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New Creation Essay

I have posted a new essay on “New Creation” under the Themes in Biblical Theology tab.

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Categories: Biblical Theology
  1. ken
    March 22, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    Looks very thorough and helpful, Chad. My older two (both teens) are working through the Old Testament from a redemptive-historical perspective for the past four months, and this particular essay will be a good supplement for them. Thanks for making it available! ken

  2. March 23, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Great essay! Thanks for providing these resources. Keep writing. What is your understanding of John 14.2-4?

  3. Chad
    March 23, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Thanks for the encouragement.

    John 14:2-4 is a challenging text, especially if you hold to the view that we possess (at least I assume you do). This passage is typically used to prove that heaven is a place up in the sky with literal houses / mansions. However, the context of the passage helps define what Jesus is saying here. He is comforting his disciples in light of his immediate departure (death, burial, resurrection, and ascension; John 13:21-38). Furthermore, he will explain to them that he will not leave them alone, but send the Spirit (John 14:16; 15:26-27). In this way Jesus will continue to be with his disciples.

    I believe that the point of John 14:2-4 is not that Jesus must literally prepare a dwelling for us or that in heaven there are literal houses or apartments for us to live in. Rather, the point of the text is that despite Jesus’ departure there is more than enough room with the Father for his disciples. The use of the word “house” or “dwelling place” in reference to God draws us back to the OT where the same language is used to describe the abode of God (1 Kings 8:29; Psa 33:13-14; cf., Psa 102:19; Isa 63:15). In other words, in God’s house or his dwelling place there is plenty of room for the disciples; therefore, they need not fear, but rest assured that they will be with Jesus. Moreover, Jesus encourages them that he is going to prepare a place for them. This does not mean that he is going somewhere to physically construct something for them, but I believe the stress is on his “going” (see John 8:14, 21; 13:3; 14:4; 16:5, 28; cf., Mark 10:38-39; Luke 12:50). He is going to the cross, which means because of his death and resurrection he will secure a place for them. Certainly if he prepares this place (restored fellowship with the Father through his atonement) then he certainly will return and take his disciples to this place—the right hand of the Father. Paul makes clear that we are already seated with Christ in the heavens and we simply await the consummated reality of that promise at his second coming (Eph 2:6; Col 3:1; cf., Matt 25:34; Mark 10:40; Heb 11:16; Rev 2:26-27).

    Without Jesus’ death there would be no place for God’s people. However, because of his death, resurrection, and ascension, Christ, the Son over this house (Heb 3:6; cf., John 8:35), has prepared this place for God’s people. This place is eternal habitation with God. Moreover, Christ has secured all that we have in him (1 Pet 1:4). The promise of his return is the gift of the Spirit who is that down payment of new creation, which has begun now and will be fully consummated at the return of the Lord (cf., Eph 1:13; 4:30). Wherever Christ is that is where we will be and we will all see him face to face (Rev 14:1; 20:4; 22:4). To be with the Lord forever in his house is a source of comfort for all believers (1 Thess 4:15-18).

    I hope this helps some.

  4. March 24, 2008 at 10:47 am

    Yes, that is helpful. Thanks. It is a challenging text. In N.T. Wright’s new book he writes that the the word for dwelling places or rooms (monais) denotes temporary lodging on a journey that takes you somewhere else in the long run. This seems to fit with the rest of the canon.

  5. Kevin Pannebaker
    March 28, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    Ken –
    If you don’t mind me asking, how exactly are your older two “working through the OT from a redemptive-historical perspective?” Do they have a particular resource/book/study guide they’re using or what?

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