+J.M.J+

ONE MEDIATOR


"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 2:5)
I heartly agree with this verse, and also with the four verses before it:
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.(1 Timothy 2:1-4)
St. Paul tells Christians to pray for the salvation of others.  This is not the only place where he tells Christians to intercede for others; see Romans 15:30; 2 Corinthians 1:11; Ephesians 6:18-19; Colossians 4:3; I Thessalonians 5:25 and 2 Thessalonians 1:11 (also Hebrews 13:18, James 5:16).  Does such intercession violate the unique mediatorship of Christ?

No, because Jesus' mediatorship is more than mere intercessory prayer.  1 Timothy 2:5-6 tell us that He is the One Mediator because He is both God and Man (vs 5) and because He gave Himself as a ransom for all (vs 6).  His Death and Resurrection has opened heaven to us, making Him the One Way to the Father (John 14:6).

In short, Jesus Christ is the one Mediator of Salvation.  But that does not mean that no Christian can make intercession. In fact the only reason we can intercede for others is because we can go to the Father by Him and pray in His Name.

If Christians on earth can so pray for one another and for the world, then why not Christians in heaven?  Death did not and could not separate them from Jesus (Ro 8:38-39), rather they are present with Him in heaven (II Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:21-23).  Nor does Christ have two bodies: one in heaven and one on earth, for there is only One Body of Christ (Ro 12:5; I Cor 10:17; 12:13; Eph 4:4). So Christians in heaven are part of the same Body of Christ as we are!

The notion that Christians in heaven are cut off from Christians on earth is just not biblical.  Rather, the Bible says that we have fellowship with them (Hebrews 12:22-24).  The notion that they don't pray for us is also unbiblical, for Apocalypse (Revelation) 5:8 actually shows the saints in heaven interceding for the saints on earth:

"And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints." (Apoc/Rev 5:8)
The angels and twenty-four elders in heaven offer incense to God, which is said to be the "prayers of the saints (on earth)".  The saints in heaven are offering the prayers of Christians on earth before the throne of God!  That's the intercession of saints! (see also Apoc/Rev 8:3, for angelic intercession).

This is why Christians since the first century have sought the intercession of the saints.  They are not additional "mediators" equal to Christ, for their intercession is dependent upon His Mediatorship, even as ours is.  They do not take the place of Christ any more than you would take the place of Christ if you prayed for me.  They pray to the Father through Jesus like we do.

Do we need them?  Yes, for they are members of the Body of Christ, "And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you." (I Cor 12:21).  We need the saints in heaven as much as we need the saints on earth - maybe moreso, because their prayers are more effective.

You see, the holy angels in heaven are sinless, and the saints have been perfected (Scripture calls them "the spirits of just men made perfect" - Hebrews 12:23).  The Bible says that the prayers of the righteous are powerful (James 5:16).  If this is so of the prayers of the righteous on earth, then the prayers of those in heaven, who are completely unincumbered by sin, are sure to be heard!  Scripture also says that God always answers prayers which align with His will (I John 5:14-15).  Since the angels and saints are with God, they know His Will for us better than we do, and so can pray more according to His Will.

This is why their prayers are often answered even when ours are not.  It's not that God doesn't love us (He certainly does!), it's just that our prayers are sometimes selfish, and this blocks their efficacy (see James 4:3).  That's why it's good to have holy, selfless prayer partners in heaven helping us out with their own petitions.  Our sin and weakness makes this necessary, not any lack of love or power on God's part.

A.M.D.G.


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