Rev 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.” NIV
From creation to the consummation of all of history the purpose of God has been made clear, “I will be their God and they will be my people”. In Scripture God declares himself to be our reward (Gen 15:1) and that through Jesus Christ we have been called to participate in His eternal purpose (Eph 1:3-14). The greatest aspect of the Father’s purpose in Christ is not that we have ‘eternal life’ or ‘provision’ or ‘power’ but that He would be in us and we would be in Him. The abiding presence of God is the point, the promise, the pleasure, the provision, the power, and the great reward for all who are new creations in Christ.
Jer 31:33 “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people”. NIV
The new covenant, which has been written in Jesus’ blood (Lk 22:20), is one of relationship between creator and His creation. Ezekiel 37:27 declares: My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. And Revelation 21:3 speaks of the consummation of history bringing about the fullness of our relationship with the Father.
From Genesis to Revelation, throughout history, we see that God’s presence has always been the great promise and reward for those who are His own. It seems clear that the point of creation has always been that God would dwell with His people. It is one of the great mysteries of the knowledge of God revealed in Jesus Christ that the Father is in Jesus; that Jesus is in the Father and that we are in Him (Col 1:21; Jn 14:20).
The great hope and promise is that when Jesus returns the fullness of salvation will be realised and we will dwell with the eternal Father, Son and Spirit in eternity. This is the objective of creation and our inevitable reward. In anticipation of this, God has sent his Son into the world to redeem for Himself a people who will be called His own. And as a guarantee that we are indeed His possession we have been given His abiding presence, the Holy Spirit. Through the Spirit, the Father and the Son dwell with us today and that presence will remain Emmanuel – God with us.
2 Cor 6:16b …For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” NIV Eph 1:13-14 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession — to the praise of his glory. NIV