conversion: the Old is New

        Whether it’s during the days of Abraham or Exodus or Exile, the conversion paradigm is evidenced frequently in the Old Testament.  Again and again God pursues his desire to grant salvation upon a wandering people with his ability to enable it for them.  Through his faithfulness, God gathers those people who have realized their scattered condition and have begun to faithfully cry out to God for mercy.{5}  God then responds by promising salvation by remaking the hearts of those who call to him.{6}   This provides his people with the evidence of God’s love for them and encourages them to warmly and wholeheartedly be reshaped in a pattern of love from God and for God.  And clearly, as the recreated bones of Ezekiel’s vision could attest to,  it is God who makes this paradigm possible.{7}
        Jeremiah 31 upholds the evidence of conversion in the Old Testament.  In a prophecy of God’s plan to restore Israel, recreating her position of privilege and relationship with the Creator.  God gives Jeremiah a vision of new hope for the future of a world devoid of hope without God’s plan of action.  And God wants Jeremiah to get the word out.  He will initiate conversion.  It will come.  Everyone should notice the signs God is giving, the evidence of his salvation.{8}   The people have been wandering and dying because of their sin, yet God will initiate eternal hope through faith because of his love.{9}  So God assures Jeremiah, “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.”{10}   God will enable people, even formerly unfaithful people, to respond to him in love.{11}   This is a new gift of grace.  Everyone has earned judgment, yet God gives eternal life.{12}

{5}Ne 13:22; Ps 42:8; Je 31:23-26; Ho 1:7.
{6}Je 29:11; 50:4.
{7} Ez 37:1-14; Dt 30:6
{8} Je 31:21
{9} Je 31:27-30, 38-40
{10} Je 31:33; a’sp 2 Co 3:3
{11} See also Ga 4:6
{12} Ro 3:23; Je 31:31-33

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