October 12, 2019
10. Paul’s Prayer for an Apocalypse (14 min)
11. This Age and the Age to Come (14 min)
12. Questions on “This Age and the Age to Come” (17 min)
10. Paul's Prayer for an Apocalypse
- In Christ you are among the chosen/beloved/blessed/predestined because he is chosen/beloved/blessed/predestined. For those who are "in him," Jesus' identity becomes our identity.
-His death becomes our death.
-His resurrection becomes our resurrection.
-His exaltation becomes our exaltation.
"Jesus was the one who was saved from evil and death in his death and resurrection.
He was a victim of sin and death and he was vindicated through the resurrection out into life and new creation.
And for those who trust in Him they find themselves in Him:
His identity defines my identity,
His death becomes my death,
His resurrection becomes my resurrection,
His exaltation to rule over heaven and earth becomes my true calling as the image of God."
- Paul hears a report that they are trusting Jesus and loving their neighbor as themselves (1:15).
- He prays that they would constantly discover new depths of this story--that their eyes would be opened (language of revelation) (1:16-18).
- The revelation is not a one-time thing, you need to keep asking for wisdom and revelation.
- Hope: In the midst of the pain/brokenness of the world as we know it, God is calling people into a new hope.
- Richness: The richness, abundance, generosity of God that never seems to cease (carrying over from the language of abundance and gift in 1:1-15).
- Inheritance: The original inheritance is the Promised Land. Israel comes out of slavery in Egypt with their hope set on the Promised Land. Paul adopts this story and maps it onto a new Exodus: Humanity comes out of slavery to the powers with our hope set on the new creation (the restored heaven and earth).
- Power: The power of God to bring about a new humanity / new creation. To take a dead/enslaved people and recreate them as new humans. The resurrection is one of the first / most notable displays of this power.
- Enthronement: Tied to language of resurrection. Enthronement in the heavenly realm, but over all forms of power/authority, and over this age and the age to come (which will be talked about more in the next section).
11. This Age and the Age to Come
- Heaven and Earth are overlapping realities, but humanity has alienated itself from the heavenly dimension--it has become blind to the heavenly reality. The revelation is that heaven and earth are united in Jesus. He prays that they would keep having their awareness heightened to this reality.
- This Age: Evil, sin, death, slavery, violence, and curse.
- Age to Come: Justice, love, life, freedom, shalom (peace), and blessing.
- The Day of the Lord: The moment that transitions this current age to the age to come.
- A time of divine justice: Wrath and judgement from God, bringing what people have earned for themselves. A big theme in the prophets.
- A time of divine reward: Resurrection, vindication, and reward. Prominent in Daniel and Isaiah.
Learn more about The Day of the Lord using The Bible Project or go even deeper with The Day of the Lord Video Notes.
- The Resurrection: Transitions us from this age into the new creation.
- The new creation hasn't yet consumed the old.
- It was a burst of new creation, a spotlight.
- With the resurrected Jesus, a piece of the new age was standing right here in the middle of the old age.
- The resurrection is a preview of the transition between this age and the age to come.
- The Return: Transitions us fully into the age to come.
-New creation was inaugurated in the resurrection and will be consummated in the age to come.
- "Now, Not Yet": We live in the in-between time. Between the resurrection and the return.
- Ephesians 2:6 uses the language of the not yet to describe the now: You're ruling with Christ in the heavenly realms now.
- 1 Corinthians 10:11 - We are the ones in whom the ages are transitioning.
- Heaven overlaps with earth, like another dimension. We have been blessed with every blessing of the heavenly realms (1:3), but we're here on earth. It is a reality that we can't fully see.
12. Questions on "This Age and the Age to Come"
- What questions do you have about this age and the age to come?
The elements of the new creation / age to come (justice, love, life, freedom, shalom, and blessing) often seem impossible to pull off in our own lives in this age. There is a struggle going on as to which creation we want to participate in. But in light of the resurrection, the old age has been declared to be passing away and the new age is being birthed. Which do I want to participate in? Thankfully, God empowers us with his Spirit right here as a foretaste of the age to come. Empowers us to be the real and true humanity that isn't blurred by the current age of death and slavery to sin.
Refresh yourself on this idea of two ages coming together by watching the Heaven and Earth video again or by studying deeper in the Heaven and Earth Video Notes.
The exaltation of Jesus to rule over heaven and earth is talked about often in the New Testament. Psalm 110 is often quoted when this concept is being referred to, but also the title of "Son of Man" from Daniel 7, about "one like a son of man" who comes before the throne of Yahweh and is given "all authority" (Dan. 7:13-14). Watch the Son of Man video by the Bible Project to learn more.
This is very closely tied to the concept of the Image of God--how God made humanity in his image and gave them authority to rule. Watch the Image of God video by the Bible Project to learn more. You can also read this paper that Thomas wrote on the image of God and how it connects to our purpose as human beings. The Bible is filled with language calling us to grow and imitate God's ways in the world in order to fulfill our calling to rule as God's partners and heirs on the earth (Gen. 1:26).