The Glory of the Lamb
NOT I BUT CHRIST
In our last post, we looked at God's plan for a one flesh relationship with His people as exemplified in the institution of marriage. In this post, let us consider the bride as God the Father presents her to Christ.
"And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among the people, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them..." (Revelation 21:1-3)
Recently, as I read these verses, a question popped into my mind, "Why didn't the Apostle use the word "in" to express God's place in His people as we are the tabernacle of the Holy Spirit? I found that In Greek, the word "among" is metá, a preposition. It contains the ideas of both after and with. Metá implies change afterward or what results after the activity. Metá looks towards the after-effect, change, or the result of an activity and is only defined by the context.
The context in Revelation 21 is a New Heaven and New Earth. It is not that God does not dwell within His people, but something very different has been added. At this time in God's redemptive plan, the saints will receive their glorified bodies, which will rise out of the New Heaven and New Earth. The process that began at salvation for every believer will be brought to a stunning and complete conclusion at the new creation. I hope these are not just words for you, my dear readers, but this truth and reality profoundly affect your heart.
The takeaway from this lesson is this. Christians in times past defined salvation more accurately when they understood it to be the transformation of how we live. Walking an aisle, signing a card, or praying a prayer is not evidence of salvation.
Immediately following The Great White Throne Judgment, the lost will be thrown into the lake of fire and, as far as the saints are concerned, will go out of existence. Then the saints will go from perfection to the after-effect of salvation when sanctification is completed by glorification. Moses, in Exodus 33, asks to see God's glory. The answer from God was, "You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!" God placed Moses in the cleft of the rock and covered him so that he could only see God's back and not His face. Moses was allowed at that time to see God's mercy, but to see God's righteousness would have destroyed him.
As incomprehensible as it is, a day is coming when the saints will stand in the light of the LORD due to the after-effect and change at our glorification. "And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.' (Revelation 22:6). God will accomplish this through the person and work of His beloved Son, whom He did not spare on our behalf. Think of it! We who have trusted in Christ will be at home in the burning light of God's righteousness. At that moment, we will know what predestined to the conformity of God's beloved Son means in glory.
Please tell me that salvation is entirely by grace alone.
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