Q21: Who is the Redeemer of God’s elect?
A: The only Redeemer of God’s elect is the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Tim. 2:5), who, being the eternal Son of God, became
man (Jn. 1:14), and so was, and continueth to be, God and man in two distinct natures, and one person (Rom. 9:5), for
ever (Heb. 7:24).
I. The Lord Jesus Christ is the “only” Redeemer of God’s elect.
A. The titles and names of the Redeemer.
1. He is called “Lord” because of His absolute and universal sovereignty and dominion over all creation (Pss. 2:6; 103:19; Acts 10:36; Eph. 1:22; 1 Tim. 6:15).
2. He is called “Jesus” because He is the Savior of the elect world (Matt. 1:21; Lk. 1:31; Acts 4:12).
3. He is called “Christ” because He was anointed to His office by the Father (Ps. 45:7; Isa. 61:1; Acts 10:38).
a. Two things implied in the anointing of Christ: the Father’s fitting and furnishing Him with all things necessary, that He might be a complete Redeemer (Isa. 62:1); the Father’s giving Him a commission to redeem poor sinners from Hell and wrath (Isa. 61:1; Jn. 8:42; 10:18).
B. The office and work of Christ.
1. He is called a “mediator” (1 Tim. 2:5), which signifies one who reconciles adverse parties.
a. Christ is Mediator in respect to His person, being both God and man, and in respect to His threefold office of Prophet, Priest, and King.
2. He is the “Redeemer.”
a. To “redeem” a thing is to pay a price to effect a release.
b. Christ laid down His life as a ransom for the elect (Matt. 20:28; Col. 1:14; Rev. 5:9)
C. All of marks of the Messiah apply to Him only: of the tribe of Judah, the house of David, to be born of a virgin, etc. Jesus, and He only, is the Redeemer promised to God’s elect.
1. “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but by me” (Jn. 14:6).
2. “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
3. “Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also” (1 Jn. 2:23).
II. Christ, being the eternal Son of God, became man.
A. As the eternal Son He differs from all of God’s other “sons”: angels (Job 38:7); believers (Jn. 1:12).
B. That Christ is the eternal Son, begotten of the Father, is clear from: Scripture (Ps. 2:7; Mic. 5:2; cf. Matt. 2:6; Acts 13:32-33; cf. Ps. 2:8; Rom. 1:4); from Christ being called the “Son” of God (Heb. 1:4-5); from being equal with God (Phil. 2:6); from having life in Himself (Jn. 5:26).
C. The Son became man, not the Father or the Holy Spirit (Jn. 1:14; 1 Tim. 3:16).
D. The reason Christ had to be both God and man.
1. Deity: He had to be God in order to bear successfully the infinite wrath of God (Acts 2:24), and so that His sufferings would be of infinite value, affording full satisfaction to God’s justice (Heb. 9:14).
a. Jesus is called God (Jn. 1:1, 14; Rom. 9:5; Tit. 2:13).
b. Jesus displays the attributes of God: glory, eternality (Jn. 17:5; cf. Isa. 42:8).
c. Jesus performs the works of God (Jn. 5:21; Col. 1:16).
d. Jesus is worshiped as God (Jn. 20:28; Rev. 5:12-14).
(1). The God-man had infinite intelligence, omnipotent will.
2. Humanity: He had to be man in order to suffer death (Heb. 2:14); be a merciful High Priest (Heb. 2:16-17).
a. Jesus had a true body and a reasonable soul (Lk. 24:39; Heb. 2:14).
b. Jesus is called the “Son of Man” (80x).
c. Jesus became hungry, thirsty, weary; He suffered and died.
d. Jesus had a reasonable soul.
(1). He “increased in wisdom” (Lk. 2:52): He thought, felt sorrow, and was ignorant of the Day of Judgment (Mk. 13:32).
III. Christ is both God and man, in two distinct natures, and one person. Christ is God and man by a personal union of two natures.
A. The two natures in Christ remain distinct (Rom. 1:3; 9:5; Heb. 9:14; 1 Pet. 3:18).
1. Christ had two wills (Lk. 22:42).
2. The one person shed divine blood (Acts 20:28).
B. Christ was, and so will continue to be, God and man for ever: the union was never dissolved (Heb. 7:24).
A. Use, of knowledge.
1. The biblical Jesus—God and man—alone saves. [See Appendixes D; E]
2. This exclusive teaching of Christ alone as Savior is crucial, as the modern ecumenical movement has fostered the “Universalist” view of salvation, i.e., there is saving truth in all religions for those who are “sincere and earnest.”
B. Use, of testing.
1. Do we realize how impious and absurd it is to ascribe any part of man’s redemption to any other than Christ, who in the close of His sufferings said, “It is finished”?
C. Use, of exhortation: sinners and saints.
1. Sinners. All who live and die out of Christ must perish; for there is no other Mediator between God and men but the man Jesus Christ, who gave Himself a ransom for sinners, and invites sinners to come and take the benefits thereof. If you come not to Him your blood is upon your own heads.
2. Saints. Heb. 4:15: “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (emphasis added).
a. Double negative in Greek is stronger than the strongest positive. In English we would say it conveys the superlative or highest degree. We could say the meaning is, “We absolutely do have a high priest who is, who will be, who cannot but be tempted with feeling our infirmities” (Joel Beeke).
b. “Sympathize” (Gk., sumpatheo), to feel sympathy, to commiserate, to have compassion.
(1). Difficult to properly translate into English. Profound phrase, meaning more than “touched” by something (e.g., tragedy in the headlines), but rather to be moved inwardly, affected as one who shares the sorrow. Jesus came to identify with His people. He not only experienced our pains in parallel ways, but He experiences our pain with us. He indwells us and feels with us, “touched with the feeling of our….” He now feels our every trial, sorrow, affliction; enters into our affliction.
c. Upon this basis let us come boldly to the throne of grace (v. 16).
(1). Contrast the high priest only entering into the holy of holies once a year, and after elaborate ritualism, with the believer’s immediate and continual access into the very presence of God.
(2). Christ does not promise us help from suffering, but rather for suffering (cf. Phil. 3:10).
d. See the matchless love of the Son of God to poor sinners.