Sonship for New Jerusalem (4)

God has chosen us in eternity past unto sonship to the praise of the glory of His grace. This praise develops through this age and the next age until the eternal praise and glory of God in New Jerusalem.

The New Testament sonship includes all the believers in Jesus Christ. In addition, Romans 9 speaks about Israel; verse 4 says “whose are the sonship…” Although Israel had the sonship in some sense, they did not have the life of God because this is only for believers in the New Testament time, based upon the redeeming death and life-imparting resurrection of Jesus Christ.

New JerusalemWhatever the nature of Israel’s sonship, the Israelites faithful to God will be in New Jerusalem. This is indicated by Revelation 21:12 which says New Jerusalem, as seen by John, “had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names inscribed, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel.”

Among all the descendants of the twelve sons of Jacob/Israel, only the Lord knows who will be in New Jerusalem. He is “the Knower of the hearts” (Acts 1:24).

Surely the number of Israelites participating in New Jerusalem will include some from Old Testament times, some from New Testament times, and all who repent when they see the Lord, whom they pierced, coming in glory.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

Sonship for New Jerusalem (3)

God has chosen and predestinated us unto sonship “to the praise of the glory of His grace” (Eph. 1:4-6). This praise culminates with the glory of New Jerusalem.

We have the sonship, yet Romans 8:23 says, “we ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan in ourselves, eagerly awaiting sonship, the redemption of our body.” We have the sonship but we are awaiting the fulness of this sonship.

New JerusalemThe fulness will occur at the redemption of our mortal body. The mortality of our body, with its weaknesses, sicknesses, and lusts, is the cause of our groaning.

While we are groaning, “we eagerly await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transfigure the body of our humiliation to be conformed to the body of His glory” (Phil. 3:20-21).

Sonship is “to the praise of the glory of God.” The glory is within us, but will be released at the Lord’s return when our physical body is “conformed to the body of His glory.” The climax of this released glory is New Jerusalem, the city “having the glory of God.”

All believers in Jesus Christ have been born of God and have the sonship. Throughout our Christian life we cooperate to let this sonship grow in us. Growth unto maturity, while awaiting our Lord’s appearing, is our path to New Jerusalem.


Bible verses quoted in these posts are from The Holy Bible, Recovery Version, published and © by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim CA, 2003. The New Testament of this Bible, with its outlines, footnotes, and cross-references, is at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is © by LSM.

Sonship for New Jerusalem

New JerusalemFour verses in the New Testament include the word “sonship” in reference to New Testament believers and one verse in reference to Israel. The goal of this sonship is New Jerusalem.

The Greek word in these five verses is sometimes translated “adoption.” However, the overall revelation of the NT is that our relationship with God is one of birth and life. John 3:3-8 speaks firmly of our new birth. First Peter 1:23 speaks of our regeneration and four verses later we are “newborn babes.”

A great number of verses speak of our receiving and having eternal life. This life is not a position (as an adopted child) but much more it is Christ Himself, who is “the life” living in us. Some verses about this are Romans 6:23 and 8:10, Philippians 1:20-21, Colossians 3:3-4, and 1 John 5:11-12, “God gave to us eternal life and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life.”

New Jerusalem is a city of eternal life; the divine, eternal life we received is bringing us to this wonderful city.

Our sonship is eternal. Ephesians 1:4-5 tell us that God chose us in Christ “predestinat-ing us unto sonship through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” God’s choosing and predestinating are eternal, matching the eternal nature of New Jerusalem.

Likewise, God’s good pleasure culminates with New Jerusalem. The sonship to which God predestinated us is “to Himself,” the essence and center of this marvelous city.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

Glorified with Christ for New Jerusalem

Jesus Christ will come again in glory and sit on the throne of His glory. Everything of glory points to New Jerusalem and eternally the throne of glory will be the center of New Jerusalem, the city of glory.

It is God’s intention to glorify us with Christ. Verses we have looked at recently:
• Romans 8:29-30: glorification is the goal of our being called and justified.
• Romans 8:17: we suffer with Christ to be glorified with Him.
• 2 Corinthians 4:17-18: our temporary afflictions work out an eternal weight of glory.
• 2 Thessalonians 1:10: the Lord is coming to be glorified in His saints.

New JerusalemColossians 3 is parallel to these: “When Christ our life is manifested, then you also will be manifested with Him in glory.” Christ will be manifested to the entire earth in His second coming. And we will be manifested with Him.

Our manifestation in glory is not merely that we will be in a glory surrounding us. Instead, the glory will shine out from within us. This is certain because “Christ our life” (inside of us) is coupled with “manifested with Him in glory.”

The Christ who is living and spreading within us now will shine forth as glory. He, as the glorious expression of God, will radiate through every mature believer. Ultimately, God in Christ will saturate New Jerusalem and radiate through the entire city.

The glory will radiate unhindered because New Jerusalem is “pure gold, like clear glass” (Rev. 21:18).

Through Suffering to the City of Glory (2)

New JerusalemThe Lord Jesus will appear again in glory and reign eternally in glory. We will be glorified with Him to participate in the manifestation of His kingdom in the coming age and in New Jerusalem.

Our glorification comes through sufferings. Second Corinthians 4:16-17: “Therefore we do not lose heart; but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For our momentary lightness of affliction works out for us, more and more surpassingly, an eternal weight of glory.

Here, as in Romans 8, sufferings and glorification are coupled. Paul calls our sufferings a “momentary lightness of affliction.” The affliction is light compared to the eternal weight of glory. And it is “momentary” because Paul is regarding unseen, eternal things (v. 4:18).

These “eternal things” all consummate in New Jerusalem. But how do we “regard/look at/fix our eyes/focus on*” eternal things? First, “faith is the substantiation…of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). We have “a spirit of faith.” We learn to exercise our spirit and thereby experience Christ as our faith‡.

Second, we love the Lord. “Jesus Christ; whom having not seen, you love” (1 Peter 1:7b-8a). For this, try declaring Lord Jesus, I love You. And pray, Lord Jesus, increase my love to You. Exercising our faith and love toward the Lord brings us into the foretaste of New Jerusalem now.

* Various translations in 2 Cor. 4:18, thanks to Bible Hub.
‡ See Key to Experiencing Christ–the Human Spirit, The.

Through Suffering to the City of Glory

The Lord will shine with great glory from His return to eternity in New Jerusalem. Today we are “the light of the world” (Matt. 5) and “shine as luminaries, holding forth the word of life” (Phil. 2).

Romans 8:16-17 say, “The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God. And if children, heirs also; on the one hand, heirs of God; on the other, joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him that we may also be glorified with Him.” Here are several facts: we are children of God, we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, and we will suffer with Him to be glorified with Him. To be glorified with Him is preparation for the city of glory, New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemWe are told that our path to glory involves suffering. All humans have troubles in areas such as family, health, work, and housing. In our suffering we should be “with Him” always turning our heart to the Lord.

In Acts 14 Paul and Barnabas labored, “Establishing the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith and saying that through many tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of God.”

God’s kingdom and glory are linked; for example, “God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory” (1 Thes. 2:12).

Eternally, in New Jerusalem there will be no more suffering but we will participate in the fullness of God’s kingdom and His glory.

Redemption unto New Jerusalem (4)

When our Lord Jesus comes again in glory, He will redeem our mortal, corrupted body, transfiguring it to be like His body of glory (Phil. 3:21). This is a step on our path to New Jerusalem, the city “having the glory of God.”

The graphic is the last verse of a hymn about the redemption of our body. Once more, the New Jerusalemverse begins with Christ our hope of glory (Col. 1:27). Then “He is our history.” We have believed “into Christ Jesus” and we are now in Him. Here He is our history.

He has become one with us and He is our life (Col. 3:4) for us to experience Him daily. Soon He will come again to transfigure our mortal bodies and bring us into His glorious liberty. This liberty will free our mortal bodies from sin, death, and all kinds of weaknesses and corruption unto the eternal, incorruptible New Jerusalem.

The freedom of glorification through the redemption of our mortal bodies will make even our physical bodies one with Him. We will be one with Him completely and forever.

Based on the redemption gained through Christ’s death and our believing, we have regeneration in our spirit. That began the renewing of the Holy Spirit in our soul (Titus 3:5), which will culminate with the redemption/transfiguration of our body. All of this prepares us to rejoice with Christ at the wedding feast and to live eternally as part of New Jerusalem. Thank Him for this wonderful, complete salvation!

Redemption unto New Jerusalem (3)

At the Lord’s second coming He will redeem our mortal, corrupted body, transfiguring it to be like His body of glory (Phil. 3:21). This is a step on our path to the city of glory, New New JerusalemJerusalem.

We are in the third verse of a hymn about the redemp-tion of our body when the Lord returns. Again the song begins with Christ as our hope of glory. Then Christ is our full redemption.

He has already completed redemption for forgiveness of sins, but we are still awaiting the redemption of our body. This step of redemption will set our fleshy body free from sin and death. These two negatives always go together and are in our body.

Romans 7 says that sin dwells in us, and causes us to do what we do not want to do. It also speaks of “the body of this death”—the death brought in by sin. And Romans 8 clearly states “the body is dead because of sin.” “The redemption of our body” (Rom. 8:23) will free us from both sin and death.

This stage of redemption will fill our body with resurrection life and bring forth the Lord’s glory through our body. This is a big step toward New Jerusalem. First Corinthians 15:54 has all these points and is the basis for the last line in the song.

“When this corruptible will put on incorruption and this mortal will put on immortality, then the word which is written will come to pass, Death has been swallowed up unto victory.” New Jerusalem will be incorruption, immortality, and victory!


Bible verses quoted in these posts are from The Holy Bible, Recovery Version, published and © by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim CA, 2003. The New Testament of this Bible, with its outlines, footnotes, and cross-references, is at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is © by LSM.

Redemption unto New Jerusalem (2)

At the Lord’s second coming He will redeem our physical body, bringing us into full sonship (Rom. 8:23), which is to transfigure our mortal body to be like His body of glory (Phil. 3:21). This is a step on our path to the city of glory, New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemThe graphic has the second verse of the song about this redemption. Christ is our hope of glory today (Col. 1). He is also the mystery of God (Col. 2:2).

The song says “He shares with me God’s fulness.” This is Colossians 2:9-10, “In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and you have been made full in Him.” John 1:16 is similar, “of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.” More about the fullness.

Jesus Christ is God; He is in us and we are in Him (John 14:20). We are joined to Him and one spirit with Him (1 Cor. 6:17). The more we are renewed and transformed in our soul, the more we are blended with God. Our transformation is “from glory to glory” and this glory is fully God’s expression, both now and unto New Jerusalem.

In New Jerusalem we will share God’s glory with Him forever. The city “has the glory of God” and “the glory of God illumines it.” This is our wonderful destiny.

Redemption unto New Jerusalem

The prior three posts touched two aspects of redemption: our justification through the forgiveness of our sins by the Lord’s death on the cross and the redemption of our body at the Lord’s second coming. Both aspects are part of our path to New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemNow we look at a song (words,
music) about the second step of redemption, our glorification. The graphic has the first verse and chorus.

The song begins with Christ as our hope of glory (Col. 1:27). He is our life (Col. 3:4). His work in us began with regeneration and continues until He comes to change our bodies to be like His glorious body (Phil 3:21).

The chorus emphasizes that “He comes.” We know He is coming and His charge to us is “watch.” He comes to transfigure us (Phil. 3), redemption to apply (Rom. 8), His saints to glorify (2 Thes. 1).

We are His saints because He has sanctified us in position by His death and is now sanctifying our entire inward being by His life. In this way we will match New Jerusalem, the holy city.

His glorifying of us is that “He comes to be glorified in His saints.” Apart from Him we have no glory. He is the hope of glory in us now and He will be the glory radiating through us at His coming. Together all the glorified saints will be the glorious church to become the glorious New Jerusalem.

Full Sonship, the Redemption of Our Body

New JerusalemWe have presented two steps of redemption on our path to New Jerusalem. The first is our justification through the forgiveness of our sins, accomplished by the Lord’s death. The second is the redemption of our body, to be accomplished at the Lord’s second coming.

In Luke 21 the Lord Jesus speaks about events before His second coming. Then He tells us, “when these things begin to happen, stand erect and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” This is “the redemption of our body” in Romans 8.

What is “the redemption of our body”? Philippians 3:20-21 says, “we eagerly await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transfigure the body of our humiliation to be conformed to the body of His glory.” The Lord will come in glory, He will transfigure us to be conformed to His glory, and He will present the church to Himself glorious. This will be a big step toward the glory of New Jerusalem!

The transfiguration of our body will be instantaneous, but it will be the consummation of the renewing and transforming work of the Spirit throughout our Christian life. Therefore, we cannot be lazy and passively wait for the Lord’s second coming. We need to be the faithful and prudent slaves, being filled with oil and doing the Lord’s business regularly.

We should be on guard and grow in grace and the full knowledge of our Lord and Savior. Lord, grant us Your mercy day by day that we may live and grow for You.

Two Aspects of Redemption on Our Path to New Jerusalem (2)

In Christ Jesus we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins, through which we become sons of God. This redemption has been fully accomplished and is eternal. This is the first step on our path to New Jerusalem.

Based on redemption, we become sons of God by His life entering into us. This is the new birth, the regeneration, of our spirit. This life gradually spreads into our soul to renew and transform us*. Now, as Christians, “who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan in ourselves, eagerly awaiting sonship, the redemption of our body” (Rom. 8:23).

New JerusalemWe already are sons of God, but we are in the initial stage of sonship. We eagerly await the full sonship, “the redemption of our body.” This is the second step of redemption on our path to New Jerusalem. This will transpire at the Lord’s second coming.

Ephesians 1 tells us that we were sealed with the Holy Spirit “who is the pledge/ guarantee of our inheritance unto the redemption of the acquired possession.” God is our inheritance both today and in a fuller way when our body is redeemed.

We need to cooperate to reach this goal. Ephesians 4 cautions us, “do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed unto the day of redemption.” The Spirit is working in us to transform our soul, to prepare us for the redemption of our body and take us unto New Jerusalem. We hinder this work and grieve the Spirit when we disobey the Spirit and live according to the flesh.

* See verses (and footnotes) in Rom. 12:2, 2 Cor. 3:18, Eph. 4:23, Titus 3:5.

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