Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Ordinary People, Altar Calls, Stories, and RC Jr.

I've reached the end of November's Tabletalk.  It has been wonderful going through deep covenant theology and tracing God's plan to send Jesus through all of history.  The magazine ends with 4 articles.

The first is by J.D. Greear, "Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart."  He recalls growing up and always going forward at the altar calls at youth camps just in case he had done something to fall out of favor with God.  Later on, when he received real theology, he realized that he just needed to rest in the finished work of Christ.  Most revivals will teach you that there is something you need to do to move forward with God.  Christ says that he's done it all.  All we do is repent before God and have faith that Christ did it perfectly and will lead us to all perfection.

"Ordinary Means" by Michael G. Brown.  It seems today that "ordinary" is a bad word.  People want the next big thing and to make names for themselves.  This translates into how we do church.  "In a world that values novelty, innovation, and relevance, the expectation is for pastors to appear hip, worship to feel amazing, and teaching to be useful for our most recent news feed of felt needs."  We forget that we need to present church the way Christ told us to in Matthew 28:18-20.  Our Head told us to make disciples of nations and baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  This involves teaching them what he has taught in his Word and administering the sacraments as constant visible reminders of God's grace in sending Jesus.

There is room for guitars and videos, but mostly, the church is supposed to be ordinary and to be faithful to what God has established.  They must not go beyond preaching the Word, singing the Word, or eating the Word.

There was an interview with R.C. Sproul, Jr.  Tabletalk asked him about how he became a Christian, received his call into ministry, and how he started Highlands Ministries and fights to save the unborn and their mothers from abortion.  Highlands ministries was started as "an attempt to help Christians deal with the perennial and pervasive problem of worldliness in our lives."  Instead of falling back into the world's pattern of earning money and climbing the corporate ladder, Christians have to constantly remind themselves of their identities in Christ.  They must make "every thought captive" to their wonderful Lord.

He gives such a passionate plea for Christians to actually go to the abortion clinics and persuade the women to choose life.  I have not done that and can't imagine myself doing it, but I do hope God will make me bold enough for that some day.  Either way, Christians need to go because 1) abortion won't end until our hearts are genuinely broken.  This won't happen until we see the scared women who desperately want to have a living child being led because it is inconvenient for their husbands or boyfriends to take responsibility for their sexual actions. 

2) The abortion mills are the very gates of hell and that is where the Spirit moves in power.  Women who are contemplating murdering their children or who have already done so are very aware of their sin and their guilt.  It is the perfect time to lead them to Jesus and to his infinite and satisfying love.

3) True religion is visiting orphans and widows in their trouble.  Who can be more widowed than a woman being led by the man who pretends to love her to murder her baby?  Who can be more orphaned than the one who has been put to death by his or her parents?

"Catechisms for the Imagination" by N.D. Wilson.  This is about like the article in last month's issue about imagination by Tony Reinke.  People in America are driven by stories.  We spend billions of dollars on movies, books, plays, and entertainment.  Stories are fun and that is all that people desire.  Fiction novels take young people out of reality and have them fighting evil and finding romance.  The author himself attests to characters who are fixed and unchanging.  He looks up to Faramir in Lord of the Rings far more than he looks to real men who he admired and who have disappointed him.

Stories create affection, fear, joy, love, hate, and relief.  They are catechisms for the emotions and imaginations.  They mold instincts and form judgments.

Stories are dangerous, and that isn't a bad thing.  Let us lead our young people to be led by stories that lead to light and joy, and not ones that lead to dependence on a sparkly vampire boyfriend or a young lady led to a gladiator fight who eventually loses her nobility in the carnage.

"Establish their tastes in truth with stories that will root their instincts and loyalties in goodness and beauty."

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

El Nino: Luther's Beginnings

Cairns chapter 27: Luther and the German Reformation.  Part 1, Luther's Formative Years to 1517

Hurricane Martin Luther was born November 10, 1483 in Eisleben, Germany.  His father was a peasant copper miner who eventually struck it rich.  The Luthers still struggled, and the mom was known to severely punish Martin until he bled for just stealing a nut.

Still, he believed in working hard and was known for his strong will.  In 1501 he attended the University of Erfurt where he studied Aristotle and the teachings of William of Ockham.  William believed that revelation was the only guide in the realm of faith, but reason was the guide to truth in philosophy.  He separated faith and reason.  These teachings only awakened Luther to the need for divine intervention if man is to know spiritual truth and be saved.  Philosophy alone would not suffice.

At this time, his father wanted him to study law.  However, one day Luther walked in the woods during a storm and nearly got struck by lightning.  Therefore, he promised St. Anne that if he survived, he would join a monastery.  He joined the one in Erfurt in 1507.  At that time, he taught theology at a university in Wittenburg, but studied at Erfurt.  His soul struggled with finding peace with the Lord and with trying to perform a penance satisfactorily enough to keep him safe from falling from God's grace.  The vicar-general of his monk order, Staupitz, urged him to trust God and to study the Bible.

In 1510-11, he went to Rome and was shocked at all the corruption and luxury that the Roman church enjoyed.  He realized that it needed reform.  When he left, he returned to teaching at Wittenberg.

He endeavored to lecture on the Bible books in the language spoken in Wittenberg, the vernacular.  To do so, he studied the original languages and came to believe that true authority is only found in the Bible.  Through translating books such as Psalms, Romans, Galatians, and Hebrews, he finally found the peace that he never found in rituals, asceticism, or in the German theology of the mystics.  Reading Romans 1:17 convinced him that only faith in Christ could make one just before God.

Around this time, a brilliant salesman named Johann Tetzel began selling indulgences for the church.  Buying an indulgence would give complete forgiveness.  Repentance was unnecessary.  After seeing one too many people laying drunk in the street who showed him their piece of paper that gave them forgiveness with absolutely no change of heart, Luther snapped.  On October 31, 1517, he nailed Ninety-five Theses to the Wittenberg church door.  This was not a call for reformation.  Luther simply wanted the church officials to reconsider if their teaching of indulgences is correct.  At this point, Luther would have died for the pope, and he even thought there was legitimacy to indulgences, but he did not think they were properly carried out under the salesmen such as Tetzel.  He wanted the officials to reexamine it.  This started a major hurricane that still goes on today.

Does this still apply to today?  Can I forget my differences and return to Rome?  No.  I see church after church living in luxury, its members living as libertines, and they still claim to be Christians even though they support extramarital sex, abortion, redefining marriage, and other blatant attacks on God's creation.  I see the current Pope preaching that Jesus is not necessary for salvation.  All people can come to heaven if they are sincere.  He rules a Church filled with compassion for the homeless, lonely, rejected, and who shows more compassion to pregnant women struggling with thoughts of abortion than anyone else, and still he says they are too obsessed with abortion and gay rights.  He doesn't look into the eyes of nuns and others who struggle to bring peace to the earth and try to understand all people while insisting that they don't do enough to reach people.

I see him echoing old theology taught by Rob Bell, Oprah, Gandhi, Bultmann, the French Revolution, and a theology that has gone on since the fall of man.  Man wants to insist on finding his own way to God when Jesus clearly said there is no way apart from Jesus.  Jesus gave his life for his people and people gave their lives to defend Jesus as the only savior.  Now, people of all denominations simply want to have parties and enjoy good music and just be nice to people building a utopia while poverty, abortion, abuse, and other horrors increase. 

I've been reading this week in the first chapter of Calvin's Institutes.  Man cannot know himself unless he knows God.  If he keeps his eye on the ground, then what he does will be righteous and impressive.  Then he looks up to see God in all his perfection.  Like Isaiah in his 6th chapter, he completely freaks out because he saw the Holy God while he himself is completely corrupt.  Everyone from Johann Tetzel to Martin Luther to myself try to impress with works and alms, but we look at Jesus and notice that we having nothing to brag about.  Our righteousness are the same to God as dirty rags used for menstruation.  We still are not at the point where we can look away from ourselves and realize that we aren't that awesome.  We're far from it.  Until Christ returns and sets that straight, the hurricane of the Reformation will just continue.

Monday, November 18, 2013

18 things I've learned since being married

Tim Challies did a list of 18 things he does not regret with his kids and his wife.  His wife made a list for him.  Here are 18 things I learned since marrying Tim New.

1. I notice new OCD tendencies but can't really be sorry for them.

2. I realize my own total depravity much more.

3. I know God's love more first-hand.  Marriage reflects the relationship of Christ to the church, but it is such a beautiful object lesson.

4. It's great to have in-laws.  It's good having a mother and a sister again.

5. You constantly need to do things for your husband to reflect your love for him.  Not to earn it, but to show that it is there.  Tim constantly does the same for me.

6. I love cooking and can finally do it frequently.

7. Sometimes I can organize my living area.  It's good getting practice at my LifeWay job.

8. My job makes me realize my need to cherish my times with Tim.  It is much more scarce.

9. I'm going to enjoy practicing teaching theology to him.  It seems my love for theology is my emotional center.  I need to involve Tim in that.

10. I'm married to Tim.  It no longer matters what people I knew before him think, and my marriage to him also means that I'm exclusive to him.  I prioritize him over my family and over his siblings, mother, father, and friends.  A Christian's love for Christ should be just like that.

11.  Christ is the husband to the church.  Not a minister.  The shepherd is just another sheep.  An unmarried minister cannot know Christ's love tangibly and cannot understand love for other people as a result.  Christ is Adam, the church is Eve, and a minister is just another member of the church who should enjoy life as God has created it to be enjoyed.

12. I still don't care to go to church without Tim.  He's my ministry partner.  It's one of our quality time activities.

13. His love language is touch with a secondary for words of affirmation.  Mine is quality time with a secondary of touch.  All five of those languages are present in our relationship.

14. I have better ideas of what to get my in-laws for Christmas than of what to get for my biological family.

15. Revenge is sweet when I finally win a board game or card game.

16. Tim and I are very opposite in our personalities and it's both good and frustrating.  He's hot, I'm cold.  He's on time.  I'm early.

17. I like Perelandra better than Tim, but the Space Trilogy is not C.S. Lewis's best work.  I think Harry Potter has better theology sometimes.

18. I enjoy being in a non-denominational church yet still being a staunch Presbyterian.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Justin Martyr and Trypho: On Jewish Regulations followed by FAQ

In the 21st part of Justin's dialogue with Trypho, he ends his discourse on circumcision and Jewish rituals by saying that Sabbaths were instituted on account of people's sins and not for a work of righteousness.  Sacrifices and oblations were for the same purpose.  This is one I have to ponder some because God did institute Sabbath regulations and sacrifices with very specific instructions.  The Jewish Sanhedrin in Jesus's day made them more impossible to follow without a sore conscience.  But it's the same reason that God rescued Israel from Egypt and made them a nation.  Not because they were righteous, but because of his favor.  He gave them the rituals because of their hardness of hearts.  Actually, in their zeal to keep every rule for the Sabbath, they polluted it by not believing in Jesus and even killing him.

Now that Jesus has come and gone, he has fulfilled the OT law and erased the need to present sacrifices to a priest.  Jesus is both the sacrifice and the priest.  The insistence of people to follow old Jewish regulations or even today in trying to atone oneself through acts of penance is an insult to God and what he has done with us through Christ.  "He has commanded these and such like institutions on account of sinful men, and we must declare Him to be benevolent, foreknowing, needing nothing, righteous and good."  God is the source of all things.  He does not need our appeasement, especially since most of the Jews brought sacrifices out of habit and not from a heart that truly wanted to serve the Lord.

All these laws and the rite of circumcision were given as a sign.  They did not make the people righteous.  Abraham and his descendants had to cut off their foreskins as a sign that they belonged to God.  Women could not do this.  Now that Christ has come, the Holy Spirit's baptism circumcises people spiritually.  It is that baptism that makes clean.  Christ's blood put an end to the need for our blood.  Also, all people can participate.  All a person's righteousness is as used menstrual rags.  They are gross and unacceptable.  No one can come to God offering just that.

Trypho then starts asking questions.  Does Justin mean that none of us Jews shall inherit anything on the holy mountain of God?
Justin replies that those who have persecuted and do persecute Christ, if they do not repent, shall not inherit anything on the holy mountain.  However, since the Gentiles have believed Jesus, so they will receive the inheritance with the patriarchs and prophets.

Trypho: Why do you select and quote whatever you wish from the prophetic writings, but do not refer to those which expressly command the Sabbath to be observed?
Justin: God commands the same thing in both Moses and in the prophets.  They both command the same thing.  Justin accepts all Scripture.

Trypho complains that he's not answering the question.
Justin: Circumcise yourselves to the Lord and circumcise the foreskin of your heart.  Jeremiah 4:3.  Only Christ can give your soul the correct circumcision to make you right before God.  He is useless to people who insist on observing the law on their own merit.  "What need have I of that other baptism, who have been baptized with the Holy Ghost?"  Only Christians possess true righteousness because they trust Christ of their sanctification.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Not a Kingdom without the King: part 3

A Dwelling Place for God by Ben C. Dunson
"God's presence with his people was most vividly manifested in the earthly symbols of Israel's tabernacle and temple...That fulfillment is found in Jesus Christ, the full and final manifestation of God's presence with his people."

Before, Christ, God's earthly presence with his people was only with the tabernacle in one location in Jerusalem.  After Christ, God's earthly presence dwells in believers through the Holy Spirit.  God is so generous to allow such access to him.  We don't need to go to a central location or intercessor.  We just need to pray to Jesus.

Why Did Jesus Say it was Better for Him to Go Away?
Jesus physically went away from his disciples and ascended to God's throne.  It is better for him to be gone because now his Spirit can be with all people.  If Jesus was on earth, his body would be in one place just like the tabernacle was.  Now that his body is with the Father in heaven, his Spirit can reach all people in all places at all times.

The New Jerusalem by S.M. Baugh
Before Baugh turns to the Revelation passage about the New Jerusalem, he wants to make two points.  1) Revelation is prophesy.  Its visions are symbolic but represent real things.  When Pharaoh had his dream about the skinny cows destroying the healthy cows in the story of Joseph, there were no literal cows.  However, the famine did overpower the years of abundance just like the cows symbolized.  2) The phrase "to enjoy him forever" expresses the covenant bond between our gracious Lord and his people.

Baugh cites the passage where Jerusalem is enormous and perfectly cubed.  This symbolizes the perfection of the time when Jesus Christ returns to earth and the eternity afterward.  It has a population of all kinds of people from every nation and ethnicity, and all the injustice of sin and rebellion are gone.  Jesus is openly praised on the whole planet.

Will we get bored enjoying God forever in the New Earth?
Since we can't see it now, it does seem boring.  Whatever we will do forever in eternity, however, we will enjoy; hence, it won't be boring.  Also, we'll finally be with Jesus, the same one who children clamored to see.  Children won't go to a boring person.  As Jesus is the author of all life, he is an endless source of joy and fulfillment.

Of Veils and Vales by R.C. Sproul Jr
"Our progress as pilgrims is measured not by miles but by veils."  With each new Covenant, something new was revealed about Christ, meaning a veil was taken away.  With Abraham, God revealed the need for blood to atone for the separation between God and man.  He also revealed a person that would substitute for us when the time for God's wrath came.

With Moses, he physically dwelt among Israel, revealing that people can interact with God.  In David, people had hope for a perfect king whose reign would never end.  Finally, with Jesus, the mystery was revealed.  God's secret would be to save his people in Jesus Christ.  The last veil to be removed will be at the second Coming when we no longer have to imagine God.  We will see him as he is.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

It's not a Kingdom without the King: part two

The Lord was with Him by David Murray
The Lord was with Abraham, Joseph, David, and Hezekiah.  Enoch and Noah walked with God.  This article displays different aspects of being able to experience God's special presence.

This was a gracious experience.  These people are the same descendants of Adam who betrayed the Lord by seeking knowledge and life apart from God.  God did not have to walk with these people.  He did, though, and we are eternally grateful.

This was a spiritual experience.  There was no physical person walking with these guys until Jesus came to earth.  The Holy Spirit's "withness" caused these people to commune with God.

This was a personal experience.  Not the Force, but an actual Person with emotions, will, ability to communicate, and a personality. 

This was a transforming experience.  It caused Enoch and Noah to be so different from their neighbors that they stood out.  People mocked them and tortured them for being closed-minded.  They discouraged Abraham from staying faithful to his wife and encouraged David to conform more to the kings of the other nations.  Yet, the Holy Spirit transformed these people in a way that they were different from everyone else.

This was an enjoyable experience.  God was their best friend who walked alongside them when they were otherwise alone in their pilgrimage.

This was a varied experience.  Hezekiah did not have the same experience that David or Moses had.  They were all different, showing the many facets of our Lord.

It was an everywhere experience.  It was not just in the temple or tabernacle, but it lived alongside Nehemiah as he rebuilt Jerusalem's gates.

The OT believers experienced the vague divine "withness" that now has a face and name in Jesus Christ in the NT and is more obviously with his followers in the indwelling of the Spirit.

Could God have taken his Spirit from David?
Salvation cannot be lost (Phil. 1:6, 1 John 2:19).  Yet God took his Spirit from King Saul who preceded David.  In the OT, the Spirit anointed and gifted people who became king, prophet, priest, or elder.  He was not poured out freely and openly to all Christians like today.  He focused mostly on the leaders.  David had just committed his sin with Bathsheba that ruined his family and his reign.  In his repentance, however, he still sought for God's guidance in his difficult job. 

Spokesmen for God by John L. Mackay
The Lord did not commission the prophets to act as missionaries, going to places that had not heard God's Word.  They had to administer spiritual first aid to those who had a cursory understanding of the covenant, but did not comply with it either through lack of knowledge or pure defiance.

When God enacted his covenant with Israel, he alone had the right to dictate the terms on which they could have fellowship with him.  They were the ones who betrayed him by relapsing into idolatry, synthesizing pagan beliefs with God's decrees and pretending they still worshiped God faithfully.  However, God made a covenant with Abraham where God passed between the halves of the animals, and he keeps his word.  He would send prophets to remind them of their danger and to urge repentance.

He sent weird guys who did weird things.  They used sign-acts such as lying on one side for a year to get people to ask questions and for them to answer with the unbearable truth.  Severity awaited them if they did not repent.  Ultimately, they pointed to the only solution to this impending doom: the love and benevolence of God the Father.  God is love, but he also judges sin and injustice.  Israel still went into exile and people who live apart from Christ will spend eternity apart from God.

Why did the faithful remnant have to suffer along with Israel in exile?
"God's covenants were explicitly corporate, meaning they were made with groups of people rather than individuals."  This still applies today in the church and in families.  People are considered as a family unit rather than as individuals.  God simply blessed the entire community when they were faithful, and he exiled the whole community when he could not stand any more blatant idolatry.  In the unseen kingdom, God will treat each person for his individual faith, and he will no longer punish a whole country including the ones who are faithful.  However, you can see his judgment on America and Europe today as they face judgment due to their constant hatred of God and his commands.

Immanuel by Gerald M. Bilkes
"Immanuel is one of Christ's most precious names."  It means "God with us."

The Beauty of Immanuel
This name is used mostly in connection with Christ's incarnation.  It is first heard when Isaiah prophesies that a virgin will conceive and the son's name will be Immanuel. Christ became incarnate in order to bring God's presence to us.  Being born without a sinful father, he escapes the curse of sin, but being born of a woman, he is also completely human.  He took on our flesh to be on our side.

The Blessings of Immanuel
1. He is God-with-us to reconcile sinners to God.
2. He is God-with-us to guide, empower, and expand His church.
3. He is God-with-us to comfort his people.
4. He is God-with-us to bring his people to glory.

What is Jesus doing when he breathes on his disciples in John 20:22?
Jesus told them to receive the Holy Spirit.  They already had the Spirit because they were regenerate believers in Jesus.  "The Spirit indwells everyone He regenerates." You can not be saved and not have the Holy Spirit.  However, Jesus anointed his disciples as his authoritative covenant ambassadors.  They received their authority from Jesus, and this validated their ministry.

The Beginning of the Reformation

Here is part III of chapter 26 in the text by Earle Cairns.

He first refreshes the reader about interpretations from historians.
I feel like this is repetitive, but then again, people learn by repitition.

Protestant historians: a religious movement that sought to recover the purity of the primitive Christianity that is depicted in the NT.  It ignores the economic, political, and intellectual factors that also influenced the people.

Roman Catholic historians at the time Cairns wrote this: a heresy inspired by Martin Luther from baase motives, such as his desire to marry.  A heretical schism that destroyed the theological and ecclesiastical unity of the medieval Roman Church.  It does not see how far the medieval church had departed from NT theology.

Secular historians such as Voltaire: the consequences of a monastic squabble in Saxony and an outcome in England of the love affairs of Henry VIII.  This view ignores the fact that religious reformers in England such as Thomas Cranmer and William Tyndale influenced many of the people in Henry's court, including his son Edward VI.

Marxist historians: the result of the attempt of the Roman papacy to exploit Germany economically for the material benefit of the papacy.

Political historians: a result of the nation-states opposing an international church.

Cairns sees elements of truth in all these interpretations, but he considers them mostly secondary.  The causes of the Reformation were not simple and single but were complex and multiple.  His interpretation is a synthesis of all the mentioned views.  Religion was the primary reason, with politics, economics, morals, and intellect as secondary factors.

1. Political factor: the new centralized nation-states of northwestern Europe were opposed to the concept of a universal church that claimed jurisdiction over the nation state and its powerful ruler.  The nations that started it all were outside of the old Roman Empire and had middle classes with different cultural outlooks.

To an extent, the political factors err because Christ did establish a universal church that will never be broken, even if it has different viewpoints.  He is the church's husband that unifies all believers.  However, church and state got intermingled between the fall of the Roman empire and the rise of Luther that it became less focused on Jesus and more focused on owning land and enforcing morals.

2. Economics: Christians do not accept the materialistic interpretations of Marxists.  However, Rome did own much of the land in western Europe.  Budding nation-states looked upon this land greedily and desired personal ownership.  They also did not want to keep sending money to the pope and letting clergy remain tax-exempt.  The system of selling indulgences was what sparked Luther.

3. Intellectual factor: men with awakened minds and a secular outlook became critical of the religious life of their day as represented by the organized religion of the RC church.  The middle class grew and revolted against the corporate concept of medieval society.  On one hand, all the church on earth should be united.  On the other hand, it should not legislate national affairs because the church is a political entity separate from this world.

4. Moral factor: Scholars such as Erasmus had access to the Greek New Testament and saw flagrant discrepancies between the church in the NT and the RC church of that era.  Clergy purchased their offices.  Some received salary without doing the work associated with the office.  Since the clergy could not marry, and since they are humans that God made with working organs, the fell into temptation.  Some had concubines and others lived openly in promiscuity.  Zwingli himself knew of his many children that resulted from his relationships and concluded that celibacy is a great gift, but not many people have it.  Indeed, God did not intend people to have widespread aversion to marital sex.  this was a result of gnostic streams that hate all physical matter.  People also invented indulgences to reduce their time in purgatory that earned money for the central powers, compensated for the crusades, and helped support art projects.

5. Social structure change: Town rose, and did I mention a middle class?  This created a new spirit of individualism that clashed with the corporate mentality from the previous feudalism.

6. Theological or philosophical factors: some see this as a struggle between Augustine's theology and that of Thomas Aquinas.  The Church did agree with Aquinas that man was not totally corrupted as Augustine preached, and they liked that they could use the sacraments distributed from the hierarchy to regain standing with God.  Amazingly, RC Sproul loves both Augustine and Aquinas.  I consider Augustine a hero for getting Pelagianism condemned by the church.  The Reformers mostly got their theology by reading Augustine, who is also to blame for some of the ascetic and gnostic influences that caused people to deny the flesh to their destruction.  Ultimately, however, the Scriptures showed them the truth that they believed was not taught in the church.  The Bible taught a totally depraved man who was only saved by God's grace and could do nothing to earn or keep it.  It's a gift.

7. Dissatisfaction will usually express itself in some great leader who expresses their ideas for them.  The failed attempts of Wycliffe, Hus, Savanarola, and other proto-reformers caused people to despair of ever correcting abuses that grew through the years of unchecked authority.  A leader responded who embodied the desire to reform abuses and bring revolutionary changes.  Martin Luther  functioned in that capacity when he insisted that an individual can go directly to God through Christ with no need for a priest or an intercessor.

Luther would go in and out of confession thinking that he could never do enough to regain his standing with God.  If asked if he loved God, he replied, "sometimes I hate him."  Finally, someone told him to read Romans which preaches salvation as a gift that cannot be revoked.  He not only opposed the sale of indulgences, but he came to oppose indulgences altogether as they ignore the fact that Christ paid the complete price of God's wrath for his believers.  The chief reason for the Reformation is the belief that "man needed no human mediator between himself and God to obtain the salvation that had been purchased for him by Christ on the cross."  Christ is that mediator and the only one who could do it perfectly.