Today's Foundations Devotional: Judge, Mediator, Blood
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness,
but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that
all should come to repentance.
(2 Peter 3:9)
Throughout these Devotions we have been systematically examining the six foundation doctrines of Christ which are listed in Hebrews 6:1-2. We will now examine the sixth and last of these foundation doctrines: eternal judgement.
This week we shall consider the following two aspects of divine judgement: 1) the general revelation of Scripture concerning God as the Judge of all; 2) the main principles according to which God’s judgement is administered.
For an introduction to the teaching of the Bible concerning God as the Judge, we turn to Hebrews.
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel (12:22-24).
These three verses present a picture of God in His heavenly dwelling and of the saints and the redeemed who dwell with Him there. The key to the proper analysis of these verses is the number three.
First of all, the verses fall naturally into three main parts: 1) a description of God’s dwelling place, 2) an enumeration of those who dwell there with God and 3) a presentation of God Himself.
Then each of these three main parts falls naturally into a further threefold subdivision.
The description of God’s dwelling is threefold: 1) “Mount Zion,” 2) “the city of the living God” and 3) “the heavenly Jerusalem.”
The enumeration of those who dwell there is likewise threefold: 1) “an innumerable company of angels,” 2) “the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven” and 3) “the spirits of just men made perfect.” Concerning these three groups, we may offer the following brief explanation.
The “angels” here referred to are those who kept their proper domain, joining neither in Satan’s first rebellion nor in the universal wickedness of both men and angels in the period before the flood. The “church of the firstborn” represents the saints of the new covenant, who, through the experience of the new birth, have their names registered in heaven and thus have become a firstfruits of God’s new creation in Christ. The “spirits of just men made perfect” represent the saints of previous ages, who, through a lifetime’s walk of faith, were gradually made perfect.
Finally, the presentation of God Himself is likewise threefold: 1) “God the Judge of all,” 2) “Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant” and 3) “the blood of sprinkling [that is, the sprinkled blood of Jesus], that speaks better things than that of Abel.”
Father, thank You for the majestic wisdom that Your eternal Word
displays here, and that You have revealed this to me, so as to grow
in understanding of Your perfect Master Plan, which has existed from
the beginning, but unfolded in these days! It is almost too much to
contain ...Thank you! Amen.