Ezekiel 18:30-32 - Get A New Heart And Spirit And Live
Ezek 18:30 (NIV) "Therefore, O house of Israel, I will judge you, each one
according to his ways, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent! Turn away from
all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall.
Ezek 18:31 (NIV) Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and
get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel?
Ezek 18:32 (NIV) For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares
the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!
Ezekiel's solution to the problem of inherited guilt is for each person to
have a changed life. This is God's work in us and not something we can do
for ourselves. The Holy Spirit does it (Psalm 51:10-12). If we renounce our
life's direction of sin and rebellion and turn to God, he will give us a new
direction, a new love, and a new power to change. You can begin by faith,
trusting in God's power to change your heart and mind. Then determine to
live each day with him in control (Ephes. 4:22-24). [Life Application SB]
The problem is not God's unwillingness to save man, but rather man's refusal
to be saved. This is a masterful call to repentance. It is not divine grace
or human freedom, but God's mercy and man's choice. This is a call to those
who have pushed God aside to awaken and renew themselves in faith in God.
Sin has its seat in the mind. The soul must purpose the sinful act before
passion can dominate over reason. The root of sin, then, is a bent of mind
that causes man to choose the evil course. The solution to the problem is to
correct this basic disposition. This is what repentance is intended to
accomplish. A change must take place in the thinking of the individual.
Since God never coerces the will, this act must be voluntary, but the Holy
Spirit is given to aid the soul. It is quite impossible for the individual
of himself to accomplish the transformation. But when he chooses to make the
change and in his great need cries out to God, the powers of the soul are
imbued with power from above and the propensity of the mind is corrected.
True repentance, then, is a function of the mind. It includes a thorough
scrutinizing of the situation to discover what factors led to the defection,
and also a study as to how similar errors can be avoided in the future.
Repentance is the process whereby sin is expelled from the life. Once
repented of, it can be confessed, and it will be forgiven. But confession
without repentance is meaningless. God cannot forgive sins that are still
active in the heart. This is the reason why the basic emphasis of the
Scriptures is upon repentance rather than confession. . . .The reason many
Christians fall so repeatedly into the same error is that they have never
truly permitted the Holy Spirit to change their basic thinking with regard
to that sin; they have never taken their sins to heart, to discover how, by
the enabling grace of God, they might have complete victory over those sins.