Saturday, September 24, 2016

Our Need for a Mediator with God: the Gospel According to Job

"For He is not a man, as I am, that I might answer Him,
that we should come to trial together.
There is no arbiter between us,
who might lay his hand on us both.
Let Him take his rod away from me,
and let not dread of Him terrify me.
Then I would speak without fear of Him,

for I am not so in myself."
- Job 9:32-35 

Scripture tells us that all men are sinners (Romans 3:23): "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." That is a condition with eternal consequences, because sin kills us spiritually (Romans 6:23): "The wages of sin is death," and "The soul who sins shall die" (Ezekiel 18:20). Our sinful condition separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2): "Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear." Why is that? Because He is a holy God, and sin is rebellion against Him, and insults Him (Habakkuk 1:13): "You [God] are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong."

This is the spiritual situation addressed by Job in the verses above. He saw the condition of his heart and the affront this was to God. He despaired, because he could see no solution to his separation from God. "How can I be reconciled to my God?" was the cry of his heart. "Who will arbitrate between a guilty sinner and an offended God?" Who will bridge the separation between them?

Did he cry out without hope? No, for he gives the answer a little later (Job 19:25-27): "I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another." This is one of the earliest expressions of the Gospel in the Bible. Job expressed his hope without knowing that Redeemer by name. But we know Him, because He is revealed in the New Testament (I Timothy 2:5-6): "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." That mediator, the arbitrator between sinful men and an offended God is the only God-man, Jesus Christ! "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved, for with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved" (Romans 10:9-10).

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