Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 1 * BOOK 45
The Mediator Between God and Man
I Timothy 2:3-7
Iris and I get so thrilled as we travel and we go to these seminars and ten or twelve-year-old kids will come up and give either her or I a hug! Then their parents get a little embarrassed and they say well “They watch you every morning. They feel like they know you!” So we do realize that even though our audience here at the taping is on a weekday afternoon and we have to depend mostly on people who are retired, yet rest assured that we do have a lot of younger people that are learning and studying the Word with us.
As we begin our taping today, let’s jump right in now where we left off in the last lesson and that would be I Timothy 2:3. In the previous verse he had admonished us to pray for kings and those in authority and then in verse 3 he emphasizes that this is perfectly proper. That it is not a selfish intent, or anything like that, when we pray for our own good, our own pursuit of happiness, which is, after all, the reason for government. Government is there for the purpose of protecting its citizens. And it’s our privilege then to pray for our men in high places that they might continue to give us freedom, and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Then he says:
I Timothy 2:3
“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;” So never neglect to pray daily for our men in high places, that indeed we might continue to enjoy liberty like no other nation on earth has ever before enjoyed. I’m afraid that too often we take it for granted, even as believers, that this is just common place. No, it is not! We are so blessed! The Grace of God has been showered on this nation like no other people on earth, and we should never take it for granted.
Let’s go to verse 4. The same God who is pleased when we pray for men in high places and for our government, the same God:
I Timothy 2:4
“Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” Now that’s quite a statement! Isn’t it? Because those of us who are realists, know that only a small percentage of the world’s population has ever come to know salvation. All the way from Adam on up, it’s always been just a small remnant that have maintained a faith fit for salvation. Israel, even in spite of the fact that they had so much going for them, as Paul says in Romans chapter 3:
“What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is thereof circumcision? 2. Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles (Word) of God.”
So it is the same way with us. See, we’ve been so blessed and we have so many things going for us as a nation of people, and yet I’m afraid that it is only a small percentage that have any true saving faith. The vast majority of our people, as I have said over and over, never even think about eternity, and that’s not what God wants.
A lot of people think that God has only chosen just a few and those are the only one’s that He’s concerned about, but don’t you believe it! The Scripture is full of it, that God died for ALL. We are going to just start looking at the Scripture in regard to that. Remember the verse that we are “kicking off from” – for it is the very will of God that all men should be saved.That’s what He had on His mind when he provided the plan of salvation not just for the few, but it’s for all.
We realize, of course, that there are theological concepts out there that say if God has chosen you to go to heaven, that you are going to go to heaven; come what may – somehow or other you are going to make it. But on the other hand, if you have been chosen to go to eternal doom, then there is nothing you can do about it. Well, I beg to differ! I just cannot go along with that line of thinking because of too many verses like we are going be looking at right now. This does not give any indication that you’re headed for Hell and there is nothing you can do about it, or you are headed for Heaven and you are going to get there regardless of what you do. It just doesn’t fit! But, look what it says:
“For whosoever (how many? Anybody! No limit!) shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” That’s a promise!
Now it doesn’t say how many are going to be in the “whosoever,” but nevertheless the potential is that anyone who will call on God for salvation, his opportunity is as good as anybody else’s. Now turn to II Corinthians 5, verses 14-15. Don’t forget what we read in Timothy, for God would like to have ALL men to be saved. Remember the word ALL. Now watch the language.
II Corinthians 5:14a
“For the love of Christ (of course, love is synonymous with His Mercy and Grace) constraineth us; (or drives us) because we thus judge, (or we thus conclude) that if one died for(how many?) all,…..” See, He didn’t die for just a few, but rather He died for the whole human race. Not just Israel, but for everyone. Not just the Gentile, but for everyone. He died for ALL.
II Corinthians 5:15
“And that he died for all, (See? Repeated, twice in two verses.) that they which live (those who call upon Him now for salvation, according to Romans) should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”
The point I want to make is that He died for ALL. Not just for the few. Alright, now let’s go all the way to the other side of I Timothy and move into Hebrews chapter 2. Here we have this same concept and we’re are going to show it just as clearly as we know how. I have to force myself to slow down on the program. I had a gentleman call the other night and he said “Les, slow down! I can’t find the verses as fast as you do!” And, we do appreciate the fact that our television audience sits there with their Bible in their hand and with a pen and notepad. So, we do take that into consideration on the program. We are not here just to preach at you. We are here to help you find these Scriptures and to rest on what they say and hopefully, by faith, just take it as the Word of God.
“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels (that is when He took on flesh,) for the suffering of death, crowned with glory, and honour; that he by the grace of God (not because anybody deserved it. But by the Grace of God, He) should taste death for (How many?) every man.” His death was sufficient for every human being that has ever lived from Adam until the end of time! It was sufficient. He tasted death for “every man.” Not just for those who believe but for everyone. Let’s move on a little further back to II Peter chapter 3 verse 9.
II Peter 3:9
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering (that’s another word for Grace and Mercy) to us-ward, (Why?) not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (a change of direction.) When you see those terms that no one should perish, that should remind you of that well-known verse that everybody learns as soon as they start going to Sunday School.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever (See, not just a few!) believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” So, God is not willing that any should perish. Come back now to I Timothy chapter 2. God is not willing that ANY should perish but that ALL would be saved and come to “the knowledge of the truth.”
Now, the reason I teach is so that people can share these things with others who probably never look at the Word of God. That is why I take it slowly and verse by verse, as we pick every word out and examine it.
The next one I want to look at in this same verse is that, not only does God expect everyone to come to a knowledge of salvation, or to be saved, but also to come to a knowledge of the Truth! There’s not much of truth around anymore is there? You just don’t hear a lot of truth anymore. You hear a lot of “flim-flam” – stuff that does not line up with Scripture, but we have to take the time to dig out what in the world is “truth.”
Alright, let’s go to the first one I think of when I think of truth and that is Ephesians chapter 1 verse 13. This is a verse that we use periodically on the program because it is so explicit in what it says. Now remember, Paul always writes primarily to the believer. But, as he writes to the believer it also speaks, of course, to the unbeliever as well. So to us believers, he said:
“In whom ye also trusted, (placed your faith) after (watch the language here – after) that ye heard the word of (what?) truth,..”
We became believers after we heard the word of truth. Now in this particular instance, what is truth? The Gospel! A lot of times I will say “truth” and the name of Jesus Christ are synonymous, because Christ is Truth and Truth is Christ. But here we are going to define it a little closer – that truth is the Gospel. Of course, Who is at the heart of the Gospel? Jesus Christ! Look at it again.
“In whom you also trusted, (or placed your faith) after you heard the word of truth. (and the Word of truth is the Gospel) the gospel of your salvation: in whom (the Christ of truth)also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the holy Spirit of promise.”
Now then, when Paul identifies “truth” as the Gospel, then we will go back once again, as we have done probably a hundred times on this program, to I Corinthians chapter 15 verses 1-4. I’m so thrilled that I am beginning to see more people use this instead of John 3:16. Now don’t get me wrong, John 3:16 is good and I don’t take anything away from it but, it’s not the Gospel for us today. John 3:16 was spoken primarily to the Jewish people, because Jesus spoke it in His earthly ministry. John wrote it with regard to His earthly ministry, but, here Paul now, after the fact of his death, burial and resurrection, tells us what Gospel it is to be saved! This is the Gospel of truth that he identified in Ephesians chapter 1.
I Corinthians 15:1
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel (not just a gospel, it’s “The” gospel. “Exclusive” is the word I like to use. There are not a half a dozen Gospels out there, this is the only one. Regardless of who we are, or where we come from, there is only one valid Gospel, and it is the Gospel that Paul says:) which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;” Now, he is writing to believers there at Corinth, it’s a Gentile congregation. Then verse two makes it so plain.
I Corinthians 15:2
“By which (by this Gospel that Paul has now shared with these Gentiles) also ye are (what?) saved, (A lot of people don’t like that word, but it is a Scriptural word. And it denotes a salvation, a saving from doom.) if ye keep in memory (I always put it, that you know what you believe.) what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.” Now here comes THE Gospel. The Truth as Paul defines it.
I Corinthians 15:3a
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received,…”
Now again, I am going to stop and define that. Why does Paul always refer to this as “his” Gospel? Well, because it was to the Apostle Paul that the ascended Lord (not Jesus in His earthly ministry, but it’s the ascended Lord Who has now finished the work of redemption with His death, His shed blood, His burial and His resurrection that after He had ascended, then He) revealed to this Apostle, that now, this Gospel is the means of salvation. Not the miracles of His earthly ministry. But, the miracle and the power of His death, burial and resurrection. So that’s why he uses the words “that which he also received.”
Paul is the first one to whom God revealed that he would now save the multitudes not through the Law of Israel, not by virtue of Judaism, not by virtue of Christ’s earthly ministry and His miracles, but by believing that finished work of the cross. Continuing on with verse 3, and here is what we must believe.
I Corinthians 15:3b
“… how that Christ died for our sins (we have already seen in II Timothy chapter 5, who is included in the “our?” Everybody! He died for the sins of the whole world, and so, He died for our sins.) according to the scriptures;”
I Corinthians 15:4
“And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” Now THAT is what we call, and the Bible calls, THE GOSPEL or the TRUTH OF GOD, and what Paul calls “his Gospel.” It’s the Gospel that we must believe in this Age of Grace. Now come on back to our text in I Timothy chapter 2 verse 4. Now it will make even more sense. The God, our Savior, of verse 3:
I Timothy 2:4
“Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” And that truth is that Christ died, was buried and rose from the dead. Now verse 5 – this will just hammer home the whole fact of Who the Christ of the cross really is.
I Timothy 2:5
“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;”
Quite a verse, isn’t it? Think of all the religions of the world, the Orientals and so forth with their various priests and priestesses. My, this verse just screams. No! That’s not what it is. There is only ONE mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. Now let’s go back to the first part of verse 5.
I Timothy 2:5a
“For there is one God…”
Go back to Deuteronomy chapter 6. All the way back to the Old Testament. That’s what we like to do, if at all possible, just tie all of the Scripture together. Even though the Apostle Paul is the one who writes to us Gentiles, yet we know that all Scripture is inspired and is profitable.
“Here, O Israel: (remember, this is Moses) The LORD our God is one LORD:”
Now you see, that’s why the Jewish people accuse us in this Age of Grace and as New Testament believers as having more than one God which flies in the face of their Old Testament belief. This is the verse that they will use. “Here, O Israel: the LORD our God is one LORD:.”
Well, yes He’s one God. Of course He is! But from our New Testament perspective now we reckon that He is a God in three Persons, and in order to pick up what Paul is talking about, that the One God is also the Man Christ Jesus. This is what we have to understand that the Triune God, the One Moses is speaking of, the One LORD, was the invisible Godhead. A lot of folks, seemingly, cannot understand it.
And I don’t “understand it” but I can take it by faith that the Triune God as we come up through the Old Testament economy was for the most part invisible. Now at times He would become human, a theophany, as the theologians call it. And He would appear to man in human form.
Now, we know that he appeared to Adam and Eve in the Garden. He walked with them, He wasn’t an invisible Spirit. He walked with them in human form. And we know that Abraham, a perfect example, saw the Lord, saw God in human form. Remember when the three men came down the trail and Abraham invited them under the shade tree and fixed for them the fatted calf? What did the three men do? They sat down and they ate.
As you go further in that chapter, you realize that one of those three men was the Lord Himself in human form. Then a little later, we find Moses at the burning bush – same thing. God spoke out of the burning bush, but as you come down to the place where Moses now says “What’s your name? When I go back to Egypt and tell the Israelites that God has sent me. They are going to ask, What’s your name?” And what did the God of the burning bush answer? Go tell Israel “I AM hath sent you. I AM THAT I AM.”
Then you go all the way to John’s Gospel chapter 8 and they were accusing Jesus of having a demon and he goes through that conversation. Then they finally say, you mean to tell us, you are not even 50 years old and you have seen Abraham?! Who do you think you are? What was Jesus’ answer? “Before Abraham was, I AM.” So He was the same One that spoke to Moses out of the burning bush.
We have all this building of proof that the invisible God was in three Persons and at times, One of the Persons of the Godhead took on human form throughout the Old Testament. And then in the New Testament, He came by way of Bethlehem in the flesh.
Now let’s look at one them from the New Testament, from John’s Gospel chapter 1. We are trying to exhaust it as much as we can in the time we have, why Paul emphasized that the mediator between God and man was the Man Christ Jesus and yet he never stopped being God!
John’s Gospel chapter 1. These are verses we use a lot of times when we teach Genesis 1, that Christ was the Creator.
“In the beginning was the Word, (that is capitalized. It’s a term of Deity.) and the Word was with God, (but more than that) and the Word was God.” See there was no separating it. Then verse 3.
“All things were made by him; (that is, the Word) and without him was not any thing made that was made.” By the Word! Now when you drop down to verse 14, you see that the Scripture always interprets itself. So in verse 14, we see Who the Word was.
“And the Word was made (what?) flesh, (He took on humanity.) and dwelt among us…..”
Yes, He was born in Bethlehem. Grew up in Nazareth and for three years went up and down the dusty roads of the land of Israel from village to village. Spent time in Jerusalem at the Temple, and indeed, He did dwell among the nation of Israel, because John is writing as a Jew.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
So here we have ample proof from the pen of the Apostle John that the Creator Person of the Trinity, took on flesh and the twelve experienced all those days of that three years in miracles and wonders and signs, knowing that He was the God of Glory, the God of Abraham, the God of Creation, Who had taken on human flesh. This is what we have to understand, that even though God is Spirit, yet God the Son took on human flesh.