Sunday, October 02, 2005

Jeremiah 23:3-9 - THE ELECT RELY ON CHRIST

23:3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.

23:4 And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.

Foiling the efforts of false pastors, Christ gathers God’s elect (his flock) to his faithful Gospel preachers (shepherds) where they are fed the true Gospel. They have no fear to stand before God. They know they are justified by Christ’s righteousness not their own. They have everything they need (not lacking) in Christ.

23:5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.

23:6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

This King is Christ; he came on earth and lived perfectly righteous, obeying and fulfilling all of God’s Law. He is the sovereign King ruling over all. He is on the throne saving God’s elect (represented here by David, Judah, and Israel). They are saved because he imputes his righteousness to them. They do not trust in their own meritorious works; they trust in his perfect obedience of God’s Law. The elect do not rely on their righteousness, they claim his righteousness to themselves.

Jer 33:15-16 In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.

23:7 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; 23:8 But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.

The spiritual seed freed from Law AND fully gathered to Christ (the seed of the house of Israel). This seed includes everyone who places all of their trust in Christ. They are delivered from the Law and gathered to Christ by Christ.

23:9 Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness.

God’s elect hear of Christ through the preaching of his Gospel out of his Word the Bible. Christ’s faithful preachers declare Christ using every book in the Bible. At the time of Jeremiah’s writing this Chapter, they had the writings of the Old Testament prophets only. The elect in Jeremiah’s day heard of Christ through the writings of those prophets, “because of the prophets“. They heard of God’s Holiness, of his impossibly high standard which they can not reach, of their need for salvation, of Christ’s perfect righteousness, of Christ’s substitutionary atonement, of Christ’s offer of salvation to all who trust in his name (in his holy nature). The heard the Gospel of the righteousness of Jesus Christ; they heard “the words of his holiness”.

By Ray Bennetts