God’s NT Building is Living, not Physical

God’s New Testament building is living!

Christ Jesus in resurrection is the Cornerstone. Acts 4:10-12
All the building is “in Christ.” Ephesians 2:20-22
“All the building is growing.” Ephesians 2:21
“We are the temple of the living God.” 2 Corinthians 6:16
We all, “as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house.” 1 Peter 2:5
—–and additional verses in the prior posts

New Jerusalem is not physical!

New Jerusalem is the consummation of God’s New Testament building.
New Jerusalem shows the completion of all the growth and building in the NT.
New Jerusalem has a living temple, not a physical temple;
——-“the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.” Rev. 21:22
New Jerusalem is living to be “the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” Rev. 21:9

Earlier posts about New Jerusalem as a living city, not a physical city:
New Jerusalem is Spiritual, not Physical
New Jerusalem: Not a Physical Building
A Physical Building is not the House of God

God’s NT Building is Living and Spiritual (9)

Ephesians presents much about our growth into Christ in all things, which matches His growth within us, and our being built together in Him. New Jerusalem, a living city, is the consummation of this growth and building.

New Jerusalem

Here are links to recent posts on God’s living New Testament building. The key verses in each post are listed.

Jesus Christ is the living Cornerstone of God’s NT building. Matt. 21:33-41; Acts 4:10-12
Jesus Christ is the Living Stone and we also are living stones. John 1:41-42; 1 Peter 2:2-7
Jesus Christ is the temple in resurrection, and all His believers are part of this temple.
John 1:14, 2:19-22, 14:2, 23; 2 Cor. 6:16

We are God’s cultivated land, God’s building. 1 Corinthians 3:1-16
In Christ Jesus all the building is growing into a holy temple in the Lord. Eph. 2:19-22
We have been rooted and are being built up in Christ Jesus. Eph. 3:16-21; Col. 2:6-7

Our growth in life is for the building up of the Body of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-16
The growth of the Body is unto the building up of itself in love. Eph. 4:15-16, Col. 2:19

Earlier posts about New Jerusalem as a city of life and God’s NT building in life:

New Jerusalem, not in the Natural Realm
The Living House Becomes the Living City
New Jerusalem is a Living City

New Jerusalem is a Living City, a City of Life
New Jerusalem is a Living, Spiritual City
We are God’s Living House

God’s NT Building is Living and Spiritual (8)

Ephesians 4:11-16 focuses on God’s life being ministered for our growth in life and for furtherance of God’s New Testament building work. The growth and the building work are inseparably linked and both consummate in New Jerusalem.

By holding the Head, Christ, we “grow up into Him in all things” (v. 4:15). Then there is a flow out from Him which joins us together and knits us together. This flow is both through the gifted members (v. 4:11) and “through the operation in the measure of each one part” (v. 4:16). “Each one part” equals every believer in Christ, every member of the Body of Christ.

New JerusalemThis flow through all of us “causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love” (v. 4:16). The growth of the Body and the building up of the Body proceed together. This is God NT way which ultimately concludes with New Jerusalem.

Colossians 2:19 is parallel, “holding the Head, out from whom all the Body, being richly supplied and knit together by means of the joints and sinews, grows with the growth of God.” Our holding to Christ the Head allows a rich supply to flow out from Him for our knitting together and growth.

The whole Body, including all the members, “grows with the growth of God.” God was born into us at regeneration and is growing within us. New Jerusalem is the consummation of this growth; it is the manifestation of God in/through all His people built together.

Graphic courtesy of pixabay.com.

God’s NT Building is Living and Spiritual (7)

God’s New Testament building comes forth from the growth of His life in us. New Jerusalem is the consummation of this growth and building up.

Ephesians 4:11-16 speaks much about growth and building. Verse 11 says that the ascended Christ gave some as particular gifted members to His spiritual Body. These gifted members are “for the perfecting of the saints unto the work of the ministry, unto the building up of the Body of Christ” (v. 12).

The gifted members train all the members to minister Christ to one another. This ministering is a life supply which issues in the building up of the Body. The goal is that “we all arrive at the oneness of the faith…, at a full-grown man, at the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (v. 13). Here “full-grown man” clearly indicates our growth in the divine life.

New JerusalemOn the positive side growth brings building up, pointing toward New Jerusalem. On the negative side growth brings us away from spiritual childhood where we are subject to “winds of teaching” and other aspects of a “system of error” (v. 14).

For our growth, for our building up, we need the gifted members (v. 11). We all also need to hold to truth in love (v. 15). Jesus Christ Himself is the truth, the reality, as He declared in John 14:6. We hold to Him in love. One aspect of holding in love is to declare Lord Jesus, I love You.

This loving of Him certainly will intensify as we are prepared to be His bride, His wife, New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:2, 9-10).

 

 

God’s NT Building is Living and Spiritual (6)

New JerusalemMultiple chapters in the New Testament, in recent posts, show that God’s New Testament building comes forth through the growth of His divine life in us.

God’s NT building is spiritual, not physical. This principle applies through the entire NT to New Jerusalem.

Ephesians 3:16-17a speaks of us being strengthened into our inner man “that Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith.” The first outcome of this is that we are “rooted and grounded in love” (v. 3:17b).

Rooting brings in the life supply for our growth in life. What is the grounding for? The parallel verse, Colossians 2:6-7a, says, “As therefore you have received the Christ, Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, having been rooted and being built up in Him.” Being grounded in love is for building up which comes out of the life supply through our Christian roots.

The end result of our being rooted and grounded in Christ is God’s building, His dwelling place, composed of all the believers “filled unto all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:19). Through this filling “To Him [God] be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all the generations forever and ever. Amen.”

By the divine life growing in us and building us together, there is glory be God today! And more glory to God in New Jerusalem forever and ever! (Eph. 3:21).

God’s NT Building is Living and Spiritual (5)

God’s New Testament building work is spiritual, accomplished by the resurrection life in all His believers. The result is a living building composed of God mingled with all the believers; it is not a physical structure. New Jerusalem is the consummation of this building work.

Ephesians 2:19b-20 says that we are “members of the household of God, being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone.” We all, through faith in Christ Jesus, became members of God’s household. As members we are also the materials God uses for His building. 

New JerusalemChrist Jesus is the living Cornerstone. He sets the pattern for God’s building: all the components of the building are alive in resurrection.

Verse 2:21 continues, “In whom [Christ Jesus] all the building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord.” The sphere of the building work is in Christ Jesus.

In Christ Jesus the whole building is “growing.” This clearly indicates that the building is living. The church is a living building now and New Jerusalem will be a mature, living building in eternity.

Verse 2:22, “In whom [Christ Jesus] you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit.” In Christ we are “growing” and “being built together.” These two actions cannot be separated. New Jerusalem is the ultimate issue of both.


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, is at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is © by LSM.

God’s NT Building is Living and Spiritual (4)

New Jerusalem is the consummation of God’s New Testament building work. This work is spiritual, accomplished in us by the resurrected Christ who has become our life.

First Corinthians 3 presents much about this living building process. The process begins with our regeneration. At that point we are “infants in Christ” (v. 1). We need milk to drink (v. 2) for our spiritual growth. In 1 Peter 2 the milk comes through the word of God; in this chapter the supply comes through the gifted members given for the building up.* But, although they supply us, “God causes the growth” (v. 6-7).

In verse 9 we “are God’s cultivated land, God’s building.” The cultivated land, God’s farm, is for our growth in His life. This growth is for God’s building. By the divine life within us,
New Jerusalemwe all participate in the building work (v. 10-12). Our participation in the building is our ministering of this life to one another; through this we are knit together and built together.*

The building work of each one of us will be tested. The work that is accomplished through the divine life will pass the test; that which is through our natural life will fail (v. 13-15). New Jerusalem is 100% built with the divine life in and through all of God’s people.

We “are the temple of God” and the Spirit dwells in us as the reality of the life for building (v. 16). This is for today and points toward New Jerusalem.

* More on this in a following post on Ephesians 4.

God’s NT Building is Living and Spiritual (3)

God’s New Testament building is alive. It is a spiritual building brought forth by His life in us. This building work is proceeding now and will fully come forth with New Jerusalem.

The Old Testament tabernacle and temple were physical. In the New Testament Jesus is the reality of these shadows. In John 1:1 the eternal Word is God. In 1:14 “The Word became flesh and tabernacled among us.” Jesus became the living tabernacle; The New Testament Tabernacle is Alive.

New Jerusalemin John 2 the Lord Jesus said to the Jews “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” They misunderstood His words, because all they knew was the old, physical temple. “But He spoke of the temple of His body.” They destroyed this temple through crucifixion and in three days He raised it up in resurrection.

In John 14 the Lord spoke about many abodes in His Father’s house. We are these abodes. There are no physical “mansions” in God’s house, neither today nor in New Jerusalem. In John 14 the Lord also spoke about His dwelling in us and our dwelling in Him. This is God’s living New Testament building.

In John 2 the Lord spoke about His physical body as the temple. In resurrection He also raised up all the believers as the enlarged, living temple of God. This is 2 Corinthians 6:16, “We are the temple of the living God.” The reality is being worked into us through this age to come forth fully as New Jerusalem.

God’s NT Building is Living and Spiritual (2)

New JerusalemGod’s New Testament building work is spiritual, not physical, and is accomplished by His resurrection life in all His believers. The consummation of this work is New Jerusalem.

The prior post has verses about Jesus Christ as the Cornerstone for God’s building. We also are stones for God’s building. In our natural state we are clay, but Christ as life within us makes us stones. New Jerusalem has stones but no clay.

When Simon first met Jesus (John 1:41-42), Jesus said Simon would be called Peter, which means “stone.” Later Peter presented the Lord as “a living Stone” and all the believers as “living stones” (1 Peter 2:4-5). Peter then repeats the words about the Lord being the Cornerstone, chosen and precious. We who believe on Him are brought into God’s building work and “shall by no means be put to shame” (2:6-7).

We are stones because of the eternal life in us; we are living stones for God’s living building, God’s spiritual house. This life comes into us at our regeneration “through the living and abiding word of God” (1 Peter 1:23) and grows by our taking the nourishing milk of God’s word (2:2).

First Peter 2:2 speaks of our nourishment by God’s word. Verse 3 says we taste that the Lord is good. Lord, give me such a good tasting of Your word daily! Then verse 4 is “coming to Him.” Daily we come to Him through His word, by singing, in prayer, in praising. As a result, in verse 5, we participate in God’s living building work for our priesthood to God now and in New Jerusalem.

 

 

 

God’s NT Building is Living and Spiritual

New Jerusalem is the consummation of God’s New Testament building work. The Old Testament had physical symbols, the tabernacle and temple, but now we are in the age of the spiritual reality of God’s building.

New JerusalemWe begin a look at many NT verses which show that God’s building work now is not physical but spiritual. This building work is accomplished by the eternal life which dwells in us. New Jerusalem, the consummation, will likewise be spiritual, not physical.

In Matthew 21:33-41 (and Mark 12, Luke 20) the Lord Jesus spoke a parable about a vineyard. Suddenly He changed to speaking about a stone who became the cornerstone for God’s building. This speaking shows us first, that the life of the vineyard brings forth the building material. Second, it shows that the Lord Jesus Himself is the Cornerstone.

In Acts 4:10-11 Peter declared that the crucified and resurrected Jesus is the Stone in these parables and that He has become “the Head of the corner.” In resurrection Jesus Christ is the Cornerstone, showing that God’s NT building work is in resurrection, not in the natural realm.

In 4:12 he says further that salvation is in this One. Every Christian knows that Jesus Christ is the Savior, but do we recognize further that His salvation brings us to Himself as the cornerstone for God’s building work? We receive God’s salvation because God desires to have us as material for His building, consummating in New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

The Garden of Eden and New Jerusalem      in Song (6)

Genesis 1–2 presents many pictures. The reality of these is in the New Testament and their consummation is New Jerusalem. A song couples these two ends of the Bible. Verse 5 of the song is about the tree of life in the garden of Eden but outside of man. Verse 6:

But in the city glorious the tree
Within the corporate “man” doth grow, thereby
Revealing Christ Himself as life divine
New JerusalemBeing to man his inward life supply.

In New Jerusalem is “the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month” (Rev. 22:2). This is Jesus Christ, who is “the life” to become, through death and resurrection, “our life” (Col. 3:4).

As the reality of the bread of life, He is our daily nourishment that we may “live because of Him.” We, like Paul, should be able to declare “for me to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21).

The song says the tree grows within the “corporate man.” This is a reference to New Jerusalem, the culmination of all God’s building work. This work builds all the believers together. One reference to this is in Ephesians 2:22, “you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit.” New Jerusalem is God’s dwelling place.

In Romans 12, “we who are many are one Body in Christ.” This is our position from the time we believe. Now, by Christ as our life supply, we grow in His life for the building up of the one Body, the “corporate man” which becomes 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, is at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is © by LSM.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

The Garden of Eden and New Jerusalem      in Song (4)

A hymn presents characteristics of New Jerusalem which are seen figuratively in the garden of Eden. Here is the first part of verse 3 with verse 4 of this hymn:

New JerusalemBoth in the garden and the city bright
Three kinds of precious substances are found;

But in the garden all these precious things
Are just materials lying in the earth,
Yet in the city all are builded up
And form that dwelling of transcendent worth.

Genesis 2 presents to us gold, bdellium (a pearl-like material from a tree resin), and onyx stones. As the song says, these are precious substances but merely lying around. In New Jerusalem the street is of gold, the twelve gates are pearls, the wall is built of jasper, and the foundations of the wall are adorned with twelve types of precious stones (Rev. 21:12-21).

New Jerusalem being builded up is the culmination of God’s spiritual building work throughout the New Testament. In Matthew 16 Jesus said “I will build my church.” Jesus is the Stone which became the Cornerstone for this building (Mark 12:10, Eph. 2:20).

The building work involves all of us, as in 1 Corinthians 3 and Ephesians 2 and 4. In Ephesians 4:15-16 holding in love to Christ as the truth, we grow up into Him in all things. Then a rich supply flows out from Him through the gifted members and also “through the operation in the measure of each one part.” The result is “the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.”

The ultimate issue of the building work is New Jerusalem, built with the three kinds of precious substances.

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