Belgic Confession, Article 26: The Intercession of Christ
Article 26: The Intercession of Christ
We believe that we have no access to God
except through the one and only Mediator and Intercessor,
"Jesus Christ the righteous,"63
therefore was made human,
uniting together the divine and human natures,
so that we human beings might have access to the divine Majesty.
Otherwise we would have no access.
But this Mediator,
whom the Father has appointed between himself and us,
ought not terrify us by his greatness,
so that we have to look for another one,
according to our fancy.
For neither in heaven nor among the creatures on earth
is there anyone who loves us
more than Jesus Christ does.
Although he was "in the form of God,"
Christ nevertheless "emptied himself,"
taking "human form" and "the form of a slave" for us;64
and he made himself "like his brothers and sisters
in every respect."65
Suppose we had to find another intercessor.
Who would love us more than he who gave his life for us,
even though "we were his enemies"?66
And suppose we had to find one who has prestige and power.
Who has as much of these as he who is seated
at the right hand of the Father,67
and who has "all authority
in heaven and on earth"?68
And who will be heard more readily
than God's own dearly beloved Son?
So, the practice of honoring the saints as intercessors
in fact dishonors them
because of its misplaced faith.
That was something the saints never did nor asked for,
but which in keeping with their duty,
as appears from their writings,
they consistently refused.
We should not plead here
that we are unworthy—
for it is not a question of offering our prayers
on the basis of our own dignity
but only on the basis of the excellence and dignity
of Jesus Christ,
whose righteousness is ours by faith.
Since the apostle for good reason
wants us to get rid of this foolish fear—
or rather, this unbelief—
he says to us that Jesus Christ
was made like "his brothers and sisters in every respect,
that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest"
to purify the sins of the people.69
For since he suffered,
he is also able to help those
who are tempted.70
to encourage us more
to approach him
"Since, then, we have a great high priest
who has passed through the heavens,
Jesus, the Son of God,
let us hold fast to our confession.
For we do not have a high priest
who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses,
but we have one who in every respect has been tempted,
as we are,
yet without sin.
Let us therefore approach
the throne of grace
so that we may receive mercy
and find grace,
to help in time of need."71
The same apostle says that
we "have confidence to enter the sanctuary
by the blood of Jesus."
"Let us approach with a true heart
in full assurance of faith...."72
Christ "holds his priesthood permanently….
Consequently, he is able for all time to save
those who approach God through him,
since he always lives
to make intercession for them."73
What more do we need?
For Christ himself declares:
"I am the way, and the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father
except through me."74
Why should we seek
Since it has pleased God
to give us the Son as our Intercessor,
let us not leave him for another—
or rather seek, without ever finding.
For, when giving Christ to us,
God knew well that we were sinners.
in following the command of Christ
we call on the heavenly Father
our only Mediator,
as we are taught by the Lord's Prayer,
being assured that we shall obtain
all we ask of the Father
in his name.
63 1 John 2:1
64 Phil. 2:6-8
65 Heb. 2:17
66 Rom. 5:10
67 Rom. 8:34; Heb. 1:3
68 Matt. 28:18
69 Heb. 2:17
70 Heb. 2:18
71 Heb. 4:14-16
72 Heb. 10:19, 22
73 Heb. 7:24-25
74 John 14:6