Bible Study: New hearts in Christ
NASHVILLE (BP) -- This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
Bible Passage: Jeremiah 30–31
-- What are some ways God had demonstrated His faithfulness to the Israelites?
-- Why is God's grace necessary for us to have a relationship with Him?
-- What are some ways God is calling you to be obedient today?
Food for Thought:
Read Jeremiah 31:31-40. In this the Old Testament passage, Jeremiah spoke of spiritual renewal of the Israelites' minds and hearts, and of God remembering their sins no more. Jeremiah spoke of a new covenant. God promised to cleanse His people, to do good to them, and to cause them to prosper.
But why a new covenant? The problem in this relationship was not with God or with the old covenant He had made; it was in the hearts of the people. They could not reciprocate God's love despite God's faithfulness to them. Because of sin, the old covenant was broken and a new one was needed.
God promised a change in His people that would make them capable of a deep, rich, abiding love with the Creator of their souls. God would set His law within them and write it on their hearts, minds and wills. The old covenant was written on stone (Exodus 31:18, 34:28-29; Deuteronomy 4:13, 5:22) and scroll (Exodus 24:7). The new covenant would be written on the tender flesh of a new heart. There can be no loving obedience of the sovereign God apart from His grace-filled, transforming work on the heart.
Throughout the early church, we see a movement of God that has allowed us to have the Bible in our hands today. Men and women believed so deeply in the Messiah Jesus and His death and resurrection, that many were killed as they carried the message and cast it to future generations including our own.
This certainly was not the case because they mustered up an "I will!" mentality. It was because they depended deeply on the movement of the Holy Spirit to flatten mountains and make paths through jungles. If we would follow in their steps, we must start first in prayer and follow up with dependency. God will fulfill His promises as we follow in obedience.
The Gospel Project
The Gospel Project is a chronological, Christ-centered study for kids, students and adults. The Bible is not a collection of stories. It is one story of God’s plan to rescue His people from sin and death. It is the story of redemption, the gospel message of Jesus Christ. More information can be found at LifeWay.com/gospelproject.