God Makes All Things New – 3

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Scripture Text – Jeremiah 30-33

These chapters describe the glory of the dawning of a new day for the people of Israel, not only for the exiles in Babylon but also for the Jewish people in the latter days before the Lord returns. Jeremiah’s prophecy comprises both the near and far future.

Regeneration: A New Covenant

Please read Jeremiah 31:31-40 for the background to this section.
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Any plan for the betterment of human society that ignores the sin problem is destined to failure. It isn’t enough to change the environment, for the heart of every problem is the problem of the heart. God must change the hearts of people so that they want to love Him and do His will. That’s why He announced a New Covenant to replace the Old Covenant under which the Jews had lived since the days of Moses, a covenant that could direct their conduct but not change their character or the innate human nature.

Jewish history is punctuated with a number of “covenant renewals” that brought temporary blessing but didn’t change the hearts of the people. The Book of Deuteronomy records a renewal of the covenant under Moses, before the people entered the Promised Land. In addition, before he died, Joshua led the people in reaffirming the covenant (Joshua 23–24). Samuel called the nation to renew their vows to God (1 Samuel 12), and both Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 29–31) and Josiah (2 Chronicles 34–35) inspired great days of “revival” as they led the people back to God’s Law.

The fact that the blessings didn’t last is no argument against times of revival and refreshing. When somebody told Billy Sunday that revivals weren’t necessary because they didn’t last, the evangelist replied, “A bath doesn’t last, but it’s good to have one occasionally.” Something to remember for our own nation is that a nation that is built on spiritual and moral principles must have frequent times of renewal or the foundations will crumble.

But the New Covenant isn’t just another renewal of the Old Covenant that God gave at Sinai; it’s a covenant that’s new in every way. The New Covenant is inward so that God’s Law is written on the heart and not on stone tablets (2 Corinthians 3; Ezekiel 11:19–20; 18:31; 36:26–27). The emphasis is personal and individual, rather than national, with each person putting faith in the Lord and receiving a “new heart” and with it a new disposition, a new mind-set, toward godliness.

et new covenant

The Old Covenant tried to control conduct, but the New Covenant changes character so that people can love the Lord and one another and want to obey God’s will. “By the law is the knowledge of sin.” – Romans 3:20. However, under the New Covenant God promised “I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” It is this covenant that the Jews will experience in the last days when they see their Messiah and repent (Zechariah 12:10–13:1).

The basis for the New Covenant is the work of Jesus Christ on the cross (Matthew 26:27–28; Mark 14:22–24; Luke 22:19–20). Because the church today partakes in Israel’s spiritual riches (Romans 11:12–32; Ephesians 3:1–6), anyone who puts faith in Jesus Christ shares in this New Covenant (Hebrews 8:6–13; 10:14–18). It’s an experience of regeneration, being “born again,” (born anew in the spirit) into the family of God (John 3:1–21).

The Lord also affirmed the permanence of the nation and the faithfulness of His relationship to His people. It would be easier for the sun to stop shining and the moon and stars to go out than for God to break His promises to His people Israel. Sadly, there are actually those who claim to be Christians, who carry and read the same Bible as you and I and yet they believe the “Church” is the new Israel and that God’s promises no longer hold true for the nation of Israel. This can only be believed due to ignorance of the Scriptures and not understanding the character and nature of a never-changing God!

Therefore, just as Jerusalem was rebuilt after the Babylonian Captivity, so it will be restored after the “time of Jacob’s trouble” and it will be holy to the Lord. Because of its ancient associations with Israel, Islam, Jesus, and the church, Jerusalem is called “the holy city,” but it will not truly be holy until the Lord restores it and reigns in glory at the end of the age. God’s promises are sure and steadfast and they will come about.

To Be Continued

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Adaptation of excerpts from Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Decisive, “Be” Commentary Series.
Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, NKJV © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

About Roland Ledoux

Pastor of Oasis Bible Ministry, an outreach ministry of teaching, encouragement and intercessory prayer from the Holy Bible, the written Word of God and author of the ministry website, For The Love of God. He lives in Delta, Colorado with his beautiful wife of 50+ years and a beautiful yellow lab whom they affectionately call Bella.
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