Caleb’s Baptism — Q. 15 — Heidelberg Catechism

Question 15. What sort of a mediator and deliverer then must we seek for?

Answer: For one who is very man, and perfectly righteous; and yet more powerful than all creatures; that is, one who is also very God.

Last time we left off Caleb we had seen that the Catechism had closed all doors against our being able to be our own deliverer. If we are going to be delivered from God’s just wrath against our sin nature and our sins, we need to start looking outside ourselves for that deliverance.

You will notice here the use of the word “mediator.” This is a word that is incredibly important in the Christian faith Caleb. A mediator is one who is a relational conduit between two parties who are at loggerheads. The role of the mediator is to represent each of the warring parties and their interests to the other party. A mediator is to be a honest broker in terms of the issues between the two parties and his purpose is to resolve the conflict between the two parties in such a way where the interest of each party is upheld.

So, we need a mediator to represent us before God in terms of His just case against us. We need somebody who will represent our position to God and who at the same time will represent God’s position to us. From our end, in order to find a mediator who can be our representative (i.e. — Federal Head) we need someone who is very man of very man (100% man), and yet a man who is without sin (perfectly righteous), and one who is God.

The next question will examine why this is so, but it is important to establish at this point that if we are going to be delivered from our sin and misery and delivered to our peace with God it is going to have to come to us by means outside ourselves. This reinforces the idea that our salvation must come to us as a matter of God’s work and not our own. Question 15 insists that if we are to be rescued from God’s just wrath we must “seek” a mediator.

However, the mediator we must seek must not only represent us between the two warring parties (God and man), the mediator must also represent God’s part. The important emphasis here is that man can not come to God without a intermediary and God can not look upon man without a intermediary. Secondarily, it is important to emphasize that the if the intermediary is sufficient for both parties then no other intermediary is necessary. I bring this out because many other expressions of Christianity will offer a multitude of mediators. If the mediator that we must seek for is sufficient then no other mediator is necessary.

Now, let us close this question by looking at just a few of the Scriptures that are offered to support the fact that our mediator must be (1) man, (2) man without sin, and (3) God.

The fact that the mediator we must seek to satisfy God’s just wrath against our sin must be man is seen by the fact that as it is man who has sinned it must be man who atones (makes the payment) for sin. I Cor.15:21 teaches us this clearly,

“For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.”

It is man (Adam) who cast man into sin, and so if anyone is to deliver man from sin that deliverer must likewise be man.

Romans 5:19 For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

Christianity is a religion that demands that man restores what man destroyed, and if we are to be saved our savior must be a man.

However, this man must be different than all men since Adam, inasmuch as this man must be without a sin nature or sins of His own. If he is to be a mediator for God to us, one requirement is that He must be without sin. God will not deal with a mediator man who has sin and so the human mediator we are seeking must be perfect and without sin or flaw.

Scripture offers us this kind of human mediator,

2 Cor.5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Heb.7:26 “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;

If the mediator had his own sin Caleb, he would have to pay for His own sin and so would be of no help to us as He becomes the one who bears our sins. No, if fallen man is to have a mediator that God will accept as a representative of fallen man then that man must be man without being sinful.

Finally the catechism insists that the mediator must not only be man, and man without sin, he must also be very God of very God. In the demand that the mediator we need is both 100% Man and 100% we find the Christian doctrine called the “Hypostatic Union.” This merely teaches that our mediator must be both man and God at the same time. That the mediator we need must be God is taught in the following passages,

(c) Isa.7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (God with us).

Isa.9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Rom.9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

Jer.23:5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. Jer.23:6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

So …

1.) God is opposed to man because of man’s sin
2.) Man himself is not able to appease God’s just wrath against sin
3.) Man must look for a mediator who can stand in the gap for sinful man
4.) This mediator will do for sinful man what he can not do for himself
5.) This mediator, in order to do what needs to be done for sinful man must be

a.) Man
b.) Man without sin
c.) God

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

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