John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Revelation 1:4-6 ESV
The apostle John addresses this writing to the seven churches that are in Asia. This is significant in this writing, it is to a specific audience. We cannot discount that in the rest of the book. This thought must remain in our minds as we continue in our study of this prophecy.
Johns greeting gives glory to God and let’s his readers know from whom the revelation originates. He wishes them Grace and Peace from the Father and the Son. He goes on to let them know that Jesus is the faithful witness of God, He has overcome death and has authority over all the kings of the earth. This will be important to remember as we get further into our study.
He then gives glory to Jesus for all that He has accomplished. He freed us from sin, by His sacrifice. He has made us a kingdom. He has made us priests to God the Father. These are also very important facts to remember as we go along. We are free from sin, we are a kingdom and we are priests! He doesn’t speak of things to come, but that these things are for us now. He states all of this to remind his reader that they are significant in the sight of God. The Apostle Peter touches on this as well in 1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. ESV With this evidence, as well as more to be found in the N.T. it is obvious that the Kingdom of Jesus is already in existence. It is the church. We as Christians live in and serve that kingdom, and John wants his readers to know where they stand in Christ.
John finishes up his greeting with a proclamation about Jesus. “To him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” This proclamation speaks to the eternal power and authority of Jesus. This is a major theme throughout the revelation. This theme serves to remind the reader that the victory is already won and He will repay those that persecute His people.
So today, let’s remember that in Christ we already are victorious. Whatever this world and it’s leaders can do to us is not everlasting, but temporary. We are victorious and our continued faith in Christ will be rewarded with eternity in heaven with our God.
© 2013 Leo J. Woodman