The Riches of God’s Grace in New Jerusalem

Ephesians 2:5-6 says that God made us alive together with Christ, raised us up together with Him, and seated us in the heavenlies in Him, so that (v. 7) “He might display in the ages to come the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

In verse 7 ages is plural, so it refers to both the coming age and eternity. Thus, verse 7 tells us something about New Jerusalem. This verse says God will display. New Jerusalem will be a display of the unlimited riches of God.

New JerusalemVerse 7 also uses the word surpassing. It does not tell us what will be surpassed but the whole of Ephesians presents an unlimited Triune God. What He will display will surpass everything we have seen or imagined.

Then the word riches. It is plural. God is not merely rich in grace; His grace has multiple aspects of richness. How many aspects we cannot guess. Even now we can receive “grace upon grace” (John 1:16)—grace in multiple layers.

The surpassing riches are of His grace. This grace comes to us in Christ Jesus and is Christ Jesus Himself (John 1:14, 17). This grace comes in kindness. We do not deserve the surpassing riches of His grace, but because God loves us and is merciful to us, this grace abounds to us. Thank Him for His great mercy!

This surpassingly rich grace comes to us in Christ Jesus. He is the realm for all God’s blessings to us. All the surpassing riches of New Jerusalem will be in Him and displayed through Him.

The Love of the Marriage of the Lamb Presented in Ephesians 2–3

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is the wife of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. Their marriage is in love. Ephesians 1 presents God’s love in the context of His purpose and all that He accomplished.

In contrast, chapter 2 begins with us being dead in our offenses and sins (2:1*). Nevertheless, “God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in offenses, made us alive together with Christ” (2:4-5). God loved us before creation (1:4), and now, although we are in a fallen creation, He still loves us.

Because of this love, God was merciful to forgive us and to make us alive with Christ, to raise us up with Christ, and to seat us in the heavenlies with Christ (2:5-6). This is our salvation by God’s mercy and grace based on His love.

Now we are in position to experience the love of God. Paul prays that we be strengthened into our inner man so “that Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith”
(3:16-17). By His making home in us, we are rooted and grounded in His love. This empowers us to apprehend the vast riches of Christ (3:17-18) and “to know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ” (3:19).

In experiencing this love we are “filled unto all the fullness of God” that there may be glory to God in the church (3:19-21). This experiential love, filling, and glory all increase unto New Jerusalem.

*Verse numbers are in Ephesians.
Graphic courtesy of

We Come Forward to Heavenly Jerusalem

Colossians 3:1 calls us to “seek the things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.” We should not wait for New Jerusalem in the future, but long for and seek the “Jerusalem above,” which is the “heavenly Jerusalem” (Hebrews 12:22).

New JerusalemWe correspond to this heavenly* city because we are a heavenly* people:
We have a heavenly Father (Matthew 6:26, 32). We are born of Him and have His heavenly life.
Our God and Father “has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies” (Ephesians 1:3); these blessings are not physical but include God’s selection and predestination, the Lord’s redemption and abounding grace, and the Spirit as our seal and guarantee (1:4-5, 7-8, 13-14).
We have been transferred from Adam, the earthly man, to Christ the heavenly man to have the heavenly nature and to bear the heavenly image (1 Corinthians 15:47-49).
We have been resurrected and seated in a spiritual position “in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6).
We are “partakers of a heavenly calling” and “have tasted of the heavenly gift” (Hebrews 3:1, 6:4).

May we follow the examples of the people of faith before us to “long after a better country, that is, a heavenly one” (Hebrews 11:13-16). And, let us “come forward to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (Hebrews 12:22). May New Jerusalem be in our consciousness and seeking every day!

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

* Heavenly means having a heavenly source, nature, character, and atmosphere. It is not a matter of physical location, whether in the heavens or on earth. The heavenly Jerusalem will still be heavenly in nature, character, and atmosphere after it “comes down out of heaven” (Rev. 21:2).

Seek New Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Above

Everyone who believes into Jesus Christ is united with Him in His death and resurrection. Colossians 2:20-23 speaks of our union with Him in His death. Colossians 3:1-3 speaks of our union with Him in His resurrection, saying

If therefore you were raised together with Christ, seek the things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things which are above, not on the things which are on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

New JerusalemBeing raised with Christ, we should “seek the things which are above.” What are these things? Looking at the Greek word translated above, the primary thing to seek is New Jerusalem. Galatians 4:26 declares, “the Jerusalem above is free, which is our mother.”

The “Jerusalem above,” which is the “heavenly Jerusalem” (Hebrews 12:22), will be coming down out of heaven (Revelation 21:2). However, we should not wait until then; we should seek it now. Seek New Jerusalem!

Our seeking is in the eternal life, not in the natural realm. New Jerusalem is a city of life. Further, Galatians 4:26 says this city “is our mother” indicating a life relationship. Galatians 4:29 goes on the speak of New Jerusalem as composed of those born according to the Spirit, a further statement of our life relationship with the city.

How can we seek the Jerusalem above? Colossians 3 says to set our mind on things above, including New Jerusalem. These verses also tell us not to set our mind on things on the earth. Attention to earthly affairs and issues turns us away from the heavenly things. Which are more important to you? to God?

Let us stay “hidden with Christ in God” and seek what is above, what is heavenly in nature, what is eternal. Let us seek 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, may be viewed at; this too is © by Living Stream Ministry.

Photo by Willis Peterson, courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

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