I wanted to convince my friend about Christ that there is no salvation by faith in the church, in the saints or any messenger of God so called, or in Mary:and there is only one mediator: Jesus Christ.
The argument went on as he mention about Christ preaching the parable of the Prodigal Son. He demanded if I could show any scriptural reference that the mediator had convene between the Father and Son.Can you help me it seem I've been knock hard for this.
I already send it during our first discussion some of your article about Christ as being " one mediator" between God and men but he still pointing me in Luke 15:11-32 and not to jump to anything. He will be convinced If I could show where the mediator behind the parable.Supposed it's wrong to say that the father is the mediator between the two sons isn't it? Anyway,here is my explanation to our discussion hope you might see something I've missed so I could explain to him.
The Prodigal Son The parables of Jesus contain rich spiritual truths that are paramount for Christian living. To understand the parables correctly, we must first learn about their nature and the issues surrounding their interpretation. When Jesus spoke in parables, many in the audience could not understand him, and therefore failed to appreciate how much revelation was contained in his words. But when Jesus spoke plainly, those who heard could more readily recognize the knowledge and authority he possessed.Not only did the disciples fail to understand the foundational parable, but they also failed to understand many of the other parables. Matthew 13:34-36 says, "Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: 'I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.' Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, 'Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.'" So, the disciples not only failed to understand the parable of the sower, but also the parable of the weeds in the field. Jesus himself stated that the use of parables would prevent some people from understanding. Matthew 13:10 says, "The disciples came to [Jesus] and asked, 'Why do you speak to the people in parables?'" The question implies that the use of parables, to the disciples, was strange, out of place, or not customary. The disciples may have discerned that the crowds did not understand what Jesus said. We may paraphrase their question as, "Jesus, why do you speak to them in parables? Why do you not just tell them what you want to say? Why do you have to obscure your meaning through the use of parables?" If you are genuinely seeking God, you will diligently pursue understanding from God's word, and by thinking on the Scriptures intently, more revelation will be given to you. As the apostle Paul states in 2 Timothy 2:7, "Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this." Parables help the spiritual growth of one who desires to know God, since he needs to immerse himself fully into the teaching. On the other hand, they hinder the spiritual growth of a person who inwardly resists the Spirit of God.The parables obscure the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, and those who are hardened cannot grasp their meaning and implications. Further, many people think that they have the correct interpretations when in fact they do not. This is a common situation, and it is not only true with the parables, but with most parts of the Bible – those who are unfamiliar with biblical interpretation often misunderstand passages that they feel confident about. Then, there are those times when one truly understands the parables. But the purpose of the parables does not stop here. Those who understand them should continue to think on the lessons being taught and proceed to do them. The Nature of the Parables of Jesus. The parables of Jesus often provide useful spiritual insights that one can put into practice immediately. They contain some of the most important and effective principles for spiritual growth. Sometimes a parable brings its meaning down to the individual, and the person to whom it is directed must then make a decision based on its implications. The Parable of Forgiveness: The Lost Son(younger son) Sin removes a person from God. It drives one to live in such a way that is not pleasing to God.The Jews considered feeding pigs as the lowest occupation that one could have. And we see in Luke 15:16, that this younger son "longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything." Not only did he have to involve himself in the lowest work that a Jewish mind could imagine, but he had fallen to such a low point that he envied the pigs. Apparently, the animals were enjoying better meals than he was. And so, while a person can live a clean and healthy life when he is in fellowship with God, sin brings corruption and decay into a person's life. The Israelites complained against God and Moses, saying, "If only we had died by the LORD's hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted,but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death" (Exodus 16:3). But they had forgotten that they were slaves! The Egyptians placed "slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor" (Exodus 1:11), and that was certainly not as good as being out in the desert with the presence and provisions of God.Yet, through unbelief their minds were clouded and they made incorrect assessments of their situation. Those who think very highly of themselves, whether with good reason or not, can be quite demanding: "I want this to be done, I want that to be done. I want you to give me this, I want you to give me that." They think they have the right to say such things. But one who is returning to God from a sinful lifestyle with a repentant attitude relies on the mercy of God alone. Just like when we say that one "throws himself at the mercy of the court," having no strong argument in one's favor and on which one may depend, one who is repentant says, "I can do nothing. I cannot undo what I have done. I cannot pay the debt that I have incurred. All I can do is to place my life in God's hands, and be at his mercy, and let him do whatever he wants with me." The apostle Paul observes that, "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one." (Romans 3:10-12). And Jesus says in John 6:44, "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day." If God were to be passive concerning our deliverance from sin, no one would be saved. Not only is God actively reaching out to sinners, forgiving them of their sins, but his restoration is instant, not gradual: "The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet" (v. 21-22). Self-righteous Son(the older son) Luke 15:1-2: "Now the tax collectors and 'sinners' were all gathering around to hear him. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, 'This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.'" Not that those whom the Pharisees perceived as sinners were not in fact sinners, but the problem was that the Pharisees considered themselves as spiritually superior due to their own outward behavior: "[They were] like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean" (Matthew 23:27). Some tend to think that as long as they do not belong to what they perceive to be the worst group of sinners, they will do well. The biblical response is that unless they repent, they will perish just like the worst of sinners. Only through faith in Jesus Christ will one be saved and accepted by God. Self-righteous individuals think that they have done many good works, and that they have never committed sins, at least not major ones. Therefore, they feel indignant when one who has committed many sins receives instant forgiveness and restoration from God. A self-righteous person thinks that good works earn, or should be able to earn, merits with God. And they perceive their own efforts as good works that are able to satisfy God's high standards. However, the Bible states that "all our righteous acts are like filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6), and that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Just as a sinner must begin to perceive the truth concerning God, sin, and himself before he can experience repentance, a self-righteous person is one who fails to comprehend the true nature of sin and grace. The older son says to the father, "But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!" (v. 30). Self-righteous people, whether in their actions or speech, reflects the misunderstanding that grace is a reward for sin. But the Bible says, "Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?" (Romans 6:1-2). The purpose of grace is to restore and forgive, not to give license to sin. The Scripture says that, "The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God" (2 Corinthians 4:4). This is certainly true concerning unbelievers. But Christians, to the extent that they are living in sin, are also deceived by the devil. Yet, by the mercy of God, we are enabled to see into the true nature of things, and is led to repentance by God's kindness and patience (Romans 2:4). Even repentance, then, ultimately rests in God's act of grace, and there is no place for boasting or self-congratulations. It is he who makes "his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:6). God's forgiveness does not imply that he rejoices in or tolerates sin, but he rejoices in one's act of repentance, that the person has come to his senses, and has returned to place himself completely at the mercy of God, knowing that he has no merit of his own. Thus, Jesus reveals in Luke 15:10 that, "there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." An Honourable Father and Son Relationship in Modern Hebrew Scholarship Luke 15:11-32 Welcome Home for a Lost Son
Luke’s introduction, mentioned above, gives the context for Jesus’ three parables: after the lost sheep and the lost coin (Luke 15:2-10) comes the lost son. This parable deals with the inheritance problems of two sons (echoes of Deut 21:15-17). The wastrel son would have brought shame not just on the family, but on the whole village, for in effect wishing his father was dead and wanting his inheritance there and then. The father, amazingly, graciously and scandalously shows his love by agreeing. When all goes wrong the son ‘comes to himself’ and starts his journey home. His father, who was on the look out for him and knowing nothing of his repentance, ran to meet him. At the time of Jesus, and as today in the Middle East, it would have been very unusual and shameful for an older man to run in this way. It has been suggested by Kenneth Bailey, a scholar of Luke’s parables and of both ancient and current Aramaic culture, that he did this to reach his son before the villagers or the ‘elders at the gate’ did so, and attacked him for the shame he had brought on the whole village. His running was to prevent the stoning. At Oxford in the early 20th century, there was an interestingly illustrious father and son relationship concerning Hebrew scholarship. Samuel Driver (1846-1914), was Professor of Hebrew and wrote a The International Critical Commentary on Deuteronomy. His son, Godfrey Driver (1892-1975) followed his father ‘honourably’ as a Hebrew scholar at the same university and became the Convener of the Old Testament panel of the NEB. He is likely to have been the one who suggested the word ‘wastrel’ for the more usual ‘glutton’ in the NEB. His father, in his commentary on Deuteronomy (p. 247), translated Proverbs 23:20 as ‘be not among those that drink wine, that squander flesh among themselves’ and continued that the word zalal is properly translated ‘a squanderer’ and refers to the same word in Proverbs 28:7. In the NEB, this is translated as, ‘A discerning son observes the law, but one who keeps riotous company wounds his father’. In REB it is revised as ‘…but one who keeps profligate company brings disgrace on his father.’ www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk/251 But the two I've identified above may be viewed as the primary problems. What is the cause of Man's problems in this regard? People simply doesn't seem to understand the role of the mediator. The mediator is not simply a grace conduit. The mediator is the person who reconciles two. As Scripture says, Galatians 3:20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. Jesus is that one person who reconciles God and man. Jesus does that job and does it completely, leaving no room for a "mini-mediator." Part of that role, moreover, is the role of being the sole object of faith. That's how Galatians connects Jesus' role as mediator to the relation between God and man: Galatians 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. It is by faith in the mediator that we obtain the blessing. There is no mention in Scripture of salvation by faith in any lesser or "mini" mediator - but only by faith in Christ. There is no salvation by faith in the church, in the saints, or in Mary: there is only one mediator: Jesus Christ. The same point is being made in 1 Timothy 2, in which what is well pleasing to God is that men believe on his son - the one mediator between God and man.
I thank God for His infinite wisdom. I dearly thanks for the ministry of the ASK and had given me more knowledge in knowing more about Christ. I gathered some information to back-up the information on how Christ centered into our life.
Sin removes a person from God.,sin brings corruption and decay into a person's life The message Christ preached during His ministry was a message of law, not grace. Christ said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” Matthew 5:17 It was a ministry emphasizing the keeping of the Commandments (salvation by works) in order to be saved. While Christ was teaching in the flesh, He was proclaiming a doctrine of salvation through law (by works of the Law) under the auspices of the Old Covenant. There was no real salvation possible in the message. Christ intended it to be that way. Because the Israelites did not like to keep the Sabbaths and other judgments that God (that is, the angelic hosts) gave to Israel at the time of Moses, God deliberately and with dogmatism gave some very bad and destructive laws for Israel to keep. God commanded they observe these laws to learn a lesson from Him. God said: “Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were NOT GOOD, and judgments whereby THEY SHOULD NOT LIVE; And I polluted them in their own [sacrificial] gifts.” Ezekiel 20:25–26 The Gentiles - The Lost Son While the Old Covenant leglislation was in force, Gentiles were excluded from any salvation whatever (Ephesians 2:11–12). Christ’s message while He was in the flesh was only to Israel. “Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter you not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Matthew 10:5–6 Israelites - Self Righteous Son The Scribes and Pharisees kept the law more scrupulously than any other group (they observed the Mosaic requirements well), but Christ demanded much more of His people. “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:20 However Christ went far above the simple meaning of the law. He strengthened it far beyond its normal teaching and provided a more severe form of punishment than simple death. Notice it. “Whosoever is angry with his brother” was now reckoned a murderer by our Lord (Matthew 5:22). Even calling someone “Raca” (i.e., empty-headed or a vain fellow) would bring one before the courts of God and he would be found guilty (Matthew 6:22). If someone even called another person a “fool,” his punishment would make him subject to the rigors of Gehenna fire (verse 22). These commands and the judgments associated with them were of extreme severity. No person could possibly keep them. These commands gave most in the world no hope “Narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13). Christ was making the law so impossible to observe in a perfect sense, that there was no chance of anyone being called “blameless” again. He did this in order to direct people to the need of a Savior (Himself) who was to manifest Himself to the earth. And Christ poured on laws upon laws (and extremely stringent ones) that no ordinary human could even begin to keep. Why no salvation? It is very simple: there was yet no Savior who had shed His blood to rescue man from their sins. The reconciliation of man to the Father could come through one means only: the death of Christ on the tree of crucifixion. “We were reconciled to God by the death of His Son” (Romans 5:10). Only through the shedding of Christ’s blood can anyone be justified in God’s sight. “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him” (Romans 5:9). Yet in all the period of Christ’s earthly ministry, the Spirit was not offered to the generality of the people. Not even the apostles of Christ were blessed with the Spirit as an integral part of their lives. As late as the eve of Christ’s crucifixion, the apostles had not yet experienced the Holy Spirit individually dwelling in them. “You know him [the Holy Spirit]: for he dwells with you, and SHALL BE in you” (John 14:17). Paul did not refer to any of Christ’s teachings (other than the bread and wine) given by Christ while in the flesh. “Though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more” (2 Corinthians 5:16). Those first teachings of Christ while He was in the flesh were given only to the children of Israel and Judah. And though Jews were offered salvation if they kept the commandments, since no one could keep the commandments to be saved, no one was ever saved under that Old Covenant message given by Christ while in the flesh. And Christ offered no Gentiles any salvation whatever before the crucifixion of Christ. But something better was coming. It was a system of salvation to be given by faith (through grace) and not through law. The Gentiles were finally offered salvation (along with Israel). Jonah and Christ Jonah’s experience was a “type” of Christ’s minis-try while He was here on earth (although Jesus was willing to obey God, even unto death). Once we realize this, we can begin to comprehend the scope of what Christianity is all about (to be the center between man and God-John 6:45) and to whom it was to go. The human race is now undergoing a learning experience in what "good and bad" ("evil") is all about. It is an education in learning to compare the "good" from the "bad," and why choosing the "good" is better. This is also the time when God can punish mankind for choosing the "bad" over the "good" in teaching us a proper value system for living in harmony and peace. "And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you,There is no man hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife,or children, for the kingdom of God's sake." Luke 18:29
The Mystery was hidden and unknown even to angels until it was revealed to them.
"For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." Luke 19:10 The Harmony of God in Christ
“To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth hears my voice.” • John 18:37
This holiness and faith comes through the evangel, the Gospel, that Paul and others preached. All of this is done for the glory of Christ. A redemption and a reconciliation will come from God and it shall embrace the whole world. "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them: and has committed unto us the word of reconciliation." 2 Corinthians 5:19
All through Christ’s ministry while He was in the flesh, he emphasized only one way to gain salvation. It was through obedience to law. But when man witnessed the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ (and the sending of the Holy Spirit), a whole new method of gaining salvation was introduced to the earth. Something different from the observance of laws was brought into existence. A new standard of righteousness was introduced. It was given to those who expressed a faith and love in Christ, a reliance on His blood as the sole means for obtaining the Kingdom of God and a salvation that accompanied the promise of the Kingdom. “For the Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” John 1:17