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From Glory to Glory

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Changed from the Inside Out
God begins the process of perfecting us from the moment we are converted from unbelief to faith in Christ. The Holy Spirit regenerates us. He gives us a new heart with a new set of holy desires.
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26 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. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

Discussion

in the new covenant the people would also receive a new spirit, God’s Holy Spirit (vv.26–27; cf. 11:19–20; 18:31; 37:14; 39:29; Joel 2:28–29; Acts 2:17–18; 2 Cor 3:6–18), who would enable them to live God’s way, strengthening them to follow the Mosaic covenant’s commandments (v.27; cf. Rom 7:7–8:4; Heb 8:6–10:39). The old Mosaic covenant would be written on the heart of those living under the new covenant (Jer 31:33). Therefore, the new covenant replaced the Mosaic covenant by adding those things that made it better, but not by eliminating the good, righteous, and godly Mosaic stipulations that described how to live a godly life. The new covenant provided forgiveness of sin once and for all and the Holy Spirit’s indwelling.

Ezekiel: An Introduction and Commentary e. A Restored Land and a Transformed People (36:1–38)

The terms heart and spirit (26) also need careful understanding. They are not so much parts of man’s make-up as aspects of his total personality. The heart includes the mind and the will, as well as the emotions; it is in fact the seat of the personality, the inmost nature of man. The spirit is the impulse which drives the man and regulates his desires, his thoughts and his conduct. Both of these will be replaced and renewed: the heart that is stubborn, rebellious and insensitive (a heart of stone) by one that is soft, impressionable and responsive (a heart of flesh), and the spirit of disobedience by the Spirit of God. It goes without saying that there is nothing in the Hebrew word ‘flesh’ which suggests the corrupting tendency of the Greek sarx, as used in the New Testament and particularly by the apostle Paul in Romans 8. The result of this psychological transplant will be that Israel will experience a real ‘change of heart’ and will become, by God’s gracious initiative, the kind of people that they have in the past so signally failed to be. The implanting of God’s Spirit within them will transform their motives and empower them to live according to God’s statutes and judgments

Ezekiel: An Introduction and Commentary e. A Restored Land and a Transformed People (36:1–38)

The terms heart and spirit (26) also need careful understanding. They are not so much parts of man’s make-up as aspects of his total personality. The heart includes the mind and the will, as well as the emotions; it is in fact the seat of the personality, the inmost nature of man. The spirit is the impulse which drives the man and regulates his desires, his thoughts and his conduct. Both of these will be replaced and renewed: the heart that is stubborn, rebellious and insensitive (a heart of stone) by one that is soft, impressionable and responsive (a heart of flesh), and the spirit of disobedience by the Spirit of God. It goes without saying that there is nothing in the Hebrew word ‘flesh’ which suggests the corrupting tendency of the Greek sarx, as used in the New Testament and particularly by the apostle Paul in Romans 8. The result of this psychological transplant will be that Israel will experience a real ‘change of heart’ and will become, by God’s gracious initiative, the kind of people that they have in the past so signally failed to be. The implanting of God’s Spirit within them will transform their motives and empower them to live according to God’s statutes and judgments (27). Jeremiah, in the similar passage in his prophecy on which Ezekiel’s appears to be based (Jer. 31:31–34), makes no reference to the gift of the Spirit but his reference to putting ‘my law within them’ and writing it ‘upon their hearts’ clearly produces the same results. The enduement with the Spirit was a sign of the Messianic age (cf. Isa. 42:1; 44:3; 59:21; Joel 2:28f.), and Ezekiel was aware of this and mentioned it on later occasions (37:14; 39:29). For him therefore the restoration of Israel was the beginning of the last days, the age of the Messiah. In keeping with that idea, therefore, the covenant relationship between God and Israel would be renewed (you shall be my people, and I will be your God

He transforms our stubborn wills. He opens our hearts to embrace the truth rather than reject it. He enables us to believe rather than doubt. He gives us a hunger for righteousness and a desire for him. And thus the new birth transforms the inner person. From that point on, everything that occurs in our lives—good or bad—God uses to make us like Christ .
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28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD,

My soul shall be joyful in my God;

For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation,

He has covered me with the robe of righteousness,

As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments,

And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

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