Daily Archives: February 4, 2021

February 4 Evening Quotes of The Day

The Difference Between Current Bodies and Immortal Bodies
1 Corinthians 15:35–53; 2 Corinthians 5:2–4; Philippians 3:21

As the stars of heaven do differ from a clod of earth, or from a carrion in a ditch, so will our glorified, immortal bodies differ from this mortal, corruptible flesh. If a skilful workman can turn a little earth and ashes into such curious transparent glasses—as we daily see—and if a little seed that bears no show of such a thing can produce the more beautiful flowers of the earth, and if a little acorn can bring forth the greatest oak, why should we once doubt whether the seed of everlasting life and glory, which is now in the blessed souls with Christ, can by him communicate a perfection to the flesh that is dissolved into its elements?

RICHARD BAXTER

Ritzema, E., & Vince, E. (Eds.). (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Pray to God in Simplicity
Matthew 6:7–8

We ought to act with God in the greatest simplicity, speaking to Him frankly and plainly, and imploring His assistance in our affairs, just as they happen.

BROTHER LAWRENCE

Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Reformation. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

February 4 Evening Verse of the Day

2:5 Although this verse emphasizes Jesus’s humanity, Paul also affirmed Jesus’s deity in this letter. He referred to Jesus’s special relationship with the Father (1:1–2; 6:13) who grants him the divine title Lord (1:2, 12; 6:3, 14). He implied Jesus’s heavenly existence before the incarnation (3:16) and said that Jesus’s saving of sinners (1:15) is a divine activity (4:10).[1]


2:5 The position of Christ as the one Mediator between God and men excludes all others claiming to be “priests” or mediators between God and men. A mediator, or go-between, must be able to reach both parties; therefore, He must be both God and Man. Christ’s work as Mediator is to propitiate or satisfy God (cf. Rom 3:25) and to reconcile men to God (cf. 2 Cor. 5:17–21). Furthermore, He continues a ministry of intercession in behalf of men (Heb. 7:25; 1 John 2:1, 2).[2]


2:5 there is one God. This is the fundamental affirmation of the Jewish religion (Deut. 6:4; cf. Rom. 3:30; 1 Cor. 8:6; Gal. 3:20; Eph. 4:6).

one mediator between God and men. There is One who arbitrates between God and humanity and reconciles them. See theological note “Christ the Mediator.”

the man Christ Jesus. Paul’s focus is on Christ’s humanity, perhaps because the false teachers had denied that Christ was truly human. The full humanity of Christ is essential to His serving as Mediator of the covenant of grace.[3]


2:5 one God Alludes to the Jewish prayer called the Shema (see Deut 6:4 and note; compare 1 Cor 8:6 and note). Paul draws on this prayer to highlight God’s universal reign; because there is only one God, He is the God of all people (1 Tim 2:3–4).

mediator A person who negotiates reconciliation between two parties in conflict. The need for a mediator testifies to the sinfulness of humanity, while the provision of a mediator demonstrates the kindness of God.

the man Christ Jesus Paul refers to Jesus as a “man” here to stress His full identification with humanity. Because He was fully human, Christ was able to mediate on behalf of humanity and offer Himself as a ransom for humanity. Jesus’ role in this passage recalls Paul’s description of Jesus as a second Adam (e.g., Rom 5:12–21; 1 Cor 15:45–49).[4]


2:5 For. Verses 5–6 provide the theological basis for the preceding statement that God wants people to be saved. There is only one God, therefore this God seeks “all people” (v. 4; cf. Rom. 3:29–30; Gal. 3:20). Various people groups do not each have their own gods, though they may imagine they do; all must come to the one true God for salvation. This means that Jesus, God’s incarnate Son, Israel’s Messiah, is the one and only mediator, the only way to salvation (cf. Acts 4:12). Furthermore, this verse allows no place for intermediaries between people and Jesus, such as saints or human priests. See Overview of the Bible.[5]


2:5 there is one God. There is no other way of salvation (Ac 4:12); hence there is the need to pray for the lost to come to know the one true God (cf. Dt 4:35, 39; 6:4; Is 43:10; 44:6; 45:5, 6, 21, 22; 46:9; 1Co 8:4, 6). mediator. This refers to someone who intervenes between two parties to resolve a conflict or ratify a covenant. Jesus Christ is the only “mediator” who can restore peace between God and sinners (Heb 8:6; 9:15; 12:24). the man Christ Jesus. The absence of the article before “man” in the Gr. suggests the translation, “Christ Jesus, Himself a man.” Only the perfect God-Man could bring God and man together. Cf. Job 9:32, 33.[6]


2:5 — For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus .…

There are not five mediators between God and man, or three, or even two. There is only one, and His name is Jesus Christ. No one else qualifies, and God accepts no one else. Only Jesus has the necessary credentials.[7]


2:5 One God is a central truth of the Hebrew Scriptures. The only living God desires all to be saved. He is the only One to whom our prayers should be addressed. Mediator is a concept derived from the ceremonial worship prescribed in the OT. In the tabernacle and later in the temple, the priests mediated between God and the Israelites by offering animal sacrifices to atone for the sins of the people and by interceding to God for the nation. In their position as mediators, the priests were the only ones eligible to enter the Holy Place, the place where God had made His presence known. The one Mediator is the Man Christ Jesus (Heb. 9:11–15). There is one God from whom salvation is available. There is only one way to Him, through the Mediator, Christ Jesus, who has the full nature of God and the full nature of man. Christ has identified with us; He understands us perfectly and represents us at the right hand of God the Father (Rom. 8:34).[8]


2:5 The connection of this verse with what precedes is not entirely clear. However, the thought seems to be this: God is one; therefore, He is the God of all men, and prayer should be addressed to Him in behalf of all men. As the one God, He desires the salvation of all men. If He were one of many gods, He might be concerned only about His own worshipers.

Secondly, One is Mediator between God and men. This being so, no man can come to God in any other way. A mediator is a go-between, a middleman who can stand between two and communicate with both. Through Christ, Himself Man, God is enabled to approach men with forgiveness of sins. Consequently any poor sinner can approach Him, and will by no means be rejected.

Paul identifies the Mediator as the Man, Christ Jesus. This does not deny the deity of the Lord Jesus. In order to be the Mediator between God and men, He must be both God and Man. The Lord Jesus is God from all eternity, but He became Man in Bethlehem’s manger. He represents the whole race of humanity. The fact that He is both God and Man is indicated in the name Christ Jesus. Christ describes Him as God’s anointed One, the Messiah. Jesus is the name given to Him in Incarnation.

The verse effectively answers the teaching so common today that the blessed Virgin Mary or angels or saints are mediators between God and man. There is only one Mediator, and His name is Christ Jesus.

Verse 5 summarizes the messages of the OT and NT. One God was the message of the OT entrusted to Israel; one Mediator—the message of the NT entrusted to the church. As Israel failed in her responsibility by worshiping idols, so the professing church has failed in her responsibility by introducing other mediators—Mary, saints, clergy, etc.[9]


2:5. Paul then pointed to the critical claims of the gospel: there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

The great football coach Vince Lombardi stood in front of his team, the Green Bay Packers, after a horrendous loss. The players expected a strong diatribe. Instead, Lombardi went to the center of the classroom and picked up a football. He held it up and said, “Gentlemen, this is a football.” The coach took the players back to the basics.

Paul did the same for the Ephesians and us. The declaration of the exclusivity of God and Christ is basic to the Christian message. Yet it is a point on which many people stumble. Even those who agree that there is one God often refuse the claim of Jesus as the only way to knowing God.

For some people the chief virtue of the day is tolerance, and the great hope is pluralism. They discard truth for sincerity. Certainly we honor the freedom to believe whatever one wishes, as long as it does not hurt another person. That is fundamental to democratic self-rule and civility. But it is quite another matter to say that everyone is right simply because they “believe” something. That makes faith instead of objective truth the test for validity. We must go back to the basics.

The revealed, divine word through Paul is that there is only one way to forming a relationship with God, and this is through the man Christ Jesus. This underscores the universality of the gospel—all people come the same way to God. Not only must they come the same way, through Jesus, but salvation is available to all, Jew and Gentile alike.

Salvation comes through the man Christ Jesus. He is fully God and fully man. “The Word was God.… The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1, 14).

Jesus is not one among many. He is the one and only.

He is the answer to Job’s ancient cry about God: “He is not a man like me that I might answer him, / that we might confront each other in court./ If only there were someone to arbitrate between us, / to lay his hand upon us both” (Job 9:32–33).

Jesus bridges the gap between sinful humanity and the righteous God. He settles the legal demand for justice.[10]


2:5 “there is one God” This emphasis on monotheism (cf. Rom. 3:30; 1 Cor. 8:6; Eph. 4:6) can be found in 1 Tim. 1:17, which reflects Deut. 6:4–6. However, Jesus the Son and God the Father seem to be separate here. It is important to remember the NT assertion that Jesus is divine (cf. John 1:1; Col. 1:14–16; Heb. 1:2, 3), but also a separate personality from the Father. The doctrine of the Trinity recognizes the unity of one divine essence and yet, the distinctiveness of the three Persons. One way to show this biblical paradox is to compare passages from John’s Gospel

  1. Jesus is one with the Father (1:1; 5:18; 10:30, 34–38; 14:9–10; 20:28).
  2. Jesus is separate from the Father (1:2, 14, 18; 5:19–23; 8:28; 10:25, 29; 14:10, 11, 12, 13, 16; 17:1–2).
  3. Jesus is even subservient to the Father (5:20, 30; 8:28; 12:49; 14:28; 15:10, 19–24; 17:8).

The concept of the deity of the Son and the personality of the Spirit is explicit in the NT, but not fully worked out in orthodox theology until the third and fourth centuries. The term “trinity” is not biblical, but the concept surely is (cf. Matt. 3:16–17; 28:19; John 14:26; Acts 2:32–33, 38–39; Rom. 1:4–5; 5:1–5; 8:1–4, 8–10; 1 Cor. 12:4–6; 2 Cor. 1:21–22; 13:14; 4:4–6; 1 Thess. 1:2–5; 2 Thess. 2:13; Titus 3:4–6; 1 Pet. 1:2; Jude 20–21).

The grammar of vv. 5–6 gives the theological reasons related to God’s inclusive salvation

  1. There is only one God. From Gen. 1:26–27 we know that all humans are made in His image.
  2. There is only one way to God through the Messiah (cf. John 14:6), which was predicted in Gen. 3:15.
  3. There is only one means of salvation, the finished sacrificial offering of the sinless Lamb of God, Jesus (cf. John 1:29; 2 Cor. 5:21).

The one God has provided one way to be in fellowship with Him. Whosoever will may come, but they must come His way, through His provision, by faith in His Son as their only hope for acceptance.

© and one mediator also between God and men” This is an example of the NT’s affirmation that faith in Jesus’ person and work is the only way to be right with the Father (cf. John 10; 14:6). This is often referred to as the “scandal of the exclusivism of the gospel.” This truth seems so out of place in our day of tolerance (with no absolutes), but if the Bible is the self-revelation of God, then believers must affirm this exclusivism. We are not saying one denomination is the only way, but we are saying that faith in Jesus is the only way to God.

The use of the term mediator has priestly connotations (cf. Heb. 8:6; 9:15; 12:24). A priest stood between a needy people and a holy God. Jesus is our High Priest (cf. Heb. 7–9).

© the man Christ Jesus” The emphasis of this verse is that Jesus is fully human and is still the only mediator between God and mankind (cf. John 14:6). The gnostic false teachers would have denied Jesus’ humanity (cf. John 1:14; 1 John 1:1–3).

It is possible that the background is not the gnostics, but Paul’s Adam-Christ typology (cf. Rom. 5:12–21; 1 Cor. 15:21–22, 45–49; Phil. 2:6). Jesus was seen as the second Adam, the origin of a new race, not Jew, not Greek, not male, not female, not slave, not free, but Christian (cf. 1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:28; Eph. 2:11–3:13; Col. 3:11).

It is also possible that verses 5 and 6 are a theological definition of the term “the truth,” found in v. 4.[11]


5. The position, “God desires all men—men from every rank and station, tribe and nation—to be saved” is true, For (there is but) one God, and (there is but) one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

There is not one God for this nation, one for another; one God for slaves and one for free men; one God for rulers, one for subjects. Paul is his own best interpreter: “For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free; and were all made to drink of one Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:13). Again, “or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also: if it be true (and it certainly is true) that God is one …” (Rom. 3:29). That the apostle is actually thinking of the distinction “ruler … subject” follows from the immediately preceding context (1 Tim. 2:2a). That he has in mind the distinction “Jew … Gentile” is apparent from the immediately following context (1 Tim. 2:7b).

Not only the realm of creation but also that of redemption is united under one Head. Hence, not only is there only one God; there is also only “one Mediator of (here in the sense of between) God and men.” The present is the only passage in which Paul speaks of Christ as “Mediator.” However, in Gal. 3:19, the apostle also uses the term, with probable reference to Moses, who as mediator transmitted God’s law to the people. In Gal. 3:20 he speaks in general about “a mediator.” It is the author of the epistle to the Hebrews who discusses at some length the position of Christ, our heavenly Highpriest, as Mediator (Heb. 8:6; 9:15; 12:24), “the Mediator of a new covenant.” By derivation the word simply indicates someone who stands “in the middle.” The purpose for which he takes this in-between position must be derived, in each single case, from the context, or from parallel passages. In the present case it is not open to legitimate doubt that the apostle takes his point of departure in the fact that Christ is the One who has voluntarily taken his stand between the offended God and the offending sinner, in order to take upon himself the wrath of God which the sinner has deserved, thereby delivering the latter. This is clear because the entire context speaks of salvation (verse 4), and of Christ as a ransom (see on verse 6). A striking explanation is found in Gal. 3:13, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for (or over) us.” In that passage the Savior is pictured as standing over us, that is, between us and the curse of the law, so that the curse falls on him, and we are saved. However, it is clear that in the present passage (1 Tim. 2:5) the concept Mediator is even slightly broader. Not only does Christ in this capacity restore sinners to the right legal relationship to God, but he also brings them to “the knowledge of the truth” (verse 4); and causes the testimony of this glorious truth to be borne to them (verse 6). Hence, he both establishes peace and reveals it to men, persuading them to accept the good news. He stands revealed as Mediator in this twofold sense.

Note the manner in which the identity of this Mediator is revealed: “one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” To think of men in this connection means to think of man, the man Jesus Christ. Hence men and man are juxtaposed. Had salvation been intended only for one particular group—say, only for the Jews—the apostle would have written, “the Jew Christ Jesus.” Since it was intended for both Jew and Gentile, that is, for men in general, without distinction of race or nationality, he writes “the man Christ Jesus.” (By no means is this a denial of Christ’s deity. That he is the object of faith and worship is clear from 1 Tim. 3:16. The word man here in 1 Tim. 2:5 is not contrasted with God but with Jew or Gentile.)[12]


Ver. 5. One Mediator between God and man.

The mediation of Christ:—That there has been a Mediator in this world is conceded by all except Jews and heathens. But respecting the precise nature of the work which He has undertaken and accomplished, there has not been even in those to whom the knowledge of this salvation has come, clear conceptions, nor correspondent emotions of gratitude and thanksgiving. With what distress would you gaze on the Divine power and infinity, and say, “He is not a Man as I am, that I should answer Him, and we should come together in judgment; neither is there any days-man betwixt us, that might lay his hand on us both”? With what anguish would you look around and inquire for some being able and ready to rescue you from perdition? But what, in such circumstances, you would look for in vain is now declared unto you. You are now taught on the authority of inspiration that there is one God and one Mediator between God and man.

  1. What is implied in the idea of a Mediator between God and man? The fact of a mediation between one man and another implies a difficulty which it is not easy to reconcile. This is equally implied in the employment of a government to mediate between two other nations. Such measures are never adopted in the times of peace and of mutual friendship. So of our attitude to God. The fact that there is a Mediator between God and man unquestionably proves that there is an alienation which it is exceedingly difficult to reconcile.
  2. Alienation does not imply criminality in both the parties which are thus brought into conflict. On this subject a proverb seems to have obtained among men, that in cases of alienation there is transgression in both the conflicting parties. “Both are to blame” is a maxim which has prevailed. It may perhaps be important to show the fallacy of the principle itself against which I am here contending. We are often asked, with a confidence amounting almost to the authority of inspiration, “Do you not believe that in all cases of alienation there is blame on both sides?” To this we reply, “We do not, we cannot believe it.” If the question still be pressed, we ask our inquirer, “Do you not know that there is an eternal alienation between sheep and wolves; and have the sheep ever committed any aggression on the wolves?” You have all heard of the warfare which goes forward between the angels which kept their first estate and those spirits which have revolted from God. And is it not to be assumed that in this controversy the angels, who have always been spotless in the eyes of Jehovah, were free from the imputation of guilt? Pre-eminently is this principle applicable to Jehovah. Of what wrong, respecting us, has He ever been guilty? Who amongst those that have in former times charged Him with injury or injustice has ever been able to sustain it? “Let no man say, when he is tempted, I am tempted of God,” &c. The objects around us were never created and never designed to be the cause of our transgressions. Our sins are not the result either of the example of those individuals or circumstances which God has placed around us. They are the fruit of our own hearts. There is an alienation from Him in the sons of men, and the causes of this alienation are not mutual: the criminality is altogether with us.

III. But who is there that is adequate to undertake the mediatorial work? In human affairs there are many individuals who are equally competent to settle a difficulty and remove the causes of alienation which exist between a man and his neighbour. And in a great share of the instances which occur, any individual of a multitude that can be mentioned is equally as well qualified to undertake the work as any other individual that can be selected. Not so in the work of human redemption. Here there is but one Being in the universe who is competent to be a Days-man, a Mediator between Jehovah and His offending subjects (Isa. 63:5). IV.

To inquire why no other being but Christ is qualified for this work. And here I must frankly confess that of my own unaided reason I am incompetent to tell. And I apprehend that had the family of man been left to ascertain by their own intellectual powers what Mediator is suited to their circumstances, no one of them would have been able to discover the truth. His agony for reconciliation burst forth in the affecting question, “Wherewith shall I come before the Lord and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before Him with burnt-offerings and calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my first-born for my transgression; the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” Let us go to the Scriptures to ascertain what Christ is; and having thence derived a knowledge of His character, let us draw the only safe conclusion, that on account of the respects in which He differs from every other being in existence, He is chosen to be the Mediator between God and man.

  1. What, then, are the respects in which he differs from every other being? It must here be remembered that in certain respects He is God. I here refer to His original nature. Of Him, John in his Gospel says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Nor was He God only. In some respects He differed in His mediatorial office from the Father. He assumed into immediate connection with Himself a human body and a rational soul. This was done in accordance with the prophets. Isaiah in prophetic vision declared, “Unto us a Child is born,” &c. These expressions show the union of divinity with humanity in our Lord Jesus Christ, and indicate His wonderful adaptedness to the work of redeeming men from their sins and reconciling them to God. Are we, then, asked in what respects Christ differs from every other being? Is it demanded in what respect He differs from the Father? We reply, by the addition unto His own glorious nature of all the powers and faculties of man. He is at once Divine and human. Is it again demanded in what respects He differs from men? I reply, He is human and Divine. In these respects He is altogether diverse from any other being in the universe. And viewed in this attitude, we may wonder, and say in the language of the prophet, “There is none like unto Thee, O God!” Having now learned from the Scriptures the qualifications of Him who undertook to be the Mediator for us, we can see His wonderful adaptations to the work which He has undertaken. Human salvation requires a thorough acquaintance with all the wants, perplexities, and temptations of man. In this respect, such a Mediator as He who has become flesh is wonderfully suited to our condition. He did not undertake to help the angels. The work of human salvation also requires a thorough knowledge of all the causes and a complete control of all the beings who have power either to advance or retard it. And what eyes but those which run to and fro through the universe are competent to see all the wants, and all the exposures, and all the means of relief which pertain to the condition of ruined man? What hands but those which formed the universe are competent so to direct all the influences of the material and the spiritual worlds in such a manner as to subserve the welfare of His people and cause them to conspire together for the promotion of their salvation? What other Presence, except that which pervades the universe, can be co-extensive with all the wants of His people who dwell in every part of the earth, who call upon Him for aid at every hour of the day and of the night What other knowledge but that which transcends all limitation, and is strictly infinite, can be adequate to an acquaintance with the condition, the thoughts, the emotions, the feelings, and the actions of all the immortal beings who inhabit the vast regions of His Mediatorship? And what memory short of that to which all past, present, and future things are equally known is competent to bring together all the particulars of thought, of feeling, and of action, which constitute the life of a human being; and accurately to weigh in the balances the gold and the dross of his character; and not only this, but to extend the process to all the sons of men, all the apostate, and all the holy angels? Yet all this knowledge must be possessed by the Son of Man; and all the powers to which we have referred must be held by Him who undertakes the work of a Mediator between God and man. This work has commonly been regarded and taught under three separate heads. The first is His office as a Prophet. This portion of His work was referred to by Moses when he said, “A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me. Him shall ye hear in all things, whatsoever He shall say unto you.” In this office it pertained to Him to reveal the character, the law, and the gospel of God to the children of men, and cause it to be written and preached unto them. It also pertained to His work to open the understandings of His people, that they might know the excellency of the Father and of His Son Jesus Christ. The next particular in the work of a Mediator is that of a Priest. He was a Priest, not indeed according to the order of Aaron, but of Melchizedek. As in the Mosaic history no priest is named as the predecessor of Melchizedek, so in human redemption there is no other priest but Jesus Christ. And in this Priesthood His work differed widely from that of other priests. They first offered sacrifices for their own sins, and afterwards for those of the people; but He had no occasion to offer sacrifices for Himself. “He was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners.” He is able to save to the uttermost those that come unto God through Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them. A third particular in this work is His office as the Ruler and Defender of the people of God. This is called His kingly office. In this respect the apostle declares that God “hath put all things under His feet, and given Him to be Head over all things to the Church” (Eph. 1:22). Such is the Mediator between a ruined world and the Holy One of Israel. A Mediator in some respects Divine, in other respects human. A Mediator who in the Scriptures is sometimes denominated God, at other times He is called Man. A Mediator who is set apart by Jehovah Himself to be the Prophet, the Priest, and the King of your souls; a Mediator whom, if you accept, on whom, if you rely, to whom, if you commit your immortal interests, you shall yet stand on Mount Zion with songs and eternal joy. This subject calls loudly on us to admire the wisdom and goodness of God. What could He have seen in us or any of our depraved race that induced Him to confer on us such an immense favour as this? Ah, He saw nothing but evil in our hearts, nothing but vice in our deeds. It was not owing to any righteousness in us, but of His mercy, that saved us. The subject calls on us to consider what our condition would have been had not Jesus undertaken to be Mediator between God and man. (J. Foot, D.D.)

The one Mediator:—“It is good for me,” said the Psalmist, “to draw near to God.” It is the idea of all true religion that it can be nothing but good to get near to God—the nearer the better; that he who gets near Him finds peace, blessing, satisfaction of all wants; that away from Him is darkness and unrest. But why have a Mediator at all? Why have any one standing between you and God, instead of going direct to Him, and dealing with Him, without any Mediator? Just because our nature needs the Mediator. We cannot understand the mysteries of God, which pass our understanding. Out of the limits of our capacity, and out of the infinitude of God, springs that need of One who shall stand between Him and us, revealing the Infinite to the finite, the Divine to the human. And He who does this is called here emphatically “the man Christ Jesus”; “for what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him?” And thus, in order that the life and character of God should be understood by us, they must be revealed to us by a man; by one in human form, and living under human conditions. It is only thus you can come to a real knowledge of any person. You must learn his character. Is it hard or tender; generous or narrow; wise or foolish? And so your only true knowledge of the living God must be a knowledge of His character, of His life, of His ways. And as these, the life, the character, the ways of the infinite and eternal God are far above, out of human sight, they must be brought near enough for us to see, revealed to us by a Mediator who is Himself a man, the man Christ Jesus. A God thus revealed we can know, can understand. This is the idea of the mediation of Christ; the revealing of what otherwise would be unknown and unknowable in God; so that we, seeing His face and understanding His character, may lose the ignorance that is full of darkness, and the fear that is full of torment, and may draw nigh to Him with true hearts, and in the full assurance of faith. The end was spiritual perfectness; the Church was but the means, and only useful as it served the end, and subject to such changes as might make it serve the end better. But the belief, in which many people seem to find the essential nutriment of their spiritual life, is altogether different from this. To them the Church is all in all, while Christ recedes into the distance; and where the Church is not He is not and cannot be. They do not deny that He is the original source of Christian life and all its blessings; but to this truth they add the error, that these blessings can reach the individual soul only through one channel of sacraments and ministries. They thus interpose between God and man a certain mediation of the Church’s, apart from which they do not recognize any reality of Christian life at all, thus drawing across the Holy of Holies a veil as thick as that which was rent in twain on the day of the crucifixion. Be on your guard lest you should ever learn to regard any system, or creature, as possessing a right to come between you and your own Lord and master; or as having the power to add to or to take from what He has done, and is doing, for you as the one Mediator between you and God. Now, you may see another example of the tendency I speak of—to substitute a lower mediation for the mediation of Christ, in the idea which many have (especially persons in whom feeling is stronger than reason) as to the relations which should exist between them and those who occupy the position of their spiritual guides and instructors, and whose duty it is, as such, to guide and instruct them. There is a strong desire in all minds, and particularly in minds of that class, for sympathy where feeling is deeply stirred, for counsel where the highest interests are involved; and there is, too, a strong inclination to depend on and defer to those, with whom that sympathy and that counsel are found. Sympathy is good; but it is dangerous, when in order to evoke or to secure it, you unbare the secrets of the soul, and have to relate, even to the friendliest and justest ear, the trials and difficulties which you find besetting your inner life. A human director or guide or counsellor is safe, not because he fills a certain office and is ordained to a certain ministry; but when his character is such, that you know by the instinct of the spirit that there is in him the mind of Christ, and that communion with him is communion with one who is near the Master, and who will help to bring you near. Unless he is this, he can do nothing for you; he cannot bring you nearer to Christ, he can only stand between Christ and you. Now, in these instances (and more might be mentioned) we see the one tendency, to push Christ away, and set something of our own, a church, a system, a sacrament, a priest, a teacher, in the Mediator’s place; so that the truth becomes obscured to us that the life of every human soul is wrapped up in its direct communion with its God, through faith in God as Christ revealed Him, and service of God after the pattern of the Divine life of Christ. (R. H. Storey, D.D.)

Christ Jesus the Mediator:

  1. The necessity of a mediator. But there are difficulties existing—a mighty gulf separating God and man. He cannot cross to us; we cannot cross to Him. His holiness is one obstacle. “He is of purer eyes than to behold evil.” Guilty and polluted as we are, we cannot approach that Holy Being without being at once consumed as were Korah and his companions. We at once see the necessity of a mediator. His justice is another obstacle. “Justice and judgment are the habitation of His throne.” Maintaining the honour and dignity of His government was another obstacle. The great Legislator of heaven has enacted a law that sin must be punished, that death must be the penalty of disobedience. That peace on earth and glory to God may harmonize, there must be a mediator. Thus we have noticed the need of a mediator on the part of Jehovah. The mediator is equally necessary on the part of man. Man needed One who would descend into the depths of ruin, place underneath him the arms of omnipotent love, and raise him up—One who could enter into his dungeon, strike off his fetters, and throw open the prison door for his release—One who can reveal the Most High as a God of mercy, compassion, and love, yearning over the wandering prodigal, and anxiously watching for the first sight of a trembling penitent returning home.
  2. Christ Jesus through the combination of the two natures is adapted to act as mediator. 1. He is equal with God; He is “the mighty God.” 2. He is acquainted with the mind of God. Christ being human possesses three qualifications to act as mediator:—1. An affinity to our nature. 2. A sympathy with our infirmities. 3. An interest in our cause. From this subject we learn—1. To admire the wisdom of God in providing such a mediator. 2. The love of Christ in occupying such a position. 3. The folly of sinners in rejecting this mediator. (I. Watkins.)

The mediator of the covenant, described in His person, natures, and offices:—Communion with God is our only happiness; it is the very heaven of heaven, and it is the beginning of heaven here on earth. The only foundation of this communion is the covenant of grace; and it is the great excellency of this covenant of grace, that it is established in such a mediator, even Jesus Christ.

  1. The only way of friendly intercourse between God and man. It is through a mediator; that is implied. Whether man in the state of innocency needed a mediator, is disputed among persons learned and sober; but in his lapsed state, this need is acknowledged by all. God cannot now look upon men out of a mediator but as rebels, traitor, as fit objects for His vindictive wrath; nor can men now look up to God but as a provoked Majesty, an angry Judge, a consuming fire.
  2. The only mediator between God and men. “One mediator,” that is, but one. Some acknowledge one mediator of reconciliation, but contend for many of intercession. So is Christ said here to be “one mediator,” that is, but one. This mediator is here described partly by His nature—“the Man”; and partly by His names—“Christ Jesus.” 1. His nature—“the man”; that is, “That eminent man,” so some; “He that was made man,” so others. “But why is this mediator mentioned in this nature only?” (1) Negatively: not by way of diminution, as if He were not God as well as man, as the Arians argue from this Scripture; nor as if the execution of his mediatorship were either only, or chiefly, in His human nature, as some affirm. (2) Positively: to prove that Jesus Christ was the true Messiah whom the prophets foretold, the fathers expected, and who had in that nature been so frequently promised: as in the first gospel that ever was preached (Gen. 3:15), He is promised as the Seed of the woman. 2. His names—“Christ Jesus.” Jesus, this was His proper name; Christ, this was His appellative name. Jesus: that denotes the work and business for which He came into the world. Christ: that denotes the several offices, in the exercise whereof He executes this work of salvation.

III. That there is now no other way of friendly communion between God and man, but through a mediator. And, indeed, considering what God is, and withal what man is; how vastly disproportionable, how unspeakably unsuitable our very natures are to His; how is it possible there should be any sweet communion betwixt them, who are not only so infinitely distant, but so extremely contrary? God is holy, but we are sinful. In a word: He an infinitely and incomprehensibly glorious majesty, and we poor sinful dust and ashes, who have sunk and debased ourselves by sin below the meanest rank of creatures, and made ourselves the burden of the whole creation. If ever God be reconciled to us, it must be through a mediator; because of that indispensible necessity of satisfaction, and our inability to make it (Rom. 8:7). If ever we be reconciled to God, it must be through a mediator; because of that radicated enmity that is in our natures to everything of God, and our impotency to it.

  1. That there is no other mediator between God and man, but Jesus Christ. “And one mediator”; that is, but one. And indeed there is none else fit for so high a work as this but only He. 1. The singular suitableness of His person to this eminent employment. To interpose as a mediator betwixt God and men, was an employment above the capacity of men, angels, or any other creature; but Jesus Christ, in respect of the dignity of His person, was every way suited for this work. Which you may take in these four particulars. (1) That He was truly God, equal with the Father, of the same nature and substance. For the further confirmation, take these arguments—(a) He whom Scripture honours with all those names which are peculiar unto God, must needs be God. That Christ hath these names ascribed to Him appears from these instances: He is not only styled God—“the Word was God” (John 1:1). (b) He in whom are those high and eminent perfections, those glorious attributes, of which no creature is capable, must needs be more than a creature, and consequently God. (2) As He is truly God, so is He complete and perfect man; having not only a human body, but a rational soul; and in all things was like to us, sin only excepted. That He had a real, not an imaginary, body, appears from the whole story of the gospel. (3) He is God and man in one person.
  2. The singular fitness of Christ for this work of mediation arises from His being God-man in two natures, united in one person without confusion or transmutation. 1. Had He not been truly God, He had been too mean a person for so high an employment. It was God that had been offended, an infinite Majesty that had been despised; the person therefore interposing must have some equality with him to whom he interposes. Had the whole society of persevering angels interposed on man’s behalf, it had been to little purpose; one Christ was infinitely more than all, and that because He was truly God. 2. Had He not been completely man, He had been no way capable of performing that indispensably-necessary condition, upon which God was willing to be reconciled; namely, the satisfying of that righteous sentence which God had pronounced: “In the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die” (Gen. 2:17). 3. Had He not been God and man in one person, the sufferings of His human nature could not have derived that infinite value from the Divine nature. We could not have called His blood “the blood of God,” as it is called (Acts 20:28): it would have been no more than the blood of a creature, and consequently as unavailable as the blood of bulls, &c. (Heb. 9:12; 10:4). 4. Had He not been God-man without confusion of natures, His Deity might either have advanced His humanity above the capacity of suffering; or His humanity might have debased His Deity below the capability of meriting, which is no less than blasphemy to imagine. And this is the first reason, the singular fitness of Christ for this work, because of the dignity of His person. The singular fitness of Christ for this employment in respect of the suitableness of His offices. There is a threefold misery upon all men, or a threefold bar to communion with God. (1) The guilt of their sins, which themselves are never able to expiate, or satisfy for. (2) The blindness of their minds, the cure whereof is too difficult for any creature-physician. (3) Their bondage and captivity to sin and Satan, which are enemies too strong for man to deal with. Suitably to these three great necessities, Jesus Christ is anointed of God to a threefold office, of a Priest, a Prophet, a King: the former of which offices he exercises on our behalf to God, and the last two from God to us. (a) The priestly office of Christ is the great, the only relief we have against the guilt of sin. The work of the priesthood consisted, under the law, chiefly of these two parts. (i) Satisfaction for the sins of the people (Lev. 4:15–19, &c.). (ii) Intercession unto God on their behalf (Lev. 16:15–17). Both which were verified in Christ our “great High Priest” (Heb. 4:14). His satisfaction, in discharging those debts which His people had run into with Divine Justice to the utmost farthing, (iii) His intercession; this is the other part of His priestly office. His satisfaction—that was performed on earth; His intercession is performed chiefly in heaven. By the former He purchased pardon and reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:19, compared with verse 21), by the latter He applies the benefits He hath purchased. (b) The prophetical office of Christ is the great, the only relief we have against the blindness and ignorance of our minds. He is that great Prophet of His Church whom Moses foretold, the Jews expected, and all men needed (Deut. 18:15; John 1:24, 25, 45; 6:14); that Sun of Righteousness, who by His glorious beams dispels those mists of ignorance and error which darken the minds of men; and is therefore styled, by way of eminency, “that Light” (John 1:8), and “the true Light” (John 1:9). The execution of this prophetical office is partly by revealing so much of the will of God as was necessary to our salvation; partly by making those revelations powerful and effectual. (i) In revealing the will of God. (ii) In enlightening effectually the souls of His people. In causing the blind to see, and making them who were once darkness to be “light in the Lord” (Eph. 5:8). Thus He instructs by His word and by His Spirit (1 Peter 1:12). (c) The kingly office of Christ is the great, the only relief we have against our bondage to sin and Satan. He to whom “all power is given in heaven, and in earth” (Matt. 28:18). (W. Whitaker, M.A.) Christ Jesus the only Mediator between God and men:
  3. That God hath appointed but one mediator, or advocate, or intercessor in heaven for us, in whose name, and by whose intercession, we are to offer up all our prayers and services to God. Besides that it is expressly said here in the text, “there is but one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” and that the Scripture nowhere mentions any other: I say, besides this, we are constantly directed to offer up our prayers and thanksgivings, and to perform all acts of worship in His name, and no other; and with a promise, that the prayers and services which we offer up in His name will be graciously answered and accepted (John 14:13, 14; 16:23, 24). St. Paul likewise commands Christians to perform all acts of religious worship in the name of Christ (Col. 3:16, 17). And indeed, considering how frequently the Scripture speaks of Christ as “our only way to God, and by whom alone we have access to the throne of grace,” we cannot doubt but that God hath constituted Him our only mediator and intercessor, by whom we are to address all our requests to God (John 14:6; Eph. 2:18). And we have no need of any other, as the apostle to the Hebrews reasons (Heb. 7:24, 25). “But this person (speaking of Christ) because He continueth for ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood,” “since He abides for ever, is able to save to the uttermost all those that come to God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for us.”
  4. I proceed to show that this doctrine or principle of one mediator between God and man, is most agreeable to one main end and design of the Christian religion, and of our saviour’s coming into the world, which was to destroy idolatry out of the world; which St. John calls “the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).

III. It is likewise evident from the nature and reason of the thing itself, that there is but one mediator and intercessor in heaven, who offers up our prayers to God, and that there can be no more. Because under the gospel there being but one high priest, and but one sacrifice once offered for sin; and intercession for sinners being founded in the merit and virtue of the sacrifice, by which expiation for sin is made, there can be no other mediator of intercession, but He who hath made expiation of sin, by a sacrifice offered to God for that purpose; and this Jesus Christ only hath done. He is both our high priest and our sacrifice; and therefore He only, in the merit and virtue of that sacrifice, which He offered upon earth, can intercede in heaven for us, and offer up our prayers to God. (J. Tillotson, D.D.)

Only one Mediator:—Dora Greenwell’s seemed to be a kind of dual nature religiously. On one side, as it were, she was High Church to the verge of Romanism; on the other, an earnest and simple evangelical Protestant. “However much,” she said, “I may appreciate the value of great Catholic ideas.… When I kneel down to pray I am a Protestant; with Christ only between me and God, and between me and Christ—faith.” (Sunday at Home.)

The atonement:

  1. The necessity for a mediator is distinctly implied. Christ is a true mediator, because He blends two natures in His own, the Divine and the human. When a man is down in a horrible pit, a rope dangling above him would be a mockery if it were far out of his reach; and a ladder set in the miry clay beside him would be equally useless, if the ground above were at an unreachable distance from its highest rung. The only means of communication, which can bring him salvation, must reach the sunlit plain above him, and yet be within his grasp. So is it with the “one Mediator.” As the God-man He reigns in the highest, yet reaches the lowest, and as the Son of man rather than the Son of David or the Son of Abraham, He touches every man, whatever his race or condition.
  2. The essence of the atonement appears in the statement that He, the mediator, Christ Jesus, “gave Himself a ransom for all.” The idea of substitution, however little it commends itself to the judgment of some who have often very imperfectly considered it, is unquestionably involved in this. The Greek word translated here “ransom,” means the redemption price paid for the deliverance of a slave or captive, and when Jesus “gave Himself” (not money or power) a ransom for all, He was like one who takes the place of a prisoner that the prisoner may go free. If the captive refuses freedom he perishes, but the love of his would-be deliverer is none the less. Most of those who have rejected this great doctrine have done so because they have had pressed home upon them only one phase of it—as if that were in itself a complete and satisfactory account of a profound mystery. The atonement has sometimes been spoken of as a sort of legal transaction, having no essential bearing upon moral character, which will procure acquittal for the sinner at the bar of judgment without setting him free from the usurpation of sin. 1. The God-ward side of the atonement is as important as it is mysterious, but it is not to be insisted upon as if it were all. The Scripture asserts again and again in types and in texts that it is in virtue of the death of Christ that God can justly forgive; that except for His sacrifice the Divine love could not reach us; that by Him satisfaction was made to the law of God, and that pardon was not, and could not be, a bare act of grace. These statements are beyond proof. They concern a sphere of existence about which we know absolutely nothing except what is revealed in Scripture. They have to do with the relations between the Eternal Father and the Only Begotten Son, about which the wisest of us are profoundly ignorant. We do not understand how the law of the Father required the sacrifice of the Son, nor how the death of the God-man affected the purpose of the Father; but are we to say, therefore, that there is no connection between them? Is that the only mystery in life? Why, what do you know of your own existence in its deeper relations? Yet it has been a frequent and grievous mistake of popular theology to dwell upon this aspect of the atonement only as if it contained the whole truth. But we must also remember that Christ’s giving of Himself as a ransom for all was meant to have its influence on human hearts. This leads us to contemplate—2. The man-ward side of the atonement. The Cross of Calvary assured the world that the Divine love, even for sinners, was capable of the utmost self-sacrifice, which taught many to say, “We love Him because He first loved us.” But there is yet another phase of Christ’s atoning work which must not be lost sight of. We have seen that it vindicated Divine law, and revealed Divine love so as to touch the hearts of those who saw it, but it was meant also to exert an ethical influence over men. 3. The moral power of the atonement. Many sneer at professing Christians as men who persuade themselves that they are relieved from the punishment of sin, but who show no signs whatever of being redeemed from its power. But love such as God calls for, and the sacrifice of Calvary demands, is really a strong and active affection; indeed, we are told that “love is the fulfilling of the law.”

III. The propagation of this fundamental truth through the world is to depend upon testimony. Paul says that he himself was a living witness of it. This is our duty too. It may be that we have not any remarkable gifts like Paul’s, but we may reveal to others the power of Christ to save from sin, if only we ourselves experience that power. (A. Rowland, LL.B.)

Jesus Christ the one Mediator between God and man:—Before entering upon the discussion of our text, we would offer a few remarks on the precise meaning of the term “mediator,” in this passage. Now, by the word “mediator,” in its general meaning, we understand one who interposes between two parties, either to obtain some favour from one to the other, or to adjust and make up some difference between them. But such a mediation may be either voluntary or authorized, assumed or commissioned. Moses was a mediator in the former sense, when he showed himself to his brethren “as they strove, and would have set them at one again” (Acts 7:26). His interference was rejected, when he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler or judge over us?” It is not such a mediator that the text speaks of. It is not presumption, not unauthorized good intention in Christ when He mediates. But, again: the meaning of the term is modified by the relative condition of the parties to be brought together. These may be equal; and then each is privileged to commit his own part in the matter in hand to the care of the common arbitrator. A mediator, under such circumstances, becomes an umpire, a judge, a referee, to whom the interest of each party is committed, and by whose decision each party is bound. But this does not come up to the idea of Christ’s mediation. A further notion of a mediator is that of one interposing between unequals: one that has been appointed by a superior, who has a right to make his own terms with an offending inferior, and to depute to whomsoever he may see fit the regulation of the manner in which intercourse is to be carried on between him and those with whom he may be willing to communicate. Moses, when called of God to the direction of Israel, is an instance of this authorized mediation between unequals; and, as such, was representative of the one great Mediator of whom our text speaks. By the term “mediator,” then, we are here to understand one duly commissioned by God, with whom the power rests, to negotiate between Himself and man, in order, as God’s vicegerent, to receive man’s submission and obedience; and, as man’s representative and advocate, to propitiate God’s justice, and to procure and communicate God’s blessing.

  1. The parties to be reconciled are “God and man”; the Creator and the creature; the rightful Sovereign and the rebellious subject; the kind Father and the ungrateful child. Strange, it may be said, that there should be variance between such: was it always thus? No: once all was harmony and peace and love. Whence, then, did the estrangement arise? From God? No: the profusion and magnificence and beauty of Eden forbid the entertainment of such a thought. It was in man that the alienation began. But how is the estrangement perpetuated? “The carnal mind is enmity against God”: here is the sinner’s having learned to hate what he feels he has abused, and manifesting the identity of interest and feeling between himself and that evil one whose cause he now maintains. The very purity of the Being he has injured makes his hatred but the more malignant: the very lack of palliation for his disobedience confirms him in his settled purpose still to sin with a high hand. Thus, what folly and pride began, folly and pride perpetuate.
  2. The person mediating—“the man Christ Jesus.” 1. As to His nature, we may remark, that the expression, “the man Christ Jesus,” must not be considered as declarative of His humanity to the denial of His divinity. He is “Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God”; “God over all, blessed for evermore.” But the Mediator is still the “man Christ Jesus.” Our high notions of His Divinity must not cause us to overlook or deny His humanity. As His Divinity fits Him to act with God for man, so His humanity fits Him to act with man for God. But He must be sinless man. The slightest flaw in His moral character would make Him a criminal, and not an Advocate—would make His mediation offensive. The circumstance of having a tendency to sin would imply partiality: He would be prone to palliate rather than to condemn, and have a tendency to lower the standard of the Creator’s requirements, in order to make easier terms for the creature. 2. Again, as to His commission. He is authorized and empowered by Him with whom alone the power rests. 3. His work is threefold: His atonement, intercession, and mission of the Spirit.

III. The design or end of this mediation. Now, we must bear in mind that a mediator is required to consider the interests of both parties in behalf of whom he acts, and to make terms by which the honour of the superior, and the restoration to favour of the inferior, may be most effectually secured. With regard to the Almighty Ruler, His honour and sovereignty must be maintained, and His glory acknowledged and admired. Man’s position is naturally now one of rebellion; but he must be brought to lay down his arms. Christ, in the person and place of man, has tendered and paid the penalty incurred, met the demands of offended justice, and now He tenders the submission of each individual child of man that receives Him as his Mediator by faith. The construction of man in his original form was a wonder of Divine skill: the formation of his spirit in knowledge, holiness, and happiness, bespoke a master hand; but, when all the beauty of this wondrous production had been marred by the fall, to re-construct, re-adorn, re-glorify the whole, was the act only of Him whose thoughts are not as our thoughts. Yet such is the effect of Christ’s mediation. Intelligence continually enlarging and expanding in the unclouded presence of the very Source of truth; holiness everlastingly increasing in those regions where nothing entereth that defileth; love for ever glowing with increasing intensity before Him who is its very essence; happiness continually accumulating in the presence of Him who supplies it in inexhaustible abundance—these are the prospects of the redeemed soul: this is the high perfection to which the wisdom and power and love of Jehovah will bring the frail fragile thing that Satan shivered, and sin defiled. The glory of the perfections of Jehovah, then, are acknowledged and illustrated. But another end of this mediation was the good of man. Christ came to procure the outpouring of the blessing which sin had checked and intercepted. God now can visit those who had loved Him in Christ Jesus. We would now proceed to offer a few general observations which seem to be suggested by the whole subject. 1. And, first, how great is the unfairness of those who affirm, and the folly of those who can be persuaded, that the tendency of the doctrine of justification by faith only, is to engender a careless and an antinomian spirit. 2. But another observation is this: How great are the injury and injustice done to Christ by the addition of other mediators! To endeavour to make out a necessity for the interposition of the virgin, of saints, or of any priestly mediator on earth, in order to our availing ourselves of the mediation of the Redeemer, is grounded on no warranty of Scripture, and reflects injuriously on the character of the blessed Jesus. (John Richardson, B.A.) The Man Christ Jesus.

Christ’s—a true and proper humanity:—In whatever way God is pleased to manifest Himself, the medium of manifestation must be limited and finite. His union with our humanity, as an organ of revelation, is no more inconceivable than with any other nature which is restricted and confined. He was pleased to assume our humanity as the form through which to reveal the Divinity, and had He not been conscious of a complete participation in human nature, He never would have adopted or employed the designation—Son of Man. Having taken our nature, the man Christ Jesus followed the laws of purely human development both in body and in mind. He not only represented but passed through every successive period or stage of life. In every sense He was a child—in every sense a youth—in every sense a man. The social affections enter immediately and inseparably into the very idea of our humanity. With these social feelings our Creator has endowed us, and has fixed our abode in a world in which they are ever being called into joyous play, and in which there exists the most beautiful provision for their gratification. Nor does Christianity interfere with these social ties and relationships. We are formed to love. Nor can we conceive of any principle, human or Divine, stronger or more impressive. It is the conservative principle of families and of society at large. A world without love would be a world in which every social bond would soon be loosened and broken, and the human passions become the play of so many lawless forces, which would ultimately involve society in eternal enmity and opposition. One of the most touching scenes in the social life and history of Christ is connected with His death. Not far from His cross, and just as He was in the act of giving up His spirit into the hands of His Father, He beheld His mother standing at a distance, burdened with sorrow and bathed in tears. While His development was from first to last without sin—while He was a living and pure model of that conduct which is pleasing to God—yet His fellowship with humanity was emphatically a fellowship of suffering. In suffering He surpassed all men. In proportion to the perfection, refinement, and sensibility of His nature, was the depth and keenness of His affliction. Never was sorrow like unto His sorrow. We wonder not, therefore, that Christ should have a deep and unmistakeable sympathy with suffering and with sorrow. Not that His sympathies could flow out only amid scenes of grief and distress. The subject of the purest social affections, He could freely mingle in the intercourse of men, and share in all their human joys. In Him we behold that Spirit of liberty with which the Divine life takes hold of, and appropriates to itself the relations of the world and of society. Christianity is eminently social in its character. True piety is cheerful as the day, and sheds its radiance over every scene. That school of spiritual life in which the Saviour taught His disciples differed from every other. Instead of a sour, austere, unyielding asceticism, He trained them to a comparatively unrestrained mode of life. Nor was it with poverty only that the Saviour sympathized. Nor must we lose sight of the truth, that the sympathy of Christ sprang from the purest and most intense love—that love, which, in seeking and in blessing its objects, asks not how, or when, or where. It is true that this loving, compassionate, sympathizing Saviour, has left this lower sphere of being, and hath passed into those higher heavens, in which room is found for nothing but the most refined and the most sublime enjoyment; and yet even there is “He touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” His sympathies are still with us, whether we be in joy or in sorrow, and He can so communicate with our spirit, as to give us the consciousness of Divine succour and support. We are conscious of the fellowship of mind with mind. And what shall we say of those kindred virtues which clustered and shone like the most brilliant constellation in the life and character of the Man? Humility is the queen of graces. It is one of the rarest and the truest virtues. It is far removed from everything approaching to meanness of spirit. Having come into the world to offer himself a sacrifice for man, there was no act of hazard or of self-denial to which the Saviour was not prepared and willing to descend. Allied to this humility is meekness. Self-denial is nothing if clamorous and noisy. It does not lift up and cause its voice to be heard in the street. It is silent, unobtrusive, and retiring. If humility be not servility, neither is meekness to be looked upon as softness. Hence it is that we read of the gentleness of Christ. Not only was He harmless in life, but in death He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth. Not that He can be charged with timidity and weakness. His soul was full of manly energy. A spirit so humble, and meek, and gentle, could not be wanting in forbearance; but forbearance must not be understood as involving anything of timidity or cowardice. It is the highest manifestation of self-control. It follows that this forbearance carries with it the corresponding idea of patience. In forbearance there must be the power of enduring. But patience is not to be resolved into insensibility, any more than forbearance is to be resolved into cowardice. The Saviour of man could not only face opposition and danger, but He could with calm assurance bear every species of wrong and suffering which could be inflicted on His deeply sensitive and susceptible nature. It now only remains to add, that this patience was allied to the most child-like submission—the most perfect resignation. To give up our own individual will for the will of another in circumstances of deep suffering, is the perfection of Christian virtue. Nor were these virtues embodied and exemplified in the life of Christ otherwise than as a model and example to man. Our character and life should be the mirror in which His virtues are reflected; or rather, our life should be the counterpart of His. We must copy after our great pattern. It is not forbidden us in the arrangements of infinite wisdom and love to cultivate and cherish the social affections to the highest possible point, so long as they do not withdraw the heart from God, and the sublime objects of immortality. Nor can our Christianity have its full development but amid the scenes, and friend ships, and enjoyments of our present being. Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatso ever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report—if there be any force, and if there be any praise in them, think on these things, and these things do, and the God of peace shall be with you. (R. Ferguson.)

The man Christ Jesus:—To pray for all, even for those that are most hostile or most alien (ver. 3), is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour. It may well be so, it must be so. For it is in accordance with His mind and will as Saviour. He is our Saviour, it is true; but not ours only (ver. 4). He will have all men—His greatest enemies, the most outcast prodigals, not excepted—He will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. If there are any for whom we cannot pray directly out of sympathy with them, we can pray for them out of sympathy with the Lord, who is our Saviour, and who is willing also to be theirs. All the rather will we pray for them all, when we bear in mind that they and we are all one. Yes! all are one, they and we are one; inasmuch (ver. 5) as there is one God for all, one Mediator for all, one Saviour for all. There are not many Gods, so that one might belong to one God and some to another. There are not many Mediators, many Captains of salvation, under whose separate banners men might rank themselves at pleasure. There are not many ransoms, with blood of various hues to meet varieties of taste among the sprinkled worshippers. There is but one God, to whom all belong. One God for all. One Mediator for all. One ransom for all. And the ransom, the Mediator, Christ Jesus, is “the man.” Not a man of a particular colour, whether fair, or dark, or of Ethiopian dye. Not a man of particular race, Jew or Gentile; of Shem, of Japhet, or of Ham. Not a man of a particular class or rank, whether of royal ancestry or of lineage proper to His birth in the stable of an inn. Not a man of a particular temperament, whether sanguine or morose, grave or gay. Not a man of a particular history, walking in a path apart. He is “the man Christ Jesus”; everywhere, always, to every one, the same; the man. Therefore they who love Him, the man Christ Jesus, may well be exhorted to pray for all men.

  1. He is the man all through; out and out the man. In soul, body, spirit; in look, voice, carriage, walk; in mind, heart, feeling, affection. In Him—in all about Him, all He is, and all He does, you see the man; not the man of honour, the man of piety, the man of patience, the man of patriotism, the man of philanthropy; but the man. The manhood in Christ Jesus is very noble, but it is very simple. And it is because it is so simple that it is so noble. None have ever succeeded in drawing His character since. Do you ever think of Him but just as the man? Other men you think of as distinguished by their features. You remember other men by their peculiarities of manner. But by what peculiarity do you remember the man Christ Jesus? Oh! it is a blessed thing to know that Jesus Christ is the man. The man for you, brother, whoever you are—and the man also, I thank God, for me! The man for the strong—the man for the weak! The man for heroes, for who so heroic as the man Christ Jesus? The man for you who toil in the carpenter’s shop; in the like of which once He toiled, like you—the man Christ Jesus!
  2. He is simply man throughout; in every exigency, in every trial, simply man—the man Christ Jesus! In all His earthly and human experience, you never find Him other than man; you never find Him less than man; and you never find Him more than man. He is the Son of God, you know; the Father’s fellow. But you never think of His being the Son of God as making His manhood at all different from yours. No! For you never find Him taking shelter from the ills to which flesh is heir in any power, or privilege, or prerogative of His Divine nature and heavenly rank. Thus, as the man Christ Jesus, He lies in His mother’s bosom, and works at her husband’s trade, He is subject, all His youth, to His parents, He is weary, hungry, thirsty, He is vexed, grieved, pained, provoked, His soul is exceedingly sorrowful, and at times His anger is stirred, He cries, and groans, and weeps, He bleeds, and quivers, and dies. Man’s capacity of attainment, man’s power of endurance—what man is fit for, what man can stand, with the help of God, you learn from the human history of the man Christ Jesus!

III. He is the man exclusively, pre-eminently, par excellence, to the absolute exclusion of all others, He is the man, the only man, complete and perfect. He stands alone as man. Manhood, in its integrity, belongs to Him alone. Not otherwise, Oh, my brother sinner, could He be the man for you; the man for me. Let one gather up in himself all the fragments of the manhood which you and I share together. Let him collect in one heap, as it were, every particle of glory and beauty to be found anywhere among the ruins of humanity. Let him take every great man’s quality of greatness, every good man’s element of goodness. Take all the good, of all sorts, you can possibly discover in the records of good men of all the ages. Mix, compound, combine as you may please, you cannot get the man! For the man to meet my case, and satisfy the craving of my soul—must be no thing of shreds and patches; but complete, perfect, an unbroken round, in himself one whole. No composite will do. He must be a single and simple unity; one, like the seamless coat, woven from the top throughout. But humanity, manhood, has never been thus one, inwardly and intensely one, since the fall. Men there have been, good and great. But they have been fragmentary; a bit of manhood in each; often a very beautiful bit of manhood; but set, alas! and often well-nigh lost, in a confused, chaotic jumble of inconsistencies and incoherences! And here is the man; the man Christ Jesus. All manhood is His; manhood such as yours and mine; but untainted, incorrupt, one and indivisible, which yours and mine is not. He is holy, harmless, undefiled; and separate from sinners. Nay, even if we could fancy a man more complete still, more completely uniting in himself the excellences of all other men, and more completely excluding their infirmities and faults; we cannot reach the idea of one who would not be more to some than he might be to others; who might be everything to you, and little, if anything at all, to me. No! If we would find one who is to be the man for me, for you, for all; we must ascend the stream of time, and fetch his manhood from beyond the flood, from beyond the fall! Then, in the unbroken image of God, manhood, human nature, the very self of man, was truly and indeed one. Since then the manhood among men has been manifold and broken and fragmentary. The man who is to gather up the fragments must himself be whole. The only one who can be the head of all, because He can be the same to all, is He who takes our human nature—not as it is now, rent and torn by sin—but as it once was; one in unbroken, pure, and holy innocence, one in immaculate likeness to the Holy One. And who is this but the man Christ Jesus?

  1. He is the man to mediate between God and man. To be the one Mediator, He must be pre-eminently and distinctively the man; the representative man; the one man. If mediation is a reality; if it is a real transaction outside of us; not an internal process, but the adjustment of an external relation, as all Scripture teaches us that it is; the mediator must be a third party, distinct from both the parties between whom He mediates. He may and must represent both. But He is to be confounded with neither, He is to be merged in neither. A man cannot have a mediator within himself; nor can he mentally create a mediator out of himself. He cannot be his own mediator. Every man is not a mediator, nor is it any man indiscriminately who can be a mediator. Nor will an ideal man, springing, as it were, fully grown, from the thoughtful head or fond heart, the living ideal outcome and expression of those human instincts that are opposed to evil, and yearn for good, suffice. No. Not though we give it a local habitation and a name, and call it the man Christ Jesus of Nazareth. If there is to be real and actual mediation in the fair and honest sense of the term, the man who is to be mediator must be found for me, not found by me, least of all found by me in myself. He must be born, not from among us, but from above. He must be the man, not by assent or consent on the part of earth merely, but by the decree of heaven, or rather by the creative act of heaven’s Lord, doing a new thing on the earth, bringing in anew the man, the second Adam! Thus three conditions come together and coalesce as identifying the man who is to be the mediator. First, He must be the man, not as manhood exists and appears, marred and broken, among the children of the fall, but as it was in its original oneness and perfection, when man really bore the image of his Maker. Secondly, He must be the man, not as suggested by men’s own instincts, and impulses, and cravings, but as directly chosen, appointed, introduced by God Himself. And, thirdly, He must be the man, as being, in His wondrous person, one with God in the same true and real sense in which He is one with men. All these three conditions meet in the man Christ Jesus. And they meet in Him as the man who sounded the utmost depths of human experience, and in the strength of His pure and simple manhood, aided only by prayer and by the Spirit, withstood evil, mastered pain, and by suffering overcame the wicked one. Truly there is and can be but one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. The man—(1) Made, as to His human nature, by special miracle, in the unbroken image and likeness of God. The man (2) Who comes forth from God, bearing His commission to negotiate peace. The man (3) Who in respect of His Divine nature, unchanged, unchangeable, is one with God—the Son dwelling evermore in the Father’s bosom.
  2. He is the man to give Himself a ransom for all. He who would do this—must be one who is willing to take your place, and be your substitute; and fulfil all your obligations, and meet all your responsibilities. But more than that, He must be Himself free, under no obligations, under no responsibilities of His own. He must be one who owes nothing to God on His own account; no service, or righteousness, or obedience; and one also who lies under no penalty on His own account; against whom no charge can be brought. In whom are these qualifications found combined but in the man Christ Jesus? For His willingness who can doubt it? “Lo, I come,” He says (Psa. 40:7). But willingness alone will not suffice. He who is to be your surety, your ransom, must be no common man. If He is one who, as a mere creature, is made under the law, as all intelligent creatures are made under the law, He cannot answer for others; He can but answer for Himself. Not even if He were the highest of the angelic host could He do more. Brother, thou needest a ransom, an infinite ransom, a perfect ransom, a ransom sufficient for the cancelling of all thy guilt and the perfecting of thy peace with God. No such ransom canst thou find in thyself, in me, in any angel. But God has found it.
  3. He is the man to be testified in due time. A testimony for fitting seasons, a great truth to be attested as a fact at the right crisis of the world’s history, to be ever afterwards preached and taught as the source of life to men doomed to die—is this marvellous constitution of the manhood of Christ Jesus; fitting Him for being the one Mediator, the one Ransom. It is the testimony for which I am ordained a preacher, an ambassador for Christ. 1. It is my ordained and appointed testimony, or rather the Lord’s by me, to thee, O sleeper—to thee, O doubter—to thee, whosoever thou art, who art living a godless, unholy life, unrenewed, unreconciled, unsanctified. It is a testimony in due time to thee. 2. It is the testimony with which I am charged to thee also, O downcast soul, who art afflicted, tossed with tempest and not comforted, sin-laden, sorrow-laden, unable to see thy warrant for having peace and life with thy God. I testify to thee, the Lord testifies by me to thee, that all thou needest is in the man Christ Jesus, the Mediator, the Ransom, and in Him for thee. 3. It is a timely, seasonable testimony to thee also, O man of God, my son Timothy, O child of God, who hast quiet peace in believing, and art walking at liberty, having respect to all God’s commandments. The testimony to thee this day is of the man Christ Jesus, the Mediator, the Ransom. And it is for every due time, every fitting season. For thyself, I urge thy recognition always of Him of whom I testify, the man Christ Jesus. For, whatever the time, whatever the season, it is a due time, a fitting season, for His being testified to thee, by the Spirit, as being present with thee. As thou walkest the streets, or journeyest along the road, He talks with thee by the way, and opens to thee the Scriptures concerning Himself; the man Christ Jesus, who taught thus of old in Galilee and Jewry, speaking as never man spoke. As thou sittest at meat, He breaks bread with thee, the man Christ Jesus, in whose living, personal, human, and Divine fellowship, the first disciples at Jerusalem did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart. As thou visitest the fatherless and widows in their affliction, He goes with thee, the man Christ Jesus, who in all their affliction is Himself afflicted. As thou art wearied among the workers of iniquity whom thou art seeking to turn to righteousness, ready to complain, “Who hath believed our report?” see, ever near thee, at thy side, the man Christ Jesus, who endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, and whose prayer on the cross was, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!” (R. S. Candlish, D.D.)

Christ, the mediating man:—Jesus Christ as standing for mediatorial purposes between God and man, is doing a work necessary to be done before satisfactory relations can be established between the sinner and the holy God. Our sins have separated us from God, and Christ lives to intercede, to mediate for us. Now, this fact has been so stated at times as to produce false impressions concerning God and His feelings towards men. It has been spoken of as though Jesus Christ had to stand for us in the presence of God, to offer Himself as a sacrifice, to persuade the Supreme to have pity, to take us back into His favour. God is thus represented as One who sustains a stern anger against the entire race, and who is determined to hold out in His terrible wrath against them. Now, I venture to assert that any teaching which leaves that idea of God upon the hearts of men is a gross libel of the Divine nature, utterly contrary to Scripture, and solemnly untrue. We could not feel any conscious gratitude for such compulsory pardon as that. If we realized any love or gratitude, it would not go forth to Him, but to the Mediator who had interposed to save us from the impending wrath. We should regard God as One to dread, and Christ only as One to love. If there is one clear testimony of Scripture that we are invited to receive, it is that God’s mercy is the fountain and source of the grace we receive. Christ is the expression of God’s mercy. Christ is God’s gift. Yet, it may be asked, could not God have saved and reconciled the world without the intervention of the man Christ Jesus? He is a very bold dogmatist who would say that God could not have redeemed without the aid of the appointed Mediator. That would be to shut Him up to necessity, to surround Him with limitations, to restrict Him within the sphere of a single method, forgetting that with God all things are possible. That God has arranged that this shall be, warrants us, not in saying that the end could not have been accomplished in some other way, but that this was in the Infinite Wisdom the best, and that it met a necessity which could not have been otherwise so well and adequately met. If you ask what was that necessity which resulted in the life and death of Christ, then Scripture is silent. There it stands, a sublime history, an accomplished fact, in some way unexplained to us. Our salvation depends upon that mediatorial work; the Christ has come between us and God, and so achieved our ransom; and He now appears in the presence of God for us. Yes, there it is; though, I repeat, so far as the Divine side of the work of Christ is concerned, we know nothing more than this, that it has satisfied the Divine Father, and made salvation possible to all. So we rest assured that it was the best way. When, however, we turn to the human side, we perceive how wonderfully gracious is the arrangement that the Mediator should have been what He was—a man, the man Christ Jesus. This is what we are asked to fix our attention upon as of supreme and vital importance to us. He who undertakes our case and pleads our cause is not an angel, is not to be regarded as standing in any degree aloof from us; for though He had a supernatural birth, that in no sense was meant to separate Him from the race: He is still essentially one with it. It is just what we want to realize. He is distinctively the man—the man belonging alike to all. His nationality is not prominent in our minds, and in no way estranges our sympathy from Him, or affects our feeling towards Him. The fact is, as you read the exquisite record of His life, you feel that no nation has any special claim upon Him. He lives, and acts, and speaks, and dies as One who belongs to all humanity. Then, carry the thought further. Your study of the character and conduct of Jesus Christ will have revealed to you this great truth—that He does not impress you as manifesting any particular temperament. We mark off men according to certain peculiarities of disposition which they possess: their individuality puts them into classes. We speak of the reserved and the frank, the serious and the gay. Now you find nothing of all this in Christ. He shows no one quality of mind or heart predominant over any other. There is a rounded completeness of nature in Him altogether unique. What is the consequence of this? That He repels none, and is attractive to all. Men of varying temperaments, like those who formed the first group of disciples, cluster around Him, accept Him as their guide and teacher. He is the Christ for all—the Mediator in whom all can trust. He can draw all temperaments and natures to Himself. See in this again another proof of His fitness for the office He holds, and the work He undertakes—the man Christ Jesus, the One Mediator. The world wants no other, no multiplied agency. Take notice again that He has none of the faults and flaws and imperfections of common manhood. Here indeed is His peculiarity. Yes, but even then you have proof that He is the Man. In Him you have manhood in its integrity. You have manhood in its grandest possibilities. But how does that complete manhood of our Lord help us to rejoice that He is the right One to become our Mediator? I reply that you could not conceive the idea of an imperfect one representing the case of sinners; you could not be content to trust it in his hands; you could not be sure of the result. His infirmities might interfere with and mar his grand work. It would not be to such a one that we could look hopefully to be the means of redeeming us, for he would need himself to be redeemed. He is a man, knowing us altogether, yet free from our defects and evil, and so fitted to achieve the work of reconciling us and leading us back to God. Thus the very integrity of His manhood is the reason why He should be the Mediator for all other men. You are linked to God through Him, and through Him will come every blessing that God has to give to His children. Let none fear to come to God, since the way is opened for reconciliation through the Mediator—the man Christ Jesus—and all that Christ is and all that He has accomplished are for you. (W. Braden.)[13]


5. There are different opinions over whether this verse is a quotation from another source or whether it is the writer’s own statement. Because the idea of a mediator is prominent in the Epistle to the Hebrews, it has been suggested that this statement has been influenced by that Epistle. But Paul himself would certainly have agreed with both statements in this verse. He reasoned from the unity of God to the universalism of his mission in answering Jewish exclusivism in Romans 3:29–30. Here the appeal to the doctrine of the unity of God, common to both Judaism and Christianity, links up with the divine desire that all should come to a knowledge of the truth. The second part of the verse adds an exclusively Christian element. The doctrine of Christ as mediator is more fully expounded in the Epistle to the Hebrews in connection with the covenant. That no bond between God and man was possible apart from Christ Jesus is also fundamental to Paul’s thought. It is because a mediator must be representative that the humanity of Christ (the man Christ Jesus) is also brought into prominence.[14]


5 Paul now elaborates even further his command in vv. 1–2, this time by specifying the nature of the gospel that must be proclaimed. The following affirmation may draw on a Christian confession (“the testimony given in its proper time,” v. 6). The existence of “one God” was affirmed by monotheistic Judaism (Dt 6:4), with important implications also for Gentiles (cf. Ac 17:23–31; Ro 3:30; 1 Co 8:6). Unfortunately, first-century Jews frequently defined their salvation-historical privilege in narrow, nationalistic terms. This ethnic presumption is firmly opposed by both Jesus and the early church, including Peter (1 Pe 2), Paul (letter to the Romans), and John (e.g., Jn 10:16; 11:51–52; 12:32). Since there are other monotheistic religions besides Christianity, the apostle proceeds to stress that there is only “one mediator” between God and humanity, the man Christ Jesus, “who gave himself as a ransom for all men” (see comments at v. 6).

Just as there is only one God, there is also only “one mediator” (mesitēs, GK 3542) between God and the human race, the man Christ Jesus (cf. Jn 14:6b). In Hebrews, Jesus is presented as the mediator of a new covenant, replacing the old covenant mediated by Moses (Heb 8:6; 9:15; 12:24; cf. Gal 3:19–20). No other intermediaries will do, be they angels (Col 2:18; Heb 2:2), Moses (Gal 3:19; Heb 3:1–6), Jewish high priests (Heb 8:6, 9, 13.; 9:13; 12:24), or other religious figures. Here the “mediator” concept is developed in terms of the “ransom” (v. 6; antilytron, GK 519; see apolytrōsis in Ro 3:24; 8:23; 1 Co 1:30; Col 1:14) offered through Jesus’ death (cf. Tit 2:14: lytroō, GK 3390, “redeem”). This presupposes universal human sinfulness (cf. Ro 1–3). The reference to Jesus’ humanity emphasizes both his identification with the human race and his status as the man par excellence, the one who alone was in a position to provide redemption from sin (cf. Paul’s Adam/Christ theology in Ro 5:12–21; 1 Co 15:21–22, 45–49).[15]


[1] Quarles, C. L. (2017). 1 Timothy. In T. Cabal (Ed.), CSB Apologetics Study Bible (p. 1508). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

[2] Criswell, W. A., Patterson, P., Clendenen, E. R., Akin, D. L., Chamberlin, M., Patterson, D. K., & Pogue, J. (Eds.). (1991). Believer’s Study Bible (electronic ed., 1 Ti 2:5). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[3] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (pp. 1752–1753). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

[4] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (1 Ti 2:5). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[5] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 2327). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[6] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (1 Ti 2:5). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[7] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (1 Ti 2:5). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.

[8] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 1597). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[9] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 2082). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[10] Larson, K. (2000). I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon (Vol. 9, pp. 165–166). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[11] Utley, R. J. (2000). Paul’s Fourth Missionary Journey: I Timothy, Titus, II Timothy (Vol. Volume 9, pp. 26–27). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.

[12] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Pastoral Epistles (Vol. 4, pp. 97–98). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[13] Exell, J. S. (n.d.). The Biblical Illustrator: First Timothy (pp. 107–121). New York; Chicago; Toronto: Fleming H. Revell Company.

[14] Guthrie, D. (1990). Pastoral Epistles: An Introduction and Commentary (Vol. 14, p. 86). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[15] Köstenberger, A. (2006). 1 Timothy. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) (Vol. 12, p. 512). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

February 4 Afternoon Quotes of The Day

Dwelling on the Same Essentials of Christianity
Galatians 1:6–7

I like to hear a man dwell much on the same essentials of Christianity. For we have but one God, and one Christ, and one faith to preach; and I will not preach another Gospel to please men with variety, as if our Saviour and our Gospel were grown stale.

RICHARD BAXTER

Ritzema, E. (Ed.). (2012). 300 Quotations for Preachers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Obstinate Sinners Like Hedgehogs
Isaiah 30:1; 65:2; John 15:22; Romans 10:21

The hedgehog is the obstinate sinner, covered all over with the prickles of sins. If you endeavor to convince him of the sin he has committed, he immediately rolls himself up, and hides, by excusing, his fault.

ANTHONY OF PADUA

Ritzema, E., & Brant, R. (Eds.). (2013). 300 quotations for preachers from the Medieval church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

February 4 Afternoon Verse of the Day

20:27 The Lord dealt gently and patiently with His faithless follower. He invited him to prove the reality of His resurrection by putting his hand into the spear wound in His side.[1]


20:27 “and do not be unbelieving, but believing” This is a PRESENT MIDDLE (deponent) IMPERATIVE with NEGATIVE PARTICLE which means to stop an act in process. All believers are a strange mixture of doubt and faith![2]


Ver. 27. Then said He to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger.—

Signs and evidences:—1. How struck must Thomas have been when his Lord addressed to him the very words which he had himself used (ver. 25)! Jesus knows how to send the word home to us. 2. In the church of to-day we have many a Thomas,—slow, suspicious, critical, full of doubts, yet true-hearted. 3. Thomas set his Lord a test, and thus tried His patience. 4. The Lord accepted the test, and so proved His condescension. 5. The proof sufficed for Thomas, and thus showed the Lord’s wisdom. 6. Peradventure, certain among us would desire tests of some such sort. To those we would earnestly say—

  1. Crave no signs. After the full proofs Which Christ gave to His apostles, we need no more, and to look for further signs and evidences would be wrong. Yet some are demanding miracles, faith-healings, visions, voices, impressions, transports, depressions, &c. 1. It is dishonouring to your Lord. 2. It is unreasonable, when the truth bears its own evidence. 3. It is presumptuous. How dare we stipulate for proof more than sufficient, or demand evidence of a sort which pleases our prejudices! 4. It is damaging to ourselves. Faith must be weak while we demand for it such proofs; and in this weakness lies incalculable mischief. 5. It is dangerous. We may readily be driven either into infidelity or superstition, if we give way to this craving for signs. Picture what Thomas could and would have become under the influence of his unbelief, had not his Lord interposed.
  2. Yet turn to Christ’s wounds. Let these stand to you instead of signs and wonders. Behold in these wounds—1. The seals of His death. He did actually and truly die. How could He outlive that wound in His side? 2. The identification of His person as actually risen. 3. The tokens of His love. He has graven us upon the palms of His hands. 4. The ensigns of His conflict, of which He is not ashamed, for He displays them. 5. The memorials of His passion, by which He is manifested in glory as the Lamb that was slain (Rev. 5:6). This should more than suffice you; but should doubt still linger—

III. Use such evidences as you possess. 1. The sacred narrative of our Lord’s life and death, if carefully studied, exhibits a singular self-evidencing power. 2. The regenerating and purifying result of faith in the great Lord is a further piece of evidence. “By their fruits ye shall know them” (Matt. 7:20). 3. The solace which faith yields in sorrow is good proof. 4. The strength it gives in the hour of temptation is further help. 5. The ardour of mind and elevation of aim, which faith in Jesus creates, are other experimental arguments. 6. The visitations of the Holy Spirit, in quickening the heart, reviving the spirit, and guiding the mind, are additional proofs. Thus the Holy Ghost bears witness to our Lord. 7. The actual enjoyment of fellowship with the Lord Jesus Himself is the master-key of the whole controversy. “We have known and believed” (1 John 4:17). Conclusion: 1. Does this seem an idle tale to you? 2. Should you not see cause for fear, if it be so? 3. Seek now to view those wounds believingly, that you may live. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

Christ known by the nail prints:—In an old legend it is said that Satan once appeared to an old saint and said, “I am Christ,” when the saint confounded him, and exposed his pretensions, as he said, “Then where are the nail-prints?” (H. O. Mackey.)

Be not faithless but believing:—A gentleman who assisted the Countess of Huntingdon in the management of Spa-fields Chapel, called upon her one day, to expostulate with her on the impropriety of entering into engagements without having the means of honourably fulfilling them. Before he left the house her letters arrived. As she opened one her countenance brightened, and her tears began to flow; the letter was to this effect, “An individual, who has heard of Lady Huntingdon’s exertions to spread the gospel, requests her acceptance of the enclosed draft to assist her in the laudable undertaking.” The draft was for five hundred pounds—the exact sum for which she stood engaged. “Here,” said she, “take it, and pay for the chapel, and be no longer faithless, but believing.”[3]


27 Jesus speaks to Thomas as if he has heard exactly what Thomas said to the other disciples two verses earlier. Responding to Thomas’s demand to both see and touch “the print of the nails,” and put his hand into Jesus’ side (v. 25), he says, “Bring your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side”; then, responding to Thomas’s emphatic “I will never believe” (v. 25), he adds, “and be no longer faithless but faithful”51 (v. 27). The invitation to believe (as, for example, in 14:1, “Believe in God, and believe in me!”) is explicit. A popular interpretation of Mark 9:24 (“I believe; help my unbelief”) implies that belief and unbelief can somehow rest side by side in the same heart, but that is no more the case there than it is here. Thomas must choose between being “faithless” and “faithful.” To believe is to renounce unbelief. There is no middle ground. Nor is Jesus asking Thomas to believe without verification. On the contrary, he is asking for faith based on seeing what the other disciples saw, and beyond that on physically touching Jesus’ wounds.53 He is offering Thomas exactly what Thomas demanded.[4]


27 After the greeting Jesus addressed himself to his hard-headed disciple. With some rather unexpected vocabulary he invites Thomas to carry out the tests he himself had nominated, to put his finger into the nailprints and his hand into the side. Jesus concludes by urging Thomas to cease being an unbeliever79 but become a believer.[5]


[1] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1569). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[2] Utley, R. J. (1999). The Beloved Disciple’s Memoirs and Letters: The Gospel of John, I, II, and III John (Vol. Volume 4, p. 180). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.

[3] Exell, J. S. (n.d.). The Biblical Illustrator: St. John (Vol. 3, pp. 437–438). London: James Nisbet & Co.

[4] Michaels, J. R. (2010). The Gospel of John (p. 1017). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, UK: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[5] Morris, L. (1995). The Gospel according to John (p. 752). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

4 Feb 2021 News Briefing

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Israel’s ex-Intel Chief calls for Preemptive Strike against Iran
In light of Iran’s fast-moving efforts to develop a nuclear bomb, Likud MK and Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Avi Dichter, a former director of the Shin Bet, has called to “initiate serious operational moves, in the Israel Defense Forces in particular.” The comments followed an Israel Hayom report that the International Atomic Energy Agency had also found that Iran was systematically violating the agreement and getting closer to obtaining a nuclear weapon.

China warns Biden: Trying to Contain us will only Backfire
China hopes that the new U.S. administration will make “joint efforts” with China, and he added that the American and Chinese militaries have recently conducted some “pragmatic exchanges.” Qian added that it is an impossible task to contain China. He said that any effort to contain Bei Jing would end with a rock “dropping on their foot.”

In Order To Have A “Tolerant Society”, The Elite Believe They Must Be Intolerant Of All Dissenting Views
When information becomes a “threat”, even thinking the wrong thing can be dangerous. Over the past several weeks, I have heard the word “misinformation” uttered in the same sentence as “terror” or “terrorists” countless times. In the old days, the “extremists” and the “terrorists” were on the other side of the globe, but now we are being told that they live among us. So how can we identify them? Well, we are being told that “the bad guys” can be identified by what they believe.

Men Now Want Access To Uterine Transplants
It isn’t good enough that men want to compete in woman’s sports and invade women’s spaces, rendering sex-based protections null and void. Now, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has published the findings from the largest study on its kind, “Perceptions and Motivations for Uterus Transplant in Transgender Women.” I find it no coincidence that this study was released on Jan. 20, 2021 – the same day President Joe Biden took the oath of office and signed his executive order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation.

‘Devout Catholic’ Biden actually a ‘Trojan Horse’
“When a U.S. President cloaks himself in the outward signs of Catholic identity in order to expand access to abortion, or to use executive power to enforce a gender ideology that will inevitably threaten the freedom of the Church in this country, what you have before you is a Trojan Horse,” Dr. Chad Pecknold, an associate professor of Theology at the Catholic University of America, told the DCNF.

Super Intelligent AI May Be “Uncontrollable,” says new study
According to a new study by a research group at the Max-Planck Institute for Humans and Machines, the actions of superintelligent AI may be hard to predict, making them uncontrollable. No, this isn’t a precursor to “The Terminator.”

Mysterious Element ‘Einsteinium’ Measured by Scientists For The First Time
Dragons lurk at the edges of the map of known elements – atomic giants so delicate, and so scarce, they defy easy study. One such behemoth has finally given up at least some of its secrets, with chemists managing to gather just enough einsteinium to flesh out important details on the mysterious element’s chemistry and ability to form bonds.

‘Palestinian’ Authority Latest Land-Grab Tactic: Plant Forests in honor of Suicide Bombers
The Palestinian Authority has launched a project to honor all Palestinians who have ‎died as so-called “Martyrs” since 1917. The PA will eventually plant 35,000 olive trees ‎throughout the PA areas with each tree named after a “Martyr.” The PA defines all ‎terrorists killed while attacking Israelis – including suicide bombers and mass murderers ‎‎- as “Martyrs.”

Biden Accused of Punishing UAE over Abraham Accords: Sanctions Dubai Imports
The beginning of President Biden’s term in office has been a frenetic flurry of actions that are difficult to follow, but one alarming trend is becoming clear: the current administration is building up Iran and tearing away at the foundations of the peace agreements between Israel and the Gulf Arab states.

Syria claims Israel attacked in southern part of the country
The Syrian news agency SANA reported on Wednesday evening that Israel attacked targets in southern Syria. According to the report, Syria’s air defenses responded to “an Israeli aggression” over the region. The alleged Israeli attack came hours after an anti-aircraft missile was fired at an Israel Air Force unmanned aerial vehicle.

London: Firebomb thrown near Golders Green synagogue
A Molotov Cocktail was thrown near a synagogue in the Golders Green neighborhood of London Tuesday. Police cordoned off the area around the Munks Beit Midrash after a suspicious individual was spotted at the site. Footage from the scene showed firefighters attempting to put out a small fire near the building.

Incredible Growth Of Christianity In China Has Government Leaders Worried
As Christianity rapidly grows in China, Chinese president Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party are clamping down, fearing that the size of the Christian church may eventually force them to share power.

Alleged Israeli airstrike reported in southern Syria
An alleged Israeli airstrike targeted sites in southern Syria and near Damascus on Wednesday night, according to Syria’s state news agency SANA. Independent reports from regional media reported that the strikes also targeted sites near Damascus, including near the city’s international airport and sites belonging to the Syrian military and pro-Iranian militias in the area, according to the Step News Agency.

IDF drone targeted by anti-aircraft fire over southern Lebanon
An IDF surveillance drone was targeted by anti-aircraft missile fire over southern Lebanon on Wednesday but was not hit, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said. The IDF claimed that the drone was conducting routine surveillance operations over the area – Israel regularly patrols Lebanese skies – and completed its mission as planned.

UN chief hopes Mideast Quartet can meet within few weeks on way forward
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday he hopes to see the Middle East Quartet of mediators meet again in the next “few weeks” now that there is a new U.S. president in the White House. The Quartet – the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations – does not appear to have had a meeting since September 2018.

11 Iranian Migrants Arrested for Illegally Crossing Border into Arizona
Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents arrested a group of Iranian migrants who illegally crossed the border from Mexico into Arizona on Monday. Agents identified the group of Special Interest Aliens as six males and five females.

COVID, a disease in name only
The official definition of a “COVID-19 case” is so broad, it allows pretty much anything through the door. A COUGH, or CHILLS AND FEVER, for example. Either of these is sufficient for a diagnosis of COVID. The requirement of a positive PCR test for the virus—-even that isn’t absolutely necessary. Besides which—-as I’ve been demonstrating in many articles—-the PCR is riddled with irreparable flaws, leading to millions of false-positives.

Destructive flash floods hit Izmir after more than a month’s worth of rain in just 6 hours, Turkey
Destructive flash floods lashed the Turkish Aegean coastal province of Izmir on Tuesday, February 2, 2021, resulting in heavy damage, one fatality, and another person missing. Authorities called the situation a disaster, advising residents to stay indoors and only leave their homes when necessary.

Europe braces for significant continent-wide cold outbreak
After the Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) event at the beginning of January 2021 and the Polar Vortex collapse, weather patterns across the northern hemisphere became very dynamic and progressive. This has set the stage for a potentially quite significant cold outbreak across the European continent over at least the next three weeks.

Sen. Lankford Takes His Colleagues to School with Powerful 3D Ultrasound Photos: ‘Is That a Baby?’ Lankford: “That face, that nose, those two eyes, that mouth, that chin, those fingers—is that a baby? That’s really the only question.”

What happened to “flu season?” In the age of COVID, “the flu” has been reclassified as coronavirus, says epidemiologist
A few months ago, some infectious disease experts began warning that it would extremely difficult, as the COVID-19 pandemic lingered into the fall, for frontline healthcare providers to determine if sickness was due to the novel coronavirus or good, old-fashioned influenza.

Situation Update, Feb. 3 – America to split into FREE states vs censored “SLAVE” states
As Florida Governor Ron DeSantis launches a war against Big Tech censorship, it’s increasingly obvious that tech giants like Google, Facebook and YouTube will soon have to deliver different content results to the “free” states where censorship is banned.

MEDICAL CANNIBALISM: Aborted fetal tissue is routinely used in coronavirus vaccines to “code” spike proteins
LifeSiteNews co-founder John-Henry Westen sat down with vaccine researcher Pamela Acker the other day to discuss the contents of Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines, not the least of which include ingredients derived from aborted human babies.

Head of US Strategic Command warns ‘very real possibility’ of nuclear conflict with Russia, China Moscow and Beijing have “begun to aggressively challenge international norms” recently “in ways not seen since the height of the cold war.”

Biden Administration Issues Order For Police To Begin Arresting People Caught Without A Mask On Their Faces And Prosecute Them Criminally
Well, we told you this would happen if America was to put Joe Biden into power, this is exactly what we foresaw taking place. Just imagine a virus so deadly that 99% of everyone infected recovers from it, but you have to wear a mask even while driving alone in your vehicle with the windows up. The truly sad part is watching the American people just lying down and taking this tyranny. Sometimes, when you find yourself on a slippery slope, you can slip so far that there is no coming back from it. That’s where we find ourselves right now.

Biden Admin to Open Migrant Shelter in Texas as Unaccompanied Minors Flood Border
Joe Biden’s administration is opening an immigrant overflow shelter for children in Texas as officials struggle to cope with an influx of unaccompanied migrant minors at the border.

BLACK HISTORY: Planned Parenthood ‘Over The Moon’ With Excitement That Black ‘Abortion Rights Champion’ Kamala Harris Is Now Vice President
Funny thing, flip over any rock talking about abortion, and it always leads back to Bill Gates, vaccines and eugenics every time. Did you know that Planned Parenthood was originally called ‘The Negro Project’ because their main target was how best to reduce the black population by aborting black babies? Did you also know that Margaret Sanger, the white woman who created ‘The Negro Project’ was a Nazi-style eugenicist? Did you further know that Bill Gates Sr. once ran Planned Parenthood? See what I mean? This bloody trail will take you to the same place each and every time. Funny how that is. What a thing, man, what a terrible thing.

Source: 4 Feb 2021 – Rapture Ready


Headlines – 2/4/2021

Egypt said conditioning a Netanyahu visit on gesture toward 2-state solution

UAE embraces trade with Israeli-owned businesses in Judea and Samaria

Hezbollah fires anti-aircraft missiles at Israeli drone over south Lebanon

Israel attacking Hezbollah targets in Syria reports claim

UN court says it can hear case brought by Iran to end US sanctions

Biden orders USS Nimitz aircraft carrier home in possible signal to Iran

In Iraq’s ‘Dire’ Economy, Poverty Is Rising – And So Are Fears Of Instability

US Extends Nuclear Treaty With Russia for 5 Years

Russia Warns Joe Biden It Will Retaliate Against Any U.S. Sanctions Over Alexei Navalny

Burma Police File Charges Against Aung San Suu Kyi After Coup

CCP Has ‘Very Successfully’ Infiltrated Australian Universities: Whistleblower

Rights Groups Call for Boycott of Beijing 2022 Winter Games

Republican Senators Introduce Resolution Urging for 2022 Winter Olympics to Be Moved out of China

Jamie Raskin: Trump’s impeachment defense amounts to ‘absurd constitutional arguments’

Trump Impeachment Lawyer: ‘Stolen’ Election Claims Won’t Be Brought up During Trial

Matt Gaetz Says He Would Resign From Congress In Order To Defend Trump In Impeachment Trial

‘Not looking for any retribution’: Biden weighs in on Trump impeachment

Pennsylvania official at center of Trump election concerns resigns

Pennsylvania secretary of state resigns over ballot initiative error

Democrat Lawyer Marc Elias Claims Faulty Voting Machines in New York Race

Republicans vote to keep Cheney as their No. 3 leader, but stand by Greene

Republicans Decline to Remove Marjorie Taylor Greene From House Panels

Nancy Pelosi calls McCarthy a coward for refusing to censure Marjorie Greene; says Dems will ‘take action’ against her

GOP lawmakers move to oust Ilhan Omar from committees in response to Democratic measure against Marjorie Taylor Greene

Nunes says media, social giants shielding Pelosi from hard questions on Capitol riots

Former CIA Counter-Insurgency Officer Urges US Government to Use War Tactics Against Domestic Extremists Like Those Who Stormed US Capitol

AOC Wasn’t Even in the Capitol Building During Her ‘Near Death’ Experience

Priest under fire for allegedly holding exorcism day of Capitol riot

Canada Lists Proud Boys As A Terrorist Group, Alongside ISIS And Al-Qaida

ADL proposes ‘whole of society’ offensive against domestic terrorism

Pentagon, stumped by extremism in ranks, orders stand-down in next 60 days

Twitter and Facebook Lose a Combined $51 Billion in Market Value Since Banning President Trump

Parler CEO John Matze says he’s been terminated by board: ‘I did not participate in this decision’

Robinhood CEO, regulators to testify at House hearing on GameStop frenzy

Biden Signs Executive Order to Increase Welfare Dependency for Illegal Aliens

Arizona AG Sues Over Biden Administration’s 100-Day Deportation Freeze

Biden is Putting Migrant Kids in Cages And Now ‘AOC’ Doesn’t Care.

Supreme Court cancels arguments on Trump’s border wall, ‘remain in Mexico’ policy

At least 9 killed in police operation in Rio de Janeiro favelas

6.7 magnitude earthquake hits the West Chile Rise

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Finschhafen, Papua New Guinea

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Lobujya, Nepal

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Pangai, Tonga

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Tondon, Guinea

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 26,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 23,000ft

Klyuchevskoy volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 20,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 19,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 15,000ft

Raung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 12,000ft

New Jersey: Nor’easter appears to have broken this state’s 122-year-old snow record

‘Falling iguanas possible’ in Florida due to chilly temperatures, NWS says

John Kerry called flying a private jet ‘the only choice for somebody like me’ after jet-setting to Iceland to accept a climate award in 2019

H.R. 127: A New Bill In Congress Would Literally End Your 2nd Amendment Rights Permanently

Americans Buying Guns at ‘Blistering Pace,’ FBI Data Shows: Expert

Parents Teaching Kids How To Shoot Could Be Criminal With New Mexico Dem’s Bill, Gun Group Warns

‘Their goal is to destroy everyone’: Uighur camp detainees allege systematic rape

Belgium: Imam deported, mosque may close after anti-LGBTQ activities

Second grade girl expelled from Christian school over girl crush, mom says

A Plea to Atheists: Pedophilia Is Next On the Slippery Slope; Let Us Turn Back Before It Is Too Late

Planned Parenthood CEO: ‘Completely Over the Moon’ with Kamala Harris as VP

Oregon becomes first state to decriminalize possession of hard drugs such as heroin, meth, cocaine

Chinese Resident Under Virus Lockdown Stabs a Pandemic Control Volunteer to Death

WHO Team Visits Wuhan Virus Lab at Center of Speculation

UK coronavirus strain picks up mutation that could impact vaccines, experts say

What’s the New Phenomenon Called “COVID Vaccine Arm”?

1 in 4 Americans say they would never get COVID-19 vaccine: poll

Anti-vaxxer rabbi fired by Chabad over social media posts

Tanzania shunned lockdowns. Now it’s rejecting Covid-19 vaccines. Instead urges citizens to pray against a ‘satanic’ virus.

Day 11 of Biden Regime: Missing Vaccines? Trump Stole Them!

Massachusetts Inmates Can Earn Slightly Shorter Prison Sentences By Getting COVID Vaccine

Forced vaccines, vaccine passports against human rights: Council of Europe

Denmark to develop digital passport proving vaccinations

Federal Mask Cops To Start Targeting Travelers Today

American Airlines sending 13,000 furlough warnings as pandemic pain persists

Anti-lockdown protester who posted videos of ’empty wards’ banned from all hospitals

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot blames Donald Trump after teachers’ union blocks schools from reopening

Poll shocker: Almost 40% favor firing or suspending no-show teachers

Cuomo Health Dept. illegally withheld COVID nursing home death toll: judge

The weather has a bigger impact on COVID spread than social distancing, study concludes

Source: Tracking the Birth Pangs – News and Links (trackingbibleprophecy.org)


Apostasy Watch Thursday 2-4-21

Daniel Mann – Conspiracy Theories, Christian Bashing, and Our Response

The Prosperous Lifestyle of America’s Anti-Prosperity Gospel Preacher

Kat Kerr Claims a Talking Scroll in Heaven Will Soon Expose Massive Voter Fraud

Not Satire. Charismatic Pastor Claims God Turned Him Into a Literal Ant to Warn Queen

Jory Micah Thinks Jesus Was Pro-Sodomy and Abortion

Man facing felony charges accused of stealing $800k from Grand Rapids church

The death of the Founder of the Twelve Tribes leaves the future uncertain for the international Christian movement founded in Chattanooga

Pentecostal snake handlers now calling on Jesus and doctors after high profile death

Prayer breakfast gives Biden fresh chance to call for unity

Nigeria’s military executes 6 Christian soldiers framed for crime, human rights leaders say

Source: Daily News and Commentary (apostasywatch.com)

Mid-Day Snapshot · Feb. 4, 2021

THE FOUNDATION

“Are we disposed to be of the number of those, who having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it might cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.” —Patrick Henry (1775)

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IN TODAY’S DIGEST

FEATURED ANALYSIS

Biden’s Alternate ‘Reality Czar’

Thomas Gallatin

The U.S. is in the midst of one of the most chilling eras for American Liberty in recent memory, if not our nation’s entire history. Specifically targeted is America’s most foundational right, the right to freedom of speech, enshrined in the First Amendment. The Left is engaged in a serious attack against Americans’ freedom to think and speak freely, because leftists accurately recognize that such freedom presents a roadblock to their lust for greater power and control over the country. It’s as if George Orwell’s 1984 wasn’t merely dystopian fiction but a prophetic vision or a “How To” manual.

Since even before the election of Joe Biden, the Leftmedia has been stumping hard against allowing the free flow of information and ideas from the Right, all in the name of preventing “disinformation.” In truth, this semantics game being played by the Left to justify silencing conservative speech didn’t begin recently. It started years ago with that dubious and intentionally misleading term “hate speech.”

Ending “hate speech” was the gateway through which leftists, particularly in media and now social media, began their campaign to erode Americans’ commitment to First Amendment values. Today, the Left’s call to end “hate speech” has morphed into demands to end the spread of “disinformation.”

Case in point comes via a recent New York Times article titled, “How the Biden Administration Can Help Solve Our Reality Crisis.” Conflating conservatives and Trump supporters with fringe conspiracy theorists, the story’s author, Kevin Roose, advocates that Biden create a “reality czar” to “tackle disinformation.”

In describing the agency run by this “reality czar,” Roose writes, “For example, it could formulate ‘safe harbor’ exemptions that would allow platforms to share data about QAnon and other conspiracy theory communities with researchers and government agencies without running afoul of privacy laws. And it could become the tip of the spear for the federal government’s response to the reality crisis.”

The irony and blatant hypocrisy at play here is downright bewildering — so much so that one wonders if it wasn’t a joke. Unfortunately, Roose and his ilk are dead serious.

So, back to the question of reality. Was it not the Gray Lady and her Leftmedia colleagues who incessantly and without evidence for years promoted the conspiracy theory of Donald Trump’s supposed collusion with Russia? How about prior to the 2020 election, when the Times as well as other Leftmedia outlets refused to run any stories regarding the Hunter Biden laptop bombshell — going so far as to claim it had all the earmarks of “Russian disinformation” — only to discover that the FBI was indeed investigating Hunter Biden?

Or how about observing the Times’s stance on science, or rather lack thereof? The Times refuses to recognize the truth that the claim of “transgenderism” is not consistent with biological reality, going so far as to insist that the refusal to use and accept a gender-dysphoric individual’s “preferred” pronouns is tantamount to “hate speech.” Or take the issue of abortion — the Times continues to reject the scientific reality that life begins at the moment of conception.

Furthermore, let’s look at how the Times itself has been on the forefront of the Left’s disinformation campaign with its ahistorical 1619 Project, as it worked to promote the academically popular yet unfounded and thoroughly racist Critical Race Theory.

The Left’s objective is to ensure that its narrative is promoted as fact while preventing conservatives or any others from being allowed to counter or challenge it. As The Wall Street Journal editorial board observes, “Intellectuals don’t merely want the Biden Administration to promote progressive policies. Flush with power, they’re now suggesting that government should police the flow of ideas and assume the authority to define reality itself. So bring on the truth commissions. And if any political minority group complains that the Ministry of Truth is biased, worry not — the reality czar can make quick work of such disinformation.”

No one individual, entity, or organization has the corner on all truth, facts, or reality. Our Founding Fathers recognized this, which is why they intentionally decentralized power and enshrined the right of every American to freely think and speak their mind. Any person who would impose upon this freedom has only selfish ambition for power and control over others in mind.

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A GOP House Divided?

Nate Jackson

House Republicans just made clear that “we’re not going to be divided and that we’re not going to be in a situation where people can pick off any member of leadership.” So declared a triumphant Liz Cheney after she retained her leadership post as Republican Conference chair in a 145-61 vote Wednesday. She might have won that vote, but that doesn’t mean Republicans aren’t divided. The 61 “no” votes and four-hour grievance meeting attest to that. Yet there are some signs that Republicans are trying to mend fences and work together after an underappreciated strong election cycle that put them within a hair’s breadth of House control.

For background, Cheney faced this vote of confidence after she joined a mere nine other Republicans in voting to impeach President Donald Trump. The former president certainly didn’t behave admirably in the two months following the election, but neither was he guilty of “incitement of insurrection,” the ludicrous title of the Democrats’ impeachment farce. Their vote happened just days before he left office in any case, and that leaves serious constitutional questions hanging over his pending post-office Senate trial.

Nevertheless, the day before the vote, Cheney asserted, “There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.” Yesterday, she called it “a vote of conscience” for which she cannot apologize. That’s fine, but those 61 Republicans have every right to say her conscience should cost her the third-ranking leadership position given that it puts her ahead of 197 Republicans who were perfectly capable of seeing through the Democrats’ charade and voting against impeachment. As our Douglas Andrews argued, “That makes her by definition an extremist.”

That said, Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, is no RINO, as some would suddenly categorize her over this single vote. Yet she’ll almost certainly face a primary challenge for her Wyoming seat. Perhaps this vote is just a manifestation of Republicans working through the political impact Donald Trump had on the party.

That brings us to the other blonde Republican woman under fire from her own side: Marjorie Taylor Greene, the newly elected Georgia representative. Greene finds herself in hot water with the Republican Conference because of revelations about some of the truly bizarre things she’s said over the years. (Jewish space lasers starting wildfires?) Suffice it to say, as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy put it, “Past comments from and endorsed by Marjorie Taylor Greene on school shootings, political violence, and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories do not represent the values or beliefs of the House Republican Conference. I condemn those comments unequivocally.”

McCarthy held a private meeting with Greene to give her a warning, no doubt reminding her what happened to Steve King, the Iowa Republican who lost his committee assignments after saying one too many unacceptable things before being defeated in a primary. Ultimately, McCarthy kept Greene where she is, but Democrats have advanced a resolution to strip her of committee assignments and make her the face of the supposedly radicalized GOP.

However, McCarthy argued that punishing members of Congress for things they said before becoming members of Congress means “it will be a hard time for the Democrats to place anybody on committee.”

Never mind before office. Try judging what they say while in office. We’ve previously compared Greene with Ilhan Omar, the unhinged and hateful Democrat from Minnesota who has repeatedly spewed anti-American and anti-Semitic bile while funneling campaign money to family and even marrying her own brother to cheat the immigration system.

That isn’t to excuse Greene’s loony statements, but it is to say she doesn’t hold a candle to Omar.

And then there’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s histrionics and false attempted-murder allegations against a sitting U.S. senator. But that’s another story.

Moreover, Greene apologized Wednesday — in the private Republican meeting, anyway — for many of her statements, including advancing the so-called QAnon conspiracy theory. That’s great; now she just needs to mind her Ps and Qs.

The difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans tend to hold their wayward members to account. Democrats just keep reelecting them. But the larger story here is the establishment and the populists figuring out just how big the GOP tent really is. We’ll see how that plays out in 2022, when Republicans need just a handful of seats to retake the House.

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AOC Doubles Down on Ditzy

Douglas Andrews

If Sandy Cortez wants to be taken seriously as a member of Congress, she certainly hasn’t tipped her hand. Her recent behavior, in fact, gives us the sense that she’d rather not be taken seriously.

Last week, we noted the attention-starved AOC’s flair for the dramatic, when, in response to Senator Ted Cruz’s effort to find common ground with her on Wall Street’s short-selling fiasco, she hysterically accused him of attempted murder and demanded that he resign, ostensibly for having had the nerve to question the results of the November 3 election and thereby inciting the riot. (Whoa. Didn’t former President Donald Trump incite the riot?)

This week, Cortez is doubling down on ditzy, having come under fire for her Mittyesque claims of a near-death experience on January 6. As it turns out, she wasn’t even in the Capitol building during last month’s riot. Instead, she was safely tucked away in the Cannon House office building, which, according to Google maps, is four-tenths of a mile and a seven-minute walk from the Capitol.

So much for “almost” being “murdered.”

As Fox News’s Sam Dorman reports, “The controversy erupted after the New York congresswoman posted a video in which she described a confrontation with Capitol Police at her office, which … is located in the Cannon building, which is accessible through underground tunnels connected to the Capitol as well as via a short stroll down a walkway and across the street. … In response to the incident, the congresswoman said: ‘I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive.’”

Here’s the video Dorman mentions, which AOC broadcast Tuesday via Instagram Live. It’s a garment-rending, forehead-punching 90 minutes in length, but the only span worth watching is the 12 seconds from the 50:37 mark to the 50:49 mark, in which she says, “Maybe I’m reading into this, right? Like, maybe I’m projecting … um, maybe I’m projecting, like, something onto him, that, that, like, maybe I’m just seeing anger but maybe he’s not trying to be angry.”

The rest of the video — at least what we’ve seen — is pure Chinese water torture. Avoid it at all costs. (You’re welcome.)

Not surprisingly, there’s at least one other side to AOC’s story — the factual side — and we got part of that from a congressional colleague of hers. As The Daily Wire reports, “Republican Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC), whose office is two doors down from Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, noted that ‘insurrectionists’ never made it to their hall when the U.S. Capitol building was breached on Jan. 6. Mace made the note while hitting the media for their attempts to ‘fan fictitious news flames’ about the breach.”

“Egregious doesn’t even begin to cover it,” Mace rightly noted. “Is there nothing MSM won’t politicize?”

More on point, though: Is there nothing Alexandria Ocasio-Smollett won’t publicize?

“And the weird thing about moments like these,” she told her Instagraminions, “is that you lose all sense of time. In retrospect, maybe it was 4 seconds. Maybe it was 5 seconds, maybe it was 10 seconds. Maybe it was one second, I don’t know. It felt like my brain was able to have so many thoughts. In between the screams and the yells, I mean, I thought I was going to die.”

Whatever, Sandy … like, whatever.

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The Great Reset — to Global Totalitarianism

Arnold Ahlert

As of this writing, more than 104 million people have contracted coronavirus worldwide, and nearly 2.5 million have died. In the United States, more than 450,000 deaths have been attributed to the Wuhan Flu. In a better world, the Chinese communist thugs who lied about both the origins and the severity of the pandemic would be treated as the international pariahs they have proven themselves to be. In this one, an equally contemptible bunch of multinational corporatist thugs with oligarchic ambitions will not only continue doing business as usual with China but will rely on Beijing as an ally in their pursuit of what they call The Great Reset. In short, never let a crisis — or a worldwide, society-altering catastrophe — go to waste.

“To achieve a better outcome, the world must act jointly and swiftly to revamp all aspects of our societies and economies, from education to social contracts and working conditions,” insists World Economic Forum (WEF) CEO Klaus Schwab, a German octogenarian orchestrating this elitist power grab. “Every country, from the United States to China, must participate, and every industry, from oil and gas to tech, must be transformed. In short, we need a ‘Great Reset’ of capitalism.”

Capitalism? A WEF-created video posted on Facebook reveals Schwab is a bald-faced liar. Of the eight “predictions” the globalists wish to impose on the world by 2030, the very first one gives the entire game away. It shows the smiling face of a young man with the following caption underneath:

“You’ll own nothing. And you’ll be happy.”

People who own nothing can be many things. A capitalist in control of one’s own destiny isn’t any of them. And in case the message still isn’t clear, the second “prediction” is equally telling:

“Whatever you want you’ll rent. And it will be delivered by drone.”

Rent? From whom, if nobody owns anything? The answer is simple. While millions of people have been locked down, and while their jobs and futures have been eviscerated, America’s billionaire class increased its own wealth by a staggering $434 billion since the stock market began its recovery in March. While ordinary Americans stood in food banks and waited desperately for stimulus checks, the stock market soared. And when, for the briefest of moments, the bounties of that stock market accrued to the interests of smaller traders at the expense of those billionaires, the rules of the game were altered by those for whom the Rule of Law no longer applies.

Lawlessness — of the in-your-face variety — is the essence of The Great Reset. And capitalism has nothing to do with any of it. “When Americans went to buy cars, or even light bulbs and shower nozzles, they found their choices limited by deals between government, industry, and insurance companies,” explains columnist Angelo Codevilla. “These entities regarded each other as ‘stakeholders’ in an oligarchic system. But they had ever less need to take account of mere citizens in what was becoming a republic in name only. As the 20th century was drawing to a close, wherever citizens looked, they saw a government and government-empowered entities over which they had ever less say, which ruled ever more unaccountably, and whose attitude toward them was ever less friendly.”

The 21st century has seen an exponential increase in that dynamic. For all intents and purposes, there is no separation between the Ruling Class elites in both political parties and their allies in Big Tech, academia, Hollywood, and virtue-signaling corporations, all of whom have made it clear that any dissent from their agenda will inevitably lead to one being “un-personed,” in all its Orwellian permutations. Continued resistance may earn one a designation as a “domestic terrorist,” even as the elites’ corporate mouthpiece, more familiarly known as the mainstream media, has tirelessly endeavored to tie the entire bloc of 74 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump to the handful of people who rioted at the Capitol.

The elites’ targets include sitting Republican senators who dared to question the integrity of the 2020 election. Senators who will now be judged by what amounts to a Star Chamber of secret deliberations, conducted by the Senate Ethics Committee.

In the meantime, the same Democrats who called President Trump a “dictator” when he issued a handful of executive orders and actions are completely sanguine with a President Joe Biden issuing 40 of them in his first 10 days in office. When and if they actually legislate, Democrats will attempt to use the power of the purse to effectively — and unconstitutionally — nationalize elections to ensure the permanence of their power.

And while coronavirus has kept Americans distracted, the real transition to global governance with be engendered by climate change. “It might be a good idea for President Biden to call a climate emergency,” contends Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who apparently has no problem making the legislative branch of government increasingly irrelevant in pursuit of unassailable power. He is joined by Climate Czar John Kerry who, despite his own predilection for private jets, insists, “[The Great Reset] will happen with greater speed and with greater intensity than a lot of people might imagine. In effect, the citizens of the United States have just done a Great Reset. We’ve done a Great Reset. And it was a record level of voting.”

One suspects a duplicitous hack like John Kerry knows full well Americans didn’t vote for serfdom. But if he and his party’s ambitions are realized, voting will become a largely symbolic exercise whose chief purpose will be to maintain the illusion that people have choices — and that the nation-state he and his fellow globalists so clearly despise still exists.

And despite Schwab’s assertions, those who attended the WEF virtual Davos Agenda summit made it clear that the primary impediment to their agenda is capitalism. “We will get out of this pandemic only with an economy that thinks more about fighting inequalities,” asserted French President Emmanuel Macron. German Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted the coronavirus shows “how much we are interlinked, how globally interdependent” the world is, and that “trying to isolate yourself fails.”

The dead giveaway behind the utter hollowness of such “high-minded” assertions? Despite the worldwide havoc engendered by his regime, the honor of being the summit’s keynote speaker was bestowed upon Chinese President Xi Jinping, who urged the G-20 nations and the European Union to serve as the “main forum for global economic governance.”

In China, that economic governance includes the use of forced labor by Uyghurs, who produce goods for many of the same multinational corporations that promote their “wokeness” with regard to human rights.

It’s hardly different in America. “As the elite has grown ever richer and less and less attached to the idea of the United States as an independent nation-state its goals and ambitions have become less and less attached to the welfare of the average man or woman,” warns columnist Charles Faddis. “Increasingly, what the elite wants is in direct opposition to what the average American wants.”

Kerry characterizes that increasingly orchestrated disconnect as “the the dawn of an extremely exciting time.” Totalitarianism — on steroids — is more like it.

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1776 vs. 1619

Lewis Morris

When President Joe Biden terminated the 1776 Commission by executive order, it was assumed that was the sad end of a brief experiment in true historical reflection on America’s founding. The commission and its January 18, 2021, report were unceremoniously scrubbed from the White House website barely an hour after “Mr. Unity” took office.

The 1776 Commission isn’t dead yet, though — not if people continue to spread the word. The commission’s final report is still available around the Internet, including on the Trump White House archives site and at other sites associated with commission members.

Several major media players and their leftist allies in academia assailed the 1776 Report as pseudo-history. Even the Wikipedia page on the commission reads like a hit job, repeating the erroneous and deceitful leftist talking points about the report without challenge.

The New York Times’s reporting is particularly laughable. The paper accuses the 1776 Commission and its subsequent report of being devoid of scholarly merit with no qualified historical experts. It’s almost as if the Times were writing about its own 1619 Project, that Pulitzer Prize-winning leftist screed that sought to recast the founding of America as a slaveocracy.

The 1619 Project took a lot of heat from the academic community for its fast and loose portrayal of history as written by a group of political writers and polemicists with an obvious ax to grind with the American Republic. This public drubbing forced project leader Nikole Hannah-Jones and company to quietly retool some essays behind the scenes, though not enough to remake the project into a respectable work of scholarship. Just the same, the Times received accolades from its pals in media and academia, and its work was ushered into classrooms around the country to indoctrinate our children.

Sadly, it’s to be expected that this country’s top-heavy, bureaucratic, union-controlled, left-leaning public education system would choose the 1619 worldview over the 1776 Report. It would seem as if the 1619 Project has defeated the 1776 Report, leaving our children wide open to propaganda that preaches identity politics over social cohesion and seeks to besmirch the memory and work of America’s Founders.

There is more at stake here than just two competing schools of thought about America’s founding. The 1619 Project relies on an interpretation of history that is conjured up in the imagination of people who believe in the power of the state over the individual. It’s not the work of scholarship, but a propaganda narrative that rejects the basis for America as a nation of laws in which the power of the government rests with the consent of the governed. It magnifies sins and flaws to the point of false caricature.

Unlike the 1619 Project, the 1776 Report is not an attempt to rewrite history, and it does not pretend to be the last word on the subject. Instead, it recognizes that America’s founding was unique in world history at the time, and not all that common today. The report also examines the current divide in our country with regard to how we view our past and how we see our future. It warns against the forces that endanger our Republic like progressivism, radicalism, and identity politics — forces that happen to be at work in the 1619 Project.

The 1776 Report should not be allowed to drift into obscurity. People should read it and share it. At only 20 pages, with another 20 for appendices, it’s a relatively brief read. And unlike the 1619 Project, it doesn’t push lies to steer your thinking a certain way. But it does ask you to keep an open mind, which is not something the Left likes people to do.

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The Leftmedia’s Hurting Without Trump

Thomas Gallatin

Back in 2016, the Leftmedia, led by infotainment giants CNN and MSNBC, worked overtime to elevate Donald Trump. He was great for ratings, for one thing, but these Democrat propagandists also believed Hillary Clinton was a sure bet against him in the election. He proved them wrong on that count, of course, so they turned him into their biggest foil, incessantly playing off him for four years to build up their Resistance™ brand. And grow their ratings and advertising revenue.

For the Leftmedia, Trump was Hitler, the evil emperor, the devil in an orange-skin suit. He supposedly epitomized all the worst ills of society, from a bigoted racist buffoon to a conniving orchestrator of the greatest election heist of all time — 2016, that is, not 2020. In truth, Trump was the Leftmedia’s fall guy, the one on whom it could blame everything. There was no effort to offer any cogent argument against Trump’s policies, because its “orange man bad” trope trumped any need for honestly engaging in the very real issues facing the country.

The defeat of Trump became the Leftmedia’s primary reason for existing. Heck, Joe Biden never even had to leave his basement, as the Leftmedia did his campaigning for him. In fact, the less exposure to the public Biden had, the easier it was for the Leftmedia propagandists to promote him as the man to save America’s soul from Trump.

Following the election, however, the Leftmedia’s meteoric rise began to flatten. Oh, there were still the vestiges of the “enemy” that needed to be put down, as anyone raising questions over the integrity of the election, given the Democrats’ massive mail-in voting gambit, were treated as tinfoil-hatted kooks and enemies of the state. Then the Capitol riot provided the Leftmedia with its high-water mark, as conservatives and Trump supporters of all stripes were collectively condemned as “domestic terrorists” who needed to be expunged from polite society and even the public square. It was the perfect opportunity for Leftmedia activists to expand their cartoonish caricature of Trump supporters and all conservatives, and they took it without hesitation.

Yet as Trump’s presence has faded from public view, much of it due to Big Tech banning him, the Leftmedia’s ratings have faded with him. The hacks killed the goose laying the golden eggs. And their sycophantic coverage of Old Joe hasn’t come close to making up the difference. As Variety reported on Monday, “Viewership data across two key metrics — the target news demographic for people ages 25-54, and the total audience watching — shows that CNN ended the final week of January with ratings dropping roughly 44% for total audience versus the prior week across all three hours of primetime.”

Megyn Kelly, who was no fan of Trump yet still knows good journalism from bad, warned of this very phenomena in November. “They need him,” she asserted then. “As long as he stays somewhat active, [media outlets will] have a little bit more of a life span. But their ratings are going to go down, I have very little doubt: Without Trump in the office every day, there’s no way, especially CNN and MSNBC, sustain the numbers they are getting.”

Well, at least they’ve got the Democrats’ second impeachment trial charade to cover. The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board gives one caveat: “[It] could be a sort of last hurrah for current programming strategies.” That may partially explain why the Leftmedia is pounding the drum for canceling conservative media outlets like Fox News. Essentially, the message is this: If you can’t beat ‘em, get ’em banned. It’s pathetic, but this is what the once-tolerant and open-minded Left has become.

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Jen Psaki’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

Douglas Andrews

We wonder: What was White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki thinking back in 2014, when she donned that ridiculous Russian hat? Did she not realize the grave threat posed by that country to ours? The country that was our sworn enemy during a near half-century’s Cold War? The country whose president, Vladimir Putin, has sought to undermine our republic at every opportunity? The country Democrats would soon discover is the world’s biggest boogeyman?

Perhaps one day she’ll circle back with us.

In his 2005 book Taking Heat, Ari Fleisher, President George W. Bush’s first press secretary, called it “the most rewarding, engaging, exciting, and enjoyable job I could ever imagine holding.” At the same time, he called it “the toughest, hardest, most grinding and grueling job I could ever imagine holding.”

So, naturally, we wonder if Jen Psaki is having fun yet. We ask because this gig seems to be getting the best of her. (Don’t get us wrong: We certainly wouldn’t want to have to defend Joe Biden’s ruinous policies every day, but at least the press pool she’s been blessed with is made up mostly of cupcakes and thrilled-to-be-here types. Unlike the insufferably obnoxious Jim Acosta types, who somehow managed to be given other assignments now that Donald Trump has left the building.)

Why do we think the job is getting to Psaki? For one, because the White House communications team is trying to stack the deck in her favor. As the Washington Examiner reports, “White House reporters are riled up by President Biden’s communications staff asking for a sneak peek into what questions they plan to ask during press secretary Jen Psaki’s briefings. The issue came up during a White House Correspondents’ Association video call on Friday. Print reporters were encouraged by WHCA leaders to push back against these requests.”

We should hope they pushed back. Can anyone imagine the uproar if the aforementioned Fleischer — or Trump Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany — had asked members of the White House press pool to submit their questions in advance?

For that matter, how might McEnany have fared had she mocked, say, a new agency within the Department of Housing and Urban Development or Health and Human Services? Because that’s essentially what Psaki did earlier this week when she was asked whether Biden planned to keep Trump’s newly established Space Force as a sixth branch of the military.

“Wow. Space Force,” she cooed. “It’s the plane of today. It is an interesting question. I am happy to check with our Space Force point of contact. I’m not sure who that is. I will find out and see if we have any update on that.”

Wow. Space Force. She hasn’t apologized for her mockery of an entire military branch.

Nor has Psaki apologized for an August 5 tweet in which she directed an anti-homosexual slur toward South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham. Or does everyone refer to him as “LadyG”?

As for the Biden administration’s attempt to get the press pool’s questions in advance, one intrepid correspondent made clear during the video call that he’d had his Wheaties that morning. After an obligatory swipe at the Trump communications team, he said, “While it’s a relief to see briefings return, particularly with a commitment to factual information, the press can’t really do its job in the briefing room if the White House is picking and choosing the questions they want. That’s not really a free press at all.”

No, it isn’t. And if Psaki’s first two weeks in office are any indication, we shouldn’t be getting our hopes up.

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EXECUTIVE NEWS SUMMARY

Jordan Candler

Top of the Fold

  • Unity! Democrats pass budget resolutions needed to bypass GOP on big COVID spending package (Examiner)
  • Healing! Biden’s Social Justice Department sends message that some racism is okay with dropped Yale lawsuit (PJ Media)

Government & Politics

  • Obama center in Chicago, estimated at half a billion dollars ($174 million of which will be footed by taxpayers), to break ground this year despite complaints (Fox News)

Media

  • “I’ve met constant resistance to my product vision”: Parler board terminates CEO John Matze (Fox News)
  • Major gun-rights group Virginia Citizens Defense League banned from Facebook without explanation (Disrn)

Of course, Facebook will probably just say this headline is “missing context.”

Health

  • New COVID infections have fallen 45% in the U.S., but vaccines are not the main driver (Daily Mail)
  • Meme to urban centers: Teachers don’t need COVID vaccines for safe school reopenings, CDC says (Fox News)
  • McKinsey reaches $573 million settlement with states for its role in marketing opioids (Forbes)

National Security

  • Russian cheating notwithstanding, U.S. signs five-year New START nuclear arms treaty renewal (UPI)
  • Europe troop withdrawal plans “on hold,” top general says (Politico)
  • Biden administration to reopen immigrant “overflow facilities” once politically dubbed “kids in cages” (Disrn)
  • Defense secretary arbitrarily calls for 60-day assessment of extremism within military (Examiner)

Business & Economy

  • GameStop losses inevitably pile up for small investors after the stock plunges 70% in two days (Daily Mail)
  • Another 779,000 Americans filed for unemployment last week (Forbes)

Around the Nation

  • Tragic shooting in Oklahoma kills one adult, five young children (Disrn)
  • Texas temporarily blocked from kicking abortion mill Planned Parenthood out of Medicaid (UPI)
  • Bill requiring sex education to begin with kindergarten to be filed in Illinois legislature (Examiner)
  • San Francisco sues own school district to force reopening plan (Examiner)

“Non Compos Mentis” Twitter Award

Scott Bixby is a White House reporter for The Daily Beast, and here’s something he tweeted yesterday morning:

If you’re gonna dis on Marjorie Taylor Greene — and there are legitimately loony things to critique — you might want to use examples that are actually illustrative. As Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell recently stated, “Somebody who’s suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.‘s airplane is not living in reality.” He’s right — Greene, who to her credit issued an apology last night, isn’t always living in reality. But neither, apparently, is Bixby, because the fact-check on the Omar allegation is true. And based on the tone of his tweet, his shock doesn’t seem feigned. It’s fair to assume this is quite literally the first he’s hearing of it. And now you know why Democrats get away with so much impropriety.

Stranger Than Fiction

  • Scientists have now taught spinach to send emails warning of landmines (Not the Bee)
  • Texas Department of Public Safety mistakenly sends Amber Alert featuring “Chucky” doll (Fox News)

Closing Arguments

  • Policy: A private fix for public health (City Journal)
  • Policy: Under Trump, Americans breathed the cleanest air in U.S. history (The Federalist)
  • Humor: AOC: “I was almost just killed by an economics textbook” (Genesius Times)

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit Headline Report.

The Patriot Post is a certified ad-free news service, unlike third-party commercial news sites linked on this page, which may also require a paid subscription.

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VIDEOS

Biden Wants to Legalize 11 Million Illegals — Larry Elder shows that Democrats have completely changed their tune on illegal immigration.

American Spirit: A Puppy Named Freedom — Watch and see how the simple act of giving a puppy a home turned into the Warrior Freedom Service Dog program.

The White House Endorses Big Tech Censorship — What happens when the government outsources what would be unconstitutional for it to do itself to some private actor to do on its behalf?

Anthony Fauci’s COVID Flip-Flops — “There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask” in March became “wear some sort of facial covering” in April.

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

 

 

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant.” —Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970)

Observations: “Gotta say it is a bit head spinning watching much of the political press cheer for a Cheney.” —Erick Erickson

Re: The Left: “The real story is that AOC was in her office and then a cop came and told her to evacuate. The end. That was her entire involvement in that day’s events. She managed to turn that into a harrowing tale of narrowly avoiding death at the hands of assassins sent by Ted Cruz.” —Matt Walsh

Upright: “I respectfully disagree with the president and the executive order on doing away with the Keystone pipeline. … I [would] rather it come from Canada than I would from Venezuela. … You cannot eliminate your way to a cleaner global environment. You can innovate your way through technology, and that’s what we intend to do.” —Senator Joe Manchin

Demo-gogue: “We’re going to work to undo the moral and national shame of the previous administration that literally, not figuratively, ripped children from the arms of their families.” —Joe Biden, who was VP when the Obama administration first erected cages

Non compos mentis: “[Trump] absolutely should be charged with premeditated murder because of the lives that were lost for this invasion with his insurrection.” —Rep. Maxine Waters

Race bait: “This is the Republican playbook. We saw it with Donald Trump. Anytime they are faced with consequences for their actions to undermine our democracy, they blame Muslims, they blame immigrants, they blame black people, they blame women. I just happen to embody all of these identities. … Republicans can’t just wave a magic wand and attack the black congresswoman.” —Rep. Ilhan Omar

Political theater: “This is a very difficult situation and we’re in it, still, because of the incompetence of the previous administration.” —Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot regarding that city’s absurd in-person teaching revolt

Grand delusions, part I: “I think that it’s critically important that the education system and educators respect the rights of all students, including students who are transgender, and that they are afforded the opportunities that every other student has to participate in extracurricular activities. I think it’s the legal responsibility of schools to provide opportunities for students to participate in activities, and this includes students who are transgender.” —secretary of education nominee Miguel Cardona

Grand delusions, part II: “Attacks on trans youth in sports are showing up in dozens of state legislatures nationwide. These bans are discriminatory, harmful, and unscientific. … FACT ONE: Trans girls are girls. FACT TWO: Trans athletes do not have an unfair advantage in sports. FACT THREE: Including trans athletes will benefit everyone. FACT FOUR: Trans people belong on the same teams as other students.” —ACLU

And last… “Orwell really was off by a good 35 years in his prediction. But that’s about the only thing he was off about.” —David Limbaugh

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TODAY’S MEME

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For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

TODAY’S CARTOON

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Liberal media ratings plunge as ‘gold mine’ Trump leaves the White House

A new study conducted by New York University suggests that political views are now treated equally by Big Tech, though social media platforms were seemingly clamping down on conservative figures before – most notably on ex-president Donald Trump and, since Biden took office, liberal cable news ratings have also been tanking. Journalist Chadwick Moore tells RT that liberal media outlets are facing an identity crisis.

Heidi St. John: Common Sense, Covid Fear, Moral Relativism & Depraved Minds — Stand Up For The Truth

Podcast: Download

TODAY’S GUEST: The Busy Mom, Heidi St. John is back! As an author and speaker, Heidi has been discussing marriage, family and cultural issues for over 15 years. She and her husband, Jay are homeschooling parents and live just outside of Vancouver, Washington.

Heidi is the author of seven books, her most recent being Bible Promises for Momsand is the latest in the MomStrong collection. She has also recently released Prayers for the Battlefield: Staying MomStrong in the Fight for Your Family and Your Faith; and Becoming MomStrong: How to Fight With All That’s In You For Your Family and Your Faith.

We discuss the fading common sense and lack of wisdom Americans are displaying in the face of the ‘Rona’ virus, as well as how the church has responded. We also address how moral relativism has led to the current gender surrender we are witnessing, confusing young children about biological sex. Deny God, depart from truth and anything goes!

Heidi St. John: Common Sense, Covid Fear, Moral Relativism & Depraved Minds — Stand Up For The Truth

False Prophets: Masters Of Disguise (Fooled you?) — Reformation Charlotte

False Prophets are Masters of Disguise You’ve seen them. They appear everywhere promoting the latest health solution, money-making plan, or the “newest scoop” on popular people, complete with anonymous sources. These flim flam artists fool multitudes of gullible folks every day.

False Prophets: Masters Of Disguise (Fooled you?) — Reformation Charlotte

February 4 Morning Quotes of The Day

Eloquence Not Always True; Inarticulateness Not Always False
Exodus 4:10; Proverbs 26:23; 1 Corinthians 1:7; 2:1–5

Because a thing is eloquently expressed, it should not necessarily seem to be true; nor because uttered with stammering lips should it be false; nor, again, necessarily true because unskillfully delivered; nor consequently untrue because the language is fine. Wisdom and folly are like wholesome and unwholesome food, and courtly or simple words are like town-made or rustic vessels—both kinds of food may be served in either kind of dish.

AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO

Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Early Church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

The Essence of Humor Is Love
Ephesians 4:29

True humor springs not more from the head than from the heart; it is not contempt, its essence is love.

THOMAS CARLYLE

Ritzema, E., & Vince, E. (Eds.). (2013). 300 quotations for preachers from the Modern church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

February 4 Morning Verse of the Day

2:28–32 Simeon’s words here are traditionally called the “Nunc Dimittis,” from wording in the Latin Vulgate translation. Simeon’s Divine Master had kept his promise that he would live to see Christ (i.e., your salvation), so he could now die (dismiss your servant). God’s salvation in Christ (v. 30) is for all peoples (the Gentiles and Israel). The worldwide scope of the gospel is Luke’s ongoing theme in both of his writings (his Gospel and the book of Acts).[1]


2:29–32 Simeon’s song, called Nunc Dimittis (Latin for “now you let depart,” after the first two words of the Latin translation of Simeon’s song), exhibits his knowledge of Is. 40–55.[2]


2:30 your salvation See 1:27 and note; 1:47, 69; 2:11 (compare Isa 12:2–3).

2:32 revelation to the Gentiles These references—coupled with the whole-world decree in Luke 2:1—speak to the worldwide significance of Jesus’ arrival (compare v. 10 and note; v. 31). This line echoes Isa 42:6, which explains the vocation of Yahweh’s Suffering Servant.[3]


2:30–32 all peoples. Both Israel and the Gentiles (cf. v. 10). A light (v. 32) is parallel to your salvation in vv. 30–31 (cf. Isa. 49:6). Whereas this salvation gives light for revelation to the Gentiles (cf. Acts 26:17–18), it brings glory for Israel, who already possessed God’s revelation and are the people through whom the Savior came.[4]


2:30 Your salvation. I.e., the One who would redeem His people from their sins.

2:31 all peoples. I.e., all nations, tongues, and tribes (cf. Rev 7:9)—both Israel and the Gentiles (v. 32).[5]


2:30 Simeon identified God’s salvation as being personified in Jesus. For Jesus to come was for God’s salvation to come.

2:31 You have prepared: This suggests God’s design and the fulfillment of a plan.

2:32 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles … the glory of Your people Israel: This is the first explicit statement in Luke that includes both Jew and Gentile. Salvation is portrayed as light (1:79). It would be a revelation to Gentiles because they would be able to participate in God’s blessing with a fullness that had not been revealed in the OT (Eph. 2:11–22; 3:1–7). Jesus is the glory of Israel because through Him the nation would see the fulfillment of God’s promises; the nation’s special role in God’s plan would be vindicated (Is. 46:13; 60:1–3; Rom. 9:1–5; 11:11–29).[6]


2:30. Simeon had seen God’s salvation by having seen the Child, Jesus.

2:31. Simeon then reaffirms the Lord’s concern for those beyond the borders of Israel in that He prepared salvation “before the face of all peoples.”

2:32. Simeon spells out the beneficial results of Messiah and His salvation. First, He will serve as “a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles.” Second, Jesus will bring renown or glory to Israel as the Ruler par excellence.[7]


2:29–32 The burden of the song is as follows: Lord, now You are letting me depart in peace. I have seen Your salvation in the Person of this Baby, the promised Redeemer, as You promised me. You ordained Him to provide salvation for all classes of people. He will be a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles (His First Advent) and to shine in glory on Your people Israel (His Second Advent). Simeon was prepared to die after he had met the Lord Jesus. The sting of death was gone.[8]


2:27–32. On seeing the Child and picking Him up, Simeon … praised God, the response of godly people toward the Messiah throughout the Gospel of Luke. He then uttered a psalm of praise extolling God for fulfilling His promise by bringing salvation. The Messiah is the Source of salvation, as His name Jesus indicates. In all three of the hymns of thanksgiving and praise recorded by Luke in his first two chapters (1:46–55, 68–79; 2:29–32) lie the deep significance of the births of John and Jesus for the salvation of Israel and the world. Simeon noted that the Messiah was to be for the Gentiles as well as for Israel. The idea of salvation for the Gentiles is set forth many times in the Gospel of Luke.[9]


2:27–33. The Spirit controlled everything Simeon did. He spied Mary and Joseph, Jesus’ parents, as they entered the temple. They were simply obeying God’s law. Simeon intercepted them and took the child in his arms. He gave them a blessing they did not expect. Praising God (cf. 1:68), Simeon first claimed his dismissal from God’s army. His tour of duty was done. God had fulfilled his promise. Simeon could now die and claim his eternal peace. He had seen God’s salvation. Named Jesus, “Yahweh is salvation” (v. 21) and proclaimed by the angel as Savior (v. 11), Jesus was what Simeon had longed for and looked for all these years—the salvation, the deliverance of his people.

Such salvation is not a human act or human possession. It is God’s salvation. He prepared for it clearly on the stage of world history where all people could see. He made it a light for revelation to the Gentiles. Yes, salvation was more than fulfillment of Israel’s nationalistic hopes. Salvation was a light revealing God and his purposes and ways to all people, Jew and Gentile alike (see Isa. 40:5; 42:6; 46:13; 49:6; 52:9–10). Israel did have a special place. They were your people. In Jesus they received glory, for the Gentiles saw them as the important instrument God used to bring salvation to the whole world.

Shepherds amazed Bethlehem with their message (v. 18). Simeon amazed Joseph and Mary with his. News about Jesus is never ordinary, daily newspaper stuff. News about Jesus leaves the audience wondering: How can this be? Who is this?[10]


2:30 This emphasis on seeing God’s salvation may come from OT prophecy (cf. Isa. 52:10) or reflect the same message.

In these opening chapters of Luke the term “salvation” has two connotations:

  1. In the OT texts quoted it refers to the physical deliverance of Israel.
  2. In light of the gospel it refers to spiritual salvation, which is brought through faith in Jesus’ person and work.

In the OT, Israel is saved from the nations, but now Israel’s Messiah will save the nations!

2:31–32 “all peoples … light … Gentiles” This is the universal gospel, which must have been very shocking to the Jews (I wonder if Simeon fully understood these prophecies in light of Christ), but was thrilling to be heard by Luke’s Gentile readers (cf. Isa. 9:2; 42:6; 49:6; 51:4; 60:1–3). This phrase could mean “in the presence of the Gentiles” (cf. Ps. 98:1–3; Isa. 52:1–10); however, this does not fit the context. It is amazing how many allusions there are to Isaiah’s prophecies in the first two chapters of Luke. Isaiah, of all the prophets, saw this universal salvation.[11]


29–32. As with the hymns in chapter 1‚ this little song is known by its opening words in Latin, namely Nunc Dimittis. Simeon’s now is important. He is ready to die peacefully now that he has seen God’s salvation, i.e. the Baby through whom God would in time bring salvation. His language is that used of the freeing of a slave and he may be thinking of death as ‘his release from a long task’ (Plummer). Simeon goes on to show that this salvation is not for any one nation but for all. This is clear enough in all peoples‚ but Simeon spells it out by speaking of both the Gentiles and thy people Israel. It is probably only the poetic structure that links a light for revelation with the former and glory with the latter, for he would bring revelation to Israel as to others. But there is appropriateness in linking glory with Israel. There is much about glory in the Old Testament‚ particularly in connection with God’s manifestations of himself to his people. But Israel will see glory in its truest and fullest sense when it sees the Son of God (cf. John 1:14). His being a light to Gentiles means no diminution of Israel’s glory‚ but rather its full realization.[12]


30. For my eyes have seen. This mode of expression is very common in Scripture; but Simeon appears to denote expressly the bodily appearance of Christ, as if he had said, that he now has the Son of God present in the flesh, on whom the eyes of his mind had been previously fixed. By saving I understand the matter of salvation: for in Christ are hid all the parts of salvation and of a happy life. Now if the sight of Christ, while he was yet a child, had so powerful an effect on Simeon, that he approached death with cheerfulness and composure; how much more abundant materials of lasting peace are now furnished to us, who have the opportunity of beholding our salvation altogether completed in Christ? True, Christ no longer dwells on earth, nor do we carry him in our arms: but his divine majesty shines openly and brightly in the gospel, and there do “we all,” as Paul says, “behold as in a glass the glory of the Lord,”—not as formerly amidst the weakness of flesh, but in the glorious power of the Spirit, which he displayed in his miracles, in the sacrifice of his death, and in his resurrection. In a word, his absence from us in body is of such a nature, that we are permitted to behold him sitting at the right hand of the Father. If such a sight does not bring peace to our minds, and make us go cheerfully to death, we are highly ungrateful to God, and hold the honour, which he has bestowed upon us, in little estimation.

  1. Which thou hast prepared. By these words Simeon intimates, that Christ had been divinely appointed, that all nations might enjoy his grace; and that he would shortly afterwards be placed in an elevated situation, and would draw upon him the eyes of all. Under this term he includes all the predictions which relate to the spread of Christ’s kingdom. But if Simeon, when holding a little child in his arms, could stretch his mind to the utmost boundaries of the world, and acknowledge the power of Christ to be everywhere present, how much more magnificent ought our conceptions regarding him to be, now that he has been set up as a “standard to the people,” (Isa. 49:22,) and has revealed himself to the whole world.
  2. A light for the revelation of the Gentiles. Simeon now points out the purpose for which Christ was to be exhibited by the Father before all nations. It was that he might enlighten the Gentiles, who had been formerly in darkness, and might be the glory of his people Israel. There is propriety in the distinction here made between the people Israel and the Gentiles: for by the right of adoption the children of Abraham “were nigh” (Eph. 2:17) to God, while the Gentiles, with whom God had made no “covenants of promise,” were “strangers” to the Church, (Eph. 2:12.) For this reason, Israel is called, in other passages, not only the son of God, but his first-born, (Jer. 31:9;) and Paul informs us, that “Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers,” (Rom. 15:8.) The preference given to Israel above the Gentiles is, that all without distinction may obtain salvation in Christ.

A light for revelation means for enlightening the Gentiles. Hence we infer, that men are by nature destitute of light, till Christ, “the Sun of Righteousness,” (Mal. 4:2,) shine upon them. With regard to Israel, though God had bestowed upon him distinguished honour, yet all his glory rests on this single article, that a Redeemer had been promised to him.[13]


2:30 my eyes have seen your salvation. Simeon echoes the Old Testament hope of “seeing” God’s salvation (Isa. 52:10; cf. Ps. 98:2), but now it is not in the future but rather in the present. The fact that God’s salvation is “seen” in a six-week-old baby born to parents who cannot even afford the regular sacrifice underlines the note of glorious paradox that runs through these first two chapters.

2:31–32 in the sight of all nations … revelation to the Gentiles. The inclusion of all nations in God’s purpose of blessing for Israel was declared as early as the call of Abraham (Gen. 12:3). Here there is a clear echo especially of the role of God’s “servant” in Isaiah 49:6 (cf. 42:6), who, in addition to restoring Israel, will be “a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” Luke’s two-volume work will show how this prophetic vision began to be realized, in fulfillment of the apostolic commission in Acts 1:8.[14]


2:30–31 / For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people: Isa. 40:5 (see Luke 3:6); 52:10. Luke’s word for “salvation” (sōtērion) is relatively rare in the nt, with three of its four occurrences in Luke–Acts. Tannehill (pp. 40–42) notes that Luke borrowed it from the lxx (as seen in the evangelist’s citation of Isa. 40:5) and probably wanted the reader to understand that Simeon was one of the first to see God’s salvation, a salvation which, thanks to the apostolic mission, the whole Roman Empire would eventually see.

2:32 / a light for revelation to the Gentiles: Isa. 42:6; 49:6; 60:1. Isa. 49:6 will be quoted later in Acts 13:47; 26:23.

and for glory to your people Israel: lxx Isa. 46:13.[15]


30–32 Simeon does not say, however, that he has seen the Messiah but rather that his eyes have seen God’s salvation. To see Jesus is to see salvation embodied in him—a theme prominent in Luke (cf. 1:69, 71, 77; 19:9, and comments). Luke’s concern for the universal application of the gospel finds support in the words “in the sight of all people” (v. 31). Verse 31 echoes Isaiah 52:10 and Psalm 98:3.

The parallel structure in v. 32 may involve a detailed contrast as well as a larger one. That is, not only are Gentiles and Jews put in contrast, but also the same light (Isa 49:6) that brings “revelation” to pagans (cf. 1:78–79) brings “glory” to Israel (cf. 1:77). Note also “all people” (v. 31) and “your people” (v. 32; cf. comments on 1:77).[16]


[1] Luter, A. B. (2017). Luke. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1606). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

[2] Criswell, W. A., Patterson, P., Clendenen, E. R., Akin, D. L., Chamberlin, M., Patterson, D. K., & Pogue, J. (Eds.). (1991). Believer’s Study Bible (electronic ed., Lk 2:29–32). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[3] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Lk 2:30–32). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[4] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1949). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[5] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Lk 2:30–31). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (pp. 1253–1254). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[7] Valdés, A. S. (2010). The Gospel according to Luke. In R. N. Wilkin (Ed.), The Grace New Testament Commentary (p. 234). Denton, TX: Grace Evangelical Society.

[8] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1375). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[9] Martin, J. A. (1985). Luke. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 209). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[10] Butler, T. C. (2000). Luke (Vol. 3, p. 32). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[11] Utley, R. J. (2004). The Gospel according to Luke (Vol. Volume 3A, Lk 2:30–32). Marshall, TX: Bible Lessons International.

[12] Morris, L. (1988). Luke: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 3, p. 105). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[13] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, and Luke (Vol. 1, pp. 144–146). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[14] France, R. T. (2013). Luke. (M. L. Strauss & J. H. Walton, Eds.) (p. 40). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[15] Evans, C. A. (1990). Luke (p. 45). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[16] Liefeld, W. L., & Pao, D. W. (2007). Luke. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Luke–Acts (Revised Edition) (Vol. 10, p. 83). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

Thursday: Pillar of God’s Truth | Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals

Theme: Making the Truth Known

In this week’s lessons, we learn what it means that the church is the pillar and foundation of God’s truth, and how we are to live as a result.

Scripture: 1 Timothy 3:14-16

It is also important to point out that when we talk about the church acting as a pillar of the truth by holding it up for the world to see, we’re not talking about the ministers only. They ought to try to do that, of course; that’s part of their responsibility. But the ministers aren’t the church. The people are the church. Christians are the church, and that includes everyone who confesses the name of Christ. Thus, if the truth is to be held up, it must be the people of God—all of them, from the youngest to the oldest, from the least to the greatest. Everyone is to take this Word and share it, and teach other men and women the good news of God’s grace in Jesus. 

This is what made the church effective in the early days of its ministry. In those early days, after the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, the church spread rapidly throughout the world. Historians talk about this in an interesting way. Edward Gibbon, who wrote The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, was no sympathizer to Christianity. He thought that Christianity destroyed the Roman Empire and gave him an occasion to write his book. But he did recognize that the Christians were effective in their witness, and in his book he wrote that Christianity had reached the shores of India by A.D. 49. Now Jesus died about A.D. 30, which means that less than 20 years later the church was established as far away as India. Moreover, Gibbon says that Christianity reached even the borders of China by A.D. 61. Tertullian, who lived about the year 200, when the church had been expanding for many decades, wrote, “We are but of yesterday, and we have filled every place among you—cities, islands, fortresses, towns, market-places, the very camp, tribes, companies, palace, senate, forum,–we have left nothing to you but the temples of your gods.”1

How did this happen? Adolf Harnack, the influential church historian, has an interesting analysis of it in his book, The Mission and Expansion of Christianity. He said that the most numerous and successful missionaries were not the formal teachers but regular Christians, what he calls “informal missionaries.” He added that their success came by virtue of their loyalty and courage. Everyone who took their confession of faith seriously demonstrated it by their service. Not every Christian is called to the mission field as an actual missionary who comes under a mission agency and raises support. But every Christian is a missionary in the informal sense Harnack is describing because it’s every Christian’s responsibility to tell others about Jesus. The people of God recognize that if the world is to hear the truth of God, it has to be by their proclamation. 

For my third point, I want to take you to another text. In the third chapter of Ephesians, Paul is writing in verses 7-11 what I think are probably more illuminating as to what we are to be and what we are to do than anything else in his writings. Regarding this idea of the church being the pillar and foundation of the truth, we have already said that it means that the church has the truth given to it in Scripture, and that it is to propagate the truth. What I think this passage in Ephesians adds is that the church is also the verifying data of the truth. In other words, we are the ones who prove that it’s really true. Paul writes:

I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given to me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Paul says that it is through the church that the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms. When he talks about the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, he’s not talking about the rulers of this world. He’s talking about spirit beings. He is saying that God, in his infinite wisdom, has ordained that his truth, the wisdom of the gospel, might be made known to the heavenly beings through the church.

1Tertullian, Apology, chapter XXXVII, Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 3, ed. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1995, reprint), 45. Original edition, 1885.

Study Questions:

  1. What made the church so effective in the early years and decades of its ministry?
  2. What does it mean for every Christian to be an “informal missionary”?
  3. What is another of the church’s functions according to Ephesians 3:7-11?

Application: What are some ways your church can hold up the truth for the world to see?

Think and Act Biblically from James Boice is a devotional of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.

— Read on www.thinkandactbiblically.org/tab/thursday-pillar-of-gods-truth

Bewail your Many Actual Transgressions, Especially your Pride 

Confession 2.7 | ESV

We must likewise bewail our many actual transgressions, in thought, word, and deed.

We have sinned, Father, against heaven and before you: Luke 15:18(ESV) we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God; Romans 3:23(ESV) for the God in whose hand is our breath and whose are all our ways, we have not honored. Daniel 5:23(ESV)

Against you, you only, have we sinned and done what is evil in your sight; Psalm 51:4(ESV) neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God by walking in his laws, which he has set before us, Daniel 9:10(ESV) though they are holy and righteous and good. Romans 7:12(ESV)

Who can discern his errors? Declare us innocent from hidden faults. Psalm 19:12(ESV)

In many things we stumble, James 3:2(ESV) and our iniquities are more than the hairs of our head. Psalm 40:12(ESV)

As a well keeps its water fresh, so our hearts keep fresh their evil; Jeremiah 6:7(ESV) and this has been our way from our youth up, that we have not obeyed your voice. Jeremiah 22:21(ESV)

Out of the evil treasure of our hearts, we have brought forth much evil. Matthew 12:35(ESV)

We must confess and bewail the workings of pride in us.

We have every reason to be humbled for the pride of our hearts; 2 Chronicles 32:26(ESV) for we have thought of ourselves more highly than we ought to think and have not thought with sober judgment, Romans 12:3(ESV) nor have we walked humbly with our God. Micah 6:8(ESV)

We have leaned on our own understanding, Proverbs 3:5(ESV) and trusted in our own minds, Proverbs 28:26(ESV) and have sacrificed to our own net. Habakkuk 1:16(ESV)

We have sought our own glory more than the glory of him who sent us, John 7:18(ESV) and have been arrogant concerning that for which we should have mourned. 1 Corinthians 5:2(ESV)

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“I Will Instruct You” (Part 2 of 3) – Programs – Truth For Life

When past mistakes threaten to paralyze our present and derail our future, we need to remember that our all-knowing God wants to help. His lessons bring direction for today as well as tomorrow. Be sure to listen to Truth For Life with Alistair Begg. 
Listen…

February 4 – The theatre of God’s mission for His glory — Reformed Perspective

Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. – Exodus 19:5-6

Scripture reading: Genesis 12:1-31 Peter 2:9-10

God called Abraham and Sarah to make a complete break with their past, leaving behind everything dear to them, and go to the land that He would show them. He wanted to use them to deal with the problem of sin in the world caused by Adam and Eve, by having them bear witness to the glory of His loving presence to one another and to the world around them, by being people and places where heaven and earth meet. On earth as in heaven! God’s two covenants with Abraham were demonstrations of His faithfulness to this purpose.

Before God makes His covenant with Israel as a nation, He explains what kind of a nation Israel will be if they keep His covenant. They will have the status of being His treasured possession among all people, meaning they will be a people with whom He has a valued and special relationship for the sake of the other people in the world. As a treasured possession, they will function as a kingdom of priests, who will mediate the presence of God to the nations by making Him visible through being people and places where heaven and earth meet. As a treasured possession, they will also function as a holy nation, that is a nation set apart from the other nations and consecrated to God as the theatre of God’s mission for His glory. In doing so, God wants to use them to bring the blessing of Abraham to the nations.

Suggestions for prayer

Thank your heavenly Father for the privilege of belonging to His treasured possession, meant to be the theatre of His mission for His glory by bearing witness to His perfect life by living in His presence. Ask God to show you where you may need to make some changes in your life.

Rev. Dick Moes is pastor emeritus of the Surrey Covenant Reformed Church in Surrey, BC. He and his wife Elsina have five children and 14 grandchildren. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

February 4 – The theatre of God’s mission for His glory — Reformed Perspective

Facing Trials — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”  James 1:2-3

Thought

Hang in there!” There are few traits more important than perseverance. Most important accomplishments in life happen because of perseverance. Most “luck” occurs when we’ve persevered long enough for the “magical moment” to come along — in other words, I don’t believe in luck. Edison said it best: life’s greatest feats, the world’s greatest discoveries, his own most fantastic inventions are “1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” “Hang in there!” and see the glory of God come through in you, not because of luck, but because of God’s grace, love, and Providence!

Prayer

Unchangeable and Unshakable God, through the friends you have sent into my life and by the power of your gift, the Holy Spirit, help me to stand up under trial and prove my character true with perseverance when under fire. Give my faith courage and endurance so that my life shows forth your enduring strength. I pray in the name of him who remained faithful even unto death, Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.

By Phil Ware
used with permission.
You can also follow Phil’s daily devotionals on http://www.verseoftheday.com


FURTHER READING

• Did You Know that You are Someone Special?
• Hope for the Hopeless

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: https://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/

Facing Trials — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

Endurance and Encouragement — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

Listen to God’s Word for you in Romans 15:4.

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

One of the assignments against the people of God is to oppress them by wearing them down (Daniel 7:25). You may have experienced debilitating discouragement. You may feel assaulted and assailed from every side. In the name of the Ancient of Days, you can resist this oppression. Hear God’s words in 2 Chronicles 20:15 and 17. “This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’”

You can be afraid and discouraged because of the vast army against you, or you can be confident and encouraged because God is with you. He is your hope and your victory in the battle. In His great heart He has a plan for your welfare, to give you a future and a hope. You are anointed with grace to stand with hope, encouragement, and positive assurance of seeing His goodness at work in your life. Run to the joy of the Lord that is your strength. Be blessed with endurance and encouragement as you stand in the One who fights your battles for you.

Look to your Father in heaven in devotion and trust. He is with you when you are discouraged and not at peace. His presence never leaves nor forsakes you. The name of the Lord is a strong tower to which you can run and are safe (Proverbs 18:10). Hide there in Him from the devourer and the accuser. Hide in Him from heaviness and discouragement. He wants to cover your weariness with His blanket of strength.

You have celebrated His intervention in your life many times and many ways. Be blessed to remember how He has shown Himself strong to you. He gives endurance and encouragement. He will continue to reveal Himself to you.

Jesus rebuked winds and waves, saying, “Peace be still.” You are blessed by the One who stills the storms (Mark 4:39). Another time, Jesus commanded Peter, “Come to me.” Peter stepped out of the boat onto the wind-driven waters, but when he took his eyes off Jesus and looked at the waves, he sank. Whether Jesus stills the storm or invites you to come to Him on it, you will be steadfast, immovable in Him, unless you look at the tempest. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. He will come alongside, lift you up, strengthen, and refine you to bring about His sure purposes. You can stand in the rule and dominion of the Prince of peace. Be blessed in His great faithfulness to you that is new every morning.

Be blessed in the name of the One who bids you come to Him (Matthew 14:29).

By Sylvia Gunter
Used by Permission
Based on You Are Blessed In The Name Of God,


FURTHER READING

• Eternal Love
• Fully Surrender to the Lord

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: https://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/

Endurance and Encouragement — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God