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I. Introduction: 

 What did Jesusí coming in the flesh, dying on the cross, and rising from the dead, accomplish? Needless to say, that is a large question with a grand answer. As we said last week, the work of Christ redeemed a people for God. It justly justified those who turn from their sins and trust in Jesus for salvation. It defeated our enemies and reconciled us to God. And this redemption is not just for us but for the whole created order. Paul tells us that creation itself is groaning in expectation for the return of Christ, the consummation of redemption (Romans 8). We see a simple picture of this in Revelation 21. Tonight I simply want to meditate on what the first four verses of that passage tells us about the result of the incarnation.

II.  The Result of the Incarnation:

 A. There will be a new heavens and a new earth (v. 1).  This does not necessarily mean that everything will be completely different, it simply means that it will all be new.  It will no longer be corrupted by the curse of sin.  As Paul says, even now, creation longs for this Day.

 B. There will be a new Jerusalem (v. 2).  Jerusalem was the city where God had promised to dwell with His people.  The new Jerusalem will be where God will dwell with His people forever, which leads us to the next result.

 C. God will dwell with His people (v. 3).  Through the Spirit God dwells with us even now.  But because of sin, because our redemption is not yet complete, we can also say that only then will God truly dwell with His people.  We will enjoy His presence without the distraction of sin, without growing weary or weak.  Our eyes will be opened to see Him as He is (1 John 3:2).  We will be His people and He will be our God.  If you do not find any joy in God, then Heaven will not be a very enjoyable place for you (which means you may not be going there).  But if you recognize even now that the greatest joy you have ever had on this earth comes from knowing and worshipping God, then magnify that by eternity and you begin to get a glimpse of what Heaven will be like.  Jesus took on flesh to reveal God to us, to free us from all other less satisfying enjoyments, to prepare us for an eternity of enjoying God. 

 D. There will be no more suffering (v. 4).  No more tears.  No more death.  No more mourning or crying or pain.  No more.  These old things will pass away.  The new joy of God dwelling with His people will swallow them up and drive them from us forever.  Jesus took on flesh to put an end to these old things.  His tears will bring the end of tears.  His death will bring the death of death.  His suffering will bring us to God where we will suffer no more.

III.  Conclusion: 

 We set aside this season to celebrate the coming of Christ.  We celebrate His first coming because it results in our expectation and longing for His return.  Only then will we truly understand just how much we owe to the baby born in that manger so long ago.  Amen.

~ William Marshall ~

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 24 January 2012 )

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