By What Standard
Over the last several weeks we have talked about the two natures of Christ. That our mediator, that is Christ, must be fully human, or else his sacrifice would not be effective, and he must be God for his sacrifice to be sufficient. This is a wonderful truth that we can rest in. But every assertion must have a basis. We have to ask the question "By what standard?" This is an essential question for our world and culture today. What is the standard to judge by? What is the standard for truth? How can we know the difference between truth and lies? We need a standard that does not change. Unfortunately many in our world have decided that they are a standard unto themselves. This is the idea that your truth is your truth and my truth is my truth. We see this expressed in all kinds of ways. Such as, do what feels right or, that may be true for you but not for me. Today we need to look at the only true standard.
The Heidelburg Catechism asks this question, "From where do we know this?" It is asking from where do we know the truth that our Lord and mediator Jesus Christ is fully man and fully God. It answers "From the holy gospel, which God Himself first revealed in Paradise. Later, He had it proclaimed by the patriarchs and prophets and foreshadowed by the sacrifices and other ceremonies of the law. Finally, He had it fulfilled through His only Son." This is a long way of saying that we know this truth because it is revealed in the Word of God. This is an explanation of how the scriptures were given to us. It is in essence a more detailed explanation of what Paul tells us in Hebrews 1:1-2. "Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world." Do you see the same progression? God revealed things to his people at one point through prophets, what the catechism describes as prophets and patriarchs, and in these last days, he has finally revealed himself through his Son.
From the Beginning
The truth of God has been revealed to different people in different ways and what we have we call the bible. It is the codex, or collection, of letters, histories, poetry, proverb, and other types of writing that all point to the same truth. The truth is that God is the creator and sustainer of all things and that he is the one who saves his people. The whole point of scripture is to point to Christ. He is the fulfillment of the law, the true sacrifice, that saves his people from their sins. Our first parents received this in part through the first gospel. That is the promise that a savior would crush the head of the serpent. The patriarchs, Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, along with others like Moses and David, were given a further glimpse into God's plan through the promises made to them. That God was going to bless the whole earth through the line of Abraham, Issac, Jacob, and David. God also revealed the message through the sacrificial system that showed the need for blood to be paid. It was a visual representation of the promise that there would one day be one who would do what no animal could.
Our Great Comfort
In a world plagued with doubt and rejection of the truth, it is important and necessary that we know the truth. We need to know that God is the source of all truth and that all truth is God's truth. God has chosen to reveal himself to us through his word and it is our only rule for faith and practice. That is it is our only rule for how we live all of our lives. It teaches the wonderful news that Christ has come. That he is our sufficient and perfect mediator. He is our perfect redeemer. This is the good news of the gospel that though we are born in sin and cannot save ourselves, we have a perfect, sinless, savior, who is fully man and fully God, who has paid for his bride the church. We learn of all of this in the scriptures. So study and find hope in the word of God.
Soli Deo Gloria
Gen. 3:15; 12:3; 22:18; 49:10. Is. 53; Jer. 23:5, 6; Mic. 7:18-20; Acts 10:43; Heb. 1:1. Lev. 1:7; John 5:46; Heb. 10:1-10. Rom. 10:4; Gal. 4:4, 5; Col. 2:17