Friday, August 5, 2011

Bible Truth #163 - Ezekiel 36:22-31

Ezekiel 36:22-31
22  “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone.
23  I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes.
24  “‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land.
25  I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.
26  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.
27  And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
28  You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God.
29  I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and make it plentiful and will not bring famine upon you.
30  I will increase the fruit of the trees and the crops of the field, so that you will no longer suffer disgrace among the nations because of famine.
31  Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices.

I included extra verses for context but what I wanted to show was what the Lord did first. It was because of His Holy Name that the Sovereign Lord acted (v22). Among the things He does is to give Israel a new heart and a new Spirit (v26). He does this by removing their heart of stone and giving them a heart of flesh. He then puts His Spirit in them to MOVE them to follow His Decrees and Laws (V27).

What is the result of the Lord’s actions? Verse 31 - THEN they will remember their evil ways and wicked deeds. Do you think they even had a choice? God had a plan for His actions and He had a result appointed or determined. Israel was going to respond in the exact manner God wanted. Why? Because His Word never returns void but will ALWAYS accomplish that for which it was sent, no exceptions. (Isaiah 55:11)

Without our Sovereign God acting first by putting a new spirit and heart in them, they would not have remembered their evil ways and wicked deeds. They would not have returned to follow His Decrees and Laws.

Bottom Line - because of the Total Depravity of man and his inability to do anything righteous (Genesis 6:5, Romans 3:10), God ALWAYS acts first. And He saves ONLY those He has chosen - His Elect. God does not save us because of believing, or accepting Jesus into our heart, or by repenting. It is NOT because of anything we have done (2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 3:5).

God saves us because He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4), we didn't choose Him. (John 15:16)

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