6.1

[3]        Only that worship whose object is Jesus Christ pleases God.  (I.e., all other “worship” is superstition.)  The godly hope in Christ alone.  (I.e., Christ renders hope hope as opposed to wishful thinking.)  2.6.1.

[4]        The foregoing presupposes that faith in Christ is the same as faith in God.  (2.6.4)  (Recall the homooousion.)

[5]        All talk of worshipping “the Supreme Majesty” or the “Maker of heaven and earth” bespeaks idolatry, for only by means of the Mediator do we “taste” (experience) God’s mercy and thereby become persuaded that he is our Father.  (2.6.4.)  Apart from our experience of God’s mercy (apart from our intimate acquaintance with him as Father) we are ignorant of God and exposed to his judgement despite all talk of “Supreme Majesty” etc.

[6]        We can be admitted to such intimacy with God inasmuch as the Mediator, in his provision for us, has effected an “exchange” concerning us and God. (2.12.2.)  (This motif, important in Calvin, is huge in Luther.)

[7]        Propitiation, not merely expiation, is the heart of the atonement. (2.12.3.)

[8]        The Father chose us in Christ from before the foundation of the world.  Calvin upholds supralapsarianism rather than infralapsarianism. (2.12.5.)

[9]        “Christ”, therefore, implies “reconciliation” (“grace”).  There is no speculative purpose intended or permitted in the Christ event. The one act of God in Christ propitiates God, expiates sin, calls sinners, and effects their salvation. (2.12.5.)

[10]      Marcion denies the Jewishness of Jesus and all that this entails. (2.12.6)

Osiander undervalues (denies) humankind’s essential creatureliness. (2.12.6.)

Menno Simons undervalues (denies) Christ’s essential creatureliness. (2.13.4.)

[11]      The truth is, Christ took on our humanity under the conditions of sin while remaining sinless himself.  The Virgin Birth attests this truth; namely, that the redeemer of human history can’t be generated by that history, for human history, sin-riddled, cannot generate that which is sin-free. (2.13.4.)

[12]      In all of this it must remembered that humankind’s corruption is “accidental” and not “essential” (contra the Gnesio-Lutherans.) (2.13.4.)


  Christ as Prophet (revealer), King (ruler), Priest (redeemer)


[13]      The anointing Christ received in order to teach is the anointing wherewith he anoints the church so that it might teach in the selfsame power of the Spirit. (2.15.2.)

Since Christ is effectual prophet, he concludes the line of prophets (contra the ABTSTs.) (2.15.2.)

[14]      Christ’s kingship is spiritual (contra RCs and ABTSTs.) (2.15.3.)

Christ rules and preserves the church insofar as it is properly “church”; i.e., insofar as it attests him and looks to him alone as the subject and object of its faith. (2.15.3.)

While Christ’s kingship is spiritual, the world’s savagery is temporal.  Therefore Christians live by “hope of a better life” and “await the full fruit of this grace in the age to come.” (2.15.3.)  I.e., believers know they will be vindicated only in the eschaton. (2.15.5.)

[15]      Christ’s intercession for us is relentless, for we need the continuing efficacy of his once-for-all sacrifice. (2.15.6.)  At the same time, faith must be humanly exercised; we must “repose in him voluntarily.” (2.15.6.)  (We must exercise faith as a deliberate act of the will. Voluntas=will)

“Voluntarily” clinging to Christ, we are blessed twice over: we are freed from bondage to death and our flesh is (to be) mortified.” (2.16.7.)

The Ascension

(Note: Christ’s resurrection means he was victorious over sin and death; his ascension means the victorious one rules.)

[16]      Christ “truly inaugurated his kingdom only as his ascension into heaven.” (2.16.14.)  His ascension, however, never means that he is now absent. (2.16.14.)  On the contrary, as ascended Jesus Christ is now always “majestically” (i.e., effectively) present to us. (2.16.14.)

[17]      Even so, such “majestic” presence doesn’t mean his effectual rulership can be read off the face of world-occurrence. (2.16.17.)  Note Calvin’s reminder: “[W]hile God spares the most wicked for a time, even shows them kindness, he tries his servants like gold and silver.” (Preface, Commentary on Daniel.)

[18]      In sum, “we see that our whole salvation and all its parts are comprehended in Christ….[S]ince rich store of every kind of good abounds in him, let us drink our fill from this fountain, and from no other.” (2.16.18.)