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Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, an ordained minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.

However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.

To see more Bible study outlines go to “The Archives Page”: More Bible Study Outlines.



November 12, 2017


SCRIPTURE: Jeremiah 31:27–34.


KEY VERSE: 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. (Jeremiah 31:33)




·        Jeremiah chapters 30-33 constitute one very bright and encouraging song.


Up to this point Jeremiah’s emphasis has been upon judgment, but his message now is in sharp contrast to that. Dr. E. W. Hengstenburg calls these chapters “the triumphal hymn of Israel’s salvation.” They were written during the last 18 months of the siege of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 32:1).


·        Jeremiah was living in Jerusalem during a time of war.


As the last king of Judah, Zedekiah corresponds to Hoshea who was the final ruler of the northern kingdom of Israel. But, of course, the northern kingdom of Israel has long since departed and gone into captivity.


At this moment Nebuchadnezzar’s army is outside the wall of Jerusalem, ready to destroy the city and burn the temple. The promises of the false prophets have been proven false. Seven years earlier Hananiah had said that Babylon would be broken within two years. But Nebuchadnezzar is not broken; he is alive -- too much alive for the people of Judah.


·        Jeremiah’s message is a message of encouragement.


In chapter 30 he spoke of the Day of the Lord opening with the Great Tribulation Period. In verse 7 of that chapter he called it “the time of Jacob’s trouble.” But beyond the Great Tribulation are coming the restoration of the land and the return of the people to it.


INSIGHT: Vernon McGee has labeled Jeremiah chapter 31 “the ‘I will’ chapter,” because “I will” occurs fifteen times. Dr. McGee said: “… the One who says it is none other than God. When God says ‘I will’ fifteen times, He is telling us what He is going to do.”


I. THE OLD COVENANT. (Jeremiah 31:27-30)


A. The Growth of Israel. (Jeremiah 31:27-28)


(Jeremiah 31:27-28) 27 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast. 28 And it shall come to pass, that like as I have watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the Lord.


God would plant and multiply the seed of man” and animal in the land of Israel. To build and to plant” are the same terms used in Jeremiah’s call (Jeremiah 1:10).


God declared that He would greatly increase the number of people, along with livestock, living in land of promise. In the past, God had uprooted and torn down the nation of Israel. In the future, however, the Lord would plant and rebuild it.


B. The Responsibility of People. (Jeremiah 31:29-30)


(Jeremiah 31:29-30) 29 In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge. 30 But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.


INSIGHT: It was typical, in the ancient Middle East, for intergenerational families to live within the same household. Unfortunately, the severe consequences of a person’s behavior could negatively impact the lives of other family members up to several generations. It would be wrong to assume, however, that the Lord’s judgment was not due to personal sin. The Lord revealed that He would judge each person for his or her own sins, not those of anyone else.


The proverb in this passage is also found in Ezekiel 18:2. The contexts in both books indicate that this proverb is not original to Jeremiah or Ezekiel. In Israel and other ancient Middle Eastern communities, (1) corporate responsibility was emphasized in legal and moral matters (Deuteronomy 5:9), though (2) individual accountability was not overlooked (Deuteronomy 24:16; 2 Samuel 12:1–15).


In Jeremiah and Ezekiel, focus is placed on the responsibility of the individual for his or her own iniquity” (i.e., sins). This concept of individual responsibility is a key teaching of Jeremiah. Each person must bear responsibility for his or her own sins.


INSIGHT: This Bible study concerns Israel, but the precepts presented also apply to saved people today (i.e. the Church). There is a difference between “Israel” and the “Church”, but we have a great deal in common.


Faithfulness Required
By David C. McCasland


Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” – 1 Corinthians 4:2


Much of our attention and praise is directed toward highly visible and successful people. But occasionally we read about an ordinary, obscure person being honored for many years of faithful service. It may be a school custodian, a cafeteria worker, a handyman, or a clerk in a store who has served others in a dependable and unselfish way.


That kind of reliability often goes unnoticed, but I believe it’s a powerful picture of how we are to live. Although consistency may not be flashy, days add up to a life of great significance to God.


Paul wrote, “it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” (1 Corinthians 4:2). If we live faithfully for Christ, God has promised to reward us at His appointed time. When the Lord comes, He “will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God” (1 Corinthians 4:5).


·        When we long for success, God says, “I will reward you.”


·        When we ache for recognition, God says, “I see you.”


·        When we are ready to quit, God says, “I will help you.”


Whether our service is public or private, our responsibility is the same -- to be faithful!


In all the little things of life,
Yourself, Lord, may I see;
In little and in great alike,
Help me to faithful be!
– Anonymous


 -- Adapted from David C. McCasland, Our daily Bread, April 14, 2004


II. THE NEW COVENANT (Jeremiah 31:31–32)


INSIGHT: Chapters 30 and 31 of Jeremiah indicate that the promise of return is not made just to the captives in Babylon, but to all the scattered tribes of Israel (2 Kings 17:5-6). The Lord specifies both “Israel and Judah” (Jeremiah 30:3) and “all the families of Israel” (Jeremiah 31:1). As great as that will be, it is only a preparation for something better still: a new covenant that includes both Jew and Gentile alike.


A. A Different Covenant. (Jeremiah 31:31)


(Jeremiah 31:31) 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.


This new covenant was going to be different from the one given to Moses at Mount Sinai. The grand distinction is that it is to be engraved upon the hearts of the people and not upon cold tables of stone.


B. A Covenant For Jews And Gentiles. (Jeremiah 31:32)


(Jeremiah 31:32) 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:


Through the shed blood of Jesus Christ (the Jewish Messiah) on Calvary the New Covenant was established. Now anyone, Jew or Gentile, may have their sins forgiven by placing their faith in Jesus Christ and become a part of the family of God (i.e., the Church).


I'm so glad I'm a part of the family of God--
I've been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood!
Joint heirs with Jesus, as we travel this sod,
For I'm part of the family, the family of God.


Gloria and William Gaither




A. An Effective Covenant. (Jeremiah 31:33-34)


(Jeremiah 31:33-34) 33 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. 34 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.


The sins of both Jews and Gentiles will be forgiven. The Lord showed Jeremiah a FUTURE TIME when all of God’s people would directly know Him (Jeremiah 31:34). When that time finally arrives, Jeremiah’s role as a prophet would be over. The people of Israel would no longer need someone to exhort them to know the Lord. All would know the Lord!


A critical aspect of this new relationship between the Lord and His people hinged on the forgiveness of sins, God’s law could NOT be written on hearts stained by sin. The people’s hearts required cleansing as a result of the Lord’s grace so they could be changed. Once God had forgiven them, He would deliberately forget their sins.


INSIGHT: We are all sinners, and Jesus died for sinners. The blood has been shed: “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22). But we MUST trust Him as our Savior for us to be saved.


B. A Lasting Covenant. (Jeremiah 31:35–36)


(Jeremiah 31:35–36) Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The Lord of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.


This New Covenant will NEVER be changed or nullified. Just as we cannot change the course of the moon or pull it out of the sky, so God’s covenant with Israel cannot be changed. On a trip to the moon we brought back two hundred pounds of rock. If we kept doing that for a few million years, maybe we would eventually move the whole thing to earth -- but I don’t think we’re going to do that! God says this is an everlasting covenant that He will make with them.


No Alteration Needed
By Dennis Fisher


All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. -- 2 Timothy 3:16


In every era there has been a spirit of the age that challenges our acceptance of Scripture. The temptation is to remove or alter those portions that seem old-fashioned.


Whether it's the doctrine of hell or God's view on sexual behavior, many feel pressured to reject parts of the Bible. Unsurprisingly, some truths will be offensive in every day and age.


Centuries ago, a Jewish king was handed a scroll with a message from God. As the document was read aloud, the king took offense, and with a small knife he cut out a portion of the scroll and threw it into the fire. Eventually the entire text was thrown into the flames, yet the king and his servants who had heard the words of the Lord "were not afraid" (Jeremiah 36:24). In the end, the king lost his kingdom because of his disobedience.


When we selectively edit the Bible to suit our fancy, or neglect its teachings, we show that we do not fear God. Rather than submit to what He says, we exalt our own finite reason and fallible conscience above the inspired text.


When you're tempted to overlook or ignore a portion of the Word of God, remember: "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God" (2 Timothy 3:16). It tells us all we need to know to live a life that pleases Him. – Dennis Fisher, Our Daily Bread, June 28, 2005


CONCLUSION: What did we learn from our Bible study today?


·        Jeremiah predicted a New Covenant would be made and described what would happen when the covenant promises were fulfilled.


Jesus Christ identified His death on the cross as the institution of the New Covenant (Matthew 26:28; 1 Corinthians 11:25). And the fulfillment of the New Covenant promises made when Jesus sacrificed Himself awaits history’s end.


·        But there is another unique feature to this New Covenant.


Its benefits are experienced today by those who put their trust in Jesus Christ, the promised Old Testament Messiah. It’s as though someone put one billion dollars in the bank for you, to be yours in 25 years. The one billion is untouchable before the specified time arrives -- but the depositor did say you could receive the interest now!


Just so, Hebrews 10:16-17 applies the central promises of the New Covenant to believers TODAY. God forgives the sins of those who believe in Jesus TODAY, and He begins His transforming work in every believer’s heart TODAY. Through faith in Jesus Christ anyone (Jew or Gentile) may enjoy a New Covenant relationship with the Lord TODAY.


THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “In a changing world, you can trust God's unchanging Word.”


* * *


REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the King James Bible (KJV), The Moody Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network ( www.ttb.org ), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: ( http://www.intouch.org/ ), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/ ), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook ( www.sermonnotebook.org ), With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries ( http://rbc.org/ ), selected illustrations, and other references.



E-mail: Ronald Purkey


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