Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Christ, Our Only Mediator

What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one. (Ga 3:19–20)

The Law was interposed, he says, until Christ came—that is, until the seed came to whom was promised the inheritance. What had been entrusted to angels, therefore, was entrusted to the hand of the one who is a mediator, a mediator—clearly—between two realities. I have said ‘two,’ but God is one; therefore there cannot be a mediator of God alone, because God is one. Thus there is no way the Law justifies, there is no way the Law of works obtains the inheritance, because the heirs are those who originate from there and receive the Spirit from there, whence their inheritance will come. All this happens, clearly, by Christ’s joining the things which are separated, by His liberating the part of the church which is held here through the errors of the world, and by bringing it back to the heavenly church. For Christ Himself is the only mediator. But there cannot be a mediator of one party, as we have taught.

Now, God alone is one; the rest, beings coming after God, are not one. So whatever is outside of God is—are—many. These can be joined together because they are from there, or have been separated from there, because the Mystery was and is even now so disposed that they be joined, because some things are far apart, at enmity, and perishing. Therefore, because God’s existence is singular, the mediator is a mediator of more than God, a mediator which is nonetheless not a mediator of one. Those other realities, however, which have been diversified by a certain Mystery, the mediator Himself reconciles and conjoins—again, by a certain Mystery.

Now, we ourselves are those who have been separated by our more eminent predecessors, and who have been again joined, indeed by more eminent predecessors but according to Christ—that is, according to faith. From this it is apparent that we cannot be liberated without a mediator. If this is the case, it is a vain hope to believe that justification and salvation come from the Law of works, which, as we have said, is not a mediator. For Christ alone, who joins together what He mediates, is the mediator. So justification and liberation come about through Christ, and not through the Law of works.

Marius Victorinus, Commentary on Galatians

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