Monday 14 November 2016

The Gospel according to Jeremiah

The gospel according to Jeremiah. I have preached through the first 9 chapters of Jeremiah in the morning services at Sheffield Evangelical Presbyterian Church. I have been joyfully surprised about how many gospel invitations there are in Jeremiah. In each chapter the Lord makes plain the folly of covenant breaking, idolatry and sin. In the descriptions of sin, I cannot think of a more contemporary book for British society. I think it was Martyn Lloyd-Jones who said "if one is biblical, one will always be relevant". I agree. If a preacher tries to be relevant, at the expense of biblical faithfulness, he will end up neither relevant nor pleasing the Lord.

Here are some assessments of sin by the Lord in Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 5:23-24 "But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart; they have turned aside and gone away. They do not say in their hearts, ‘Let us fear the LORD our God, who gives the rain in its season,
the autumn rain and the spring rain, and keeps for us the weeks appointed for the harvest.’

Jeremiah 5:30-31 "An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?".

Jeremiah 6:15 "'Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown,' says the LORD".

However, in each chapter the call of the gospel comes which is the same from Adam until the end of the age. A call summarised by the Lord Jesus as recorded in Mark's gospel and elsewhere. What is it?

Mark 1:15 "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

We could call the book of Jeremiah, the gospel according to Jeremiah. The call of the gospel shines through as it always does from the Lord's message.

Here are some examples:

Jeremiah 6:16 "Thus says the LORD: 'Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it’ ".

Jeremiah 3:22-23 "Return, O faithless sons; I will heal your faithlessness.” 'Behold, we come to you,
for you are the LORD our God. Truly the hills are a delusion, the orgies on the mountains. Truly in the LORD our God is the salvation of Israel' ".

I commend the Book of Jeremiah. I recommend that you make a start by reading the first 10 chapters of this wonderful book of the Bible. How we need a return to loving the Bible again! So many things can crowd out the written Word of God in our busy lives. May our ears, eyes, mind and lips be filled with biblical truth. May a love for the book of Jeremiah be recovered in our own day.

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