Jesus promised his disciples that he would one day return to bring them to a place that he prepared for them. It is a place where all things are made new, free of sin and sorrow. As Christians, we seek not fame or fortune but a heavenly city whose builder and maker is God.
our hope is not in the what of our glorification, but the who of our glorification. When we see Christ as he is, it will be a vision unfettered by sin and thus we can experience the reality of Christ’s presence in a way that no human has experienced.
Behold the beauty of Jesus, which is the beauty of the Triune God—this beauty is able to save because it is not merely the beauty of a man, but is rather the timeless beauty of the incomprehensible, unchanging, self-existing, all-knowing, all-powerful, all-present, all-holy, all-just, all-gracious, loving, undiminished glory of the Trinity. That glory is able to save. And when we look at the crucified and risen Savior in this precious book, we are looking at that glory of that God.
The gospel is refreshing for the inmate because it reconciles and restores them to a right relationship with God. It brings them joy in the darkest of places. It makes their wrongs right. It grants them a new identity in Christ.
You see, our understanding of God doesn’t begin with his identity as “Creator” or “Ruler” or even “Redeemer” because these things require creation. Our God is above creation. He’s infinite—beyond all spatial and temporal limitations. Therefore, our understanding of God must move beyond creation to his chief identity. Which is what? He’s Father. This is who he is eternally.
The humility we learn at the foot of the gospel, glorying in Christ and not ourselves, therefore turns out to be the wellspring of all evangelical health. When our eyes are opened to the love of God for us sinners, we let slip our masks. Condemned as sinners yet justified, we can begin to be honest about ourselves. Loved despite our unloveliness, we begin to love. Given peace with God, we begin to know an inner peace and joy. Shown the magnificence of God above all things, we become more resilient, trembling in wonder at God, and not man.
Jesus really came to give us what Adam did not receive in the garden. Not just “no more death,” but constant fellowship with the source of all life. No unclean place outside the camp, because the whole earth will be the camp of Heaven, where God the giver of life dwells with us. There will not merely be no deaths; the very notion of death will be nonsense. The obituary columns will not be blank; they will be inconceivable.
“While the law reveals the righteousness of God, the gospel brightens the revelation of his righteousness and adds the revelation of his grace. While the law imprisons the sinner, the gospel liberates him, yet liberates him according to law. While the law shows the malignity of sin and dooms the sinner to death, the gospel assents to both, but conquers the one and counteracts the other.” Christmas Evans
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