The one thing God wants us to know
If you were to boil everything in life down to one idea, what would it be? What is the one thing that God wants us to know?
1 Timothy 2:1-4
First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
So what is the truth the God wants everyone to know and accept?
1 Timothy 2:5-7
For there is one God and mediator between God and man,
a man, Christ Jesus,
who gave Himself – a ransom for all, a testimony at the proper time.
For this I was appointed a herald, an apostle (I am telling the truth; I am not lying), and a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
A mediator is responsible for brokering the conditions of a settlement between two opposing parties. This person is not involved in the conflict and does not take sides, but their job is to use their persuasiveness to convince both parties to compromise a little bit of what each one wants so that reconciliation can occur. The difficulty with the problem between God and man was that God is incapable of compromising His holiness and mankind is unable to offer an acceptable sacrifice as atonement for our sin of rebellion against God.
Given this stalemate, Christ Jesus did what only a desperate mediator would do – He entered into the negotiations Himself. Because Jesus is fully God and fully man – not a partial, not half/half, not a created being – His abilities and attributes are unmatched by anyone or anything else. As such, Jesus has the greatest value in all creation…which is why giving Himself has the ability to be a ransom for all.
As Paul had previously told the believers in Ephesus:
[God the Father] demonstrated this power in the Messiah by raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in the heavens – far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given, not only in this age but also in the one to come.
God thinks so highly of Christ Jesus’ sacrifice that He is willing to accept everyone who will come to the knowledge of the truth and believe in Jesus for eternal life. The value of Christ’s sacrifice is so great that ANY and EVERY sin is covered. In a practical sense, this means that a mass-murderer and your average, nice-guy neighbor both have the same opportunity for a relationship with God.
The flip side is that because God thinks so highly of Jesus’ sacrifice, He will not accept anyone who rejects Jesus’ offer as their ransom. As such, they will have to stand on their own record…and when left to that scenario, none of us make the cut.
This is gospel in a nutshell. The focus is on how great a sacrifice Jesus made, not on how badly we’ve sinned in comparison to other sinners. That is the one message God wants us to know – that a direct relationship with Him is now available because of what Jesus has done. The mediator has stepped in to do what we could not, in order that we could be reconciled to God the Father.