Grace, the Supply and Glory, the Expression (3)

New JerusalemGrace is God in Christ as our supply for a proper Christian living. Glory is the expression of this living. Both are increasing from now to New Jerusalem.

Second Thessalonians 1:12: “So that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” The name of the Lord Jesus being glorified in the believers equals the Lord Jesus Himself being expressed in the believers living.

In the Bible, a name is not merely a designation for a person; it is identical with the person. For example, in John 3:18 believing into the Son is equivalent to believing into His name. The same is in 1 John 5:10, 13. And calling upon the Lord in Romans 10:12 is equal to calling on His name in 5:13.

The glory to the Lord in 2 Thessalonians is the result of grace coming from God. The more we receive the grace, the more we have joy in the Lord. Gradually this joy becomes perceptible by others as the glory.

Peter declares that today we can “exult with joy that is unspeakable and full of glory” (1 P. 1:8). Peter says this regarding those who, although not seeing Him, believe into and love Jesus Christ. How much more joy and glory will be in New Jerusalem when we see and believe and love Him!

Grace, the Supply and Glory, the Expression (2)

Grace is the Lord Jesus Christ coming to us as our supply to live Him and glory is the expression of this living. Both are for now and will grow to their unending high point in New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemEphesians 1:4 speaks of God the Father’s choosing us in eternity to be holy by having His holy nature. Verse 5 continues to say that God predestinated us “unto sonship through Jesus Christ.” We are God’s sons by receiving and being born of His life.

Verse 6 then says this is “to the praise of the glory of His grace.” God has graced us in Christ with His nature and His life, which are enjoyed by us in their daily operation within us. This results in glory, the expression of God, and the outcome is praise to Him.

In this age we need to grow in the divine life and let the divine nature saturate us. This will bring us to maturity. This maturity is “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4). This mature fullness is the full expression of God in humanity, which is the good pleasure of His will.

What is in Ephesians 1:4-6 is for now, with a fuller expression, with more glory, to come forth when Jesus Christ returns visibly. This will bring forth greater praise to God. Then New Jerusalem will be the fullest expression, the utmost glory, with the greatest praise to God.

Grace, the Supply and Glory, the Expression

New Jerusalem is a city full of and radiating the glory of God. In August several posts were about our hope now and the glory to come. Now we look at verses joining grace and glory.

Romans 5:2 says, “Through whom [our Lord Jesus Christ] also we have obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand and boast because of the hope of the glory of God.” Faith is the beginning of our Christian life and it brings us access to grace.

New JerusalemGrace is Jesus Christ Himself. John 1:14 tells us that He is full of grace and 1:17 that grace came (or became) through Him. We are standing in grace, which is Christ Himself for our supply and enjoyment.

Many epistles end with a blessing of grace to us. And the whole Bible ends, “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints.” This grace is our eternal supply.

In New Jerusalem Jesus Christ on the throne dispenses this grace which comes to us as the Spirit who is portrayed by the “river of water of life” (22:1). But do not wait. Hebrews 4:16 urges us now, “Let us therefore come forward with boldness to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace for timely help.”

We come forward by prayer, singing to the Lord, calling on His name (Rom. 10:12-13), praising Him, and giving thanks to Him. Let us exercise more now to enjoy grace and to prepare ourselves for New Jerusalem.

God’s Many Sons Brought into Glory

In Romans 8 New Jerusalem is composed of the many brothers of Jesus Christ who are conformed to His image and glorified. In Hebrews 2 New Jerusalem is constituted with the many sons of God brought into glory. We have been born of the Spirit with the eternal life to be sons of God the Father New Jerusalemand brothers of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 2:10 tells us that “it was fitting for Him [God the Father], for whom are all things and through whom are all things, in leading many sons into glory, to make the Author [Jesus Christ] of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”

The sufferings of Jesus, from birth until His death on the cross, combined with His resurrection and ascension, are used by God in leading us into glory. Through His death we were redeemed and in His resurrection we were regenerated (1 Pet. 1:3). Now we have Christ as our life, the life of New Jerusalem.

“When Christ our life is manifested, then you also will be manifested with Him in glory” (Col. 3:4). This manifestation is a big step forward in “leading many sons into glory.”

However, our manifestation with Christ is not the final step. That manifestation will occur when He returns, at the beginning of the kingdom age. The final step is in Revelation 21, “the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God….having the glory of God.”

Three Consummations in New Heaven & New Earth

New Jerusalem

The end of the Bible shows us three destinies. Every person and every thing will participate in one of these three.

Revelation 20:10, 14-15; 21:8 show us the lake of fire, the second death. Here are the devil, Satan, and his adherents plus sin, death, hades, and all other negative things in the universe.

Revelation 21:24-27 presents the nations dwelling around New Jerusalem. I believe these originate from the blessing on the sheep in Matthew 25:32-40. They are around New Jerusalem but are not part of it. More about these nations is in The Nations around New Jerusalem.

The high point in Revelation 21 and 22 is New Jerusalem. This fully satisfies God’s good pleasure to have a corporate expression of Himself composed of humanity mingled with divinity.

The way to New Jerusalem is to repent, confess that we in ourselves cannot make it, and receive Jesus Christ as our Redeemer and our Life-giver. He becomes our new, eternal life within, in addition to the human life from our birth. Then He spreads in us to fully resurrect us to match New Jerusalem, a city totally in newness of resurrection.

Glorification, Resurrection

New Jerusalem is a city “having the glory of God” (Rev. 21:11). The city has no need of natural light nor man-made light for “the glory of God illumined it” (21:23). 

In Luke 24:26 the Lord Jesus asked two disciples, “Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and enter into His glory?” Then in verse 46 He said to others, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise up from the dead on the third day.”

New JerusalemPeter spoke the same in Acts 3. “The God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His Servant Jesus” (v. 13). “The Author of life you killed, whom God has raised from the dead” (v. 15).

Glorification is identified with resurrection. To be resurrected is to be glorified. New Jerusalem has the glory of God because it is a city in resurrection.

New Jerusalem is constituted with Christ in us, who will be glorified in us (2 Thes. 1:10). That occurs when He brings our mortal bodies into resurrection and manifests His glory through us.

There is nothing natural in New Jerusalem, nothing of the old creation. The city is full of glory and absolutely in resurrection.

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A City in Resurrection
New Jerusalem, a City in Resurrection

Israel’s Path to New Jerusalem

New JerusalemRevelation 21:12 says about New Jerusalem, “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.”

These names show that Israel participates in New Jerusalem. What is their path to this eternal city? Abraham is their model. He “eagerly waited for the city which has the foundations, whose Architect and Builder is God” (Heb. 11:10).

Hebrews 11 speaks of others up to David and Samuel and the prophets, plus many whose names are not recorded. The end of Hebrews 11 tells us that “these all, having obtained a good testimony through their faith, did not obtain the promise, because God has provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.”

They will be made perfect with us for “something better,” New Jerusalem! In addition to the people of faith in Hebrews 11, in New Testament times some Israelites have believed into Jesus Christ and by this will be in New Jerusalem.

Finally, at the end of this age Jesus Christ will return visibly. Revelation 1:7 declares, “Behold, He comes with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the land will mourn over Him. Yes, amen.” “Those who pierced Him” and “all the tribes” refer specifically to Israel.

Zechariah 12:10 tells us more of this seeing and mourning, which will bring all Israel back to God in a strong way. Then they will participate in the blessings of the kingdom age and of New Jerusalem.

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Romans 8 Shows Six Steps to New Jerusalem (2)

Romans 8:29-30 presents six steps taken by God: foreknowledge, predestination, calling, justification, conformation, and glorification. These bring us out of the old creation into New Jerusalem.

Romans 8:28 says, “we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” God’s purpose is to saturate us with His life and nature, conforming us to the image of His Son. This brings forth His eternal goal, New Jerusalem, His New Jerusalemcorporate expression in humanity.

In this verse, “all things work together for good” for this purpose. Whether our human life (family, health, career, house, finances, etc) is good or not is up to God. He uses all events and all people, pleasant or unpleasant, to reach His goal.

The apostle Paul is a top example. He suffered many accusations, beatings, negative circumstances, and imprisonments (such as mentioned in 2 Cor. 11:23-33) but he was steadfastly involved in God’s purpose.

Today we need to look away from earthly and temporal things and keep our eyes on the goal—New Jerusalem. The key for this is to be “those who love God.”

At any time and in any circumstance we can declare, Lord Jesus, I love You! In some situations we do this quietly; in others we should be loud.  Lord, I love You; use today’s circumstances to bring me to the glory of New Jerusalem!

Romans 8 Shows Six Steps to New Jerusalem

Romans 8:29-30: “Because those whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brothers; and those whom He predestinated, these He also called; and those whom He called, these He also justified; and those whom He justified, these He also glorified.

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem has the glory of God and is fully illuminated by this glory. God’s foreknowledge, predestination, calling, justification, conformation, and glorification bring us out of the old creation into New Jerusalem.

In Romans 8 all six steps are past tense. This is God’s eternal view—He has accomplished everything. Yet some of these steps still need to be realized by us.

If we have believed into Jesus Christ, then we received God’s call and have been justified by Him. If not, now is the time to pray a simple prayer, such as Lord, I am a sinner but You died for me. I receive Your justification and Your life. Thank You. Come into me Lord Jesus.

When Jesus Christ comes into us, our spirit is made alive and He becomes our new life. Now we need to daily experience the conformation process so that our daily living gets conformed to the living of Jesus. 

Eventually we will be “conformed to the image of God’s Son,” the image to be expressed by New Jerusalem. And when Christ returns visibly in glory to earth, He will transfigure our mortal bodies, filling us with the glory of New Jerusalem.

Eagerly Await New Jerusalem with Endurance (3)

Today we hope for what we do not see and we wait with endurance. By turning our heart to the Lord and looking away from all things to Him, we are strengthened to endure through this age.

The turning in 2 Corinthians and looking away in Hebrews 12 allow the Lord to develop His endurance in us. This is parallel to 2 Thessalonians 3:5, “the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the endurance of Christ.”

The Lord is our endurance, just as He is our “hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). We are not here to live our Christian life alone but to live one with our indwelling Lord. He will come in glory to conclude our time of endurance and “we will see Him even as He is” (1 John 3:2).

The end of our endurance and the fulfillment of our hope is 1 John 3:2, and also is Colossians 3:4, “When Christ our life is manifested, then you also will be manifested with Him in glory.” This glory of His manifestation will increase further unto New Jerusalem.

New Jerusalem

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, is at; this too is © by LSM.

Eagerly Await New Jerusalem with Endurance (2)

Today we hope for what we do not see and wait with endurance. New Jerusalem is the consummation of everything for which we hope and endure.

Today we “put away every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us and run with endurance the race which is set before us, looking away unto Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith” (Heb. 12:1-2). Both our putting away and our running with endurance depend on “looking New Jerusalemaway unto Jesus.”

To look away to Him is to turn our heart to Him. “Whenever their heart turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away” (2 Cor. 3:16). The encumbrances and sins in Hebrews 12 are the veil in this verse.

When we turn our heart to the Lord, and come to His word with rejoicing and prayer, we gain a clear view of Him and His purpose. We see that the encumbrances and entangling things of this age cannot hinder our being conformed to His image to prepare us for New Jerusalem.

The more we see the Lord and His purpose, the more we get empowered to endure the outward difficulties. This is Colossians 1:11, “Being empowered with all power, according to the might of His glory, unto all endurance and long-suffering with joy.”

Lord, draw us to turn to You and show us more of Yourself, Your kingdom, and New Jerusalem.

Eagerly Await New Jerusalem with Endurance

Jesus Christ is in us as our hope and He will be our glory in the future. Ultimately this will be the glory of New Jerusalem where we will be immersed in the glory of God.

New JerusalemToday we see only glimpses of glory in shining faces of believers as we gather together. We do not yet see the much greater glory of our Lord’s visible return, His reign on earth, and New Jerusalem.

Thus, our situation is “if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly await it through endurance” (Rom. 8:25). Several verses later in Romans show how we have endurance.

“Rejoice in hope; endure in tribulation; persevere in prayer” (12:12). We rejoice in the Lord and we persevere in prayer. These are coupled to endurance. Rejoicing is first! Always rejoice!

“The things that were written previously were written for our instruction, in order that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (15:4). We also need the instruction and encouragement of the Bible. Daily Bible reading, coupled with rejoicing and prayer, builds endurance.

Romans 15:5 says God is “the God of endurance and encouragement.” By rejoicing, prayer, and the Bible, we contact such a God who becomes our endurance. This is for every day now while we hope and wait for New Jerusalem.

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