Sabbath, October 7, 2017
“There are those who have known the pardoning love of Christ, and who really desire to be children of God, yet they realize that their character is imperfect, their life faulty, and they are ready to doubt whether their hearts have been renewed by the Holy Spirit. To such I would say, Do not draw back in despair. We shall often have to bow down and weep at the feet of Jesus because of our shortcomings and mistakes; but we are not to be discouraged. Even if we are overcome by the enemy, we are not cast off, not forsaken and rejected of God. No; Christ is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” –The Faith I Live By, p. 118; Steps to Christ, p. 64.
Jesus intercedes for us
1. Did Jesus’ ministry for man end with His earthly ministry and the sacrifice on Calvary, or did it continue from His ascension until today? What is Jesus doing for His people?
Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
“Christ might commission the angels of heaven to pour out the vials of wrath on our world, full of hypocrisy and sin, destroying those who are filled with hatred to God. He might blot this dark spot from His universe. But He does not do this. He is today standing at the altar of incense, presenting before God the prayers of those who desire His help. ‘Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.’ ” –Daughters of God, p. 240.
Mediator of the new covenant
2. Through Jesus’ death what happened to the sins committed during the time of the Old Testament? So, what is His role in the New Testament?
Hebrews 9:15; 12:24 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance…. 12:24And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
“Our faith must grasp the glorious fact that God hears and answers the prayers of every sincere seeker. As the believer bows in supplication before God, and in humility and contrition offers his petition from unfeigned lips, keeping his eyes fixed steadily on the Mediator of the new covenant, he loses all thought of self. His mind is filled with the thought of what he must have in order to build up a Christlike character.” –Review and Herald, January 27, 1903.
“Our crucified Lord is pleading for us in the presence of the Father at the throne of grace. His atoning sacrifice we may plead for our pardon, our justification, and our sanctification. The Lamb slain is our only hope. Our faith looks up to Him, grasps Him as the One who can save to the uttermost, and the fragrance of the all-sufficient offering is accepted of the Father…. Christ’s glory is concerned in our success. He has a common interest in all humanity. He is our sympathizing Saviour.” –God’s Amazing Grace, p. 71; (Letter 33, 1895) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 948.
A more excellent ministry
3. Comparing the ministry performed by the Levitical high priest in the sanctuary with that of Jesus, what is man’s great High Priest doing in heaven?
Hebrews 8:6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
“A daily and yearly typical atonement is no longer to be made, but the atoning sacrifice through a mediator is essential because of the constant commission of sin. Jesus is officiating in the presence of God, offering up His shed blood, as it had been a lamb slain. Jesus presents the oblation offered for every offense and every shortcoming of the sinner.” –Selected Messages, book 1, p. 344.
“God’s people are justified through the administration of the ‘better covenant,’ through Christ’s righteousness. A covenant is an agreement by which parties bind themselves and each other to the fulfillment of certain conditions. Thus the human agent enters into agreement with God to comply with the conditions specified in His word. His conduct shows whether or not he respects these conditions.” –(Manuscript 148, 1897) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 932.
Living to make intercession
4. Is the salvation purchased by Jesus limited, as were the effects of the Levitical ministry? For whom is Jesus making continual intercession?
Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
“He is making intercession for the most lowly, the most oppressed and suffering, for the most tried and tempted ones. With upraised hands He pleads, ‘I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands.’ God loves to hear, and responds to the pleadings of His Son.” –(Review and Herald, August 15, 1893) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 948.
“He who commanded the light to shine out of darkness is willing to shine in your heart, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit will take the things of God and show them unto you, conveying them as a living power into the obedient heart. Christ will lead you to the threshold of the Infinite. You may behold the glory beyond the veil, and reveal to men the sufficiency of Him who ever liveth to make intercession for us.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 149.
5. What is Jesus doing today for His children? How great are His merits?
1 John 2:1, 2 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
“How careful is the Lord Jesus to give no occasion for a soul to despair. How He fences about the soul from Satan’s fierce attacks. If through manifold temptations we are surprised or deceived into sin, He does not turn from us and leave us to perish. No, no, that is not our Saviour…. He was tempted in all points like as we are; and having been tempted, He knows how to succor those who are tempted. Our crucified Lord is pleading for us in the presence of the Father at the throne of grace. His atoning sacrifice we may plead for our pardon, our justification, and our sanctification. The Lamb slain is our only hope. Our faith looks up to Him, grasps Him as the One who can save to the uttermost, and the fragrance of the all-sufficient offering is accepted of the Father.” –Our High Calling, p. 49.
The only Mediator between God and men
6. At least how many parties are involved when mediation takes place? Can we say that there are many beings–angels, saints, priests–carrying out mediation?
Galatians 3:20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.
1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
“As one who understands his subject, John ascribes all power to Christ, and speaks of His greatness and majesty. He flashes forth divine rays of precious truth, as light from the sun. He presents Christ as the only Mediator between God and humanity.” –Lift Him Up, p. 74; Selected Messages, book 1, p. 246.
“The Scripture bids us, ‘Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.’ James 5:16…. If you repent of your sins, it is your duty to make confession of them.’ Sin of a private character is to be confessed to Christ, the only Mediator between God and man. For ‘if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.’ 1 John 2:1. Every sin is an offense against God and is to be confessed to Him through Christ. Every open sin should be as openly confessed.” –The Ministry of Healing, pp. 228, 229.
Free access to the heavenly throne
7. What is the effect of sin in man’s relationship with God? What is possible because of Christ’s mediation?
Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
Ephesians 2:18; 3:11, 12 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father…. 3:11According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: 12In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
“After the enemy had betrayed Adam and Eve into sin, the connection between heaven and earth was severed, and had it not been for Christ, the way to heaven would never have been known by the fallen race…. Christ is the mystic ladder, the base of which rests upon the earth, and whose topmost round reaches to the throne of the Infinite.” –That I May Know Him, p. 82.
“We have access to God through the merits of the name of Christ, and God invites us to bring to Him our trials and temptations; for He understands them all. He would not have us pour out our woes to human ears. Through the blood of Christ we may come to the throne of grace and find grace to help in time of need. We may come with assurance, saying, ‘My acceptance is in the Beloved.’ ‘For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.’ ‘In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him.’ Ephesians 2:18; 3:12.” –In Heavenly Places, p. 18.
For additional study
“As an earthly parent encourages his child to come to him at all times, so the Lord encourages us to lay before Him our wants and perplexities, our gratitude and love. Every promise is sure. Jesus is our Surety and Mediator, and has placed at our command every resource, that we may have a perfect character.” –In Heavenly Places, p. 18.
“The souls that turn to Him for refuge, Jesus lifts above the accusing and the strife of tongues. No man or evil angel can impeach these souls. Christ unites them to His own divine-human nature. They stand beside the great Sin Bearer, in the light proceeding from the throne of God. ‘Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.’ Romans 8:33, 34.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 568.