Gospel Day 15 But Have Eternal Life: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

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The Questions

1) Why is the idea of God being with His people repeated three times in one verse (verse 3)?

2) Why are the words “death, grief, crying, and pain” used to describe “previous things”?

3) What is meant by, “Look, I make everything new”? Is an angel or God speaking? (verse 5)

Revelation 21:3-5

Then I heard a loud voice from the throne:
Look, God’s dwelling is with humanity, and he will live with them.
They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and will be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain become no more, because the previous things have passed away. Then the one seated on the Throne said, “Look I am making everything new.” He also said, “Write, because these words are faithful and true.”

Original Intent

1) Why is the idea of God being with His people repeated three times in one verse (verse 3)?
John hears the “voice” and describes it as “loud” and coming from the throne. Loud can also be interpreted as a strong voice, but here it is also represented of supreme authority. Interestingly, when the voice of the Lord is recorded in Scripture, it is often described using the same authoritative “loud” word. (Deuteronomy 5:22, Matthew 27:46, John 11:43) The strength of the voice compels the audience’s full attention as it declares a tremendous announcement of great importance: God is dwelling with men! Repetition in Scripture is intended to make a very strong point, but repetition combined with an authoritative voice is even stronger. God is declaring with all authority and with utmost importance, His presence with His people is not temporary, but permanent! (Ezekiel 37:27)
“The Hebrew word “Shekinah” denotes the Glory of God’s presence among us.” ( Tyndale -Leon Morris) We, the redeemed in Christ, will be His people and will come from many nations, all over the world, to be one in Christ. (Galatians 3:27-28)
God dwelling with us emphasizes the intimate bond the Father has with His children for all eternity.

2) Why are the words “death, grief, crying, and pain” used to describe “previous things”?
Since the fall of mankind into sin, countless tears have been shed. Tears of deep anguish, persecution, sorrow, and death. Physical death still rules in our earthly bodies until the final judgement day. (Revelation 20:14) But death will come to an end when the Messiah returns and God and His people are together for all of eternity. There can be no more death when the Author of Life rules and reigns! Death, grief, crying, and pain have no place in God’s renewed creation. In the new heaven and new earth, perpetual peace, joy, harmony, pleasure, and delight will be the constant state. (Isaiah 35:10)       

3) What is meant by, “Look, I make everything new”? Is an angel or God speaking? (verse 5)
The first order of things has passed. The old earth, encompassing all of creation as we currently know it, will one day be completely gone. The sin that destroys our hearts has also taken its toll on creation itself, wreaking destructive havoc in all areas. When the Lord declares from His throne, “Look, I make everything new”, He is telling John to be encouraged! What he sees now as being destructive, painful, and wrong will one day be made new! (Isaiah 43:18-19, Isaiah 65:17-19)
“All things new” is the glorious outcome of God’s redemptive plan fulfilled by Christ. God renews sinful human beings through the work of Christ and makes them a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17) (Kistemaker- New Testament Commentary)

Everyday Application

1) Why is the idea of God being with His people repeated three times in one verse (verse 3)?
The loud voice calls attention to the unity of God and His people. This union is a golden thread woven throughout the Bible in both Old and New Testaments. It is the symbol of God’s abiding love with His people. From the beginning in the Garden of Eden, God’s desire has always been to dwell with His people, but sin broke that intimacy. God wants us to fully know Him and delight in His love forever, not just in the moments when we are feeling happy or feeling worshipful, but He wants this truth to intertwined with our every moment in our days. Whether we are in trouble, distressed with life, worried, or enjoying life, the Lord wants us to experience His glorious dwelling with us. Everyday. Every moment. Every breath. How is that possible? How can we get that close to God? His presence never moves away, He’s never disgusted with us, we simply need to draw near to Him. When we read His Word and pray, we become more aware of His presence. His peace is real and His presence is mighty. As we draw near to Him, He makes Himself known in ever deepening ways to us, giving us joy as His love carries us.

2) Why are the words “death, grief, crying, and pain” used to describe “previous things”?
All of these words are associated with the effects of sin and death, imperfection in our humanity, and life in a fallen, sin-sick world. We see the dark effects of sin in our lives as well as all around us from broken relationships and natural disasters in creation itself. Our tears and sorrows can, and will be, overwhelmingly distressing at times. Even as a redeemed child of God, we will still suffer here in this present age. However, God sent us His Holy Spirit to be our comforter (John 14:16-17). He will guard our hearts, comfort us, and remind us of God’s true character even in the midst of pain and sorrow until the Messiah returns and all things are made new. One day, there will most assuredly be no more sorrow, no more pain, no more death, and no more tears. God lovingly and gently wipes away the tears of His children. One day these “previous things” will pass away forever!

3) What is meant by, “Look, I make everything new”? Is an angel or God speaking? (verse 5)
God’s words are faithful and true. (Revelation 22:6) They are not hollow, empty, or meaningless. God is absolutely unchanging, remaining the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. (Hebrews 13:8) He is a promise-keeping God! (Ezekiel 12:28)
When God promised to make all things new, He will not fail. He has promised a place for us as His redeemed people, which includes all who trust in Him for salvation. There exists no other Name by which we can be saved and ushered into eternal life. (Acts 4:12)
When we are hurried, “making the deadline”, fearful, worried, when all seems gray and bleak, stop and cry out to God. Remember that eternity is held in His hands. Remember He is trustworthy and true. Remember He will make all things new. He hears His children even when we have no words in prayer. (Romans 8:26-27)
Rise up and rejoice! Not because your circumstances are always worth being happy about, but because we serve the God who will make all things new for the saints whose lives He has renewed. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. (Revelation 22:13) Eternity is His and He has assured Believers of our security in Him.  Get EXCITED!

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use www.studylight.org, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (www.esvbible.org)
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and www.studylight.org is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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