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Defending the Faith

These Daily Reflections supply the messages from Grace Church as daily video clips from the most recent sermons. Each day's clip will last about 10 minutes and if you watch them all, you will have reviewed morning and evening sermons from the previous Sunday.

Ministry Reflection - July 15, 2009

The Holy City: 2 Samuel 5:1-10

There are two cities: The present Jerusalem that is in slavery to sin because they are enslaved to the Law to be justified or condemned by it. And the Jerusalem above that is freed from sin by the grace of Jesus Christ.

Consider also the author to the Hebrews, “For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word be spoken to them. For they could not bear the command, ‘If even a beast touched the mountain, it will be stoned.’ And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, ‘I am full of fear and trembling.’ But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel” (Heb. 12:18-24). Again, two mountains, two cities, two peoples – one under the condemnation, and one saved by God’s grace. The author uses Mount Zion and Jerusalem to refer to the NT church, showing us that this is what they pointed to in the OT.

As you’ll also recall, the church is often referred to as the New Jerusalem in the book of Revelation. This was the city where the Lord first gathered His disciples together after His resurrection (Acts 1:1-5), where He poured out His Spirit on the day of Pentecost (2:1-4); this is the place from which the Gospel was to go forth into all the world (1:6-8). The Lord ordained that the Gospel would go forth from Zion, as the Law had gone forth from Mount Sinai.

Once the type had been fulfilled, once the reality had come, the earthly Jerusalem ceased to be the place of God’s dwelling – as we see in the veil being torn, in the Jews continuing to persecute Christ and Christians, and in the Lord’s judgment being pronounced and carried out against Jerusalem. The Lord was not intending to restore the kingdom to an ethnic Israel in an earthly Jerusalem. But He would gather His elect Jews and Gentiles as living stones into a spiritual temple that He would forever inhabit, known as the New Jerusalem, or the NT Church.

Needless to say, it would be a great blessing to be a part of this heavenly city. Those who are part of it are made perfect. They are perfectly blessed and filled with God’s love and happiness. They are forever safe from God’s judgment or anything that would ever trouble them again. And they get to see God face to face and know Him as their God and their Father for all eternity, as well as His Son, Jesus Christ, as their gracious Lord and Savior.

Are you a part of that city? Are you a citizen of Jerusalem? Are you a true Israelite, a child of promise, a true son of Abraham? Only those who are true Jews will be a part of the true Jerusalem. Who are true Jews? Not those who are physically descended from Abraham – although many true Jews are – but those who are related to him spiritually, who have the same faith as Abraham. Abraham believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. Those who believe as Abraham are reckoned the true children of promise. If you would be a part of that heavenly city: You must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as Abraham did – Jesus said, Abraham rejoiced to see My day, he saw it and was glad (John 8:56). You must turn from your sins – stop doing the things that offend God and injure your neighbor. And you must begin to obey Him – love God and your neighbor as yourself. If this is what you are doing, you are a citizen of the heavenly Jerusalem. But if not, then you need to put your trust in Jesus. Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved. Amen.

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