July Devotion MP3

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This is a short devotion I gave on Ezekiel 36:25-26 during our evening worship service on July 25, 2010. Below is my rough outline.

Critiques welcomed and encouraged!

Ezekiel 36:25-26
(Correlating with the morning sermon: Be Born Again – John 3:1-21)

I. Introduction
A. Opening
How many of you remember the day you were born? How many of you remember the day you were born-again? Following this morning’s sermon about being born-again from John 3 we’re going to look at this from an Old Testament perspective through the prophet Ezekiel.

B. Background

1. Prophet in exile with southern Kingdom Judah.
2. 6th Cen. B.C.

C. Fittingly enough, Ezekiel means “God strengthens” or “May God strengthen”.

1. Fitting b/c brought God’s message of restoration and renewal to His people.

::::::::Open Bible to Ezekiel 36:25-26:::::::::
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.

II. Body (Walk through the text)
A. Sprinkling would be related to the cleansing rituals in the Mosaic Law.

1. Cleansing from touching a dead person.

a. Cleansing idols.

2. V. 25 represents an outward cleansing.

B. In V. 26 God’s gives a new heart and spirit.

1. This is an internal action.

2. What does this tell us about God’s people?

a. Impure
b. Idolaters
c. Spiritually dead
d. Stone hearts

C. What led God to take these actions?

1. V. 17 Israel defiled their land by their ways and deeds.

a. V. 18 God poured out his wrath and scattered them.

2. V. 20-21 His people profaned God’s name among the Nations.

D. God acts for His own sake, V. 22-23.

1. To vindicate His name.
2. To vindicate His holiness among the Nations.

E. Relate to this morning’s sermon from John 3.

1. In our text we see a foreshadowing of Jesus words to Nicodemus.

a. Must be born of water and of Spirit.
b. Must be born again.
c. It is God the Holy Spirit’s work.
d. V. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.

TRANSITION::::::Again, we see God identifying Himself with His people. It’s like a parent who wants their children to dress and act a certain way because their is an identity connection. The children reflect on the identity of the parents. It’s the same reason kids get embarrassed by their parents in certain situations. Your child feels that tension of identification. Honestly, I think some parents get pleasure by embarrassing their children at times. I know I do. What about embarrassing or disappointing God?  Do we find pleasure in these things?::::::

III. Closing (Application/Exhortation)

A. It wasn’t a pleasurable experience for the Judaens.

1. But they did it – Are we any different?

a. Impure
b. Idolaters

B. Yes! Because of Jesus Christ we are different.

1. In our natural state we are the same.
2. But as those trusting in the gospel of Jesus we are different.
3. Ezekiel was pointing to the New Covenant/gospel/Christ seen in John 3.

C. Christian, let this new heart from God drive your life.

1. Ezekiel said God saved His people for His namesake.
2. Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or
whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
3. B/c of new heart you can live for God.

D. Christian, ground your life in God’s regenerating work.

1. When struggling with temptation and sin:

a. Look back to God’s work, not your own.
b. It’s counter-cultural; you must look to Christ’s work through faith alone.

2. Exhort when tempted with idols/impurities

a. Trust in God through Christ.

– Given the Holy Spirit & a new heart.

b. Christ is the only one who has/can overcome.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Joel Taylor July 29, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Good.

Curiosity question: Where in Scripture does it say that God has ever been disappointed or embarrassed by His children?

And something to think about:
You said:

“2. What does this tell us about God’s people?

a. Impure
b. Idolaters
c. Spiritually dead
d. Stone hearts

Then you go one to say …
“TRANSITION::::::Again, we see God identifying Himself with His people.” Is God identifying Himself with the Impure, idolatrous, spiritually dead, stone-hearted people??? And are they “God’s people?”

Keep a sharp focus on who/what/why of the definition of “God’s people”. 🙂

2 Mark July 29, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Joel,

I am thinking that sin, including the profaning of God’s name by His people disappoints and embarrasses. That is, they bring shame to His name.

As to God identifying with His people you skipped the tie in.

.

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