The Fall 2012 issue of Affirmation & Critique* is on New Jerusalem. Here is a brief portion of the third article, The New Jerusalem: A Sign of the Consummation of the Operation of Grace as Allegorized in Galatians and Hebrews (by John Pester).
The economical operation of the Triune God is an operation of grace, and the consummation of this operation produces a coinhering expression of the Triune God in Christ in redeemed, transformed, and glorified humanity, which is manifested as a mutual dwelling place of God in spirit, a dwelling place that is to the praise of the glory of His grace (Eph. 1:6; 2:22).
The believers’ participation in the economy of the grace of God is a continuing matter of faith (Heb. 10:38-39), and this continuing operation in the New Testament produces a consummation that is allegorized and signified as the New Jerusalem in Galatians, Hebrews, and Revelation (Gal. 4:22-26; Heb. 11:10; 12:22; Rev. 21—22).
Grace is God in Christ coming to us. John 1:14 and 17 tell us, “the Word became flesh…full of grace and reality” and “grace and reality came through Jesus Christ.” This grace is now with our human spirit (Galatians 6:18, Philippians 4:23) and our spirit is a “spirit of faith” (2 Corinthians 4:13).
Ephesians is a book on the building of the Body of Christ, which consummates in the New Jerusalem. For this, Ephesians says much about grace. Grace is to us (1:2), by this grace we are saved through faith (2:8), and grace was given to each one (4:7). We can speak grace to others for building up (4:29) and God will display the riches of His grace toward us in the coming ages (2:7).
All the grace given to us now is for our participation in God’s building work, a work which consummates in New Jerusalem “to the praise of the glory of His grace.”
* Affirmation & Critique is a Christian Journal published twice a year and available online. It presents Bible truths in a scholarly manner, with references to and citations from a variety of publications by authors over the entire Christian era. Affirmation & Critique exhibits much appreciation for the person and work of Jesus Christ and our life with Him. The Fall 2012 issue (Vol. XVII, No. 2) focuses on New Jerusalem.
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