I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. – Ezekiel 36:25-27
In this prophecy the prophet Ezekiel reveals the secret to the success of the kingdom of God.
- The issues were not doctrinal, or where one should worship, or how one was to worship.
- The issue was singular and is dealt with in this prophecy.
The issue is that the people called by God to follow him had become defiled.
- They were unclean because of their debauchery and idol worship.
- There was only one way to reconcile that.
- Regardless of how many sacrifices of atonement they offered their hearts were still set on the pleasures offered by idolatry and their heart needed to be changed.
We’ve all heard the axiom, “You can take a pig out of the pig pen but you can’t take the pig pen out of the pig.”
- That is exactly what religion tries to do.
- That is what the Jews were trying to do for centuries; they were trying to turn sinners into saints by cleaning them up and telling them how they should live.
- It didn’t work, they were still sinners. – And it doesn’t work now.
God gives the purpose of the kingdom in a nutshell in this prophecy.
- He said he would give them a new heart – a heart that is turned toward him instead of idols.
- And finally, he said he would give them a new Spirit, his Spirit.
Repentance releases reconciliation with God through faith in Jesus the Christ of Redemption and gives us a new heart.
- Once redeemed the Holy Spirit gives us a new Spirit as we gain entrance into the kingdom of God.
- Now we who have become the anointed have received the spirit of restoration and renewal as we are being restored.
Affirmation: I have repented and have been reconciled to God and renewed in the Holy Spirit. I am also being reconciled to God each time I sin by continuing in repentance and I am being renewed daily.
Prayer: I can see your purpose is to restore people to your glory. Grant me the grace and the will to participate in that purpose. Amen.
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