Covenant Head and Covenant Mediator: The same thing or different?

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JTB.SDG

Puritan Board Junior
Thought? Jesus is our Covenant Head in the Covenant of Grace, just as Adam is the covenant head in the Covenant of Works. Meaning, as everything stands or falls with Adam in the Covenant of Works (and it fell), so too everything stands or falls with Christ in the Covenant of Grace; and because He stood and stands, we stand; because He lives, we live also. Is the term "mediator" of the covenant just another term for the same concept? Are covenant head and covenant mediator essentially the same thing? Or are there defining and distinguishing characteristics? If they are different, how exactly do they differ?
 

W.C. Dean

Puritan Board Sophomore
I believe it would be different because Christ's role as mediator directly applies to mediating communion between us and the Godhead. Covenant head could include that I suppose, but not necessarily. Mediator is a more specific title.
 

W.C. Dean

Puritan Board Sophomore
Question 38: Why was it requisite that the Mediator should be God?
Answer: It was requisite that the Mediator should be God, that he might sustain and keep the human nature from sinking under the infinite wrath of God, and the power of death; give worth and efficacy to his sufferings, obedience, and intercession; and to satisfy God’s justice, procure his favor, purchase a peculiar people, give his Spirit to them, conquer all their enemies, and bring them to everlasting salvation.

WLC 38
 

brandonadams

Puritan Board Freshman
1) I do not believe that the roles of Adam and Christ as covenant heads were equal. Yes, when Adam fell, we fell in him. However, I don't see it taught in Scripture (explicitly or by necessary consequence) that if Adam had obeyed/passed probation, then all of his offspring would have inherited eternal life. I believe that they too would have had to obey perfectly. The reason that is not the case with us is because Christ bears our guilt as part of his federal headship. That is not something Adam did. That was not part of our covenantal relationship with him. We were not wed to Adam, wherein we shared all things. In short, their headships shared some common properties, but not all.

2) A mediator mediates between two parties, particularly parties at variance. I don't see Adam doing this.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
I don't think the two terms are synonyms. To be a federal head might put one in position to be a mediator, but I would not want to assert that was integral to the position.

I do think Adam was both a covenant head, and a mediator in the covenant of works, and also later a typological or subordinate mediator in the covenant of grace (I say that by inference, because there is so little further said of his post-lapsarian acts).

He represented all men, and they sinned in him and fell with him in his first transgression. It appears undeniable to me that if one, then the other. If his disobedience could be (and was) imputed to his children; then his obedience could also be imputed to them, besides they would have been born "spiritual" in the 1Cor.15:46 sense, inasmuch as their parents would have been raised to that position from their first estate, their children then bearing their new nature. They certainly bear the parents' changed/deformed nature after the fall.

Adam mediated the word of God to his wife, even before the fall. Thus, he functioned in the role of prophet to her. It is reasonable to infer that he also had principal dominion, as Adam was formed first, then Eve, 1Tim.2:13, so her king. His priesthood (on her behalf) is entailed by the other two functions; and is further confirmed by abundant temple-imagery/language that permeates the original creation story.

Mediation is not purely a requirement of reconciliation; it is also needful when overcoming difference in position/status; there is a utilitarian factor for the sake of communication. Sure, God could if he wanted speak to everyone at once or individually, letting everyone know immediately and ideally what his will was. However, he clearly did not do that, even from the beginning. He built-in the need for some kind of mediation.
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
Will Christ continue to be our mediator in glory, when we are in God's, er, immediate presence? Surely He will still be our head, but does His mediatorial office cease?
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
He is THE Mediator. God comes to us, he brings us to himself, IN the Lord Jesus Christ. We have no other (or unmediated) experience of the ultimate Holiness beside Him. No being could endure such consuming fire, no matter its purity. Even the angels only get so close, and they cover themselves.
 
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