The Future’s Work in Faith

When you consider your future it will have an impact on how you live now. In other words, eyes that are fixed on a future hope will inevitable impact where the feet tread today. When it comes to faith it is no different. Hope of the future has its work in faith.

God is sovereign and powerful. He shook creation and history with his presence. The image of Exodus 19-20 was not a small pyrotechnics show at Mount Sinai. God appeared in blazing fire, ear-piercing noise, and trembling earth. God said that if anyone but Moses touched the mountain they would be scorched on the spot. The people of Israel freaked out, Moses himself was afraid, and the people begged Moses not to experience God like this again (Hebrews 12:18-21). Who would blame them?

“For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.” – Hebrews 12:18-24, ESV

You are invited to another mountain—Zion. The image of Zion is greater and more epic than Sinai. Countless angels will be there. Throngs of heaven will be there. Saints from all ages will be there. God as Judge will be there. Jesus as the Mediator of the New Covenant will be there. The city of God is a holy and awe-filled sight (vs.22-24).

No one will be able to run, hide or ignore the fact that God exists. On that day in the near and not so distant future you will appear before him who is utterly inescapable. He who shook the earth will shake the heavens. When he shakes it this time it will be a sifting. Above all the kingdom of God will stand and for this God will be praised because is worthy of all worship, reverence, fear, and awe. He is God and holy is his name—a consuming fire (vs. 25-29).

“See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” – Hebrews 12:25-29, ESV

The future image of Zion is wowing. Even now, it’s quite the stimulus package for the imagination. That you are given a sneak peak at what is to come is meant to inflict you with great excitement and trepidation. Zion is meant to shake your faith and affection towards the God who is unshakeable.

 

Questions for Reflection:

  • Read Exodus 19-20. What do you learn about God? What do you learn about the people of Israel? How would you respond if you were present that day? How is God a consuming fire?
  • Now read Revelation 20-21. What do you learn about God, Jesus and heaven? What awes you about these verses? What assurance do you have that these verses are true? How must these verses about the future impact your now?
  • How can we ensure that we are frequently remembering our eternal inheritance in heaven? What difference should the knowledge of this glorious future make to the way we live our lives now?

How does Jesus fulfill the 10-Commandments?

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17; Cf. Rom. 10:4; Gal. 3:24).

Jesus said these words. He has come to fulfill the Law and the Prophets. He has come to to bring about that to which Bible pointed in the Old Testament, and that is what Jesus has done. The word fulfill means “to fill out, or expand.” It does not mean to bring to an end. Jesus was not taking away from the Law, contradicting it, nor was He adding to it. The Law remains wholly authoritative and demands the fullest respect of all followers of Christ (5:18–19).

Jesus came and clarified the Laws original meaning and goal. After all, He was its author. And we must not forget that Jesus, as a Jew, related well to the Law. Through His teaches and example He also clarifies God’s eternal desire for His people be characterized by obedience and holiness from the inside and out. Fulfilled Law is written on the heart (Jer. 31:31–34; Ezek. 36:26–27). Jesus Himself fulfilled the law in several ways: by keeping it perfectly; by fulfilling the Old Testament messianic types and prophecies; and by providing the way of salvation that adheres to all the righteous requirements of the Law.

When we think about the Law, our mind often jumps to the 10 Commandments, which are a summary of all of God’s Law as is Matthew 22:37-40, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

How does Jesus fulfill the 10 Commandments?

As you read the 10 Commandments given to Moses recorded in Exodus 20:1-17 and read the New Testament there is evidence from the life and work of Jesus Christ that points to His fulfilling all of the Law. Notice how Jesus is seen in the Commandments from first to last:

1. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6; cf. 8:58).

2. Jesus is the exact image of His Father (Col. 1; Heb. 1:1-3). If you want to know what God looks like, look at Jesus.

3. Jesus is the Word in flesh (John 1:1). He says what comes out of your mouth reveals your heart (Mt.15:18) be careful what promises you make because God keeps His promises (Mt.5:34-35; James 5:12).

4. Jesus is the Head of the Church (Col. 1:18). He is our Sabbath Rest (Mk. 2:27).

5. Jesus honored His Father. The Trinity submits to authority too (John 4:34; 5:30; 6:38; cf. 1 Cor. 3:23; 15:24–28).

6. Jesus creates life (Col. 1:16-17) and ordains life and death (Acts 3:15). He also gives eternal life (John 10:10). He has sanctity for life.

7. Jesus demonstrated His unadulterated love for the church (Eph. 5:22-33), which is like a husband loving his wife.

8. Jesus is the Great Provider (Mt. 6:11; John 6:30-58; Cf. Ex.16:32-35). He does not take, but gives.

9. Jesus is the Truth, and the Truth sets you free (John 8:32). He commands you to love your neighbor as yourself (Mt.22:39Rom.13:9).

10. Jesus desires to be the treasure of your heart (Mt. 6:19-21; Heb.13:5).

Jesus is seen in all Law, even the 10 Commandments. The Law, bears witness to the grace of God, pointing ahead to its fulfillment, and climaxing in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel does not abolish the Law, but fulfills it, by allowing it to be seen in its proper light.

“Don’t suppose for a minute that I have come to demolish the Scriptures—either God’s Law or the Prophets. I’m not here to demolish but to complete. I am going to put it all together, pull it all together in a vast panorama. God’s Law is more real and lasting than the stars in the sky and the ground at your feet. Long after stars burn out and earth wears out, God’s Law will be alive and working. Trivialize even the smallest item in God’s Law and you will only have trivialized yourself. But take it seriously, show the way for others, and you will find honor in the kingdom. Unless you do far better than the Pharisees in the matters of right living, you won’t know the first thing about entering the kingdom.” (Eugene Peterson, The Message)