Martyn Lloyd-Jones on Revival


Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899 – 1981) was a Welsh Protestant minister, preacher and medical doctor who was influential in the Reformed wing of the British evangelical movement in the 20th century. He was the minister of Westminster Chapel in London for almost 30 years. For more on his life and ministry, please visit

*”It seems to me that there is no hope for revival until you and I, and all of us, have reached the stage in which we begin to forget ourselves a little, and to be concerned for the Church, for God’s body, his people here on earth. So many of our prayers are subjective and self-centred. We have our problems and difficulties, and by the time that we have finished with them, we are tired and exhausted and we do not pray for the Church. My blessing, my need, my this, my that. Now, I am not being hard and unkind, God has promised to deal with our problems. But where does the Church come into our prayers and intercessions? Do we go beyond ourselves and our families? We stand before the world and we say the only hope for the world is Christianity. We say the Church, and the Church alone, has the message that is needed. We see the problems of society, they are shouting at us and they are increasing week by week. And we know that this is the only answer. Very well, then, if we know that and if we believe that, let me ask you in the name of God, how often do you pray that the Church may have power to preach this, in such a manner that all these citadels that are raising themselves against God shall be razed to the ground and shall be flattened in his holy presence? How much time do you give to praying that the preachers of the gospel may be endued with the power of the Holy Ghost? Are you interceding about this? Are you concerned about it? Moses, I say was more concerned about this than about himself. He would not go up alone to the promised land. He did not want to be made the great man alone. ‘No, it is the Church,’ he said, ‘I am not going on unless they are all coming with me, and with you in the midst.’

We must learn to think again about the Christian Church. Our whole approach has become subjective. It is subjective in evangelism, it is subjective in the teaching of sanctification, it is subjective from beginning to end. We start with ourselves, and our own needs and problems, and God is an agency to supply an answer, to give us what we need, but it is all wrong. Evangelism, and everything else, must start with God and his glory. The God who is over all and to whom all things belong. It is because men are not glorifying him that they need to be saved, not to have some little personal problem solved. And if the motive for evangelism is to fill the Churches, it is doomed to failure. Of course, you may fill your Churches, and it will not help you, it will not avail you, it will not make any difference to the main problems. It is this conception of the Church as the people of God, who bear his name and who have been brought into being by him, it is this that matters. We must cease to think of the Church as a gathering of institutions and organisations, and we must get back this notion that we are the people of God. And that it is for his name’s sake, and because his name is upon us, we must plead for the Church. Yes, and for her glory and her honour, because she is his.”

*Source: Chapel Library

A Plea for Books – Christian Books



This article was originally published as ‘Every Christian a Publisher’ by the late American pastor Ernest Reisinger (1919-2004). It is a stirring message on the key role books have played in the development of the Christian faith and the lives of believers over the ages and the role it can still play for the witness of the Church today. The original publication can be found here.

I would like to speak to you today about the importance of the use of literature in the church, for evangelism, for instruction in Christian truth, for devotion, and for its role in planting churches.

Protestants, in particular, are very weak in the proper use of literature to spread God’s truth. We still do not remember the words of Daniel Webster who said:

‘If religious books are not widely circulated among the masses in this country, I do not know what is going to become of us as a nation. If truth be not diffused, error will be; if God and His Word are not known and received, the devil and his works will gain the ascendancy; if the evangelical volume does not reach every hamlet, the pages of a corrupt and licentious literature will; if the power of the Gospel is not felt throughout the length and breadth of the land, anarchy and misrule, degradation and misery, corruption and darkness, will reign without mitigation or end.’

In Isaiah 1:3, we read, ‘Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.’ Then, chapter after chapter in that prophecy we have a terrible picture of the life and practice of a people who were the professed people of God. Surely their sin and wickedness was the result of not ‘knowing,’ and they did not know because they did not consider.

Books are to be used to dispel darkness and ignorance. If men do not know, then they must acquaint themselves with facts by reading and studying. We need to use books to fight ignorance—the ignorance of Christian truth and doctrine that is so prevalent in our churches today.

It is appalling to meet people who have been communicant church members for years and who cannot find a place in the Bible, who do not have even a vague idea of the great doctrines of the Bible, and who cannot attach any true meaning to such basic terms as justification, sanctification, regeneration, election and predestination.

Have we forgotten that Christianity is primarily a religion of facts—historical facts? The Bible is a body of divine information, and to be ignorant of the information is to be ignorant of Christianity and to be ignorant of God.

Surely one of the reasons for the deadness and weakness of our churches is ignorance. We will not have churches that are strong and fruitful in experience until we have Christians who are strong in biblical doctrine. Christian experience is nothing less than truth and its evidence revealed and applied by the Spirit to our minds, to our affections and to our wills. Those who ‘do not the truth’ are those ‘in darkness’ (1 John 1:6).

The Power of the Press

The ministry of books can be used to evangelize, teach, train and expel ignorance as it has done in the past. A cursory glance at history should convince us that God has used books and literature to enlighten blinded peoples and nations.

How was it that in places where the voices of Luther and Calvin were never heard, their doctrines were embraced, and many of the countries of Europe threw off the yoke of Rome and turned Protestant? It was because books and tracts became, in the hands of God, a mighty reforming and regenerating power.

In reference to the printing press, Sir Thomas More, defender of the Roman Church, complained bitterly that the Reformers had become its master: ‘These diabolical people print their books at great expense, notwithstanding the great danger; not looking for any gain, they give them away to everybody, and even scatter them abroad by night.’ ‘The Pope,’ rejoiced John Foxe, (the martyrologist), ‘must abolish printing or he must seek a new world to reign over; for by this printing the doctrine of the Gospel soundeth to all nations and countries under heaven.’ Thus was the power of the printed page acknowledged.

A book by Richard Sibbes, one of the choicest of the Puritan writers, was read by Richard Baxter, who was greatly blessed by it. Baxter then wrote his Call To The Unconverted which deeply influenced Philip Doddridge, who in turn wrote The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul. This brought the young William Wilberforce, subsequent English statesman and foe of slavery, to serious thoughts of eternity. Wilberforce wrote his Practical Book of Christianity which fired the soul of Leigh Richmond. Richmond, in turn, wrote The Dairyman’s Daughter, a book that brought thousands to the Lord, helping Thomas Chalmers the great preacher, among others.

What an eye-opener it was for me to read that the Watch Tower building in New York City puts out 12,000,000 pieces of Jehovah Witness literature a month, fifty percent of which is shipped overseas. They have large three-story buildings in which they do nothing but turn out their doctrines and heresies. They use one carload of paper per day and have the world’s largest religious bindery in which it is said that they are able to turn out 30,000 books per day. Still more disturbing is the fact that young men and women, between the ages of twenty and twenty-five, give their lives to this cause, with no remuneration apart from their lodging and food. Oh, that the day would come when more young men and women would give their lives to the cause of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ with such dedication as this!

The Russians, a few years ago, published 29,301,400 books in 701 titles. An even greater volume was produced by 700 Communist publishers in 58 countries. Yet at that time the Communists were aiming at a 300% increase in the circulation of the printed page.

In the past, the pen has been the hammer to break the errors of centuries. But now the enemies of the truth have learned the value of books and with word processors and printing presses they have left those who love the biblical Christianity far behind.

Practical Suggestions

You may say you are convinced that books have been, and can be, used to evangelize, to teach, and to train, but, you ask, ‘How do I do it?’ Here are a few suggestions:

A minister can lead his people to see the importance of the use of good literature just as he leads them in other truths.

I know a minister who led his people to give good books with their Christmas gifts, wedding presents, hospital visits, and to their friends and neighbours. Believe me, it will help you build a strong church.

I know a minister who went to a church and there was not one copy of Pilgrim’s Progress in any home, in fact, when he first mentioned Bunyan many in his congregation thought he meant Paul Bunyan, the fellow who chopped down trees! Well, in three years there was a copy of Pilgrim’s Progress in 90% of the homes and many had read it.

I know a case where a church introduced a little book table. A lawyer’s wife took charge of it and in one year sold $10,000 worth of Christian books (wholesale).

I know a church where they sell $1,000 worth of books at Christmas time to be used with gifts—mostly for evangelistic purposes. And in every case this ministry can be traced to the pulpit where a minister caught the vision and had a burden to use this means to evangelize and build up Christians.

Charles H. Spurgeon tells how, when he was a child, his mother would often read a piece of Alleine’s Alarm To The Unconverted to the family as they sat round the fire on a Sunday evening and, when brought under conviction of sin, it was to this old book that he turned.

‘I remember,’ he writes, ‘when I used to awake in the morning, the first thing I took up was Alleine’s Alarm, or Baxter’s Call To The Unconverted. Oh those books, those books! I read and devoured them…’


Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress

I want to mention one book specially today that has been mightily used in the history of Christianity, that is my favorite book, Pilgrim’s Progress. Without doubt, next to the Bible, Pilgrim’s Progress has been used to bless more people than any other single book, and you should not rest until every family in your church has a copy. Use it in your sermons!

William Chalmers Burns, the first Presbyterian missionary to go to China, translated Pilgrim’s Progress as a means of evangelizing—a different kind of evangelism than we have today. Later, when he worked farther back into the interior of that nation, he translated it into the local dialects.

I want to tell you a few facts about this immortal volume, Pilgrim’s Progress, hoping to make you anxious to read it—yes, and study it, and have some family discussions about it.

(1) It has some excellent preaching material. Spurgeon read it one hundred times, and it permeated his sermons.

(2) Pilgrim’s Progress is the biblical message of salvation by grace.

(3) It is pregnant with Bible truth. Spurgeon said, ‘You can prick John Bunyan anywhere for all his blood is “bibline.”’

(4) It is not fiction—it bathes and swims in Scripture. The more you know the Bible and the theology of the Bible the better you will understand and appreciate this useful volume.

(5) It is the life of the Christian travelling between two worlds. Hear it in Bunyan’s words:

‘And thus it was I, writing of the Way

And the race of saints in this our gospel day,

Fell suddenly into an allegory

About their journey, and the way to Glory.’

(6) It is the great doctrines of the Bible, set forth in an experimental and illustrative manner.

(7) It is as relevant today as the day it was written (between 1675 and 1684). Like the Bible, it is always relevant because it is about God—Man—Sin—Christ—Salvation—Life—Death—Heaven and Hell.

The poet Browning said, ‘Tis my belief that God spake; no tinker has such power.’ James Montgomery said, ‘God gave a great gift to His church when He converted John Bunyan to write Pilgrim’s Progress.‘

No amount of literary study in itself could ever produce Pilgrim’s Progress. It took not only the natural gifts and graces of John Bunyan, but also his deep spiritual experiences and insights into the Word of God, and a biblical interpretation of those experiences. Bunyan travelled so close to the Master’s steps that he gives a marvelously accurate picture of the road to the Celestial City and of the difficulties we shall find on the way.

Today Pilgrim’s Progress stands next to the Bible in sales and translations (198 languages). There are indeed so many editions that it is virtually impossible to compute them. There are 50 editions in Africa alone. Where the Bible goes, we may say, The Pilgrim’s Progress will follow!

Bunyan and his book have no appeal, at first, to the men and women of this world as I have often noticed. The men and women who are too wrapped up in this world either do not understand it, or see no great depth of spiritual truth in it. Others do not care for it. I recall the words of one, a professional man who had to stop reading it because, as he told me, ‘It upsets me too much—spiritually and emotionally.’ I am afraid he saw himself too plainly!

Pilgrim’s Progress is better than any book on anthropology or psychology. Why do I say that? Because most books on these subjects study man without God or the Bible. Now, you can learn a lot about man without God or the Bible, but you can never get to his real problems, and therefore you cannot come up with the correct answers. Bunyan will give you a real insight into yourself and all other sinners as no other book but the Bible.

Lessons for Today

Vanity-Fair has not changed. There is a Vanity-Fair every day. Madam Bubble still seeks to draw away pilgrims. Madam Wanton walks on every street. Mrs. Bats-Eye still thinks everyone is blind. Men with muckrakes are all around us who will not give up their muckrake for the crown offered by the One above. They will not turn their eyes upward. Are there any of you here today who are so busy with straws, small sticks and dust on the floor, that you have not looked up? Is all your time and energy spent without looking up?

The Church is full of Talkatives, the son of Say-Well of Prating Row. Does this not tell you volumes about this type in just a sentence? Ready at a moment’s notice for what you will, this man can, with equal facility and equal emptiness, ‘talk of things heavenly or things earthly; things moral or things evangelical; things sacred or things profane; things past or things to come; things foreign or things at home; and the only condition that the wretched windbag stipulates is that all be done to spiritual profit.’

Surely you have met By-Ends of Fair-Speech. ‘A subtle knave’ whose grandfather was a waterman, looking one way and rowing another and whose distinguishing characteristics are that, in religion, he makes it a point to ‘never to go against wind and tide, and to be the best friend of religion when she goes in silver slippers, walking in the sunshine and is applauded of the people.’

What infinite skill Bunyan had to draw such a character picture in just a few sentences!

Who has not been the prisoner of Giant Despair and suffered in Doubting Castle, and then experienced that wonderful release by the Key of Promise? A beautiful picture and very relevant. Christians and their problems do not change with the calendar. Despair, doubt, fear, and death are still with us.

I hope you have been to Interpreter’s House where you see things rare, things profitable, things pleasant, and awesome things to make one stable. Real lessons can be learned about receiving people into the church at Palace Beautiful from that grave and beautiful damsel named Discretion.

A Practical Lesson

All of us need to be cheered by the help of Great-Heart, Stand-Fast, and Valiant-for-the-truth, and good old Honest. Some of us have been in Doubting Castle. Some in The Slough of Despond. Some have experienced the temptations at Vanity-Fair. All of us have to climb The Hill Difficulty, all of us need to be instructed by the Interpreter in The House Beautiful. All of us bear the same burdens. All of us need the same armour in our fight with Apollyon. All of us have to pass through The Wicket-Gate. All of us must pass through The Dark River. And for all true Christians there awaits The Shining Ones at the gates of The Celestial City, ‘which, when we see, we wish ourselves amongst them.’

Twenty-Six Soldiers

I hope I have encouraged you to use good sound literature in your ministry. There is power in those twenty-six soldiers—the letters of our alphabet upon the printed page.

Francis Bacon said, ‘If I might control the literature of the household, I would guarantee the wellbeing of the church and state.

Martin Luther said, ‘We must throw the printer’s inkpot at the devil.’

Robert Murray M’Cheyne said, ‘The smallest tract may be the stone in David’s sling. In the hands of Christ it may bring down a giant’s soul.’

John Trapp said, ‘Be careful what books you read, for as water tastes of the soil it runs through, so does the soul taste of the authors that a man reads.’

Samuel Zwemmer said, ‘No other agency can penetrate so deeply, witness so daringly, abide so persistently and influence so irresistibly as the printed page.’

The printed page never flinches, it never shows cowardice; it is never tempted to compromise. The printed page never gets tired; it never gets disheartened. The printed page travels cheaply—you can be a missionary for the price of a stamp. It requires no buildings in which to operate. The printed page works while you sleep. It never loses its temper in discussion. And it works when you are gone from the scene. The printed page is a visitor that gets inside the home and stays there. It always catches a man in the right mood, it speaks to him only when he is reading it. It never answers back and it sticks to the point.

Suggested Principles

There are some principles in using literature in your ministry that will be helpful:

(1) Know the books you give to others.

(2) Know the person, his needs and capacity, to whom you intend to give a book.

(3) Know the most serious areas of ignorance and the errors of our day. (The doctor does not give green pills to everyone, and he does not give medicine that is not relevant to what he believes to be the problem.)

(4) Do not be afraid to invest some money in your own missionary project.

(5) Follow through with other books and with discussion on subjects in the books you use.

(6) Aim to have a book-table in your church and see that its appearance is varied from week to week.

(7) Be sure to use books and literature that are consistent with the teaching of the Bible.

(8) Soak all the books you distribute in fervent prayer.

Community and the Christian Worldview


The idea of community is central to a Christian understanding of life.

First, God himself is revealed to be an eternal community of persons, ‘the same in substance, equal in power and glory’. So, community is not an invention by man; it is as timeless as God.

At creation, God established a human community by giving a partner to Adam, thus creating the community of family through the institution of marriage.

After the fall, man’s rebellion came to a peak when he attempted to build a hostile community in the city of Babel which God had to disband.

God does not save individuals to exist independently as atoms; he brings them together into a holy community – the Church. The execution of the plan of redemption has been strongly centred on communities.

First, God made a covenant with Abraham that through his seed all the earth would be blessed. God went on to command him to circumcise all his family, designating them as God’s covenant people. In line with this covenant, the families of his son, Isaac, and then Jacob, become God’s covenant people. The twelve sons of Jacob (now Israel) would go on to form the Jewish nation. And when Christ came, he formed the New Testament church as a holy community built upon the foundation of the twelve apostles. As he expressed shortly before his death, his desire was that they may be one, just as he and his father are one (John 17:11, 22).

The great goal of redemption is the establishment of a community of redeemed humanity united with Jesus as the head. The redemptive love which God has and expressed is not merely for individuals but for the whole world (John 3:16). Much later after the ascension of Jesus, John would see a vision of redeemed humanity gathered “from every nation, from all tribes and people and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” ‘ (Revelation 7:9-10)

In other words, what rebellious humanity attempted by establishing the city of Babel (Genesis 6), and currently seeks through numerous secular initiatives for world unity, God brings about through Christ’s redemption.

What then shall we do?

In view of its importance, we should nourish and nurture community in our families, churches, and organizations. God’s revelation points out that this is the best way for us to function as humans. Individualism will neither fulfill nor satisfy our human spirit; we were made for community. We are to establish a fellowship with God through Christ, and then seek community with others, with the Church as primary.

Let us build loving and godly families. If we hope to build godly societies, the family is our starting point. It is the bedrock of human society.

Build strong closely-knit churches which will bear witness to Christ through their unity. This was Christ’s desire and it was a major factor in the early church’s growth.

Establish communities and organizations which recognize the diversity among her members and is deliberate about making use of their different gifts and talents. Such an organization would take seriously the counsel of Peter:

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Pet. 4:10)

Community is crucial; it is an important way by which we image and reflect God in the world.

God’s Plan for Unity



World unity is no longer a distant goal; it is already an unfolding reality. If only the nations and leaders of the world would embrace the Christ and his Church in which this unity is being realized.

According to Paul, the working out of God’s redemption in Christ brings about a unity between God’s erstwhile people (the Jews) and Gentile believers. Once the Gentiles were, as a whole, an unfavoured lot. Salvation was of the Jews, Jesus said (John 4:22). To become a member of God’s people and partake of their blessings and promises, one had to become a Jew. He or she had to be circumcised and literally become ‘one of them’.

All that changed, however, with the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Those who had been ‘alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of  promise’ have now been ‘brought near by the blood of Christ’ (Eph. 2:12-13). Christ has removed the antagonism between both groups and made them one in himself. Through Christ, both the Jew and the Gentile now have equal access to God (chapter 2:18).

This unity is  not between Jew and Gentile alone. There is equally a unity across gender, ethnicity, and class. In 1 Cor. 12:13, Paul points out that class distinction between slaves and freemen has been muted in Christ. And in Col. 3:11, he reinforces this by stating that differences in culture no longer apply; both the barbarian and the Scythian were now one with the Greek. ‘Barbarian’ refers to the uncivilized peoples who did not speak Greek, while ‘Scythian’ was a reference to someone from the local tribes around the Black Sea. They were often a subject of jest and mockery because of their uncouth manners. Yet these are now on the same footing with the sophisticated and cultured Greeks. Furthermore, the universal distinction between male and female, that ancient division (and oftentimes oppression) found in every culture between the sexes, is gone. As he wrote in Gal. 3:27, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

God’s plan of redemption, starting immediately after the fall, was for humanity as a whole. The covenant with Abraham bore this out. Through him (Abraham) all the families of the earth would be blessed (Gen. 12:3). So while humanity was broken into diverse tongues and nationalities on account of their sin and rebellion (Gen. 11), and while the entrance of sin has often made the natural (and good) distinction between the male and female gender an avenue  for oppression, the unfolding of God’s redemption restores unity. Of course, the differences are not eliminated. The Jew remains a Jew, the female is not transmuted into a man, and neither is the slave automatically set free because of his faith in Christ. No. Unity is realized in spite of the differences, thus rendering the distinctions irrelevant. Paul teaches us how to view these differences when he wrote: “For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise, he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ.” (1 Cor. 7:22). In other words, it does not really matter in what group you belong. Are you free or a slave? Are you cultured or uneducated? Are you male or female? Before God and in Christ you are the same with others – on equal footing! Do not be anxious or worried as though you are less accepted by God because of your ethnicity, gender, or social position; it simply doesn’t count.

World unity is a presently unfolding reality, but it lies within the community of God’s people. All that the nations and her governments need to do is submit to Christ, who is the head of this redeemed humanity, and enter into the communion of the saints where all socio-ethnic distinctions lose their significance. In this body, only Christ really matters. This is why they are called Christians.

I am Peter



Peter is the man who knows that Jesus is the promised messiah;

Peter is the person who confesses this Jesus as the Saviour of the world;

Peter is the one who denies this Jesus in the hour of witness,

In the moment of life.


Peter will hide this truth for a minute of peace.

He will conceal Christ’s lordship for Man’s favour.


Peter will sacrifice

truth for comfort,

faith for pleasure,

trouble for ease,

the cross for a bed,

shame for fame.

Peter is a string of contradictions –


Peter is the politician who worships on Sunday,

But manipulates the people on Monday.


He is the businessman who pays his tithe,

But abuses his workers.


He is the father who sings in the room,

But lies to his children.


Peter is the husband who prays fervently,

But assaults his wife.


He is the wife who dazzles in the choir,

But is a terror at home.


He is the craftsman who shares the gospel,

But makes a bad chair.


Peter is the employee who goes for a vigil on Wednesday,

And calls in sick on Thursday.


I am Peter;

Peter is a traitor.


For the approval of my kin,

I deny Him.


For the esteem of my colleagues,

I reject his word,


For the acceptance of my community,

I refuse his Lordship.


For the nod of my nation,

I deny his relevance.


I am Peter –

We all are.


But Grace reached down to me;

Grace reaches down to me;

And It reaches down to you.


What will you do?

Of Rocks, Spirits, and Humans


The traditional African believes in a universe in which the spiritual world is closely integrated with the physical. ‘Natural’ events are often not really natural but are the result of the activities of spirits and immaterial forces. Birth, agricultural harvest, road accidents, economic prosperity, are some of the diverse phenomena of life which the spiritual world can influence.

The secular or modern individual is apt to dismiss this system as sheer nonsense. Births are a purely biological process resulting from copulation; economic prosperity or otherwise is subject to human decisions with respect to a lot of factors like capital, innovation, time, opportunity, etc; accidents could simply be as a result of human error, mechanical faults, or environmental factors. Imbued with a naturalistic mindset, every incident or event in life is explained on purely natural grounds.

What would the Christian say to these? Or, better still, what does a worldview based on God’s revelation point toward? For one, the biblical worldview would not disparage the African worldview outrightly. The universe was created by God and He interacts constantly with it. In fact, the universe is sustained by God’s spirit and, as Paul said, it is in God that we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). The biblical worldview also admits of the existence of angels, who are spiritual beings acting as God’s messengers. Some of these have rebelled against God and, in league with their chief known as Satan, now actively oppose God (cf. Daniel 10:13).

A major point of departure for the Christian or biblical worldview is the structure of this spiritual world. The Christian’s creed begins with the assertion that there is only one God, and not a pantheon of gods and spirits. The affairs of our universe are in the hands of a wise, loving, and good God, and is not subject to the whims of good and evil spirits. He fills the universe with his presence. Of course, there is a host of evil angels who can exert influence on humans, but their power is limited and they must answer to the higher authority of God. Besides, through the death and resurrection of Jesus, Satan and all angels in league with him are a defeated lot awaiting their final destruction.

However, it is equally true that the physical universe is an orderly system which operates according to given laws. In other words, though God is able to intervene in any aspect of the universe at any time, things generally occur according to a given and regular pattern. Births follow a certain biological process, economic prosperity answers to certain principles, and even climate follows generally predictable patterns.

The truth, therefore, lies in acknowledging both the truths of divine providence (the guidance and control of human affairs by God) and that of a natural God-imposed order. We have a regular pattern of day and night each 24-hour period because God has structured the universe that way. And He remains free to intervene in this natural cycle if He so wills. Any worldview which holds to  one without acknowledging the other is false.

Christ our Mediator

A photo by Sujan Sundareswaran.


Who is a Mediator?

A mediator is one who stands between two aggrieved parties. He works to reconcile them and establish peace.


Why do we need a mediator? Why can’t we just relate with God directly?

Well, the scriptures reveal that relating with God directly is actually the state in which God made us. After man was created, and the woman formed, God related directly with them.

There was no need for a mediator then because there was no rift between them. Humanity was exactly the way God had made them. Our first parents’ disobedience, however, disrupted this harmony. Humanity became estranged from their Maker[1]. And for this relationship to be restored, someone had to step in. According to scripture, this Person, Jesus Christ, is no other than God taking on human nature.


And how does Christ fulfil this task?

He does so by occupying 3 different but important roles. He acts as a Prophet, a Priest, and a King. The Westminster Shorter Catechism[2], a very popular teaching manual, highlights what each role involves. And we follow its basic outline below.


Christ our Prophet

As Prophet, Jesus reveals to us by his word and his spirit the will of God for our salvation. Like the Old Testament prophets who lived before him, Jesus communicates what God desires from humanity. This role is indicated in bible passages like Luke 4:18-19, 21; John 15:26-27;  Acts 1:1-2,8;   Hebrews 2:3; 1 Peter 1:11


Christ our Priest

As Priest, Jesus offered himself to God as a sacrifice in order to satisfy divine justice and reconcile us to God, and he continues to intercede for believers before God. Through his death, Christ fulfilled what the Old Testament sacrifices pointed to. He became the ‘Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’ (John 1:29). Other passages which speak of this aspect of Christ’s work include Isaiah 53:1-12; Acts 8:32-35; Romans 5:10-11; Hebrews 9:26-28; and Hebrews 10:12.


Christ our King

Jesus is not only our prophet and priest; he is also our king. He stands as the fulfilment of the great defenders of God’s people in earlier ages such as King David. And what does he do as a king? He makes us his willing subjects, he rules and defends us, and he restrains and conquers his and our enemies. So under him, believers are safe for they know he will defend and protect them from any harm. We find this role in passages like Psalm 2:6-9; Matthew 28:18-20;   John 17:2; and Colossians 1:13.

God’s plan tends toward re-establishing the kind of relationship which existed between God and humanity at the beginning. Just as humanity fellowshipped with God in the garden, God will dwell with us forever in a renewed universe (John 14:23; Revelation 22:3-5). And Christ’s role as mediator will be concluded after the resurrection when he submits his kingdom to God the Father. As Paul wrote,


“Then comes the end, when he [Christ] delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).

Through the work of Christ as Mediator, therefore, God restores the harmony which existed between Him and humanity. Praise be to God for His wisdom and grace!

[1] The account of humanity’s fall into sin is found in the third chapter of the book of Genesis

[2] You can find this document online at