God’s mercy takes us out of sin and death to be vessels of mercy containing the riches of His glory. Ultimately all God’s people are a corporate vessel, New Jerusalem, radiating the riches of His glory.
Ephesians 2:1-3 describes our fallen condition. Then verses 4-6 say, “but God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in offenses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) and raised us up together with Him and seated us together with Him in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus.”
God’s love causes Him to be merciful to us and results in our being made alive, raised, and seated in Christ. We did not deserve His salvation but He was merciful. Of course, we are in need of His salvation but even more, He wants to save us for His eternal purpose consummating in New Jerusalem.
Ephesians 2:7 speaks of this purpose. God saved us “That He might display in the ages to come the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” New Jerusalem is the ultimate display of “the surpassing riches of His grace.”
The great corporate vessel is in a hymn which begins,
God eternal has a purpose, Formed in His eternal past,
Spreading to eternal future; ’Twixt these ends all time is cast.
The latter verses of the hymn include these lines:
Lord, increase Thyself within us That we might be built by Thee
Into that great corporate vessel Filled with God exclusively.
God will have His corporate vessel, All His glory to contain;
Lord, we’re wholly for Thy purpose All Thy goal in us attain.
Lord, increase in us. Fill us to become Your corporate vessel, New Jerusalem.
Photo courtesy of NASA, Caltech-JPL, and University of Wisconsin.