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  • Writer's pictureBetty Dodge

Only One (1 Timothy 2:5)

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus —1 Timothy 2:5

Historical Background

God provided the foreshadowing of 1 Timothy 2:5 through the Old Testament instructions regarding the Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16 and Numbers 29:7-11. By His love and mercy for His sinful people, God gave to His servant Moses the Levitical system of atonement for sin.

Priests from the tribe of Levi were appointed to serve Him on behalf of the people. The priest had the ministry of a go-between, so that a sinful person might find reconciliation with a holy God—if only temporarily. On a regular basis, the person would bring an animal without defect to the priest to offer to God as a sacrifice for particular sins. But once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the high priest would represent all of Israel before God. He would first sacrifice a bull offering for his own sin and then offer a goat for the sin of the people.

The blood of these animals was taken by the high priest inside the veil or curtain, into the Most Holy Place. The Most Holy Place housed the ark of the covenant with the Mercy Seat on top and was separated from the rest of the temple by a heavy veil or curtain. Only the high priest could enter through this curtain to make atonement for the people. There he would sprinkle the blood on the Mercy Seat for atonement. The priest would then place his hands on a live goat and symbolically transfer the sins of the people onto this "scapegoat" and the goat was taken into the wilderness and released— bearing all of Israel’s sin away.

With these laws of blood sacrifice and the priesthood in mind, let’s now look at our Fighter Verse.

One God

There is one God. God is holy (Leviticus 19:2; Revelation 4:8). God is light (1 John 1:5). There is none like Him and none before Him (Exodus 9:14). He is sovereign and the creator of all things (Revelation 4:11). He is righteous in all His ways (Psalm 7:11). He is true (Jeremiah 10:10). He is love (1 John 4:16). He is merciful (Deuteronomy 4:31).

One Mediator

And by His mercy, at the right time, He sent forth His Son Jesus to perfectly fulfill all the law and become our eternal great High Priest. Jesus Himself is the satisfier of God’s wrath against us, once for all (Hebrews 10:8-22). When Jesus died, the curtain that separated the Most Holy Place from the rest of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. Through Jesus, we can now be reconciled to God and come boldly to the throne of grace to receive mercy in time of need. All the laws and regulations of the Levitical priesthood pointed to One who would be both perfect sacrifice and eternal High Priest—Jesus Christ. The Lamb of God who was slain for our sin is the one and only mediator between God and men forever. Jesus declared, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me.” (John 14:6). Jesus is God’s one and only chosen mediator for us, the Scripture is fulfilled in Him when it says, “For Christ suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh…”(1 Peter 3:18).

For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with the blood not his own, for then [Christ] would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself (Hebrews 9:24-26).


For Reflection

  1. Have you come to Jesus in faith? Have you tried to mediate for yourself instead of fully trusting in all that Jesus is and has accomplished for you? Oh, what freedom and relief there is for us when we realize that at the cross Jesus shed His blood and bore the burden of all our sin, including our vain attempts to be good enough for God. Only by grace, through faith in Christ, our one Mediator, can we experience God’s full acceptance.

  2. Can you think of a time when discovering that Jesus is your one mediator changed how you prayed? In what ways?

  3. Spend time in your Bible this week and read through the verse references in this article. May these verses lead you to worship our one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.


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