Spiritual Blessings for New Jerusalem (3)

God’s spiritual blessings to us in Ephesians 1:3-14 are unto the praise of His glory, both in this age and eternally with New Jerusalem.

Ephesians 1:7 says, “In whom [the Beloved, v. 6] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of offenses, according to the riches of His grace.” Because all men were constituted sinners, Jesus Christ died, shedding His blood to accomplish redemption. When we respond by faith we receive forgiveness. “Without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Heb. 9:22). With the shedding of Jesus’ blood, there is forgiveness.

New JerusalemEverything of God’s plan is in Christ. We are blessed “in Christ” (Eph. 1:3), chosen “in Him” (v. 4), “in whom” we have redemption (v. 7); we are being headed up “in Christ” (v. 10) “in whom” we were designated as God’s inheritance (v. 11), and “in whom” we were sealed (v. 13). All of these “in” facts are consistent with New Jerusalem in the Triune God.

The redemption accomplished by Jesus Christ, and the forgiveness we receive, is not according to our need. Rather, it is “according to the riches of His grace.” The measure of redemption and forgiveness is God’s measure, because this step was taken as part of the fulfillment of His eternal plan to bring forth New Jerusalem.

God caused His grace “to abound to us in all wisdom and prudence” (Eph. 1:8). Everything happens within the scope of God’s wisdom and everything works together toward His goal.

Ephesians 1:9 continues, “Making known to us the mystery of His will.” While God’s grace is abounding to us, He is making known the mystery of His will. This mystery was hidden in prior ages but now God willed to reveal it to us through His word; the riches of this mystery is Christ in us! (Col. 1:25-27).

New Jerusalem is the conclusion of all the spiritual blessings, the essence which are Christ is us and us in Christ.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

Spiritual Blessings for New Jerusalem

New JerusalemEphesians 1:3: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ.” The spiritual blessings all lead to God’s glory (Eph. 1:6, 12, 14). Hence, they point towards New Jerusalem, God’s city of glory.

What God gives us are “spiritual blessings” (not physical) and they are “in the heavenlies” (not earthly) and they are “in Christ” (not in the old creation). All these characteristics of God’s blessings—spiritual, heavenly, in Christ—are for His eternal purpose and match characteristics of New Jerusalem. (God also promises to take care of our earthly needs but we should not long for or seek material blessings.)

These blessings are in three portions, each ending with the praise of His glory (Eph. 1:6, 12, 14). These blessings are “according to the good pleasure of His will” (v. 5) and “according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Himself” (v. 9) and “according to the counsel of His will” (v. 11). These blessings relate to New Jerusalem because this city is the consummation all that God is doing according to the good pleasure of His will.

Ephesians 1:4 says, “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blemish before Him in love.” God’s choosing of us was in eternity and it is for eternity, including the eternal city New Jerusalem. God chose us to be holy before Him. This is for the “holy city” (Rev. 21:2) where we will “see His face” (22:4).

God’s choosing is also in love, for the eternal marriage of Christ and His bride, New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:2, 9). How wonderful that this one verse of blessings in Ephesians has so many pointers toward New Jerusalem. Lord Jesus, we love You!

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

New Jerusalem with Christ as the Head

Recent posts (one two three) looked at the economy of God. This is God’s arrangement, His working, to accomplish His eternal purpose. This work consummates in New Jerusalem.

The impetus for these posts came from a song which begins,
New Jerusalem__In God’s economy Christ is unique;
____He holds the first place and centrality.
__All is in Him, through Him, and unto Him;
____He is all—the universality.
These words are taken from Colossians 1:15-18.

The song has verses about Christ in the Godhead, Christ in creation, Christ in the Old Testament, and Christ in resurrection. These verses present Christ as the reality of all things, the center of God’s economy, the Father’s delight, the element of the new man, and more.

Then verse six says,
__The New Jerusalem will consummate
____With Christ, as Head, over all things to be
__The Lamb enthroned—its unique centerpiece
____Ruling and reigning for eternity.
This is Revelation 22:1, where John saw in New Jerusalem “a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street.”

The final two verses turn to us—Christ as the replacement for our old, natural man becomes our center, our focus, our aim, our all—our unique centerpiece. This wonderful Christ becomes the reality of New Jerusalem in us.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

The Multifarious Wisdom of God Manifested thru the Church then thru New Jerusalem

New JerusalemChrist as the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24, 30) is manifested through His believers, through the church, and eventually through New Jerusalem.

Ephesians 3:8-10 says, “To me, less than the least of all saints, was this grace given to announce to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ as the gospel and to enlighten all that they may see what the economy of the mystery is…in order that now to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenlies the multifarious wisdom of God might be made known through the church, according to the eternal purpose which He made in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Here grace is given for announcing the unsearchable riches of Christ. As we receive this bountiful supply, we are enlightened to see God’s purpose, God’s economy, for both this age and eternity. The issue of our seeing is the manifesting of God’s multifarious/multi-faceted/manifold/all-various/infinite* wisdom through the church to subdue the negative powers in the universe. Eventually, all the negative powers will be in the lake of fire but God’s infinite wisdom will eternally be manifested through New Jerusalem.

• In John 1:14-17 grace comes in Jesus Christ,
• in Ephesians 3:8 the unsearchable riches are of Christ,
• in Ephesians 1:17-18 our being enlightened is to see our Lord Jesus Christ,
• in Colossians 2:3 Christ is the embodiment of all the treasures of God’s wisdom,
• in Ephesians 3:10 this Christ, God’s wisdom, is manifested through the church,
• and in Ephesians 3:11 God’s eternal purpose is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Apart from Him we have nothing and in Him we have everything.

Today in the new man Christ is all and in all (Colossians 3:11). In eternity Christ will be all and in all in New Jerusalem.

* Various translations in Ephesians 3:10, thanks to Bible Hub.

Springtime photo from space, courtesy of ESA and Flemish Institute for Technological Research.

New Jerusalem Displays the Wisdom of God

Christ is the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24) and He is God’s wisdom imparted to us (1:30). In His resurrection He as wisdom is manifested through His believers, displayed through the church, and eventually exhibited through New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemFirst Corinthians 1:30 says that of God we “are in Christ Jesus, who became wisdom to us from God.” This wisdom is not for human activities; rather it is “righteousness and sancti-fication and redemption.” God’s wisdom is Christ our righteousness, Christ our Sanctifier, and Christ as our Redeemer.

In Jesus Christ we have the riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:7). This grace abounds to us through God’s wisdom and prudence (1:8) not for human affairs but for carrying out God’s will according to God’s good pleasure and purpose (1:9). God’s purpose, God’s good pleasure, God’s will, culminates in exhibiting His wisdom through New Jerusalem as the center of the new creation.

Christ as wisdom is spoken by the apostles (1 Corinthians 2:7, 2 Peter 3:15) as an expression of the Christ who lives in them. The speaking of the apostles brings forth the church, the Body of Christ. As members of the Body, when we “let the word of Christ dwell in us richly in all wisdom,” this indwelling wisdom is manifested in our interactions with one another and in our singing with grace to God (Colossians 3:16). We can also “walk in wisdom” (Colossians 4:5).

As we all live out Christ as our wisdom, “the multifarious wisdom of God might be made known through the church” (Ephesians 3:10). The Greek adjective translated “multifarious” occurs only here in the New Testament. Marvin Vincent says, through the Church God’s wisdom in its infinite variety is to be displayed.* This display is now because it is through the church.

Ultimately the display of God’s multifarious, infinite wisdom through the church will become a display through New Jerusalem.

*Marvin R. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, reprinted by Wm. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1946 (originally published by Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1887).

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, may be viewed at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is © by Living Stream Ministry.

Indestructible, Unalterable, Unshakable

New JerusalemEverything of our Christian life is in Jesus Christ.

We received redemption in Him (Romans 3:24)
We have been baptized into Him (Romans 6:3)
Of God we are in Him (1 Corinthians 1:30)
We are all one in Him (Galatians 3:28)
We are one Body in Him (Romans 12:5)
He created the new man in Himself (Eph. 2:15)
We can be empowered in the grace in Him (2 Timothy 2:1)
We are called into God’s eternal glory in Him (1 Peter 5:10)
and much more!

The ultimate issue of our Christian life is New Jerusalem. Our Christian life and living today is in Jesus Christ* and, as the Body is in Him and the new man is in Him, so also New Jerusalem will be in Him.

Therefore, what He is will characterize New Jerusalem. Let’s look at 3 verses in Hebrews.

Verse 7:16 says that Christ was appointed a High Priest “according to the power of an indestructible life.” We are familiar with the term eternal life but the word indestructible is unique in this verse. New Jerusalem will not only be eternal in quality and time but also indestructible.

Verse 7:24 tells us that “He, because He abides forever, has His priesthood unalterable.” Because New Jerusalem is in Jesus Christ, because He is perfect, and because the city is animated with indestructible life, there is no reason or possibility to change it—it is unalterable**.

Verses 12:22-24 speak of our coming forward to Mt. Zion, to the city of the living God, to God, to Jesus, to the blood which speaks better. Then verse 12:28 sums up saying, “Therefore receiving an unshakable kingdom, let us have grace.” Our coming forward is our receiving. Other things are shakable (v. 12:27) but New Jerusalem is unshakable. Let us come forward, receive, and have grace!

Lord, grace us in Yourself every day from now unto New Jerusalem.

* Our position in Jesus Christ is eternally firm, yet when we get angry, sink in despair, forget about Him while we pursue other goals, or any other kind of failure, our living is not in Him. At such times we are in Him positionally but not abiding in Him. We can confess our sins/weaknesses/failures, ask Him to forgive us (1 John 1:9), and ask Him to return us to and keep us living in Him.

** We often change things in our human surroundings because we get tired of them; we become unsatisfied. But in New Jerusalem we will be totally satisfied and will not seek any alterations.

Glory, Glory, Christ is Life in Me! 




Glory, Glory, What a Hope is He!

New Jerusalem is a city of glory (Revelation 21:10-11) and Christ in us is our hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).

Our hope is not things or happenings. Our hope is Christ Himself. Everything of God is in Him. Whatever we hope for based on the Scriptures will be realized in Jesus Christ. First Timothy 1:1 includes the phrase “Christ Jesus our hope.”

Christ Himself is our hope of glory. “When Christ our life is manifested, then you also will be manifested with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:4). When Christ our life matures in us, He will be the glory in us, our glorification (Romans 8:30). In Romans 5:1-2 it is through our Lord Jesus Christ that we “boast because of the hope of the glory of God.”

New JerusalemThe essence of these verses is captured in a hymn by Witness Lee (words music):
___Myst’ry hid from ages now revealed to me,
_____Tis the Christ of God’s reality.
___He embodies God, and He is life to me,
_____And the glory of my hope He’ll be.
___Glory, glory, Christ is life in me!
_____Glory, glory, what a hope is He!
___Now within my spirit He’s the mystery!
_____Then the glory He will be to me.

God in Jesus Christ will be the glory to and in all of us, and God in Jesus Christ will be the glory illuminating New Jerusalem.

Everything of God is in Christ Jesus (3)

Everything of God is found in Christ Jesus and will be found in New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemIn Christ there are no national, cultural, ethnic, and social distinctions. These separating characteristics are gone because “in one Spirit we were all baptized into one Body” (1 Corinthians 12:13) and now “we who are many are one Body in Christ” (Romans 12:5).

In Christ and in His Body there is no Texan, no Chinese, no Arab, no South African, no Canadian, no Latino, no Jew or Gentile, no Pacific Islander, no east or west, no black or yellow or white. In the new man “Christ is all and in all” (Colossians 3:11); this is a divine fact which no one can change.

It is also a fact that we have been baptized into Christ and have put on Christ, in whom there cannot be any of these distinctions (Galatians 3:27-28). However, in our experience, our daily living is not always in Christ. Sometimes our living is according to our preferences, wanting to be with Christians from a particular background and not with others.

Although our experience does not always match the divine facts, the new man “is being renewed unto full knowledge” (Colossians 3:10). This renewing by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5) is gradually renewing our experience to match the fact.

We are “transformed by the renewing of the mind” (Romans 12:2). We can pray, Lord, transform me. Renew my mind and cause my experience to match the divine fact. We can also pray with this hymn (words, music):
__Lord, transform us to Thine image
____In emotion, mind, and will;
__Saturate us with Thy Spirit,
____All our being wholly fill.

When we are fully transformed, our experience will always match the divine facts and this marvelous condition will continue onward into New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

Everything of God is in Christ Jesus (2)

Everything positive that God is, has done, and is doing, is found in Christ Jesus and will be found in New Jerusalem.

The prior post touched the primary negative items which are not in God, not in Christ Jesus, not in the new creation, and not in New Jerusalem. One more item not in Christ and not in the new creation is human national, cultural, and social distinctions.

New JerusalemColossians 3:10-11 says that we “have put on the new man, which is being renewed unto full knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where [in Christ, in the new man] there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all and in all.” Galatians 3:27-28 and 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 say the same.

In Christ there are no national or ethnic distinctions. “No Greek and Jew” in today’s terms means no American, no European, no Asian, no African. We have put off all these and are one Body in Christ Jesus.

In Christ there are no social distinctions. There is no difference between a medical doctor and a janitor; no difference between rich and poor, no difference between native-born and immigrant, no difference between educated and uneducated. Galatians 3:28 is clear, “for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Because these national, cultural, ethnic, and social distinctions are not in Christ Jesus, they will not be in New Jerusalem. We are all one in Christ Jesus and all one in New Jerusalem. We are all believers, sons of God, members of the Body of Christ, and redeemed and regenerated people. In New Jerusalem we will be all of these and also transformed and glorified people.

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, may be viewed at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is © by Living Stream Ministry.

Photo near Niagara Falls, by Kirk Kjellman.

Everything of God is in Christ Jesus

In the New Testament, everything positive that God is, has done, and is doing, is found in Christ Jesus. On the other hand, many things recorded in the Bible are not of God. These things are not in Christ Jesus and will not be in New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemThe primary things that are not in Christ Jesus and will not be in New Jerusalem:
• the devil, the deceiver will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10).
• sin, of which the devil is the source (1 John 3:8).
• sins (plural), the acts emanating from the sin (singular) nature.
• death, which entered through sin (Romans 5:12), will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14).
• the world, including its lust, which is already passing away (1 John 2:16-17).
• our old man, crucified and buried with Christ (Romans 6:4, 6)
• our self, which we, the Lord’s followers, should deny daily (Luke 9:23).

All of these negatives were judged by the Lord on the cross. Now they are gradually being eliminated in our Christian living by the living and operative word (Hebrews 4:12) in us. All of these negatives will be totally removed before the new heaven and new earth appear, and these negatives will never touch New Jerusalem.

The more we cooperate with the living and operative word, the quicker all of these negatives will be removed from our practical living. We cooperate by exercising our spirit to come to the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace (Hebrews 4:16). Thank God that we are objects of His mercy and that His grace energizes us to hold fast (hold firmly, hold continually) what the Lord has given us (Hebrews 3:14, Revelation 3:11). Let us hold fast now and unto New Jerusalem.

Everything is in Christ (2)

In the New Testament, everything positive that God is, has done, and is doing, is found in Christ Jesus. Whatever is in Christ Jesus today will also be in Him in eternity in New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemHere are a few more “in Christ” verses.
2 Timothy 1:1: the promise of life is in Christ Jesus. This is the eternal, divine life of the river and tree found in New Jerusalem (Revelation 22:1-2).
 Galatians 3:26: we are sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. We have become sons of God by receiving His life.
Romans 6:11: we are living to God in Christ Jesus. We can live to God because we received His life and are His sons. In New Jerusalem we will live to God eternally in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:2: the law of the Spirit of life has freed us in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and of death.
Ephesians 1:3: the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ. The ultimate spiritual blessing is to dwell in New Jerusalem in God in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 2:10: we obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
1 Peter 5:10: the God of all grace has called us into His eternal glory in Christ Jesus.

Both 1 Peter 5 and 2 Timothy 2 point to the glory of New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:11, 23). God is working today to bring His many sons into this glory (Hebrews 2:10). This glory will be revealed to/upon us and will become our glory (Romans 8:18, 21). Eventually this glory in Christ Jesus will radiate through New Jerusalem to the whole universe.

ps: The title of this post comes from the chorus of a hymn by A.B. Simpson, presented by Hymnal.Net. “Everything is in Christ and Christ is everything”

Everything is in Christ

Everything God accomplishes in the New Testament is in Christ. The new creation, including New Jerusalem, is in Christ; outside of Him is the old creation. Here are some factual samples of everything that is in Christ Jesus.
New Jerusalem Romans 6:23: the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 3:24: justification and redemption are in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 3:11: God’s eternal purpose was made in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 Thessalonians 5:18: God’s will for us is in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 1:13: faith and love are in Christ Jesus.

Here are some experiential samples of everything that is in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:1: no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.
1 Corinthians 1:4 the grace of God was given to us in Christ Jesus.
2 Corinthians 5:17: if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
Galatians 3:14: God’s blessing comes to us in Christ Jesus.

Here are some corporate samples of everything that is in Christ Jesus.
Romans 12:5: we are one Body in Christ.
Ephesians 2:10: we are God’s masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we would walk in them.
Ephesians 3:6: in Christ Jesus we all are fellow heirs and fellow members of the Body.
1 Thessalonians 1:1: the church of the Thessalonians is in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The accomplished divine facts and provisions for the believers are in Christ Jesus and we experience them individually and corporately in Him. Everything in Christ Jesus is the New Testament way and will extend to eternity. We will be in New Jerusalem in Christ Jesus.

ps1: The title of this post comes from the chorus of a hymn by A.B. Simpson, presented by Hymnal.Net.
__All in all forever,
____Only Christ I’ll sing;
__Everything is in Christ,
____And Christ is everything.

ps2: The photo is a poor representation of our being seated in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6).

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