Seek a new heart

September 28, 2014

 

Ezekiel 18

The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, 2 “What do you mean when you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying:

‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes,

And the children’s teeth are set on edge’?

3 “As I live,” says the Lord God, “you shall no longer use this proverb in Israel.

4 “Behold, all souls are Mine;

The soul of the father

As well as the soul of the son is Mine;

The soul who sins shall die.

 

25 “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair? 26 When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies. 27 Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness which he committed, and does what is lawful and right, he preserves himself alive. 28 Because he considers and turns away from all the transgressions which he committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 29 Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?

30 “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,” says the Lord God. “Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. 31 Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord God. “Therefore turn and live!”

 

Question of Jesus’ Authority

Mark 11:27–33; Luke 20:1–18

23 Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?”

24 But Jesus answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things: 25 The baptism of John—where was it from? From heaven or from men?”

And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the multitude, for all count John as a prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus and said, “We do not know.”

And He said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.

 

Parable of the Two Sons

28 “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ 29 He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. 30 Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?”

They said to Him, “The first.”

Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him.

 

Parable of the Landowner

Mark 12:1–12; Luke 20:9–19

 

33 “Hear another parable: There was a certain landowner who planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country. 34 Now when vintage-time drew near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, that they might receive its fruit. 35 And the vinedressers took his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another. 36 Again he sent other servants, more than the first, and they did likewise to them. 37 Then last of all he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38 But when the vinedressers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’ 39 So they took him and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him.

 

40 “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vinedressers?”

41 They said to Him, “He will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons.”

42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:

‘The stone which the builders rejected

Has become the chief cornerstone.

This was the Lord’s doing,

And it is marvelous in our eyes’?

 

43 “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. 44 And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”

45 Now when the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables, they perceived that He was speaking of them. 46 But when they sought to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitudes, because they took Him for a prophet.

 

Sermon

Sermon summary

 

There are a lot of ologies out there; Zoology - the the study of Zoos, Vulcanology - the study of volcanoes, Ripperology - the study of Jack the ripper and even hamburgology - the study of hamburgers.

Theology is the study of God, but Psychology - the study of mind and behaviour is also a helpful science. We find out we are our parents children, our genes affect who we are, and this seem fascinating! 

 

There is a phrase in Ezekiel which states “The fathers have eaten sour grapes,

And the children’s teeth are set on edge”. The heart of Ezekiel message is that of moral accountability. That we are not judged by our forefathers sins but by our own. 

Do you hear people complaining sometimes that something is not their fault, but someone else's. But Ezekiel makes a point of stating that we are responsible for our own faults. 

Do we have a tendency to blame our genes or things that happened in the past, here we are asked to stand up and make an account for ourselves. 

 

In the old testament there is always something very positive and right at the end it says; “get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit”.

 

The hymn we sang spoke of purifying our heart. Freedom and forgiveness doesn’t come easy especially if we are full of bitterness. 

 

Can we be torn from our old ways and seek a new heart and a new spirit.


Amen

 

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