Because created mankind has fallen, God calls us to come out of that old, fallen mankind into a new, resurrected mankind so that God can carry out His eternal purpose. This purpose culminates in New Jerusalem.
The prior post presented coming out of the old man and entering into the new man as seen in Acts 2. Abraham is an Old Testament example of coming out and entering in. Because man had rebelled against God, God called Abraham to have a new beginning with a new race*. God’s call to Abraham was not from sin or violence. Rather, it involved a change of location, culture, and relationships. God called Abraham saying,
Come out from your land and from your relatives, and come into the land which I will show you. (Acts 7:3; when Abraham was in Mesopotamia, before he went to Haran, v. 7:2)
Go from your land and from your relatives and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you. (Genesis 12:1; when Abraham was in Haran, v. 11:31-32)
In response to these two calls from God, on one hand Abraham went out by faith (Hebrews 11:8) and on the other hand God brought him (Acts 7:4) into the place God had chosen and promised. This shows that we must depend on God yet we must also cooperate with what He is doing in us.
Abraham’s story is related to New Jerusalem. Going on in Hebrews 11, we read that Abraham “dwelt as a foreigner in the land of promise” (v. 9) and “he eagerly waited for the city which has the foundations, whose Architect and Builder is God” (v. 10). Then in verse 16 we read that God “has prepared a city” for Abraham and his descendants. This city is New Jerusalem.
Abraham’s going out from his relatives and his old country to the God-promised country caused him to seek the city to come. Likewise, our transfer from the old man to the new man (to be covered more in coming posts) is for us to seek New Jerusalem as the center of the new creation.
*In the Old Testament this new race was the nation of Israel. However, in the New Testament the new race is the spiritual Israel. Galatians 3:7 says, “Know then that they who are of faith, these are sons of Abraham.” Galatians 3:27-29 also makes it clear that all who are in Christ are Abraham’s seed, his spiritual descendants.