LBCF 1689 Reflections. Part 96

Reflections on the Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689. 23 Aug 14 began a perhaps unbroken, orderly, and personal journey through my favorite written confession of faith. This will be my personal reflections on this beloved written codification of the Christian Faith which is according to a Baptist flavor.




Section 8, paragraph 9: “This office of mediator between God and man is proper only to Christ, who is the prophet, priest, and king of the church of God; and may not be either in whole, or any part thereof, transferred from him to any other.”


Hebrews 8:3 reads: “every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices; so it is necessary that this high priest also have something to offer.” The priests and high priests in Israel had a charge to mediate for the sins of the people. They stood between God and the people. They were given means with which to do so. Ceremonies, sacrifices, days, etc. Their intercession and mediation was based upon their appointed roles, means prescribed, and the services God’s Law called them to render. Their roles and sacrifices were instituted by God himself. Jesus also mediates by his own position. He took on flesh to have something to mediate with. He offered his body, like the high priests offered their sacrifices, directly to God. The focus of Hebrews 10 makes it abundantly clear that Jesus’ body was itself an offering on the Cross to God the Father. The following prophetic words are ascribed to Jesus:
Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says,

“Sacrifice and offering You have not desired,
But a body You have prepared for Me;
In whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have taken no pleasure.
“Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come
(In the scroll of the book it is written of Me)
To do Your will, O God.’” (vv. 5-7).

It is based upon his finished atoning work, and his eternal life, that Jesus can mediate for the church. He doesn’t mediate on another’s offering, but upon his own. His mediation is in fact predicated upon his atoning work. Because he died, he can now make intercession for those he gave his life for.


Old Covenant players had very little overlap in their appointed offices. Priests weren’t kings and prophets. Prophets weren’t priests and kings. Kings weren’t prophets and priests. When there was overlap in those roles it certainly wasn’t perfect. Sometimes it was even downright disastrous. In the Christ, however, he fulfills all three roles in perfect harmony. He is the King of kings, the Great High Priest, and the Prophet who was to come into the world.


There is also in the confession here a very proper rejection of the Roman Catholic idea of additional mediators between men and Jesus. The papists add Mary, popes, other departed saints, priests on earth, etc., but none of these other players have an atoning work upon which to mediate. Jesus alone can mediate for his own because of his life and work on the Cross. The confession is reminding its readers that Jesus and Jesus alone is the head of his church, and the mediator from heaven between God and men.


The hope of the Gospel is based upon the hope of the perfect life and ministry of Jesus. We have such a high priest, such a king, such a prophet. All of them needn’t ever speak another word. We can rejoice in the Gospel as it reflected on here:

“God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.” Hebrews 1:1-4. Amen and amen!

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