God Shines through the City

Revelation 21:23-24a tells us, “the city has no need of the sun or of the moon that they should shine in it, for the glory of God illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. And the nations will walk by its light.” And in Revelation 21:10-11, John tells us, “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.” 

In Philippians we “work out our own salvation” (v. 12) by cooperating with “God who operates” in us (v. 13) and hence we become “blameless and guileless, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverted generation, among whom we shine as luminaries in the world” (v. 15). “Luminaries” in verse 15 is from the Greek word translated “light” in Revelation 21:11; the Greek word occurs only in these two verses.

In Philippians we see a parallel with Revelation 21. In Revelation the glory of the Triune God is the shining, the city expresses the shining, and the nations walk under this shining. In Philippians the Triune God is operating in us, our cooperation causes us to be shining, and we shine on the people in the world. Here we see our current Christian experience as a foretaste of what will be in New Jerusalem. The only differences from Revelation are an exhortation in verse 12 regarding our cooperation (which will be constant and full in New Jerusalem, no longer needing exhortations) and the condition of the surrounding people (which will be upright in new earth with all crookedness and perversion removed). 

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  1. The Lord God Shines in New Jerusalem « New Jerusalem – A Biblical View

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