All posts tagged newness of God
Newness that is the nature of God.
Revelation 22:2a says, “And on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month.” The twofoldness of divine truth, touched in the prior post, is also exhibited in Revelation 22:2a. This verse shows us that in New Jerusalem there will be months in eternity, a dichotomy pointed out in a recent comment.
Seven is a number of the old creation whereas twelve is a number of the new creation. There will be no seven-day weeks in New Jerusalem but there will be twelve months with the tree of life and its twelve fruits.
In the Bible, the emphasis on “months” is the beginning of the months. Numbers 28:3-8 is about the daily burnt offering; Numbers 28:11 is about an additional burnt offering at the beginning of each month. In the same way, Colossians 2:16 includes the “new moon,” indicating a beginning. Then verse 17 says that Christ is the reality of the new moon. Christ is our new beginning.
In New Jerusalem nothing will be old, stale, or repetitious because Christ is our eternal new beginning. We should not wait; Christ is our new beginning every day. Even if we have a failure, God’s lovingkindness, mercy, and compassions (which we receive in Christ) are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). Here is more on beginning our day with Him.
Lord Jesus, thank You that You are ever new, ever fresh. I give myself to You again today. Be my newness today and every day from now to New Jerusalem.
Posted by Don on November 12, 2012
Revelation 21:1-2a says, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and the sea is no more. And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.” New Jerusalem is the center of the new creation. In Revelation 20:11 and 21:1 there is a change from the old creation to the new. However, this apparently sudden change is an open manifestation that will conclude a hidden development.
The new creation began during the crucifixion of Christ. Ephesians 2:15 tells us that on the cross Christ worked to “create the two in Himself into one new man, so making peace.” The two are the Jews and the nations, those who were God’s people previously and those who were not. On the cross Christ was not only dying; He was also creating. The new man which He brought forth is the beginning of the new creation.
Now the new man of the new creation is developing within us by the Spirit’s renewing work within us. More about this renewing is in three consecutive posts which begin here.
Colossians 3:10-11 tell us that in the new man “Christ is all and in all.” Christ Himself is the reality and totality of the new man. He created the new man “in Himself” as the realm of the new man, and He is the constituting element in all the members of the new man. How high and how wonderful is this forerunner of New Jerusalem! This forerunner ultimately will be enlarged and manifested on the new earth.
Posted by Don on October 22, 2012
Revelation 21:10-12 says, “And he carried me away in spirit onto a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, as clear as crystal. It had a great and high wall and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names inscribed, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel.”
New Jerusalem has a great and high wall for separation and it also has twelve gates for its entrance. Remember that New Jerusalem is not physical; it is spiritual. The wall is a spiritual separation and the gates are for spiritual traffic. In our fallen humanity we are shut out. Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” As sinners we had no possibility to be in New Jerusalem which has “the glory of God.” As sinners we were also “dead in our offenses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1), having no possibility to participate in the city of life (Revelation 22:1-2). The wall of the city excludes all sin and all death.
In Adam there is only sin and death; in Christ there is life and righteousness plus grace and glory (Romans 5:12-21). It is by faith and baptism that we enter into Christ and become a new creation in Him (Galatians 3:26-27). In this way we experienced a transfer out of Adam and into Christ—this is our entrance into New Jerusalem. New Jerusalem includes all “those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1) as well as God’s chosen among Israel.
Posted by Don on May 16, 2012
Second Corinthians 5:17 proclaims, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” To believe is to believe into Christ (John 3:16), and to be baptized is to be baptized into Christ (read more in the note on Galatians 3:27). Once we are in Christ, we are in the new creation. In addition, Colossians 3:10 says that we “have put on the new man.” In the new creation we are not individuals but members of the new man.
Although we are the new man in the new creation, the Lord’s word still exhorts us to “be renewed” (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23), tells us that this is “the renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5), and says that the new man “is being renewed unto full knowledge according to the image of Him who created him” (Colossians 3:10). Note 3* on the latter verse says,
“Because the new man was created with us, who belong to the old creation (Ephesians 2:15), as his constituents, he needs to be renewed. This renewing takes place mainly in our mind, as indicated by the phrase unto full knowledge. The new man was created in our spirit and is being renewed in our mind unto full knowledge according to the image of Christ.”
We rejoice that the death and resurrection of Christ has created us one new man. However, we must not be complacent. DON’T WAIT. Today is the time to cooperate, with the Holy Spirit’s renewing within us, by walking in newness of life (Romans 6:4). In this walk the life of Christ is renewing us unto the image of Christ, the image which will be expressed to the fullest by New Jerusalem.
* in The NT Recovery Version Online, © 1997-2012 by LSM
Posted by Don on May 12, 2012
Revelation 21:1-2 says, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away….And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem.” God’s work to bring forth a new heaven and new earth with New Jerusalem as their center has already begun in His chosen people. Second Corinthians 5:17 declares, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.”
Through regeneration we obtained the position in and life of God’s new creation. This is the life of New Jerusalem. Nevertheless, we need to experience this new creation. Therefore, Romans 12:2 exhorts us to “be transformed by the renewing of the mind that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and well pleasing and perfect.” This exhortation makes it clear that we should not merely be thankful for what we have received; rather, we need to advance in the new creation by letting the Spirit operate in us to transform us by renewing us.
Our renewing proceeds from the Spirit who made our human spirit alive when we were born again (John 3:6) and who now dwells in our spirit. Ephesians 4:23 tells us to “be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” This renewing is the spreading of the Spirit from our spirit to our soul, imparting the divine newness into our soul, including our mind. Since the Bible calls for our renewing, we should say “amen” and give ourselves to the Lord for renewing. This is to give ourselves to the fellowship of God’s Son which results in our being attuned in the same mind and same opinion with Him (1 Corinthians 1:9-10). Lord, draw me more into Your fellowship so that You may renew me unto New Jerusalem.
Posted by Don on May 10, 2012
Revelation 21:1-2 says, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and the sea is no more. And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Today God is working toward New Jerusalem by inwardly renewing His people. He is doing this “through the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5). an excerpt* of note 4 on this verse says,
The washing of regeneration begins with our being born again and continues with the renewing of the Holy Spirit as the process of God’s new creation, a process that makes us a new man. The washing of regeneration purges away all the things of the old nature of our old man, and the renewing of the Holy Spirit imparts something new — the divine essence of the new man — into our being. In this is a passing from our old state into a wholly new one, from the old creation into the status of a new creation. Hence, both the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit are working in us continually throughout our life until the completion of the new creation.
This washing and renewing are preparing us to match New Jerusalem. Lord, wash me daily from all that is old in me and impart Your newness into me. Complete Your renewing work in me and in those around me. Lord, bring us into the present reality of New Jerusalem.
* from The New Testament Recovery Version Online, © 1997- 2012 by Living Stream Ministry
Posted by Don on May 8, 2012
Peter tells us, “But according to His promise we are expecting new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.” (2 Peter 3:13). His reference to a “promise” is probably Isaiah 65:17 and 66:22. In Revelation 21:1-2 John says, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and the sea is no more. And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”
Although God will wait until the end to bring forth new heaven and new earth, God’s desire today is the renewing of His people. This renewing is a hidden, inward operation on the path to New Jerusalem. The basis for this renewing is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. When He was raised from the dead, all the New Testament believers were raised with Him. Based on the accomplished fact of resurrection, in 2 Corinthians 4:16 Paul declares his experience and confidence in God’s present renewing work in our being, “Therefore we do not lose heart; but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.” Our outer man is decaying unto death but our inner man is being renewed daily. All of the decay that we see should turn us to rejoice in God’s inner renewal.
The core of our inner man is our human spirit, where our renewing began with our regeneration. Titus 3:5 tells us that “according to His mercy He [our Savior God in v. 4] saved us, through the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit.” From our regeneration onwards, the Holy Spirit, who is one with our spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17) desires to gradually saturate our being with God’s newness to make us inwardly the same as New Jerusalem.
Posted by Don on May 5, 2012
Revelation 21:21b says, “And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.” Prior posts have considered the golden street as the divine nature in which we walk beginning from our regeneration. Now we should look at “the street.” In New Jerusalem there is only one street, in contrast to modern man-made cities which have thousands of streets. The one street in New Jerusalem indicates that we do not have options; we have only the way of the divine nature and this one way is more than sufficient for all of God’s people.
We find the one street, the one way, in Jesus Christ. He declared, “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). Our unique walk on the one way in Jesus Christ is described variously in the New Testament:
•__Romans 6:4 “walk in newness of life”—the life which is Jesus Christ (John 14:6).
•__Romans 8:4 “walk…according to the spirit”—where we are one with the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:17).
•__Ephesians 5:2 “walk in love”—the love which is God who abides in us (1 John 4:16).
•__1 John 1:7 “walk in the light as He is in the light”—the light is God (1 John 1:5) in Jesus Christ, who is the light of life (John 8:12).
•__3 John 1:3 “you walk in truth”—the truth which is Jesus Christ (John 14:6).
Colossians 2:6 “As therefore you have received the Christ, Jesus the Lord, walk in Him.” We have received Him, believing into Him, and now we walk in Him. He is our one way and we walk in Him. This walk will continue into New Jerusalem and for eternity.
Posted by Don on May 4, 2012
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). After God populated the earth with plants, animals, and man, “God saw everything that He had made, and indeed, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). Not long after this, sin entered and death entered through sin (Romans 5:12). As a result, the creation became the old creation in vanity and corruption (Romans 8:19-22) and man (the center of creation) became the old man (Romans 6:6).
On the cross Christ began to bring forth a new creation by creating in Himself one new man (Ephesians 2:15). The original man was corporate (compare singular “man” with plural “them” in Genesis 1:26-28); so also the new man is corporate (Colossians 3:10-11). Colossians 3:11 tells us that in the new man, “Christ is all and in all.” The new man is in Christ and Christ is everything in every member of this new man. The newness of the new man is Christ Himself.
Ephesians 4:24 says that “the new man was created according to God” and Colossians 3:10 says that “we have put on the new man is being renewed.” Factually, Christ accomplished the creation on the cross and we have put on the new man. Experientially, we are being renewed day by day to enter into the reality of the new man. This is “the renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5) who is one with our human spirit. The constitution of the new man shows the constitution of New Jerusalem—the city is the Triune God and His people together in one corporate entity. The present renewing of the new man in us brings us onward gradually toward New Jerusalem. When this new city comes down out of heaven from God (Revelation 21:2) the renewing process will have been completed and New Jerusalem will be “New” in every way.
Posted by Don on March 13, 2012
A few recent posts have looked at Revelation 22:1, “And he showed me a river of water of life…” The river of water of life is a picture of the Spirit coming to us a our life supply. This life supply now is for the building of God’s habitation. In the future it will maintain the built-up New Jerusalem in the newness of God.
Some past posts presented life for building up from verses in 1 Corinthians 3, Ephesians 2:20-22 and 4:15-16, and 1 Peter 2:2-5. The parable in Matthew 21:33-46 is about a vineyard but the conclusion brings in a stone. This too shows us life for building. In this parable, a man planted a vineyard and was expecting fruit from it (v. 34, 41, 43). In the reality, God planted His life in us and is expecting fruit from the development, the growth, of this life. This fruit is tied to a stone (v. 42). The growth in life is for the building of God’s house with Christ as the Cornerstone, the Head of the Corner.
Christ as the Cornerstone was rejected by the Jewish leaders through crucifixion but became the Head of the Corner in resurrection (Acts 4:10-11). Now Christ as the Cornerstone joins us all together for God’s building. Moreover, the building work takes place not merely with Him, but in Him (Ephesians 2:20-21). In Him all the building is growing. This is the growth portrayed by the vineyard. Let us all give ourselves to this wonderful Triune God to “produce the fruit” and “give Him the fruit” for building His house on the way to New Jerusalem.
Posted by Don on February 13, 2012
Revelation 22:1, “And he showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street.” In the center of New Jerusalem, the river of water of life proceeds out of the throne of God the Father and Christ the Redeeming Lamb. Two of the Trinity are clearly identified, but where is the Third? The Third, the Spirit, is the river (John 7:38-39)!
The Spirit as the river is for us to drink. First Corinthians 12:13 says, “For also in one Spirit we were all baptized into one Body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and were all given to drink one Spirit.” In God’s creation, it is normal for humans to drink water many times a day.
This should be a reminder to us to drink the Spirit.
In 1 Corinthians 12:13 our position for drinking is in the one Body. Each one of us is given the Spirit to drink yet our drinking is in and for the Body. Furthermore, in 1 Corinthians 12 the outcome of drinking the Spirit is our functioning as members of Christ’s Body (v. 14-22) and the blending and mutual concern of all the members (v. 23-27). Our blending together and our harmonious functioning is equal to the building up of the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:16). This portion of 1 Corinthians shows us the Spirit as our daily life supply for our being built together. The end result of this building process is New Jerusalem. Even though the building work has been completed by Revelation 22, the Spirit continues to flow eternally to maintain the entire city in the newness of God.
Posted by Don on February 9, 2012
In Revelation 21:2, New Jerusalem is holy and it is the city of the great King. New Jerusalem, as its name indicates, is also new. This newness is not according to human ideas but is according to God. The emphasis here is not new in time, not recently made or introduced. Rather, the emphasis is the new nature of New Jerusalem.
Romans 6:3-4 say, “Or are you ignorant that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? We have been buried therefore with Him through baptism into His death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so also we might walk in newness of life.” Here newness of life is the result of first, Christ passing through death into resurrection and second, our participation in His death and resurrection. Similarly, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 tell us that the new covenant is established through the death of Christ. The reality of this new covenant is brought to us by the Spirit in resurrection. Moreover, 2 Corinthians 5:17 declares that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Outside of Christ all is old but in Christ all is new.
Together, these verses show us that the newness of New Jerusalem is due to being in Christ and being one with Christ. The newness of New Jerusalem is not determined according to any human standard or definition. Rather New Jerusalem is divinely new. It is new because it is full of Christ and saturated with Christ. It is also new because it is a city in resurrection. It was not produced as part of God’s creation recorded in Genesis; rather, it is the outcome of Christ’s death and resurrection. Thank God for this marvelous newness!
Posted by Don on October 20, 2011