New Jerusalem is Prepared by Our Cooperation with Christ Dwelling in Us

Revelation 21:2 says, “And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” The preparation of the bride is a fact but by whom and in what way this preparation is accomplished?

The fact that “prepared” follows “from God” implies that God is the Preparer of the bride. Hebrews 11:16 agrees with this, saying that God “has prepared a city for them” —for those who live as strangers and sojourners on the earth while seeking a better country, a heavenly one (verses 13-16).

On the other hand, Revelation 19:7 says, “Let us rejoice and exult, and let us give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” The same Greek verb is translated “prepared” in 21:2 and “has made ready” in 19:7. In Revelation 19, the wife, the totality of all the believers, has made herself ready. Furthermore, in the first part of Matthew 25 the kingdom of the heavens is likened to the preparations for a wedding feast. In this parable those virgins who were “ready” went in—they participated in the wedding feast. In conclusion, the Lord told us all that we need to be watchful (Matthew 25:13), repeating His prior exhortation to watch (24:42) in order to be ready (24:44). Our persistent watching is our getting ourselves ready. (“Ready” in 24:44 and 25:10 is from a Greek word akin to the verb mentioned above.)

So, is the preparation accomplished by God or by the believers? The answer is both. The two parties each participate in the preparation, not independently but cooperatively and coinherently. (Coinherence is two persons each dwelling in the other; this is possible only in the spiritual realm. John 14:20, “…you in Me, and I in you” is our coinherence with the resurrected Lord.) An example of working cooperatively and coinherently is in Philippians 2:12-13. Verse 12 charges us to work out our own daily salvation but verse 13 continues with God operating in us. We should and we can cooperate with the indwelling, energizing God. Another example is in 1 Corinthians 15:10. Paul says that he labored abundantly “yet not I but the grace of God which is with me.” On one hand Paul labored; on the other hand it was not Paul but the grace of God in him. This grace is Christ Himself in the believers; “not I but Christ” in Galatians 2:20 is equal to “not I but the grace” in 1 Corinthians 15.

Therefore, the bride is being prepared through our cooperation with the indwelling Christ. He is operating in us and we give Him the liberty to operate. Lord, be merciful to us every day, grace us to cooperate fully with Your operation in us.

Having touched who does the preparation, in a following post I will present some Bible verses about how the preparation is accomplished.

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9 Comments

  1. Beatriz

     /  November 14, 2011

    WHENEVER I TOUCH THE LORD IN MY SPIRIT BY CALLING ON HIS NAME AND BY RECEIVING LIGHT THROUGH HIS WORD AND THROUGH HIS BODY, I FEEL THAT NOT EVERYTHING IS LOST, THAT I SILL HAVE HOPE.
    THANK YOU FOR YOUR POSTS.
    “DEAR LORD, I NEED TO REMAIN IN YOU SO THAT I CAN BE BUILT UP AS YOUR BODY, YOUR EXPRESSION. PLEASE, HELP ME: OPERATE IN ME, SAVE ME, DISPENSE YOURSELF INTO ME”.

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  2. Beatriz,
    Thank you for your comment. I apologize for delaying so long to respond to you. Yes, we can touch the Lord in our spirit and He is hope to us. Since we have Him, we have hope, even hope of being glorified with Him.
    Don

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    Reply
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