A Christian Life of Maturing and Perfecting

Christ in us is the essence, the center, the focus of our Christian life. Yet, although He is mature and perfect in Himself, He needs to grow to maturity and be perfected in us, otherwise we remain “infants in Christ” (1 Cor. 3:1). Here are a few verses about our Christian growth and perfection, plus links to posts about this subject and its relation to New Jerusalem.

Matthew 5:48: You therefore shall be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Colossians 1:27b-28: Christ in you, the hope of glory, whom we announce…that we may present every man full-grown in Christ.
Colossians 2:19: 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.
Hebrews 6:1: …let us be brought on to maturity

#NewJerusalemNew Jerusalem is Eternal Perfection
New Jerusalem is the Eternal Perfection
New Jerusalem is the Eternal Perfection (2)

We Can Be Perfect in our Father’s Life
Perfected into One unto New Jerusalem
Full Grown in Christ our Life
Let’s Go On to Maturity for God’s Building

We Mature in Christian Life to Match
New Jerusalem

We Mature in Christian Life to Match
New Jerusalem (2)

We Mature in Christian Life to Match New Jerusalem (3)
We Mature in Christian Life to Match New Jerusalem (4)
We Mature in Christian Life to Match New Jerusalem (5)

Growing with the Growth of God
New Jerusalem is the Consummation of the Spiritual Growth of God’s People

Being Perfected in Christian Life to Match New Jerusalem
Being Perfected in Christian Life to Match New Jerusalem (2)
Being Perfected in Christian Life to Match New Jerusalem (3)
Being Perfected in Christian Life to Match New Jerusalem (4)
Being Perfected in Christian Life to Match New Jerusalem (5)
Being Perfected in Christian Life to Match New Jerusalem (6)

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

New Jerusalem is the Universal Golden Lampstand, the Ultimate Consummation of the Lampstands

Here is a third post about New Jerusalem from Stefan’s blog, agodman.com. It begins, The New Jerusalem, the holy city, is the universal golden lampstand, the ultimate consummation of the lampstands in the Scriptures.

rev-1-20-the-mystery-of-the-seven-stars-which-you-saw-upon-my-right-hand-and-the-seven-golden-lampstands1

Excerpts from Stefan’s post: Throughout the Bible there’s the mentioning of the lampstand. First, in the tabernacle in the wilderness with Moses, there was a golden lampstand in the Holy Place; this lampstand signifies Christ Himself as the embodiment and shining out of God (Exo. 25:31-37).

When Christ came in incarnation, He was a lampstand: He embodied God, expressed God, made God visible, did everything by the Spirit of God, and shined out God. In His resurrection, Christ has been enlarged to become the church as the Body of Christ; now all the genuine local churches are the many golden lampstands as the reproduction of Christ and the reprint of the Spirit. [See Rev. 1:20 in the graphic above.]

In the New Testament we also see the lampstands – the Son of Man is walking among the seven golden lampstands in Rev. 1:12-20; these lampstands signify the churches, the local churches.

Read all of New Jerusalem is the Universal Golden Lampstand, the Ultimate Consummation of the Lampstands  with graphics, references, and hymns.

Stefan’s other two posts in this cluster are New Jerusalem is a Corporate God-man, the Consummation of the High Peak of Revelation and The New Jerusalem is the Real and Consummate Shulammite, a Corporate Shulammite.

ps: A God-man is a man in whom God in Christ dwells. In John 14:20 the Lord Jesus told us that after His resurrection we “will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” Our being in Christ and Christ being in us is the reality of a God-man, but we are NOT part of the Godhead.

New Jerusalem is a Corporate God-man,   the Consummation of the High Peak of Revelation

Thanks to Stefan at www.agodman.com/blog for this solid post on New Jerusalem.

New Jerusalem

The consummation of the central vision of God’s economy and of the high peak of the divine revelation is the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:29-11); the New Jerusalem is a corporate God-man and the consummation of the high peak of the divine revelation.

The central vision of God’s economy is the experience of Christ as life for the producing and building up of the church as the Body of Christ. God has an economy, and in His economy He intends to dispense Himself into us to regenerate us, transform us, build us up, and glorify us, so that He may gain the church as the Body of Christ, His corporate expression in the universe.

This is what Paul was writing about in his 14 epistles; the central vision of Paul’s completing ministry is God in us as our contents, Christ as the mystery of God, and the church as the mystery of Christ.

Read the entire post which includes additional verses, more spiritual riches, plus links to references and hymns about New Jerusalem.

ps: Stefan is a God-man because, like all believers in Jesus Christ, he is a man and God in Christ is in Him. In John 14:20 the Lord Jesus told us that after His resurrection we “will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” Our being in Christ and Christ being in us is the reality of a God-man, but we are NOT part of the Godhead.

New Jerusalem is Spiritual, not Physical

New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem is the consummation of God’s New Testament building. Unlike the Old Testament tabernacle and temple, God’s people today are
• • • growing in the divine life
• • • being built together in Christ Jesus
• • • becoming a dwelling place of God in spirit
This building is growing unto New Jerusalem.

Ephesians 2:19-22, “You are…being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone; in whom all the building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit.”

1 Peter 2:5, “You yourselves also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house.”

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

The Bible: a Journey from Garden of Eden to New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem

The whole Bible is a journey from God’s creation and the Garden of Eden (Genesis 1–2) to God’s consumma-tion centered on New Jerusalem (Revelation 21–22).

The Garden of Eden and New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem: God’s Eternal Glory

New Jerusalem is a city “having the glory of God” (Rev. 21:11). Romans 16:27 says, “To the only wise God through Jesus Christ, to Him be the glory forever and ever.” Because the glory here is forever it points to New Jerusalem. Because this glory is the conclusion of Romans, it shows that the whole of Romans looks to New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemAfter writing the prior post, I began to wonder how often “glory forever and ever” is in the New Testament. Here are those written by Paul (Peter and John in later posts).
Galatians 1:5, “To whom be the glory forever and ever.”
Ephesians 3:21, “To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all the generations forever and ever.”
Philippians 4:20, “Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever.
2 Timothy 4:18b, “to whom be the glory forever and ever.”
Hebrews 13:21b, “to Him be the glory forever and ever.”

These verses speak of glory to God, to our God and Father, and to the Lord Jesus Christ. This is one glory because, as the Lord said in John 10:30, “I and the Father are one.”

This eternal glory dwells in and is expressed by New Jerusalem, because New Jerusalem, as the conclusion of the Bible, is the consummation of all positive things in the Bible.

Additionally, Hebrews 1:8 says “But of the Son, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever…” This eternal throne is “the throne of God and of the Lamb” in New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:1, 3). One throne for both God and the Lamb also bespeaks their oneness.

To paraphrase the verses above, Glory be to our God and Father both now in the church and eternally in New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of US National Park Service.

New Jerusalem, the Consummate Oneness

During His earthly ministry the Lord Jesus spoke about one flock with one Shepherd (John 17). Before His death He prayed for our being perfected into one (John 17). On the cross He created one new man (Eph. 2:12-15). Verses from Romans 12 to Colossians 3 also speak of our being one Body in Christ. All of this culminates in the one city, New Jerusalem, as the center of the new creation to express the one God.

New Jerusalem

This post has a highlight and verse from this series of posts on New Jerusalem as the consummation of the New Testament oneness in Christ. The first two words of each highlight is a link to the post.

❖ The first definite word in the New Testament about our spiritual oneness is “there shall be one flock, one Shepherd” (John 10:16).

❖ In His death on the cross, Christ created one new man in Himself (Eph. 2:14-15).

❖ Our oneness is at the level of the Triune God’s oneness; Jesus asked the Father, to keep us, His disciples, “that they may be one even as We are” (John 17:11).

Jesus prayed again for us to have the divine oneness; “That they all may be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us” (John 17:17, 21).

Thirdly, Jesus prayed “that they may be one, even as We are one; I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfected into one” (John 17:23).

Jesus prayed that our oneness would be perfected so that we can be a testimony that “the Lord our God is one Lord” (Mark 12:29).

Because of what the Lord has accomplished, Romans 12:5 proclaims, “we who are many are one Body in Christ.”

The Spirit is our entrance into and our participation in the One Body. “In one Spirit we were all baptized into one Body…and were all given to drink one Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:13).

Our participation is also by partaking of Christ in His death and resurrection. “We who are many are one Body; for we all partake of the one bread” (1 Cor. 10:17).

❖ In Christ Jesus, both now and in New Jerusalem, all the natural distinctions which divide fallen man are annulled. We “are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28).

The oneness in the Triune God (John 17) has, through death and resurrection, become oneness in Christ, the embodiment of the Triune God (Col. 2:9). Today we are experiencing what is in these verses. When New Jerusalem appears His prayer in John 17 will be fully answered and we will arrive at the peak of oneness.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

One Flock, One Shepherd, One City

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is the consummation of every positive quality in the Bible. Jesus told us, “there shall be one flock, one Shepherd” (John 10:16). This is the first definite word in the New Testament about our spiritual oneness. This oneness develops through the one Body, the one new man (upcoming posts), to the one New Jerusalem.

In John 9 the Lord gave sight to a man blind from birth. This man, viewed as a disciple of Jesus (John 9:28), was cast out of the Jewish fellowship in the synagogue (John 9:22, 34, 35). From the religious Jews’ viewpoint, he was cast out. However, from Jesus’ viewpoint, he was a sheep and Jesus led him out of the sheepfold to find pasture that he might have eternal life (John 10:9-10).

The sheepfold represents the law which guarded the Jewish people until Christ came. Galatians 3:23-24 speaks of this guarding— “But before faith came we were guarded under law, being shut up unto the faith which was to be revealed. So then the law has become our child-conductor unto Christ that we might be justified out of faith.”

In John 10:16 the Lord says, “I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must lead them also.” These sheep are from the nations. Then He said that from these sheep and from those of the sheepfold, “there shall be one flock, one Shepherd.”

The Lord also says He laid down His soul life, His human life, to accomplish redemption for His sheep (vv. 1517-18) that they may share His zoe life, His divine life (v. 10b), the eternal life (v. 28), by which they can be formed into one flock under Himself as the one Shepherd.* This eternal life makes us one and brings us all the way to New Jerusalem.

* An extract from the note on John 10:11 in The Holy Bible, Recovery Version, www.recoveryversion.org, published and © 2003 by Living Stream Ministry.
Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

New Jerusalem has the Fullness of Christ

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is God’s consummation of everything positive in the Bible. Recently the Lord caused Ephesians 4:13 to rise up in me and I realized that its goals correspond with New Jerusalem.

Ephesians 4:11 says that the ascended Christ gave gifted members to His Body. In verse 12 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.” We all need perfecting so that we all participate in the ministry.

The proper ministry results in “the building up of the Body of Christ.” The consummation of this building up is New Jerusalem. Ephesians 4:13 gives us the goals of the building work,

“Until we all arrive at the oneness of the faith and of the full knowledge of the Son of God, at a full-grown man, at the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”

At present we are still in the process of arriving at these goals. In contrast, New Jerusalem is the full expression of verse 13. New Jerusalem is in oneness, it is full-grown, and it has the full stature of Christ.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

God Calls Us to New Jerusalem

New JerusalemIn a recent week one of my morning verses was 1 Thessalonians 2:12. This verse speaks of “God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.” Because of my interest in New Jerusalem, this verse touched me.

The context of 1 Thessalonians 2, and the word “walk” earlier in verse 12, indicate that Paul is speaking about our present Christian life. Today we are in the kingdom of God, as in Romans 14:17 and Revelation 1:9. This is the inward spiritual reality of the kingdom which has not yet been openly manifested.

We also experience God’s glory, as in 2 Corinthians 3:18 and 4:6. Like the kingdom, this glory is an inward spiritual reality which has not yet been openly manifested.

Today we are in God’s kingdom and glory, not by our effort but because God calls us. Thank Him for this wonderful invitation!

When our Lord returns both His kingdom and His glory will be publicly manifested. One verse about this is Matthew 25:31 which says that “He will sit on the throne of His glory.” This kingdom and glory will persist through the coming age. One expression of this time is Revelation 20:4-6.

Ultimately, the kingdom and glory into which we are called will be New Jerusalem. New Jerusalem is the consummation of God’s kingdom. The throne of God and the Lamb (Rev. 22:1, 3) will be the center of New Jerusalem and we, God’s slaves, will reign with Him forever (Rev. 22:3, 5).

New Jerusalem is also the consummation of God’s glory. The city “having the glory of God” (Rev. 21:11) will express God to the whole universe. This is the ultimate outcome of God’s calling us into His kingdom and glory.

New Jerusalem is the Eternal Perfection (2)

New JerusalemIn the Bible twelve indicates what is eternally perfect in quality, eternally complete in quantity, and eternally rich in composition. New Jerusalem is full of twelves and is the consummation of all the twelves in the Bible.

The prior post focused on the consum-mation of Old Testament twelves. In the beginning of the New Testament there are twelve apostles (Matt. 10:1-2, 5). Paul was also an apostle and laid a foundation by proclaiming Christ (1 Cor. 3:10-12). Ultimately, on the foundations of New Jerusalem are “the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” (Rev. 21:14).

The raising up the dead twelve-year-old girl in Mark 5 foretells that eternally there will be no death in new heaven and new earth (Rev. 21:4), the site of New Jerusalem.

The twelve handbaskets of bread in Mark 6, portray the abundant richness of the tree of life with its twelve fruits in New Jerusalem.

The church began with 120 (ten times twelve) people praying (Acts 1:12-15). The universal church grew from them to include all God’s New Testament people, all of whom will be in New Jerusalem.

The “hundred and forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the sons of Israel” (Rev. 7:4-8) and the hundred and forty-four thousand firstfruits (Rev. 14:1-5) also point toward New Jerusalem since one hundred forty-four is twelve times twelve.

New Jerusalem, characterized by twelves, is eternally perfect, eternally complete, and eternally rich. New Jerusalem is the ultimate manifestation of “the unsearchable riches of Christ as the gospel” (Eph. 3:8) and “the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:19). Lord, perfect us with Yourself for New Jerusalem.

New Jerusalem: the Glory to be Revealed

New Jerusalem is the consummation of the Bible. It is the high point of everything God has done through the ages, especially what the Spirit has wrought within redeemed humanity. This is why we need to be in spirit and on a high mountain to see New Jerusalem.

When John saw New Jerusalem, he was both in spirit and also carried away onto a great and high mountain [Rev. 21:9-10]….New JerusalemWe need to be uplifted to a high mountain that we may see God’s dwelling place for the fulfillment of His eternal purpose. In order for John to see the churches, it was sufficient to be on the island of Patmos [Rev. 1:9-12]. But the New Jerusalem is vastly higher than the churches, and in order to see it, John had to be carried to a high mountain. The New Jerusalem is a mountain city, and we must be on a mountain in order to see it. We need to be in the spirit and to get to a high mountain. This is the way to see the vision of the New Jerusalem.*

New Jerusalem is God’s eternal goal. It is also the eternal goal of every one of God’s people. Would you like to know where you are going? In spirit and on a high mountain, we can see the goal.

Remember Romans 8:18, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the coming glory to be revealed upon us.” And 1 Peter 4:13, “inasmuch as you share in the sufferings of Christ, rejoice, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice exultingly.”

The present sufferings seem large when we focus on them. But we should look at the coming glory of New Jerusalem and rejoice!

*from Life-Study of Revelation by Witness Lee, © LSM, online reading (chap. 59, sec. 2)

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