Study from God’s Word… Ezekiel, Chapters 32 – 33 … Passage for Reflection: Ezekiel 33: 13 … NIV 13 If I tell the righteous man that he will surely live, but then he trusts in his righteousness and does evil, none of the righteous things he has done will be remembered; he will die for the evil he has done.
My Journal for Today: For a New Covenant (i.e., New Testament) oriented Christian this text (today’s highlight passage) may be troubling. It seems to be one of those passages which could be interpreted as support for the Armenian position of salvation: i.e., that one can lose his/her salvation because of their behavioral choices – even after believing in the God of salvation. But one has to take this passage in the context of the Old Covenant which God had made with Israel as well as God’s promise of a Messiah, One Who would come to God’s people and be their agent of salvation, … their Redeemer.
So, for you Calvinist types out there; don’t despair. Today’s passage is absolutely right on target, given the Covenant which God had with His people in the days of Ezekiel. And this is why we see that God’s people kept failing in that covenant, which was dependent upon the faith of those who looked forward to a Messiah and, in faith, put their trust in the God of the Old Covenant, recognizing that they could not live up to God’s Law – in and of themselves. It was the faith of the Old Testament believers, i.e., those who recognized their own unrighteousness and humbly pursued righteousness in the face of their individual and collective sinfulness, which produced salvation for these Old Testament Jews.
I know. It’s complicated, isn’t it? But when Jesus came on the scene, bringing forth the New Covenant, He simplified it for all mankind. But nothing has changed. We NT Christians find salvation – i.e., ever lasting salvation – the same way an OT Jew did. We cast our inability to be righteous on a God Who is the only One who can give us the power to be righteous. In our case, in this New Covenant dispensation, our faith casting is upon Jesus, The Christ, Who came to earth, lived, died, raised from the dead, and was returned to Heaven to be with His Father so that we, i.e., those who would repent of our sinfulness and receive God’s saving grace – in faith, … we would find that promise of the classic passage which you probably have memorized, … John 3: 16.
So, though I’m not righteous, when God sees me, He sees me as righteous, because I know I’m unrighteous and believe in the only One Who can save me from my unrighteousness; and He’s the only one Who can – and will – make me righteous … because of my faith. So, I can have confidence in my eternal security, … not because of me; but because of The Christ. I pray that you have that confidence too; and if you don’t, you need to do what is simply spelled out in Romans 10: 9 – 13, acknowledging to God and someone else that you’re a sinner, … declaring in faith that you repent of your sinfulness, … thanking Christ for dying for your sins, and finally asking Him to become the Lord of your life. If you’ve done that, and meant it in your heart, declaring it openly to someone, you are declared righteous by God – FOREVER!
My Prayer for Today: Again, HALLELUJAH, Lord for what You’ve done to give me, a sinner, Your righteousness. Amen