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True God from True God

As we go through the Heidelberg Catechism, we have been talking about the kind of mediator we have and require. The answer to question 15 in particular gives the answer that our mediator must be truly human and truly God. Last week we looked at the human side with question 16. He must be truly human because, "God's justice demands that humans nature, which has sinned, must pay for its sin; but a sinner could never pay for others." In this answer, we understand that the one who is our mediator must be fully human but at the same time, more than any human could ever be. That is what we are going to talk about today.

Question 17

"Why must he also be true God?" The answer is simple. Because a creature could not accomplish what had to be endured. The wrath of God is infinite against those who rebel against him. No created being could withstand the infinite wrath of God, but the infinite God could. The catechism answer the question by saying "He must be true God so that by the power of His divine nature He might bear in His human nature the burden of God's wrath, and might obtain for us and restore to us righteousness and life." This may be something that is hard for you to grasp and it should be. That is because it is dealing with the infinite. Infinity is something that we can know only on a conceptual level. I can understand that infinity exists, but cannot comprehend it fully. If I could then it would not be infinite. The concept in and of itself defies comprehension. For our purpose today it is enough to understand that an infinite debt needs an infinite payment. Humanity alone cannot pay that debt because human nature is finite, limited, not infinite. Our mediator must be God because only God is infinite. Only God could pay the debt owed.

Jesus Our Mediator

Jesus is the only one who fits this description of being fully human and at the same time fully divine. Question 18 asks the simple question of who our mediator could be. It answers " Our Lord Jesus Christ, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification, and redemption."Through our mediator, we are brought into his wisdom, righteousness, and sanctification. We are shown the truth of the world, that is our nature apart from Christ and our eyes are opened to spiritual things. This is what Jesus is talking about when he tells Nicodemus that we must be born again or we will not even be able to see the kingdom of God. Human wisdom cannot grasp the things of God, they are foolishness to the natural person. But through Christ our mediator we are changed, born again, and granted the wisdom to begin to understand the things of God. We are made righteous through a righteousness that is not our own. We are being sanctified. That is we are being changed moment by moment and day by day to be more like Christ.


One of the biggest issues that come up over and over again in the history of the church, and even in our day, is the issue of the nature of Christ. We must understand and proclaim the full humanity and full deity of Christ. He is not part human and part God, he is fully man and fully God, without mixture or separation. Christ is not a created being. He is God incarnate, everything that can rightly be said of the Father can be said of the Son. He is all-knowing, all-wise, all-powerful, and ever-present. Every attribute that we learn from scripture about God is present in Jesus's divine nature. In his human nature, he is like us in every respect yet without sin. It truly is humbling to think about how the creator of all things, humbled himself, taking on human nature so that he might purchase a bride for himself. He is our savior and our mediator. Without him, we are left in our sin, incapable of paying the debt we owe. Thank God that we do not have to.

Soli Deo Gloria

Is. 9:5. Deut. 4:24; Nah. 1:6; Ps. 130:3. Is. 53:5, 11; John 3:16; II Cor. 5:21.

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