We Will Rule All Things

 “The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.”(Revelation 3:21)

What does Jesus mean when he says this to the church in Laodicea?

Sit with Jesus on his throne? Really?

This is a promise to everyone who conquers, that is, who presses on in faith to the end (1 John 5:4), in spite of every threatening pain and luring, sinful pleasure. So if you are a true believer in Jesus, you will sit on the throne of the Son of God who sits on the throne of God the Father.

I take “throne of God” to signify the right and authority to rule the universe. That’s where Jesus sits. “He must reign,” Paul said, “until he has put all his enemies under his feet” (1 Corinthians 15:25). So when Jesus says, “I will grant him to sit with me on my throne,” he promises us a share in the rule of all things.

Is this what Paul has in mind in Ephesians 1:22–23? “He put all things under [Christ’s] feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.”

We, the church, are “the fullness of him who fills all.” What does that mean? I take it to mean that the universe will be filled with the glory of the Lord (Numbers 14:21). And one dimension of that glory will be the complete and unopposed extension of his rule everywhere.

Therefore, Ephesians 1:23 would mean: Jesus fills the universe with his own glorious rule through us. Sharing in his rule, we are the fullness of his rule. We rule on his behalf, by his power, under his authority. In that sense, we sit with him on his throne.

None of us feels this as we should. It is too much — too good, too amazing. That’s why Paul prays for God’s help that “the eyes of your hearts [would be] enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you” (Ephesians 1:18).

Without omnipotent help now, we cannot feel the wonder of what we are destined to become. But if we are granted to feel it, as it really is, all our emotional reactions to this world will change. The strange and radical commands of the New Testament will not be as strange as they once seemed.

By John Piper

Born Again: The New Birth in the New Testament

Like the Old Testament, the New Testament speaks of regeneration on many occasions and in many ways. Perhaps the most well-known example is Jesus’ discussion with Nicodemus, the Old Testament scholar, recorded in John 3, in which He explains that a person must be born again to enter the Kingdom of God. Nicodemus is understandably confused about Jesus’ image of being born again. What Jesus meant is that we are all sinners, meaning we are born physically alive but spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1, 5; Col. 2:13) Therefore, to be spiritually alive to God we must experience a second birth of our spirit; in other words, we must be born again. Jesus tells Nicodemus that this new birth, or regeneration, occurs by the work of God the Holy Spirit.

This depiction of being born again is repeated elsewhere in the New Testament, as the following examples illustrate:

  • Born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:13).
  • Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Pet. 1:3).
  • Since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God (1 Pet. 1:23).
  • Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him (1 John 5:1)

Elsewhere in the New Testament many other images are used to explain regeneration. These include “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:4), “new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17), “new man” (Eph. 2:15; 4:24), “alive together with Christ” (Eph. 2:5; Col. 2:13), and “created in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:10).

Three very important truths help to illuminate regeneration in the New Testament:

  1. It is vital to understand that regeneration is done to ill-deserving, not just undeserving, sinners ( Eph. 2:1-5).Therefore, regeneration is a gift of grace, as Titus 3:5 says: “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.”
  2. Regeneration is something God the Holy Spirit does for us (John 3:5-8). Therefore, unless God accomplishes regeneration in people, it is impossible for them to live the Christian life.
  3. Without regeneration there is no possibility of eternal life in God’s kingdom (John 3:3, 5; 1 Cor, 2:6-16). Therefore, regeneration is required for someone to be a true Christian.

Out of the New Testament Scriptures above, which one speaks to you most deeply? Why?

Mark Driscoll