The Foundations are Christ Received, Experienced, and Ministered

 

In Revelation 21:14, “the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” In 1 Corinthians 3:10-11, Paul says, “According to the grace of God given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid a foundation….another foundation no one is able to lay besides that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

Christ Himself is the foundation for the church, but New Jerusalem has 12 foundations. Because of the plurality, those foundations cannot be the unique Christ. On the other hand, those foundations cannot be apart from the Christ who “is all and in all” (Colossians 3:11). The key to this apparent dilemma is the names of the twelve apostles on the foundations of New Jerusalem. The apostles have been constituted with Christ and minister Christ to others. Christ, constituted into and ministered by men, forms the foundations.

In Ephesians 3 Paul says that the grace of God was given to him for us (v.2) and that the mystery of Christ was made known to him (v.3-5). He briefly describes the mystery (v.6), then he says, “Of which [the gospel] I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God….To me…was this grace given to announce to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ as the gospel” (v.7-8). Revelation and grace were given to Paul so that he could minister the unsearchable riches of Christ to all of us. The apostles are patterns for us all (Philippians 3:17). We too receive revelation and grace, and we too minister to others the Christ we have seen and experienced, thereby following the apostles in preparing the foundations of New Jerusalem.

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2 Comments

  1. I enjoyed that the stewardship of God’s grace (Eph. 3:2) and the revelation of the mystery (v. 3) go together. The stewardship of grace comes to us through the revelation of the mystery being made know to us. This stewardship, like that of an airline steward or stewardess, is the dispensing of God’s riches into God’s chosen ones. May we follow the apostles’ pattern to carry out such a dispensing stewardship!

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  1. Christ Received, Experienced, and Ministered « New Jerusalem – A Biblical View

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