March 4, 2013
i. It pleased God, in His eternal purpose, to choose and ordain the Lord Jesus, His only begotten Son, to be the Mediator between God and man, the Prophet, Priest, and King, the Head and Savior of His Church, the Heir of all things, and Judge of the world: unto whom He did from all eternity give a people, to be His seed, and to be by Him in time redeemed, called, justified, sanctified, and glorified.
The eighth chapter of the Confession of Faith summarizes and explains one of the greatest mysteries revealed to us by God in Scripture: the Lord Jesus Christ as our Mediator, the ground of our salvation (Eph. 1:9; Rom. 16:25-26). At the beginning of the first section of this chapter we as the church confess with wonder God's eternal love towards sinners: "it pleased God". It was and is his good pleasure, his joyful, wise purpose, that his eternal Son--his only begotten Son--was chosen, called, and ordained to be the Mediator between God and man from all eternity. To speak in human terms, in his work the Son delights the eternally blessed God.
The authors of the Confession undoubtedly had in mind what Matthew, by the Spirit recorded the Father saying: "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased." The Father "so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son" (Jn. 3:16), who is his heart's delight from eternity past to eternity future (Isa. 42:1). There is a strong emphasis on the Father's love in giving Jesus to be the unilaterally sent go-between, the Mediator, between Holy God and fallen, rebel man. Our confession of this should be saturated with worship and adoration to the Triune God for His mercy, grace, and love.
The first section further reminds us of the offices of Christ in his Mediatorial role: He is the Prophet, the Priest, and the King. His Word is the final and sufficient Word. His sacrifice is the once for all sacrifice, to which all others pointed; His Priesthood the only and all-sufficient Priesthood. He is the Sovereign, the all-powerful King of kings, seated on the throne of glory. He lives and reigns forever, till all nations are made His footstool; till all his and our enemies are defeated. He is the Head and Savior of his Church; we are his body, and he will complete the good work he has begun in us. He--not America, nor China, or any other earthly power, nor Satan or demons--he, Christ the Mediator, is heir of all things.
Jesus is the One who will return in glory and majesty to complete His role as Judge of the world. In the great wonder of His love, God the Father has, from all eternity, given a people out of the rebel human race to Christ, to be his children, and "to be by Him in time redeemed, called, justified, sanctified and glorified." If God is for us, with His own Son, Christ the Mediator, as our Lord and Savior, who can stand against us? Though all hell may rage, though evildoers and our own sin may dog our heels (Ps. 49), nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 8)
Dr. William VanDoodewaard is Associate Professor of Church History at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary and Visiting Professor of Church History at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.