1. Welcome to Baptist Board, a friendly forum to discuss the Baptist Faith in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to all the features that our community has to offer.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

The New Covenant from Old Covenant Jeremiah

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by asterisktom, Feb 21, 2024.

  1. asterisktom

    asterisktom Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    4,201
    Likes Received:
    607
    Faith:
    Baptist
    The New Covenant from Old Covenant Jeremiah
    Hidden Gems from the Heart of the Book of Jeremiah


    Jeremiad” is “a tale of woe” according to the my dictionary and, likewise, Jeremiah himself is often thought of as the ever-complaining doom-saying prophet. And that is tragic because the message that this man of God has is one for today as well. It keeps many from reading this book.

    Yet if they only would read Jeremiah they might notice, near the middle of the book, an extended passage radiant with New Covenant Sonshine, describing our New Covenant in Christ. I am referring to chapters 29 to 33. These five chapters contain many promises of real comfort, although some of them are often grossly misapplied. I had put off writing about this passage because I never felt able to do it justice. But, then again, when can we do any part of God’s Word justice?


    Misapplications

    For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” - Jer. 29:11

    and

    Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
    Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.”
    - Jer. 31:3



    The above verses have been subjected to two misinterpretations (at least as far as I’ve noticed). The first is to see the verses as exclusively referring to Israel, a minority view.

    But the second, and worse, misapplication is to lift these respective verses entirely out of context, making them into glib – and dangerous – feelgood mantras for just anyone. This is even more dangerous than the first view, giving false hope to many who have no basis for it, and deceitfully extending a promise to some who have no spiritual capacity for it, nor real desire for its true application. I have heard several sermons, and seen not a few websites, which prominently feature these verses without any regard for the context. When I was a new Christian I bought a shiny red plastic box with Bible promises neatly printed inside. Both of those verse, of course, were included. Neatly printed. Neatly ignoring respective contexts.

    And what is the context here in Jeremiah? Primarily, but not wholly, Israel. Captivity in Babylon for seventy years. It must have seemed like the end of the world, similar to the way Christians felt when Barbarians crashed the gates of the sacrosanct city of Rome. Likewise, the Jews felt the same about their revered city, Jerusalem.

    The context? Read it yourself: 29:4 reminds us to whom it was written “to those carried away captive…to Babylon”. Verse 5 tells them to build houses, plant gardens, marry, etc. They are there for the long haul. After other details are mentioned we get to verse 10, specifically mentioning seventy years of captivity for them and God’s promise of bringing the captive Jews back to Jerusalem, “return to this place” (See also v. 14).

    Now we get to the cherry-picker’s verse, 11. Notice the opening word “For”. This links and limits this verse to the previous context. This is primarily a promise to Jewish believers. It amuses me that many of the same people who call all of the New Covenant Christians, Reformed Baptists, Calvinists “anti-Semitic”, on the one hand, see no problems in wrestling this promise from Jewish fingers in order to gloss it onto their own books, church websites, and seminar fliers.

    To say this passage was solely for Israel, as I wrote above, would be a misapplication because it does have broader application to all believers. Some of the promises brought out in these chapters reach future-ward to the time of the Messiah (more on that below). But they cannot be quite as universal in scope as many make them out to be. God’s promises are only to the believers, being spoken only to those with ears to hear. It certainly doesn’t apply to everyone. Where would have been Pharaoh’s interest in this promise? Had God ever promised to give him a future and a hope? No, He pointedly raised him up in order to be glorified in his fall, Ex. 4:21; 11:9.


    Everlasting Love
    Chapter 30
    ends with encouraging descriptions of God’s heart surgery on His own people. Comparing verse 22 with Ezekiel 36:26-28 shows that those who are “His people” (this phrase is in both places) are given a new heart.

    Both passages speak also of a rebuilt city and a rebuilt land. And we have to be careful here. Yes, some of the token proofs to these spiritual promises are indeed the physical beginnings of rebuilt Jerusalem. Yet it goes much farther than that. There is also – and more importantly – a spiritual building of the heavenly Jerusalem, the Zion of God.

    This is the ultimate fulfillment that the Jerusalem Council came to recognize when news first came flooding in of all those Gentile converts in Galatia, Pisidia, and other areas. What were they to make of this unprecedented growth of their religion? They understood Amos 9:11-12, a passage similar to these in Jeremiah, as prophesying this very growth of the Kingdom of God, Japheth being enlarged, dwelling in the tents of Shem, Gen.9:26-27.

    Chapters 30 – 33 of Jeremiah shed much light on just what the “hope and a future” entails. Jer. 31:14 points to the physical return and rebuilding of Jerusalem. But then, in this same chapter even, the focus changes to a spiritual Jerusalem (the church of redeemed Jews and Gentiles – us!). These middle chapters of Jeremiah are so worthy of more careful study because they have much to say about the New Covenant and the church.

    If your faith is in Christ then you are also heavenly citizens of the New Jerusalem. The symbol of that city is shown in Revelation. The wonderful reality of this is already very much with us.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2018
    Messages:
    16,018
    Likes Received:
    1,239
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Jeremiah 31:31-34, Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
     
  3. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2009
    Messages:
    19,543
    Likes Received:
    2,886
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Amen! Spot on!
     
    • Like Like x 1
Loading...