Question 24a- Who is the Redeemer of God’s Elect?
“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, which is the testimony given at the proper time.” – 1Ti 2:5-6 ESV
For there is one God, This does not so much regard the unity of God, with respect to himself, or his divine essence, though that is a truth; but does not carry in it any apparent and forcible reason why all men should be prayed for, for which it is produced; but the unity of God with respect to men, as that there is but one God, who is the Creator of all men, and who, in a providential way, is the Saviour of all men; and in a way of special grace is the one God, the one covenant God of all sorts of men, of Jews and Gentiles; for he has taken of the latter into the covenant of his grace, as well as the former, and has loved them with a special and distinguishing love, has chosen them in Christ to salvation, and has sent his Son to redeem them; and of these he calls by his grace, regenerates, sanctifies, adopts, pardons, and justifies; see Rom 3:29 and therefore all sorts of men, Gentiles as well as Jews, are to be prayed for: another argument follows,
and one Mediator between God and men; a Mediator is of more than one, and has to do with two parties; and these at variance among themselves, between whom he stands as a middle person; his business is to bring them together, and make peace between them; and such an one is Christ: the two parties are God and his elect, who in their natural state are at a distance from God, and at enmity to him, and who have broken his law, and affronted his justice; Christ stands as a middle person, a daysman between them, and lays his hands upon them both; has to do with things pertaining to the glory of God, and makes reconciliation for the sins of the people; brings them that were afar off nigh to God, and makes peace for them by the blood of his cross, by fulfilling the law, and satisfying justice for them; in consequence of this he appears for them in the court of heaven, intercedes and pleads for them, is their advocate, and sees that all covenant blessings, of which he is the Mediator, are applied unto them, and preserves their persons, which are committed to his care and charge, safe to everlasting happiness; and this Mediator
is the man Christ Jesus; not that he is a mere man, for he is truly and properly God; or that he is a Mediator only according to the human nature: it was proper indeed that he should be man, that he might have something to offer, and that he might be capable of obeying, suffering, and dying, and so of making satisfaction in the nature that had sinned; but then, had he not been God, he could not have drawn nigh to God on the behalf of men, and undertook for them, and much less have performed; nor would his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, have been available to cleanse from sin, to procure the pardon of it, justify from it, make atonement for it, or make peace with God: the reason why he is particularly mentioned as man, is, with a view to the argument in hand, praying for all men; since he who is the Mediator between God and man, has assumed a nature which is common to them all: and this Mediator is said to be one, not so much in opposition to other mediators, angels or saints departed, though it is a truth, and stands full against them, but with respect to men; there is but one Mediator between God and all sorts of men, through whom both Jews and Gentiles have an access to God, and peace with him; and therefore prayer through this Mediator should be made for all. So the Jews say of the Messiah, that he is אמצעי אל, “a Mediator, God”, a middle person between God and men. And they call him דאמצעיתא עמודא, “the Pillar of mediation” or the middle Pillar; that is, the Mediator or Reconciler. And Philo the Jew speaks of the word, as μεσος, a “middle” person, and standing in the middle between the dead and the living, and between God and men. The Ethiopic version here renders it, “there is one elect of God”; which is one of the characters of the Messiah, Isa 42:1.
Who gave himself a ransom for all, What the Mediator gave as a ransom for men is “himself”, his body and his soul, which were both made an offering for sin; and his life, which is the result of union between soul and body; his whole human nature as in union with his divine person, and so might be truly said to be himself: this he gave into the hands of men, of justice and of death; and that voluntarily, which shows his great love to his people; and also as a “ransom”, or a ransom price for them, αντιλυτρον, in their room and stead; to ransom them from the slavery of sin, and damnation by it, from the captivity of Satan, and the bondage of the law, and from the grave, death, hell, ruin, and destruction: and this ransom was given for “all”; not for every individual of mankind, for then all would be delivered, freed, and saved, whereas they are not; or else the ransom price is paid in vain, or God is unjust to receive a sufficient ransom price from Christ, and yet not free the captive, but punish the person for whom he has received satisfaction; neither of which can be said.
But the meaning is, either that he gave himself a ransom for many, as in Matt 20:28 for the Hebrew word כל, to which this answers, signifies sometimes many, a multitude, and sometimes only a part of a multitude, as Kimchi observes: or rather it intends that Christ gave himself a ransom for all sorts of men, for men of every rank and quality, of every state and condition, of every age and sex, and for all sorts of sinners, and for some out of every kindred, tongue, people, and nation, for both Jews and Gentiles; which latter may more especially be designed by all, as they are sometimes by the world, and the whole world; and so contains another argument why all sorts of men are to be prayed for, since the same ransom price is given for them; as that for the children of Israel was the same, for the rich as for the poor. We read, that when the people of Israel comforted the high priest upon the death of his wife, or any relation, they used to say to him, כפרתך אנו, “we are thy atonement”, expiation, or ransom; that is, as the commentators explain it, by us thou shalt be atoned, for we will be in thy room and stead, with respect to all things that shall come upon thee; but here the High priest and Mediator is the atonement and ransom for the people:
to be testified in due time; or “a testimony in his own times”; that is, the sum and substance of what is before said is the Gospel, which is a testimony concerning the person, office, and grace of Christ, exhibited in the times of the Messiah, or the Gospel dispensation. Some copies read, “the mystery”, which is another word often used for the Gospel; for that that is intended, appears by what follows. [Gill]
Answer – The only Redeemer of God’s elect is the Lord Jesus Christ; Who, being the eternal Son of God, became man, and so was and continueth to be God and man in two distinct natures, and one person forever.
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