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  • Chad Werkhoven

Ezekiel 36:24-27 - Triune Grace

God's grace is so much more than plain ol' forgiveness.



 

Ezekiel 36:24–27 (NIV)


CONTEXT: After Israel had "defiled their land by their conduct and their actions... because they had shed blood in the land and because they had defiled it with their idols," God "dispersed them among the nations... and judged them according to their conduct and actions (Ezekiel 36:16-19)."


God now comes to the prophet Ezekiel with a promise of salvation to announce.


22 “Therefore say to the Israelites, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: It is not for your sake, people 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 am proved 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.

 

Listen to passage & devotional:


 

Belgic Confession of Faith, Article 11: The Deity of the Holy Spirit


We believe and confess also

that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally

from the Father and the Son—

neither made,

nor created,

nor begotten,

but only proceeding

from the two of them.


In regard to order,

he is the third person of the Trinity—

of one and the same essence,

and majesty,

and glory,

with the Father and the Son.


He is true and eternal God,

as the Holy Scriptures teach us.

 

Summary


We talk often, and rightfully so, about God's grace in our circles. It is His free, unmerited, undeserved gift of mercy and forgiveness. But we don't, as often, at least, talk about why God grants grace.


You wouldn't be wrong to ground God's gracefulness in His character. Since God defines things like mercy, love and kindness, it makes sense that He demonstrates those traits by showing grace to sinners like us.


But in promising His grace to His covenant people through His prophet Ezekiel, God gives a huge insight as to why He grants it. "It's not for your sake... that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations (v22)." God's people - who are not just His image bearers, but people that He's covenantly obligated Himself to, must prove God holy in the way we live (v23)!


The only way we can prove God's holiness is to be "cleansed from all our impurities and from all your idols (v25)," which is exactly what grace does. It takes out our heart of stone and replaces it with a heart of flesh.



Dig Deeper


We often associate God's grace with the person and work of Jesus, again, rightfully so! But although grace certainly depends upon Christ's atonement for sin, notice that it's not where grace begins.


Grace takes shape through the process of regeneration, in which God breaks through your stony-cold resistance and rebellion to Him and "puts a new spirit in you (v26)." But it's not just another, holier version of you that God installs. Since He's created you to prove His holiness to the nations (v23), He puts Himself into you! He said, "I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws."


The Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son, and He is a distinct person, but yet He's also true and eternal God. It's not just a portion of God that's been put into you, it's God Himself that's been put into you! So stop relying on your sinful self so much, and instead start proving God's holiness in your words and actions since He's "moving you" to do so!


God's grace is so much more than plain ol' forgiveness. Grace is God the Father choosing you to be His own before He created the universe, then God the Son atoning for your sin, and God the Holy Spirit regenerating your heart so that you accept Christ's sacrifice and live in a way that proves God's holiness.


  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who gives us grace for His name's sake;

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Thank God for His Triune grace, and pray that your life proves God's holiness to the people around you;

  • ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:

 

Read the New Testament in a year! Today: Galatians 2

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