We live in an age where nobody wants to take responsibility: ‘My devious tendencies are the result of my troubled childhood’; ‘I was under the influence of alcohol’; ‘My friends made me do it’; and; ‘I was simply following orders’. The Israelites had a similar problem from a different perspective – they took God’s acceptance of them for granted on account of their family of origin and Jewish heritage as God’s chosen people.
But in chapter 18 of Ezekiel (part of this Sunday’s focus at Church), God is clear – each person will be held to account for their own sins. On the one hand this is terrible news, because we can’t weasel our way out from what we’ve done – we will be held to account no more how great our family heritage or what other excuses we can come up with. But it’s also wonderful news – because it means we are never trapped by the circumstances in which we’ve found ourselves. Whether those circumstances be of our own making or not. In verse 21 we read beautiful words of hope, that ‘if a wicked person turns away from [their] sins … that person will surely live’.
Although each one of us falls into sin – God is longing for us to turn from our wicked ways and live! We are never too far gone. We can always turn to God in faith and be saved.
How is this so? How can we be saved? – Only by faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for forgiveness of our sins.
Listen to the wonderful final paragraph of Ezekiel 18:
“Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offences; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offences you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit;. Why will you die, people of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!”
Yours in Christ,