Ezra’s Covenant Renewal and the Pursuit of a Lasting Reformation by Josiah Shute (1588-1643)
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Josiah Shute (1588-1643) was known for his eloquent preaching, profound scholarship, and unswerving commitment to Christian doctrine, which is why he was chosen to sit on the Westminster Assembly.
The nature of covenant renewal permeates all of the bible. It is the centerpiece of Jesus Christ and the substance of his covenant with the Father. In Shute’s work, this central theme of renewal and reformation revolves around the power of God’s Word, as exemplified in the book of Ezra, specifically chapters 9-10. The narrative commences with Ezra 9:4, where individuals gathered to deeply respect the words of the God of Israel, resulting in a significant spiritual awakening and a commitment to a lasting reformation.
Shute underscores the significance of approaching God’s Word with reverence and humility. The assembly during Ezra’s time serves as evidence of the spiritual power that emerges from respect for the divine Word, leading to collective acknowledgment of sins and a pathway to redemption. He confronts atheistic skepticism regarding Scripture’s directives, showing that it embodies the divine will and possesses the authority to penetrate even the most obstinate hearts if the Spirit is working.
Shute explores two facets of reverence for God’s Word: initial contrition and action imbued with the Spirit towards reform. Christians are encouraged and directed to ground themselves in the teachings of Scripture to remain steadfast in the face of moral decay and sin, akin to Ezra’s assembly, who revered God’s Word after being show their impiety against God’s directives.
In a fallen world marked by moral depravity, Shute’s message serves as a symbol of Christian hope in Jesus Christ. Embracing and deeply respecting Christ’s Word will create personal and public change, advancing reformation in individuals, families, churches, communities and in the broader world. In this He calls upon readers to set an example for others, highlighting the lasting impact of faithfulness and its role in bringing about true and lasting reformation to the glory of God.
This work is not a scan or facsimile, and has been updated in modern English for easy reading. It also has an active table of contents for electronic versions.
Table of Contents
Meet Josiah Shute by C. Matthew McMahon
A Lasting Reformation by C. Matthew McMahon
To The Reader