Christ’s Ascension: “We Are in Heaven, Right Now”

A new Sunday, a new quote from Kevin DeYoung’s recently published commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism (The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism, Moody, 2010). This time we quote from his comments on Lord’s Day 18 of the catechism. First, we quote the relevant section of the catechism:

Question 46. How dost thou understand these words, “he ascended into heaven”?

Answer. That Christ, in sight of his disciples, was [a] taken up from earth into heaven; and that he continues [b] there for our interest, until he comes again to judge the quick and the dead.

Question 47. Is not Christ then with us even to the end of the world, as he hath promised?

Answer. Christ is very man and very God; with respect to his [c] human nature, he is no more on earth; but with respect to his Godhead, majesty, grace and spirit, he is at no time absent from us.

Question 48. But if his human nature is not present wherever his Godhead is, are not then these two natures in Christ separated from one another?

Answer. Not at all, for since the Godhead is illimitable and [d] omnipresent, it must necessarily follow that [e] the same is beyond the limits of the human nature he assumed, and yet is nevertheless in this human nature, and remains personally united to it.

Question 49. Of what advantage to us is Christ’s ascension into heaven?

Answer. First, that he is our [g] advocate in the presence of his Father in heaven; secondly, that we have our flesh in heaven as a sure pledge that he, as the head, will also [h] take up to himself, us, his members; thirdly, that he [i] sends us his Spirit as an earnest, by whose power we “seek the things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God, [j] and not things on earth.”

[a]: Acts 1:9; Mark 16:19
[b]: Heb. 4:14; Rom 8:34; Eph. 4:10
[c]: Acts 3:21; John 3:13; John 16:28; Mat. 28:20
[d]: Acts 7:49; Mat. 24:30
[e]: Mat. 28:20; John 16:28; John 17:11; John 3:13
[g]: Heb. 9:25; 1John 2:2; Rom. 8:34
[h]: John 14:2; Eph. 2:6
[i]: John 14:16; 2Cor. 1:22; 2Cor. 5:5
[j]: Col. 3:1; Phil. 3:20

And now DeYoung:

“You may not think about the ascension again for quite some time, so mediate on this doctrine with me for two more minutes. Think about the implications of Christ’s ascension. The ascension means we are in heaven, right now. Through union with Christ, we truly are not citizens of this world. Colossians tells us to set our minds on things that are above, because our lives are hidden with Christ who dwells there (3:2-3).

The ascension also implies that ‘asking Jesus into your heart’ does not mean inviting a kind of friend or comforting therapist into your life. It means – if we are using the nonbiblical phrase in a biblical way – that we are expressing our desire to be one with the King of the universe. The Jesus who lives within our hearts is sitting exalted at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.

Most staggering of all, the ascension means that God has granted all rule, power, authority, and dominion (Eph.1:21-22) to a man! Maybe this is why Tolkien made such a point in The Lord of the Rings to emphasize that a man would sit on Gondor’s throne, and the race of men would reign once more. Jesus Christ is exercising the dominion that man was made to have from the very beginning (Gen.1:28) (pp.96-97).

Psalm 25 on the Majestic Organ

Psalm 25:1 <A Psalm of David.> Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul. 2 O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. 3 Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause. 4 Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. 5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. 6 Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old. 7 Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O LORD. 8 Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way. 9 The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way. 10 All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies. 11 For thy name’s sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.

Now listen to this mighty organ arrangement of Ps.25 and meditate on the words.

YouTube – Psalm 25 vers 4 en 6 Sint Maartenskerk Zaltbommel.

Published in: on June 13, 2010 at 12:45 PM  Comments (1)  

Iran’s Christians: Targets of a Dictator

On this new Sunday, while we here in the U.S. still have the freedom to practice our faith publicly and without persecution, many believers throughout the world do not. Iran is one such country (see the news item below). As we worship the Lord openly today, may we also remember those fellow Christians who suffer for righteousness’ sake. We are blessed, but so are they (Matt.5:10-12).

Hebrews 13:3 “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”

Iran’s Christians: Targets of a Dictator, Religion Today Persecution News.