Summary: Jesus is Lord, and He is coming...
TO THE SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA MINOR
Here in a broad epistle from the Apostle John, “Grace and peace” combines a variation on the customary Greek “Greetings” with a condensed version of the traditional Jewish “Shalom.” The efficacy of the blessing rests in the invocation of “He who is…”
Grace is sometimes described as undeserved love, the free favour of God. That is a description of conversion, from first to last. Peace includes not only absence of conflict, but also presence of abundance.
The Father is described as “He who is, He who was, He who is to come.” This is the full impact of the name Yahweh.
The Holy Spirit is described as the “sevenfold Spirit” (Isaiah 11:2).
1. The Spirit of the LORD is the source of all God’s thoughts.
2. The Spirit of Wisdom enables us to think God’s thoughts after Him.
3. The Spirit of Understanding helps us to understand His thoughts.
4. The Spirit of Counsel helps us choose the right course for godliness.
5. The Spirit of Strength empowers us to do God’s will in our lives.
6. The Spirit of Knowledge sees God’s thoughts manifested in our lives.
7. The Spirit of the Fear of the LORD is a reverent walking in His way.
Jesus Christ is described as Prophet, Priest and King.
He is the “faithful witness”. The word is literally “martyr” - with all that that implies. But the emphasis is also upon His testimony as Prophet.
He is the Priest who offered Himself, who is the “first-born from the dead”.
He is the King, King of kings, “ruler of the kings of the earth”.
He “washed us from our sins in His blood” - a metaphor echoed in Revelation 7:14. He is the Passover Lamb, our perfect substitute. He set us free from the clutches of death by His resurrection: in heaven, He is “a Lamb slain standing (Revelation 5:6).
He has made us, even us, king and priests. His God is our God, His Father is our Father. We can wax bold to approach the throne of grace with our supplications, and to play our part in the outworking of His purposes “in earth as it is in heaven”.
“To Him be glory and might, from ages to ages. Amen.”
HE IS COMING
He is coming in the clouds (cf. Daniel 7:13-14).
Every eye shall see Him (Philippians 2:9-11).
This includes those who pierced Him (Zechariah 12:10).
The tribes of the earth shall mourn (Matthew 24:30).
JESUS IS LORD
Now Jesus announces His oneness with the Father: “I am” - the name Yahweh - “the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending.” He is coming back to reap the harvest of His completed work upon the Cross. He is the same One, who is, who was, and who is to come: the Almighty.
“Now is our salvation nearer than when we believed” (Romans 13:11).