Thy Kingdom Come Part 2

by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)

All of us received the Holy Spirit, and a new heart, sometimes called a new nature, when we were saved.

All of us received the Holy Spirit, and a new heart, sometimes called a new nature, when we were saved.

I wonder; have we also profaned the name of God?

I believe we have.

1. First, we have allowed sin to invade our spiritual family.

There is sin in the churches today.
I won’t say much about this; only that I believe that Satan has stopped trying to prevent people from going to some churches because those churches have stopped preaching the gospel.
They are preaching a social gospel that says what people want to hear.

2. Second, we have allowed progress to replace the power of God.

I’ll give you one example.
The invention of television is viewed as progress.
Almost every home in America has one or they may have several.
There is some good entertainment on TV and there are shows that will teach us something, like cooking shows.
But the down side is that there are some shows that we shouldn’t watch, especially Christians.
And the time we waste watching TV takes away from our work for the Lord, and the time we could be spending with our family.
3. Third, we have allowed the cares of the world to rob us of our joy in Christ.

Those that are weighed down with the cares of the world, and with acquiring riches, Christians included, may lose the benefits of their Faith in Christ, because of their lusts for other things.
They have an excessive appetite for those things that are pleasing to the senses or to the imagination.
Today, rich and poor alike are ruined by indulging the desires of the body.
It’s the result of allowing the cares of the world to become more important than following Jesus.
They worry about paying the bills and they do every thing they can to “keep up with the Joneses.”
In the end, it steals their joy in Christ.

Now, I want you to think about—Sin's Results and Consequence
As I have already mentioned, the greatest Consequence of our sin is that God's name is profaned.
But our text points out some other consequences of sin.
1. Israel had become spiritually dirty from impurity and idolatry.

God said, “…Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.”
He is saying that He is going to change Israel.
These false gods had led Israel away from the true God, and now He’s going to bring them back.
Salvation is described here as clean water that will wash away sin.

2. Israel had allowed their hearts to become like stone, (v, 26)
But God said, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
We are blessed because we have been given a new will and a new mind and because the Holy Spirit takes up residence within us, and our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit.
Israel was like the stony ground in the parable Jesus told.
Their hearts had become hard and they refused to obey God’s word.

3. Israel had broken fellowship with God's precious Spirit. (v. 27)
God said, “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.”
He is making a statement about Israel’s spiritual revival.
God would cleanse them, give them a new heart and a new spirit, and save them from the sin that made them unclean.

4. Israel had stopped following God's laws and had become a law unto themselves, (v. 27)
They looked around at all the other nations, and they wanted to be like them.
They wanted to worship like them; they wanted the freedom to do what they wanted to do.
Eventually, they turned away from God and worshipped the idols of their neighbors.
Then there came a day when the land had stopped producing fruit and crops because there was a famine in the land (v. 29, 30)
Then God said, “And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations. Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and your abominations."
His accusation against the Jews was that they had “evil ways and that their deeds…were not good.”
These evil ways were damaging to His name.
In order to vindicate His own name, and not for Israel’s sake, God would restore the people to their homeland.
And then Israel would go through a spiritual rebirth.
God would cleanse them, give them a new heart and a new spirit, and save them from ... uncleanness.
Crops of grain and fruit would be increased, and they would never suffer famine again.
The Lord would do all of this, not because they deserved it, but for the honor of His Name.
Now, the rest of the passage concerns—Getting Our Relationship Back
When a Christian sins, God wants us to come back into a relationship with Him immediately.
As a matter of fact, He is always willing to bring us back into a relationship with him, but not for the reason of blessing us or because we deserve it.
We read this earlier: “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." (v. 22)
It’s for the sake of God himself that He will restore Israel, and it’s for His sake that He is still calling men and women out of this world and into His wondrous light.
And He will keep His promises even if we refuse to keep ours.

Look at what He promises to do for us.
1. God promises restoration to His rebellious people, (v. 24)
God said, “For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.”
He will bring His people out of Babylon, not for their sakes, but for his own name’s sake, because he will be glorified by doing it.

2. God promises cleansing to those who return to Him. (v. 25)
“God said, “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.”
How will He do it?
By washing you clean from all your sin.

3. God promises to give us a new heart. (v. 26)
God said, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
God said it to Israel, but it’s also for us today.
When our Lord was astonished at Nicodemus’s ignorance of the new birth, this passage in Ezekiel is one of the main texts that He expected him, as a teacher in Israel, to know.
All of us received the Holy Spirit, and a new heart, sometimes called a new nature, when we were saved.

4. God promises to place His Spirit within each of us, (v. 27)
God said, “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.”
We must be willing to return to God and to be renewed and revived?
To be a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven we must be willing to repent and turn to God.
Amen.


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