Receiving Grace upon Grace for Grace to Be Enthroned
within Us So That We May Reign in Life to Become
God's Poem, the New Jerusalem, as the Ultimate and
Consummate Product of the Grace of God in His Economy
Scripture Reading: Rom. 5:17, 21; John 1:16; Heb. 4:16; Gen. 6:8; Rev. 22:21
Rom. 5:17 For if, by the offense of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
Rom. 5:21 In order that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
John 1:16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.
Heb. 4:16 Let us therefore come forward with boldness to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace for timely help.
Gen. 6:8 But Noah found favor in the sight of Jehovah.
Rev. 22:21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.
I. Day by day and moment by moment, we need to be those who receive the Lord as grace upon grace, as the abundance of grace, for our enjoyment so that grace may reign in us for us to reign in life—John 1:16; Rom. 5:17, 21:
A. “Let us therefore come forward with boldness to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace for timely help”—Heb. 4:16:
1. Undoubtedly, the throne mentioned here is the throne of God, which is in heaven (Rev. 4:2); the throne of God is the throne of authority toward all the universe (Dan. 7:9; Rev. 5:1), but toward us, the believers, it becomes the throne of grace, signified by the expiation cover (the mercy seat) within the Holy of Holies (Exo. 25:17, 21; Psa. 80:1); this throne is the throne of God and the Lamb (Rev. 22:1).
2. How can we come to the throne of God and of the Lamb, Christ, in heaven while we still live on earth? The secret is our spirit, referred to in Hebrews 4:12; the very Christ who is sitting on the throne in heaven (Rom. 8:34) is also now in us (v. 10), that is, in our spirit (2 Tim. 4:22), where the habitation of God is (Eph. 2:22).
3. At Bethel, the house of God, the habitation of God, which is the gate of heaven, Christ is the ladder that joins earth to heaven and brings heaven to earth (Gen. 28:12-17; John 1:51); since today our spirit is the place of God's habitation, it is now the gate of heaven, where Christ is the ladder that joins us, the people on earth, to heaven, and brings heaven to us; hence, whenever we turn to our spirit, we enter through the gate of heaven and touch the throne of grace in heaven through Christ as the heavenly ladder.
B. The Lord Himself is the throne of glory and the throne of grace (Isa. 22:23; Heb. 4:16); when we allow grace to reign in us, grace is enthroned within us as God's ruling presence for our enjoyment (Ezek. 1:22, 26) so that we may reign in life (Rom. 5:17, 21).
II. The main purpose of the record of Genesis is not to show the fall but to show how much God's grace can do for fallen people:
A. God showed Noah the true situation of the corrupt age in which he lived—Gen. 6:3, 5, 11, 13; Matt. 24:37-39; 2 Tim. 3:1-3:
1. Man eventually fell to such an extent that he wholly became flesh (Gen. 6:3); the strongest and most evil enemy of God is our flesh; it is thoroughly and absolutely hated by God.
2. In the Old Testament Amalek typifies the flesh, which is the totality of the fallen old man; the fighting between Amalek and Israel depicts the conflict between the flesh and the Spirit within the believers—Exo. 17:8-16; Gal. 5:16-17:
a. The fact that God has a continual war with Amalek reveals that God hates the flesh and desires to exterminate it—Exo. 17:16; Gal. 5:17.
b. The flesh cannot be changed or improved; thus, we need to be mindful of the fact that the flesh is always with us—Rom. 13:14; Gal. 5:16.
c. God hates the flesh in the same manner that He hates Satan, and He wants to destroy the flesh in the same manner that He wants to destroy Satan—Exo. 17:16; Deut. 25:17-19; 1 Sam. 15:2-3.
d. We fight against Amalek by the interceding Christ and the fighting Spirit; Moses lifting up his hand on the mountaintop typifies the ascended Christ interceding in the heavens; Joshua fighting against Amalek typifies the indwelling Spirit fighting against the flesh—Exo. 17:9, 11, 13; Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25; Gal. 5:17.
e. In the battle against Amalek, we need to cooperate with the Lord by praying in order to be one with the interceding Christ (Rom. 8:34) and by putting the flesh to death in order to be one with the fighting Spirit (Luke 18:1; 1 Thes. 5:17; Rom. 8:13; Gal. 5:16-17, 24); God has decided to war against the flesh continually until He utterly blots out the memory of it from under heaven (Exo. 17:14).
B. Genesis 6:8 says, “But Noah found favor [grace] in the sight of Jehovah”:
1. The flesh is Satan's masterpiece, and it is the “meeting hall” of Satan, sin, and death; grace is God Himself enjoyed by us and helping us to face the situation of the flesh.
2. The flesh is the very presence of Satan, and grace is the very presence of God; in order for us to face the presence of Satan, we need the presence of God.
3. When Satan has done his best to damage the situation, there have always been some who found grace in the eyes of God to become ones who turned the age—cf. Dan. 1:8; 9:23; 10:11, 19:
a. Grace is God Himself, the presence of God, enjoyed by us to be everything to us and to do everything in us, through us, and for us—John 1:14, 16-17; Rev. 22:21.
b. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ as the bountiful supply of the Triune God is enjoyed by us through the exercise of our human spirit—Heb. 10:29b; Gal. 6:18; Phil. 4:23; Philem. 25; 2 Tim. 4:22.
c. God's word is the word of grace—Acts 20:32; Col. 3:16; cf. Jer. 15:16.
d. We experience the processed Triune God as the grace of life in meeting with the saints on the ground of oneness—Psa. 133:3; 1 Pet. 3:7; Acts 4:33; 11:23.
e. We can experience the Lord as our increasing and all-sufficient grace in the midst of sufferings and trials—2 Cor. 12:9.
f. We need to labor for the Lord in the power of His grace—1 Cor. 15:10, 58; 3:10, 12a.
g. By the power of grace, the strength of grace, and the life of grace, we can be right with God and with one another; objective righteousness issues in grace, and grace produces subjective righteousness—Heb. 11:7; Rom. 5:17, 21.
C. God gave Noah an all-inclusive revelation, the revelation to build the ark, which was the way that God would terminate the corrupted generation and bring in a new age; his work was a work that changed the age—1 Cor. 2:9; 2 Cor. 6:1; Matt. 16:18; 1 Cor. 3:12:
1. The ark is a type of Christ (1 Pet. 3:20-21), not only the individual Christ but also the corporate Christ, the church, which is the Body of Christ and the new man to consummate in the New Jerusalem (Matt. 16:18; 1 Cor. 12:12; Eph. 2:15-16; Col. 3:10-11; Rev. 21:2).
2. To build up the ark is to build up Christ as grace in our experience for the building up of the corporate Christ, the church, as the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12; Eph. 4:11-16); this is to work out our own salvation so that we may be saved from God's judgment on this crooked and perverted generation and be ushered into a new age, the age of the millennium (Phil. 2:12-16; Heb. 11:7; Matt. 24:37-39; Luke 17:26-27).
III. The consummate and ultimate product of the grace of God in His economy is the Body of Christ as God's poem to be the New Jerusalem as the consummation of God's righteousness in the new heavens and new earth; the riches of God Himself for our enjoyment surpass every limit and will be publicly displayed for eternity—Eph. 2:7-10; 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 22:21.