New Covenant Mediator

Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance” (Heb. 9:15).

- Hebrews 9:15

The example of Abraham shows us that the people of God have always been justified by faith alone (Gal. 3:5–6). No matter the era of redemption in which the people of God find themselves, it is not their works that save them but God and God alone.

This does not, however, negate the importance of works in justification, for justification itself comes only through perfect obedience to God’s law. The only works that justify, however, are the works of Christ. Only the complete and perfect obedience of Christ fulfills the Law. Believers who lived before the time of Christ benefited from His work just as we do. Still, they did not clearly understand how the promised Messiah would bring salvation as we understand it. Nevertheless old covenant believers placed their faith in Yahweh alone to save them, and He did so by applying the work of Christ. God could do this because, from an eternal perspective, the work was already done. The immutability of God’s plan guaranteed that Christ would accomplish salvation.

In Hebrews 9:15 we are told that the offering of Christ makes Him the Mediator of the new covenant. From a timeless, heavenly perspective, the eternal blessings of the new covenant were guaranteed to God’s people because the final sacrifice was foreordained (Acts 2:23; 3:18; 1 Peter 1:20). Still, Jesus had to come and do His work in order to actualize the new covenant blessings. Otherwise believers, no matter when they lived, could not have received the benefits of the new covenant. It is only when the Holy Spirit applies Christ’s work to us that we are made right with God. For He does not work outside of history, but accomplishes His eternal plan in space and time.

Jesus is the Mediator so that “those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance.” This eternal inheritance refers back to the promise of land and seed made to Abraham, even though this blessing (a new heaven and earth and a worldwide family) will be even greater than he expected. Moreover, we also read in this verse that this inheritance will come precisely because Christ’s death has saved us from the transgressions committed under the old covenant. Christ removes the sin made known to us by the law of God and makes us worthy by virtue of our union with Him to be His co-heirs.

Coram Deo

Jesus has come to be our Mediator, to bear our punishment for sin, and to guarantee our salvation. But this salvation from sin is only part of our inheritance. In His abundant grace, God has made us inheritors of the new world to come. Thank God for His grace, and continue looking forward to your inheritance that is to come.

Passages for Further Study

Lev. 26:44–45
Hos. 14:4–7
Gal. 4:21–31
Eph. 2:11–13

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