The Blueprint for God's City
The Bible's big story can be broken down into a simple four-part outline: creation, fall, redemption, new creation. Every part of the Bible orients itself within this framework.
Creation, the Bible's opening story, showcases God's ability to fashion a spectacular world. Seeing its perfection, God called it very good. The highlight of his creation is humans, both male and female created in his image. To supply his greatest creatures, God outfitted a garden for their good. God gave man the unique role of ruling over what he just made. This dominion included the mandate for man to expand Eden everywhere. Though these were humble beginnings, the blueprint for a city had been planted.
Man's fall into sin in the Garden of Eden, however, plunged humanity into darkness. Separation. Death, both spiritual and physical was the result. Man could no longer walk with God unless sin was dealt with. Adam and Eve would pass the devastation of sin to all of their children. If left alone, all would be condemned. The expansion of Eden yields to the multiplication of sin. Eden, the very epicenter of life was barred. God, the giver-of life, banished man, but he promised a Redeemer.
Redemption of sinful man comes through the seed of Eve just as God promised in the Garden. The scriptures build with anticipation of this promised Redeemer from Genesis 3 forward. The whole Bible shows how God's perfect creation can be renewed, how sin can be overturned and fully subdued through the redemption story we call Good News. With increasing clarity, we see that God's design to redeem the saints of any age requires the perfect life of a new man, the Last Adam, Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15.45). Jesus is God's remedy for the Fall. And in Christ, we have access into the new, everlasting city.
The New Creation is a heavenly city designed and constructed by God (Heb. 11.10) . As its architect, he ensures that the blueprint for Eden succeeds. The humble beginnings of the Garden where two people walked with God in daily life now extends to fill the whole earth. Instead of two people, there are now innumerable citizens whose daily lives of work and worship center on God who dwells with them. Access is always granted as the gates never need to be closed. Truly cosmopolitan in makeup, every nation lives within the city, sharing life to the full. The government of all the heavenly city's affairs is under the capable and righteous God-man. The dominion first given to man has become the kingdom of Christ.