The LORD upbraided the Pharisees for their hypocrisy and self-righteousness by describing them thusly, “Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.” (Mat 23:24) HE pointed out their blindness to the “truth”, as they paid particular attention to inane, and in many cases, man-made details of the law, while neglecting the greater matters of mercy and justice.
This phrase has come to mean, in our modern vernacular, the penchant for being unable to see the forest for the trees, or sticking with an opinion even though the evidence against that opinion is overwhelming. I would also apply it to those who take a verse of scripture out of its proper context and using a few words in it, seek to prove a point that is contrary to the actual application of the scripture. Many such “proof texts” abound in the fertile imaginations of those who would deny the plain message of the Gospel or seek to subvert their hearers for their own purpose.
One such passage is the one which precedes this verse which I have taken as a text. “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (1Tim 2:4) The camel swallowers love this verse as they use it to supposedly “prove” that GOD is hoping and trying to save every man, woman, boy and girl on the planet. They picture HIM as one who (while desirous of having every man to be saved), in reality saves none of them, but rather waits to see which among them can save themselves by making a decision to believe the gospel.
If the “all” here, means (as they say) every individual upon the planet, then it must prove far more than they would admit that it does or either that the mediation of CHRIST is not sufficient for the salvation of any apart from their own approval of it. Very few would contend that every individual upon the earth will be saved. Therefore they must contend that the mediation of CHRIST alone, cannot save any man.
This latter notion is so contrary to the gospel message as declared by the apostles, that one shudders to think of the cursed state such proclaimers are entertaining by preaching such a blasphemous message. “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” (Gal 1:8-9)
One thing that is abundantly clear in the scriptures is that CHRIST JESUS has “obtained eternal redemption” (see Heb. 9:12) for those for whom HE came as a MEDIATOR and REDEEMER. We find nowhere recorded in the annals of scripture or in any presentation of the gospel, by those who wrote those scriptures, the idea that CHRIST has in anywise failed to accomplish exactly what HE came into the world to do.
The earliest of prophecies concerning HIM plainly declare the victory and triumph of this MEDIATOR. (see Gen.3:15) That prophet, (Isaiah) who was given more messianic prophecies than any other, recorded HIS utter triumph in completing exactly what HE came to do. “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” (Isa 53:10-12)
If language means anything at all, then it is abundantly clear that a MEDIATOR mediates, a SAVIOR saves, and a REDEEMER redeems. HE does not do so by committee or by a cooperative effort between those HE came to save and HIS valiant attempt to do so.
A MEDIATOR, unless HE is a failure, must bring about a MEDIATION. The whole epistle to the Hebrews testifies clearly of the finished work of CHRIST as a MEDIATOR. Nowhere is the slightest hint that HE did not finish the work which he came to perform. “And for this causehe 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. (Heb 9:15)
Now if CHRIST is the MEDIATOR for every individual on the planet, then every individual must be an heir of the promise of eternal inheritance. Few will advocate that such is the case and neither will I since the scripture is quite clear that many shall perish in the pit of destruction. Yet, I can sooner believe and embrace the notion that every person on the face of the earth is redeemed by CHRIST than I can that HE has attempted to be the MEDIATOR for all and has yet failed in HIS desired purpose.
Yet this is exactly the position that those who argue for a “universal atonement”, (i.e.; that CHRIST died for all men) set forth. According to them HE is merely hoping to be able to redeem men if they will accept HIS “redemption” which would (in reality) be no “redemption” at all. So either HE has attempted to “mediate” for all and failed or HE has become the MEDIATOR for HIS elect bride and has purchased her everlasting redemption. This is clearly revealed in the scriptures as the fulfillment of the prophecy spoken to Joseph prior to the birth of the LORD JESUS. “Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall savehis people from their sins.” (Mat 1:21)
CHRIST is the MEDIATOR between GOD and men. HE does so by revealing HIMSELF in the likeness of human flesh as “the MAN CHRIST JESUS”. HIS purpose in coming into the earth is to manifest the glory of HIS grace in the redemption of sinners. By man (the first Adam) came the curse of sin and death. And in the same fashion, by MAN (the SECOND ADAM) came the removal of that curse, and the resultant LIFE and LIBERTY.
CHRIST is the only MEDIATOR between GOD and men. Vain is the expectation of those who anticipate pleading their own case before an inapproachable GOD who hates the workers of iniquity and will not at all acquit the wicked. Apart from the imputed righteousness of CHRIST, no man has any grounds upon which to stand in the presence of a HOLY GOD, and it is sheer folly to expect that HE shall have any regard to the supposed good deeds or morality of mere creatures.
CHRIST is the MEDIATOR between GOD and men. A mediator is a go between or an “arbiter” between two parties. In a legal sense he is that one who pleads the case of those who have broken the law, as one who is upholding the law as an officer of the court. It would be foolish to seek out a mediator (i.e. lawyer) who was merely “available”. Rather if a man finds himself in trouble with the law, he would be wise to seek an advocate who was both sympathetic to his plight and well versed in a remedy for his problem. He needs one who will not abandon the case.
JESUS CHRIST is that MEDIATOR for those who have been called to inherit eternal life. HE ever lives to make intercession for them and is a great HIGH PRIEST who can be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; since as a MAN, HE was tempted in all points like as we, yet is without sin of any stripe or kind. HIS credentials with the court are unsullied, and HE has complete access into the very chambers of JUSTICE. “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.” (Heb 10:12)mam