O the Depth of the Riches & Wisdom of God!

New Jerusalem

 

Romans 11:33-36 is praise of God, “O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and untraceable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has become His counselor? Or who has first given to Him, and it will be repaid to him? Because out from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.”

The ultimate display of God’s wisdom and glory will be in New Jerusalem. More on this next week (after a short break).

#NewJerusalem

Boast, Rejoice, in Hope of the Glory of God

We had four posts on Christ in us as our hope of glory and on New Jerusalem, the city of glory, as the consummation of our hope. Colossians 1:27 and Revelation 21:10, 11 declare:

Christ in you, the hope of glory

the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God

As a conclusion to the prior posts (one, two, three, four), here are more verses about hope that stood out to me; some were in prior posts, some not. Appreciate:

New Jerusalem God is the God of hope (Romans 15:13)
Christ Jesus is our hope (1 Timothy 1:1)
we were regenerated unto a living hope (1 Peter 1:3)
the hope of righteousness (Galatians 5:5)
hope is laid up for us in the heavens (Colossians 1:5)
the hope of the gospel (Colossians 1:23)
the hope of salvation (1 Thessalonians 5:8)
God loves us and gave us good hope (2 Thessalonians 2:16)
a blessed hope (Titus 2:13)
the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:7)

Reading these verses, saying amen to them, and thanking God for them brings us into Romans 15:4, “through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

We can also apply Romans 5:2 and 12:12—we “boast because of the hope of the glory of God” and we “rejoice in hope.” Don’t boast or rejoice in your accomplishments or circumstances; they will change. Rather, boast and rejoice that the glory of the unchanging God will be manifested in us and in New Jerusalem.

Photo by Frank Balthis, courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

Indestructible, Unalterable, Unshakable

New JerusalemEverything of our Christian life is in Jesus Christ.

We received redemption in Him (Romans 3:24)
We have been baptized into Him (Romans 6:3)
Of God we are in Him (1 Corinthians 1:30)
We are all one in Him (Galatians 3:28)
We are one Body in Him (Romans 12:5)
He created the new man in Himself (Eph. 2:15)
We can be empowered in the grace in Him (2 Timothy 2:1)
We are called into God’s eternal glory in Him (1 Peter 5:10)
and much more!

The ultimate issue of our Christian life is New Jerusalem. Our Christian life and living today is in Jesus Christ* and, as the Body is in Him and the new man is in Him, so also New Jerusalem will be in Him.

Therefore, what He is will characterize New Jerusalem. Let’s look at 3 verses in Hebrews.

Verse 7:16 says that Christ was appointed a High Priest “according to the power of an indestructible life.” We are familiar with the term eternal life but the word indestructible is unique in this verse. New Jerusalem will not only be eternal in quality and time but also indestructible.

Verse 7:24 tells us that “He, because He abides forever, has His priesthood unalterable.” Because New Jerusalem is in Jesus Christ, because He is perfect, and because the city is animated with indestructible life, there is no reason or possibility to change it—it is unalterable**.

Verses 12:22-24 speak of our coming forward to Mt. Zion, to the city of the living God, to God, to Jesus, to the blood which speaks better. Then verse 12:28 sums up saying, “Therefore receiving an unshakable kingdom, let us have grace.” Our coming forward is our receiving. Other things are shakable (v. 12:27) but New Jerusalem is unshakable. Let us come forward, receive, and have grace!

Lord, grace us in Yourself every day from now unto New Jerusalem.

* Our position in Jesus Christ is eternally firm, yet when we get angry, sink in despair, forget about Him while we pursue other goals, or any other kind of failure, our living is not in Him. At such times we are in Him positionally but not abiding in Him. We can confess our sins/weaknesses/failures, ask Him to forgive us (1 John 1:9), and ask Him to return us to and keep us living in Him.

** We often change things in our human surroundings because we get tired of them; we become unsatisfied. But in New Jerusalem we will be totally satisfied and will not seek any alterations.

Glory, Glory, Christ is Life in Me! 
 


 
 
 


 
 
 


 
 
 


 
Glory, Glory, What a Hope is He!

New Jerusalem is a city of glory (Revelation 21:10-11) and Christ in us is our hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).

Our hope is not things or happenings. Our hope is Christ Himself. Everything of God is in Him. Whatever we hope for based on the Scriptures will be realized in Jesus Christ. First Timothy 1:1 includes the phrase “Christ Jesus our hope.”

Christ Himself is our hope of glory. “When Christ our life is manifested, then you also will be manifested with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:4). When Christ our life matures in us, He will be the glory in us, our glorification (Romans 8:30). In Romans 5:1-2 it is through our Lord Jesus Christ that we “boast because of the hope of the glory of God.”

New JerusalemThe essence of these verses is captured in a hymn by Witness Lee (words music):
___Myst’ry hid from ages now revealed to me,
_____Tis the Christ of God’s reality.
___He embodies God, and He is life to me,
_____And the glory of my hope He’ll be.
Chorus
___Glory, glory, Christ is life in me!
_____Glory, glory, what a hope is He!
___Now within my spirit He’s the mystery!
_____Then the glory He will be to me.

God in Jesus Christ will be the glory to and in all of us, and God in Jesus Christ will be the glory illuminating New Jerusalem.

Christ in us is our Hope of Glory

New Jerusalem is a city of glory (Revelation 21:10-11) and Christ in us is our hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). He in us will develop into the glory to be displayed through New Jerusalem. Praise God for His plan and His outworking of His plan.

Christ in you, the hope of glory

New JerusalemOur faith and hope are in God (1 Peter 1:21), not in ourselves nor on circum-stances nor on human culture. This hope is in God, from God, and with God in Christ Jesus as the reality of our hope.

In Hebrews Christ’s heavenly priesthood is the source of a better hope (7:19) and Hebrews charges us to:
lay hold of the hope set before us (6:18),
hold fast the boldness and the boast of hope firm to the end (3:6),
hold fast the confession of our hope unwavering, for He who has promised is faithful (10:23).

Following the charge in 3:6 to hold fast is a section (3:7–4:13) on believing the word of God, not hardening our hearts to what He speaks. This is the key to holding fast to our hope. We say “amen” to God’s word, even if it does not seem to fit our situation. (Which is distorted – God’s word or our view of things?)

We can hold the word by simple prayers like, Lord, I receive Your word. Or, Lord, I stand on Your word. Or, Lord, cause Your word to operate in me. Or, Lord, thank You for Your living word.

Holding fast to the Lord’s word is also in 1 Corinthians 15:2, “you are being saved, if you hold fast the word which I announced to you as the gospel.” We can hold fast “firm to the end” of this age when the Lord returns visibly and “firm to the end” of the old creation after which New Jerusalem will come down out of heaven.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

New Jerusalem, Consummation of Hope (2)

The hope of God’s calling includes New Jerusalem. This hope is not our own wish; we received this hope from God. His word encourages us “to lay hold of the hope set before us” (Hebrews 6:18).

New JerusalemAs unbelievers we were “apart from Christ…having no hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). With Christ we have God and we have hope.

By believing into Jesus Christ, we were born again. We were regenerated unto a living hope (1 Peter 1:3). This is the hope of eternal life (Titus 1:2). Our hope is firmly rooted in the eternal life, the unchanging life which is God in Christ Jesus. We can never be let down in hoping for New Jerusalem.

This hope is laid up for us in the heavens (Colossians 1:5), from whence New Jerusalem will descend to be on the new earth (Revelation 21:2). This is also a good hope (2 Thessalonians 2:16) and a blessed hope (Titus 2:13).

Between now and New Jerusalem there are many other things of Christ and His salvation for which we hope. Gradually those steps of salvation and our further experience of Christ will come forth on our path unto God’s consummation, which is New Jerusalem.

May “the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope in the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13). This hope is not for outward things in daily living but it is for Christ’s return, our rapture and glorification, and ultimately for living with Him in New Jerusalem.

New Jerusalem, Consummation of Hope

New JerusalemRomans 8:24-25 says, “For we were saved in hope. But a hope that is seen is not hope, for who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly await it through endurance.” In a spiritual sense we see New Jerusalem to some extent but we surely do not see it in full. And we do not see it physically. Hence, according to these verses in Romans, we hope and eagerly await for New Jerusalem.

Humanly, a hope is a wish about an uncertain future. We might say, I hope my car keeps running, or, We hope our new neighbors are friendly. In contrast, hope in the Bible is certain because it comes from God and is for something of God. Since God cannot lie and is unchanging, our hope is firm, full of certainty.

Paul prays that the Father would give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation “the eyes of your heart having been enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling” (Ephesians 1:17-18). God’s calling of us has a hope. The footnote* on hope says,

The hope of God’s calling includes (1) Christ Himself and the salvation He will bring to us when He comes back (Col. 1:27; 1 Pet. 1:5, 9); (2) the rapturous transfer from the earthly and physical realm to the heavenly and spiritual sphere, plus glorification (Rom. 8:23-25, 30; Phil. 3:21); (3) the kingly enjoyment with Christ in the millennium (Rev. 5:10; 2 Tim. 4:18); and (4) the consummate enjoyment of Christ in the New Jerusalem, with the universal and eternal blessings in the new heaven and new earth (Rev. 21:1-7; 22:1-5).

New Jerusalem, is the consummation of our hope. We hope for, expect, and eagerly await the fullest enjoyment of Christ in New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

* In The Holy Bible, Recovery Version, www.recoveryversion.org, published and © 2003 by Living Stream Ministry.

The New Man is in Christ Jesus

New JerusalemWe are all one in Christ Jesus, in the Body of Christ, and in the new man. This oneness will continue into New Jerusalem. In Christ there is oneness without any national, cultural, ethnic, or social distinctions.

God created man on the sixth day and said “very good” (Genesis 1:26, 31). Soon afterwards man sinned and became the old man, old meaning separated from God. In Christ we are saved from the old man.

In Christ we are in the new man. Through His death on the cross Jesus Christ terminated all the partitions between different peoples and created one new man. He has slain all the enmity and has reconciled us in one body to God (Ephesians 2:14-16).

Because of what Jesus Christ did, there is a praise to Him in Revelation 5:9, saying, “You were slain and have purchased for God by Your blood men out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” As a result, in Revelation 7:9 John saw “a great multitude which no one could number, out of every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes and palm branches in their hands.”

In these verses out of signifies that the believers are no longer in their nations or tribes or peoples. Rather, we are all in Christ and in the new man, having been purchased by the Lamb out of the old man.

In the reality of baptism, we not only put off the old man; we also put on the new man (Colossians 3:10). Now we can experience the inward renewing to live in the reality of the new man. This living is a foretaste of a living that will be much sweeter and more joyous in New Jerusalem.

Photo by Janet Ward, NOAA HPCC, courtesy of NOAA (U.S. Dept. of Commerce).

Everything of God is in Christ Jesus (3)

Everything of God is found in Christ Jesus and will be found in New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemIn Christ there are no national, cultural, ethnic, and social distinctions. These separating characteristics are gone because “in one Spirit we were all baptized into one Body” (1 Corinthians 12:13) and now “we who are many are one Body in Christ” (Romans 12:5).

In Christ and in His Body there is no Texan, no Chinese, no Arab, no South African, no Canadian, no Latino, no Jew or Gentile, no Pacific Islander, no east or west, no black or yellow or white. In the new man “Christ is all and in all” (Colossians 3:11); this is a divine fact which no one can change.

It is also a fact that we have been baptized into Christ and have put on Christ, in whom there cannot be any of these distinctions (Galatians 3:27-28). However, in our experience, our daily living is not always in Christ. Sometimes our living is according to our preferences, wanting to be with Christians from a particular background and not with others.

Although our experience does not always match the divine facts, the new man “is being renewed unto full knowledge” (Colossians 3:10). This renewing by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5) is gradually renewing our experience to match the fact.

We are “transformed by the renewing of the mind” (Romans 12:2). We can pray, Lord, transform me. Renew my mind and cause my experience to match the divine fact. We can also pray with this hymn (words, music):
__Lord, transform us to Thine image
____In emotion, mind, and will;
__Saturate us with Thy Spirit,
____All our being wholly fill.

When we are fully transformed, our experience will always match the divine facts and this marvelous condition will continue onward into New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

Everything of God is in Christ Jesus (2)

Everything positive that God is, has done, and is doing, is found in Christ Jesus and will be found in New Jerusalem.

The prior post touched the primary negative items which are not in God, not in Christ Jesus, not in the new creation, and not in New Jerusalem. One more item not in Christ and not in the new creation is human national, cultural, and social distinctions.

New JerusalemColossians 3:10-11 says that we “have put on the new man, which is being renewed unto full knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where [in Christ, in the new man] there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all and in all.” Galatians 3:27-28 and 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 say the same.

In Christ there are no national or ethnic distinctions. “No Greek and Jew” in today’s terms means no American, no European, no Asian, no African. We have put off all these and are one Body in Christ Jesus.

In Christ there are no social distinctions. There is no difference between a medical doctor and a janitor; no difference between rich and poor, no difference between native-born and immigrant, no difference between educated and uneducated. Galatians 3:28 is clear, “for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Because these national, cultural, ethnic, and social distinctions are not in Christ Jesus, they will not be in New Jerusalem. We are all one in Christ Jesus and all one in New Jerusalem. We are all believers, sons of God, members of the Body of Christ, and redeemed and regenerated people. In New Jerusalem we will be all of these and also transformed and glorified people.

Bible verses quoted in these posts are from The Holy Bible, Recovery Version, published and © by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim CA, 2003. The New Testament of this Bible, with its outlines, footnotes, and cross-references, may be viewed at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is © by Living Stream Ministry.

Photo near Niagara Falls, by Kirk Kjellman.

Everything of God is in Christ Jesus

In the New Testament, everything positive that God is, has done, and is doing, is found in Christ Jesus. On the other hand, many things recorded in the Bible are not of God. These things are not in Christ Jesus and will not be in New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemThe primary things that are not in Christ Jesus and will not be in New Jerusalem:
• the devil, the deceiver will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10).
• sin, of which the devil is the source (1 John 3:8).
• sins (plural), the acts emanating from the sin (singular) nature.
• death, which entered through sin (Romans 5:12), will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14).
• the world, including its lust, which is already passing away (1 John 2:16-17).
• our old man, crucified and buried with Christ (Romans 6:4, 6)
• our self, which we, the Lord’s followers, should deny daily (Luke 9:23).

All of these negatives were judged by the Lord on the cross. Now they are gradually being eliminated in our Christian living by the living and operative word (Hebrews 4:12) in us. All of these negatives will be totally removed before the new heaven and new earth appear, and these negatives will never touch New Jerusalem.

The more we cooperate with the living and operative word, the quicker all of these negatives will be removed from our practical living. We cooperate by exercising our spirit to come to the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace (Hebrews 4:16). Thank God that we are objects of His mercy and that His grace energizes us to hold fast (hold firmly, hold continually) what the Lord has given us (Hebrews 3:14, Revelation 3:11). Let us hold fast now and unto New Jerusalem.

Everything is in Christ (2)

In the New Testament, everything positive that God is, has done, and is doing, is found in Christ Jesus. Whatever is in Christ Jesus today will also be in Him in eternity in New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemHere are a few more “in Christ” verses.
2 Timothy 1:1: the promise of life is in Christ Jesus. This is the eternal, divine life of the river and tree found in New Jerusalem (Revelation 22:1-2).
 Galatians 3:26: we are sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. We have become sons of God by receiving His life.
Romans 6:11: we are living to God in Christ Jesus. We can live to God because we received His life and are His sons. In New Jerusalem we will live to God eternally in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:2: the law of the Spirit of life has freed us in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and of death.
Ephesians 1:3: the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ. The ultimate spiritual blessing is to dwell in New Jerusalem in God in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 2:10: we obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
1 Peter 5:10: the God of all grace has called us into His eternal glory in Christ Jesus.

Both 1 Peter 5 and 2 Timothy 2 point to the glory of New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:11, 23). God is working today to bring His many sons into this glory (Hebrews 2:10). This glory will be revealed to/upon us and will become our glory (Romans 8:18, 21). Eventually this glory in Christ Jesus will radiate through New Jerusalem to the whole universe.

ps: The title of this post comes from the chorus of a hymn by A.B. Simpson, presented by Hymnal.Net. “Everything is in Christ and Christ is everything”

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