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Praise God For What He Has Done For Us

Revelation 1:5b-6
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father – to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. (NIVUK)

This is both a benediction (good words spoken about the Lord Jesus Christ), and a doxology (declaring that glory shall come to Him). It is all about Jesus. Jesus loves us. Yes, we know the Father loves us but Jesus also was motivated by His own personal love for us, as well as His obedience to the Father. His death on the cross took away the bondage of sin, releasing us from its grip (Romans 6:12-14). His blood made atonement for us, buying us back from Satan's realm so that we can be forgiven (1 Peter 1:18-19).

The effect is to populate God's new kingdom with ransomed, redeemed, forgiven people. They all have access to Father God through Jesus Christ. Their priestly function is to intercede for the church and the world, to worship and to proclaim the once-for-ever sacrifice of Jesus to be effective in all who trust Him. In the Old Testament, only the Levites were allowed to be priests and they had a variety of functions. In the New Testament, all those who are trusting in the sacrifice of Jesus for their salvation are made priests – to pray and worship and serve the Lord by proclaiming His sacrifice as they explain the gospel.

In contrast to the power empires of earth, Revelation keeps on declaring that Jesus has that ultimate weighty presence which is unsurpassed by any. We call that 'glory'. Jesus promised that the climax of history would be the unveiling of Christ in all His glory (John 17:24). Moses wanted to see God's glory but God did not let him because it would consume him (Exodus 33:18-23). The disciples saw a glimpse on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:2) and it validated that He was the Lord of Glory (2 Peter 1:16-18), but one day we shall see His glory as the whole of heaven is illuminated by Him (Revelation 21:23). We shall be able to stand before that powerful glory and even share in it when all sin is removed, and we stand before Him unashamed.

John is setting the scene. He wants his readers to desire Jesus and, as Peter says, "… what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming" (2 Peter 3:11-12). In other words, our anticipation of sharing His glory should motivate us to live a life which is worthy of Him. Revelation does not give us a load of rules to follow but reveals the character of the glorified Jesus, so that we might desire Him and not be afraid of Him (Revelation 1:17-18). This is as necessary in the workplace as in the church, in the home as in the community. Our lifestyle is governed by our hope. In times of trouble it is even more important to look ahead to what Jesus has promised and press on towards the goal of being received by the glorious Jesus (Philippians 3:14).

Prayer 
Great and glorious God. Thank You for the reality of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Forgive me for the times I have not been motivated by the promise of sharing His glory, and so have lived without hope. Please help me to desire Jesus and to find out those things which please Him. In His Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams

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