William Styles, A Guide To Church Fellowship (Complete)

Article 5 – The Mediation Of Christ

Articles Of The Faith And Order Of A Primitive Or Strict And Particular Baptist Church Of The Lord Jesus Christ, Based On The Declaration Of Faith And Practice Of John Gill, D. D., 1720

V. The Mediation of Christ.

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, (who was set up from everlasting as the Mediator of the new Cove­nant,) having engaged to be the Surety of His people[1] did, in the fulness of time, really assume human nature, (but free from sin,)[2] in which He suffered and died in their room and stead, as their Representative and Surety[3] thereby rendering all the satisfaction for their sins which the law and justice of God required[4] as well as making way for the communication of all the blessings which are needful to them, both for time and eternity.[5]

[1] Prov 8:23; Zech 13:7; Rev 13:8
[2] Is 7:14; Matt 1:23; Matt 12:8; Gal 4:4; Heb 2:14; 1 Jn 4:2,3
[3] ls 53:5,6; Matt 20:28; Jn 10:15; 11: 50; Rom 5:6,7; 1 Cor 15:3; 2 Cor 5:21; Gal 3:13; Eph 5:2; 1 Tim 1:15; 1 Pet 2:24; 3:18; 4:1; 1 Jn 3:16
[4] Job 33:24; Ps 85:10; Ez 16:63; Dan 9:24; Acts 13:39; Rom 3:24-26; 8:1,3,33; Gal 3:13
[5] Rom 8:32; Gal 3:14; 4:5; 2 Pet 1:3



“It is an unspeakable mercy that Sovereignty has admitted mediation into the moral government of God.”—John Hazelton. Note 1.—A Mediator is one who intervenes between two parties for the advantage of either or both.[1]

Christ is a Mediator in other senses than this Article states.

He is such between God absolutely or abstractedly considered, and all His rational creatures.

Between these and His infinitely great and glorious self, there is so immense a distance in nature, that none can apprehend His majesty apart from a personal revealer. The statement of Matt. 11:27 is more comprehensive than many suppose. “Neither doth any creature—(angel or man) know the Father, save the Son and he to whom the Son willeth to reveal Him.” R.V. So also John 1:18, “No one (oudeis—neither angel nor man) hath seen God at any time (hath, apart from the Son, apprehended His glory;) the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath (disclosed or) declared Him (revealing Him and making Him known.”) Hence from the beginning, He was “the Word,”—the expression of the thoughts of God, (John 1:1; 1 John 1:1;) “the effulgence of His glory and the express image of His substance.” (Heb. 1:3, R.V.)

It would thus appear that Christ is tho Mediator through whom the Divine character is perceived, and the Divine presence approached and worshipped by angels in heaven.

The whole moral universe is governed on mediatorial principles. “By Him, God made all things,” (Eph. 3:9.) He “upholds all things by the word of His power,” (Heb. 1:3.) The throne of universal government is His throne, (Psa. 45: 6 and Heb. 1:8.) “The Father hath given all things into His hand,” (John 3:35,) and “committed (or given) all judgment (governmental and penal) to the Son,” (John 5:22.) “All things” here should surely be understood in the widest sense. Christ is the first and final authority in heaven as well as on earth. He thus sustains a mediatorial relation to God and His creatures, apart from His gracious office as the Saviour of sinners.

Note 2.—He was the Mediator between God and unfallen Adam, to whom He appeared in human form, and conveyed in human language the mind of Jehovah. A holy being as Adam then was (Article III) did not indeed, require an atoning and reconciling Mediator, as we do, before he could hold fellowship with his Maker, but (as stated in Note 1) no creature, however exalted, could interchange thoughts with the Supreme Being apart from a personal medium of communication. That Adam’s communion with God, in the time of his innocence, was so conducted is clear from the inspired narrative. The expression, “the voice of the Lord God,” speaking as He walked, (Gen. 3:18.) necessitates the idea of a human form in union with eternal Godhead, conversing in human speech. (Compare Phil. 2:6, where Christ, prior to His incarnation, is said to have existed “in the form of God.”

Note 3.—Christ is “the Mediator between God and men,” as men. This, it is submitted, is the meaning of 1 Tim. 2:5. The world, from the time of the Fall, has been under mediatorial government, and is spared, under Christ’s rule, for the sake of His people and the specific relations sustained by Him to them. He is “Head over“ all things to the church,” (Eph. 1:22:) and makes all things “work together for their good,” (Rom. 8:28.) (See “A Manual of Faith and Practice,” pages 13 and 81.)

The Mediator of the New Covenant.

Note 4.—Christ is the Mediator between God and the elect Church, which is the subject of this Article.

His competence to aot in this capacity proceeds from His complexity—or the union of the two natures, the Divine and the human, in His one person.

As man, He possesses a relation in equity to men, and could live and die in their place—while His deity imprinted its glory on His service and sufferings, and enabled Him to present an obedience and offer an oblation sufficient in their intrinsic worth to meet all the preceptive and penal claims of the Law on their behalf.

As God, He could apprehend the love and purposes of Jehovah. As man, He could impart the name, and thoughts, and grace of Jehovah to men.

He is the “daysman”of Job 9:33. As the “Son of God,” He could lay His filial hand on God: as the “Son of Man” He could lay His fraternal hand on the men whose nature He assumed, and thus form a living, loving, and lasting medium of Divine blessing, between the great Law-giver, and the people who had been estranged from Him by sin.

He is the “Messenger (or angel) of the Covenant,” (Mal. 3:1.) His mighty mind could and did contain the whole of the Divine scheme of a Covenant Salvation. This He received from God and imparts to chosen and redeemed men—coming to them with words of grace and love, (Zech. 1:13; John 17:26).

The Seven Branches of Mediation.

Note 5.—Christ is a mediator of (1) union; (2) pacification and reconciliation; (3) introduction; (4) revelation; (5) communication; and (6) intercourse.

Of Union. The human race was originally bound to God by Adam. This link, however, proved unequal to the awful tension, and broke—and all men fell into the abyss of ruin. Elect men were, before time, united to God in Christ, by whom they are held and upheld, and in whom they are preserved, both before and after their call by grace. Deut. 33:3; Jude 1.

Of Pacification and Reconciliation. The two, though inseparable, should not be confounded. Pacification relates to God in His legal or judicial character, maintaining the majesty of His throne and the claims of His Law—all of which were satisfied by Christ, by His enduring in His own person the punishment due to all the sins of all the elect, when made to meet on Him. (Isa. 52:6; Ezek. 16:63; Rom. 3:25; 1 Cor. 5:7; 1 John 2:2.) Reconciliation relates to chosen sinners, to whom.

Christ reveals God as the “God of peace,”who will never penally smite them for their sins, but receive them graciously and love them freely, and ever ensure their well-being. Thus displayed, He appears so amiable to their enlightened minds that their hostility to Him is removed, and they turn to Him in trust and love. The revelation of the Cross terminates the enmity of men’s hearts to God. (Rom. 5:11, where for “atonement” read reconciliation, R.V.)

Presentation. Sin has estranged and separated men from their Creator. God, however, wills that the gulf which divides His own people from Himself shall be annihilated, and His people brought nigh unto Him. This is effected by Christ, in whose person (by sovereign election) they are nigh, by whosf, blood all obstacles to their approach are removed, and they are made nigh, (Eph. 2:13,) and through whose ministry they are brought nigh, and have access (literally a bringing nigh, in­ troduction or presentation, Rom. 5:2,) “by faith into the grace wherein they stand.” This introduction will be finally consum­ mated, after the Resurrection, by His presenting “the election of grace” in their whole persons, before the presence of God’s glory, (Col 1:22; Jude 24.)

Revelation. One great object of the mediation of Christ is to make God known to the objects of His sovereign love. For this end they receive eternal life—in order that they should know “the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He sent.” (John 17:3.)[2] To the favoured recipients of this heaven-born life, with its strange faculties of perception and apprehension (1 Cor. 2:15.) He “declares’’ Goa, (John 1:18,) revealing His parental character, (Matt. 11:27; John 17:6 and 25; and Heb. 2:12,) thus making known to them the secret of their ancient relation to Him, (Psa. 25:14,) so that they hail Him as their Father, and enter into the privileges of becoming (consciously and joyfully) children of God, (John 1:12, R.V.)

Communication. It is the purpose of God that His people should be filled out of His own fulness, and be brought to participate in His communicable attributes, and thus be “partakers of the Divine nature.” This sublime purpose is effected by His having imparted “all fulness” (Col. 1:19,) to Christ, as Mediator, and through Him it is received by His people, (John 1:16.)

Of intercourse. All love desires intercourse with its objects, and aims at establishing and maintaining reciprocity of affection. It is the pleasure of God that His people should know His love to them, and that the love of their heaven-bom hearts should flow out to Him. This is effected by the mediation of Christ. In Him, God has revealed His heart to His people, and through Him they open their hearts to Him. Thus, tnrough His mediatorial ministry, there is a flux and reflux of spiritual intercourse. He blesses them in Christ, they bless Him by Christ. He speaks to them in His Son, (Heb. 1:2, R.V.) they speak to Him through His Son.

Mediation: How Illustrated in the Bible.

Note 6.—The Mediation of Christ should be studied in the light of the figures in which it is set forth in the Word of God. Gen. 23:12. Heaven is unapproachable from this world, and God is unattainable by man. Jacob’s ladder connected heaven and earth. The person and work of Jesus Christ bring God and His people into living and loving association.

Isa. 22:23. “A nail in a sure place.” The firm and smooth wall cannot sustain the vessels, so God, abstractedly considered, cannot hold and uphold sinners. Christ as Mediator is in “the sure place” of the purpose, power, wisdom and love of God, and yet extends His upholding grace to all the chosen race—sustaining all their weight, and thus none fall or are destroyed.

Christ is likened to objects which cast a shadow, thus affording protection from the heat of the sun, and other external dangers—the shadow of a rock, (Isa. 32:2,) of a tree, (Cant. 2:3,) of a wing, (Psa. 36:7,) and of a hand, (Isa. 51:16,) all of which set Him forth as the Mediator of interposition between His people, and all sources of danger or disaster.

Christ is compared to fruit-bearing trees, (Cant, 2:2.) These come between men and the nutritious juices of the earth, which have no power to sustain human life, but which they transmute into the fruit so grateful for human food. So Christ comes between God in His abstract glory and the sinners He loves, and presents His majestic attributes and perfections in a form most attractive and delightful to poor, broken-hearted sinners—thus acting as the Mediator of communication, by whom the love and grace of God are conveyed to their souls.

Christ is set forth by the shepherd (John 10:11,) who acts as the responsible Mediator between his flock and all that might injure them; coming between them and hunger, drought, and all their enemies. Thus Christ in His great office of Mediator comes between the elect and the fiery law and its condemnation and curse—between them and Satan and all infernal powers— and between them and all penal and circumstantial evil, while He pastorises them with the tenderest care.

The Saviour is set forth as the Mediator of intercession by Moses, in his sublime prayer for his nation, (Exod. 32:30,32.) See Mc’Ewen on the Types, Art. Moses, and Hazelton’s Sermons on Deut. 18:16, Vol. ii., 14, and Heb. 12:24, Vol. iv., 20.

Christ’s Mediation an Inclusive Office.

Note 7.—The term Mediator, when applied to Christ, is an inclusive one and comprehends all His gracious offices. He is the “Mediator of the New Covenant,” (Heb. 9:15, and 12:24,) and as such performs every engagement which that Covenant obliges Him to discharge. As Mediator, He is Prophet, Priest, King, Redeemer, Sacrifice and Advocate.[3]

His personality stands in His Divine nature as eternally one with the Father and the Spirit: His Sonship is based on His complexity as God and man: His mediation is founded on His Sonship, as “the only begotten of the Father,” and the various manifestations of His gracious activity, whether they concern the claims of God or the needs of His people, are branches of Wia mediatorial work.[4] See “A Manual of Faith and Practice,” page 10, note by G. Murrell.

It was part of Has work as Mediator to produce the merit which is the ground of our acceptance—to shed the blood which is the propitiation for our sins—and to offer the supplications which ensure our participation in Covenant blessings.

The Mediation of the Son of God Effectual.

Note 8. —God can never be a failure; and the Deity of Christ ensures the success of His mediation. All whose cause He has undertaken, must be saved. Could He intervene between God and one sinner who is finally lost, the whole scheme of salvation might collapse.

The success of Christ’s mediation does not depend on what His people are, or think, or will, or do—considered either as creatures or new creatures. His personal greatness and official ability ensure the absolute success of the work. (Isa. 42:4.)

Let the reader grasp this, and Arminianism will appear absurd; free-will and human merit mere fictions of ignorant men; and Duty-faith an insolent slander upon the grace of God and the saving competence of Christ, His only begotten Son.

[1] The original word, Mesitea, means no more than this, and signifies one who is in the middle. The above is, therefore, sub­ mitted as more accurate th in the popular definition that a “Mediator is one who interposes between two persons who are estranged, with a view to their reconciliation.” Arbitration, appeasement, and reconciliation are rather acts that grow out of the office of a mediator, than the office itself. The writer conceives that this prevalent conception of the restricted meaning of the term lies at the root of the meagre views of this office of the Son of God which are so common.
[2] John 17:3 is often quoted: “And this is life eternal, to know Thee,” &c., and it is supposed to mean that the way in which eternal life is obtained is through our acquiring a know­ ledge of God. It, however, refers to the illumination of those who had previously received life from Christ. “Father, glorify Thy Son. He has exercised His power, and quickened into spiritual life as many of Thine elect as Thou hast drawn to Him.” (John 6:37,44,65.) These He has informed of Thy character, grace and glory, in harmony with the object for which this life was imparted to them.” (See verse 7.)
[3] How inaccurate, therefore, to speak of the “merits and mediation,” or “atonement and mediation,” or the “intercession and mediation” of Christ, as if these phrases expressed two distinct thoughts!
[4] Since the unhappy “Sonship Controversy” of 1860, there has been a strange reticence among Strict and Particular Baptists concerning the relationship of Christ to God as the “only begotten of the Father.” He is preached as Jesus, as Christ, as the Redeemer—anything but as “the Son of the living God,” (John 6:69,) yet how frequently is He expressly said to fill His specified offices as the Son! As the Son of God, He was sent into the world, (John 2:16; 1 John 4:9.) As the Son of God, He is the object of faith (John 6:40, and 9:35): the vicarious sufferer (Rom. 8:3): and the propitiation for sin (1 John 4:15). The dignity and glory of His person as the Son invest His blood withits intrinsic efficacy to cleanse from all sin, (1 John 1:7.) As the Son of God He is the great High Priest; (Heb. 7:28;) King, (Col 1:13,) and Prophet, (Heb. 1:2.) As the Son of God He will return, (1 Thess 1:10,) to wind up the vast concerns of Time, (John 5:22,) and take His people to Himself.

William Styles (1842-1914) was a Strict and Particular Baptist preacher. He is the author of several works, including “A Guide To Church Fellowship As Maintained By Primitive Or Strict And Particular Baptists” and “A Manual Of Faith And Practice”.

William Styles, A Guide To Church Fellowship (Complete)
William Styles, A Memoir of John Hazelton (Complete)