Friday, 3 September 2010

Revelation 1:4-8

Revelation 1:4-8

John makes it clear that this letter is addressed to 'the seven churches that are in Asia', v. 4.
John didn't make a mistake here, this address is as inspired as every other word in this text. The book of Revelation must have meaning for the seven churches that are in Asia, it cannot only be a text that has meaning for 20th century dispensationalists.
We hear God speaking to us in Scripture by submitting our reading of the text to that shared with our sisters and brothers who first received the text. United in Christ as one people the distance between us is not as great as sometimes it is presented. There is one God, one Lord Jesus, one Spirit at work in the writing of Scripture, its first reception in the first century and its present reception in the 21st century.

The traditional Christian letter greeting, 'Grace to you' is extended in a wonderful celebration of the Lord Jesus Christ. Some points to note:
'the seven spirits' - not seven (one more than six) but a perfect spirit, the Spirit.
'the faithful witness' - in his life, death, resurrection and ascension Jesus Christ bears witness to the faithfulness of God to his covenant promises.

The kingdom language in v. 6 is important as this text will present Jesus not only as Christ, but also as Lord, the King of all Creation over all other challengers. Combined with the eternal language in these verses we see that the reign of the Lord Jesus has begun and will never end.

The work of Christ is freeing us from sins is introduced early in Revelation. This is not the whole of salvation, but remains a daily prayer that we would know the joy of sins forgiven and peace with God through the blood of the Lord Jesus shed on the cross.

Is this how we know Jesus? Is this the Jesus we try to share with others when we speak to them of him?

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