I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. (Ezekiel 36:24-28 ESV)
Ezekiel prophesies such a great picture of what God will do for His people. This is about the New Covenant, which Jesus ushered in. It shows all that God does for us through faith in Jesus. We are washed clean and given a new heart so that we might dwell with God. This is the work of the Holy Spirit as He applies the work of Christ upon God’s people. But here is the amazing part. God is doing this for a people who DON’T deserve it! And that is perhaps the most reassuring thing of all. It is not Israel’s goodness or potential or anything else about them that brings God’s restoration. It is solely the vindication of His name. That puts no condition on us to be met and thus removes fear of having forfeited God’s blessing. Be encouraged!
“Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. (Ezekiel 36:22-23 ESV)
When you think about your baptism, does that ever make you think that you must have been better than your friends who are not Christians?
Thank God that the vindication of His name is God’s motivator for your salvation and not your own deservedness.
McCheyne’s Bible Reading Plan: 1 Kings 6, Eph 3, Ez 36, Ps 24