And he … showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. Revelation 21:10-11

“The story of mankind starts in a garden but ends in a celestial city. He is not just saved but is promised a state of glory.” (The Gumtree Pulpit by Geoffrey Johnstone, 2007)

Do we realize the extravagance of God’s grace? Grace so excessive the forgiven person is better off than before they sinned. God not only forgives us but he restores us. He heals us of those things that cause us to sin and we are changed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Heaven is described in terms of a city. God isn’t taking us back to the garden but rather to a “city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10). A city with foundations speaks of permanence, of security, and of community. We are gaining more than we lost. The garden was a graceless state—one wrong decision and Adam and Eve were out of there. Heaven is a permanent destination.

Yet, the garden plays an important part in the purposes of God. To know the depths of God’s love and grace, it was necessary for us to understand the magnitude of God’s holiness, and therefore the appropriateness of his justice. God was then able to respond the way he always wanted to with love and grace. There was no way we could appreciate God’s amazing love and grace until we knew the devastation of sin and the cost to God of reconciliation.

Be staggered afresh by the overwhelming grace of God.

Discover more from Susan Barnes

Subscribe to get the latest posts sent to your email.