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Thread: What does the term Zion mean to Christians?

  1. #1

    What does the term Zion mean to Christians?

    I was wondering what the term Zion means to us today as Christians. I am confused here. It seems in the Old Testament Zion was Jerusalem or more specifically The Jebusite fortress on Mount Moriah(?). Zion being the City of David.

    When we sing or read the Psalms where they mention Zion what is the doctrinal understanding we are to presume? My "opinion" is that Zion is either the present Heavenly Kingdom or the Kingdom that Christ will usher in at His return. How close am I to the right answer?

    Plus, any resources that could shed light would be great.
    Travis McClain
    Member of Covenant OPC St. Augustine, FL
    Student at Moody Bible Institute
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    Resident of Palatka, FL

  2. #2
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    "Zion" or "Sion" was a "term of endearment," of sorts, for Jerusalem, and like that term (see Ps. 122, for example), it refers to the Church of God, the people of God (Heb. 12.22) or the heavenly city (Rev. 14.1) wherein God's people will be assembled. See Matthew Henry on Ps. 15 for instance.

    No longer limited to a temporal holy place as in the Old Testament, it may be rightly understood and rightly sung in respect to God's church and God's people today. Two Puritans put it this way: "How much more soundly do we hold with J[ohn]. Rainolds, that unto us Christians, no land is strange, no ground unholy every coast is Jewry, every town Jerusalem, and every house Sion and every faithful company, yea, every faithful body, a temple to serve God in." (George Gillespie, Dispute Against the English Popish Ceremonies)
    Andrew

  3. #3
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    Our pastor just preached on this a few weeks ago (our church is Zion Community Church). You can hear the sermon here: SermonAudio.com - Zion: The Old Testament Picture of the Church. You could also take a look at his sermon notes that I've attached.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Kim G
    Mitchell Road Presbyterian Church
    Greenville, SC

    Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.
    Psalm 86:11

  4. #4
    Thanks a lot for input guys. You've both been very helpful! I think my problem was i was going around in circles looking for a merely temporal New Testament expression of Zion. Somewhere in the back of my head I new Zion was the Church. Thanks again!
    Travis McClain
    Member of Covenant OPC St. Augustine, FL
    Student at Moody Bible Institute
    Facebook
    Blog Reformed Reckonings
    Resident of Palatka, FL

  5. #5
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    I came across the following in my studies this weekend and thought I would pass it along here:

    Thomas Pierson, The Great Charter of the Church; or, An Exposition of Psalm LXXXVII (re Ps. 87.2, The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob):

    For the better understanding whereof we must know that there is a double trope in the words: first, The gates of Zion, part of the building of the city upon mount Zion, are put for the whole city, as it was a type of God's church in Christ, who, as mediator, here began the settled building and government of it, as Ps. ii. 6, compared with Luke i. 32, 33.
    Andrew

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