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Wordwise Insight, Issue #122
October 14, 2014


BIBLE INSIGHTS (and Reader Q & A): Do Old Testament promises apply today to Christians?

WORDWISE HYMNS: My Blog called Wordwise Hymns for you to check out!

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Old Testament Promises

(Do Old Testament promises apply today?)

QUESTION: Can Christians biblically use Jeremiah 29:11 today? I think the verse is overused. Was not this verse given to God's people for a specific time? I believe God is a good God, but pleasant things do not always happen to us. I like to think, "Yes, God is good, and what happens, good or bad, is for my good and God's glory." Your thoughts?

ANSWER: Thanks for your good question. You point out a common error that some believers make. It reminds me of a little chorus we used to sing in Sunday School when I was a boy. It begins, "Every promise in the Book is mine, / Every chapter, every verse, every line." But that is simply not true--or it needs to be qualified carefully.

Proper hermeneutics (the interpretation of the Scriptures) requires that we consider the historical context of each passage. All the Bible was written for us, in the sense that it all has things to teach us from which we can "profit" (II Tim. 3:16-17). But not all of it was written directly to us. Did the Lord command us to build an ark? Or fight some Midianites? To fail to consider who a passage was written to, for what reason, and under what circumstances, is to make a muddle of Bible study.

One of the important distinctions we need to keep in mind is the one between Israel and the church. Israel is an earthly nation, with a land promised them forever, by God, and an earthly throne. The church is a spiritual body made up of all nations, with the ascended Christ as its Head. As Christians, our citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20), not on earth. Israel is God's earthly people, the church is God's heavenly people.

Some today espouse what's called "Replacement Theology," that denies that Israel has any future in the program of God (which it does, Rom. 11:28-29). They believe instead...

(To read the remainder of this article, click on Old Testament Promises.)


Come and Pay Us a Visit!

I have developed a blog that is called Wordwise Hymns. As the title suggests, it is about hymns, and church music in general.

But as many of you will know, a blog is especially designed to facilitate a conversation on its particular subject. Readers can easily post comments about what they see, and I'm able to reply. I hope you will take part in the discussion!

Through 2010, almanac entries dealt with what happened in hymn history on each day of the year. Beginning in 2011, I hope to analyze hymns from a biblical standpoint, linking to the material that has come before.

My hope is that the blog will add to the value of the website and this newsletter, and promote some profitable exchanges on the subject of sacred music.

What happened on this day in hymnology? To find out, click Wordwise Hymns.

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