God - so what?
Good evening. Glad you could be here. For the benefit of those who were not here this morning, let me quickly recapitulate. We saw from Ezekiel first vision in Chapter 1 several things about God! We discovered that God is holy; that God is universal in presence, power and knowledge. We also saw that God is mission-minded and that He is personal!
The Context - Story of Ezekiel from Chapter 2 onwards...
- a. Symbolic Actions (4v1-5v17)
- b. Vision of Jerusalem (8v1-11v25)
- c. Symbolic Actions (12v1-20)
- d. Prophecy Concerning Israel (12v21-24v27)
- e. Prophecy Concerning Foreign Nations (25v1-32v32)
- f. Salvation for Israel (33v1-39v29)
1. A God who is holy (Ezekiel 36v22-23)
2. A God who gathers (Ezekiel 36v24)
3. A God who cleanses (Ezekiel 36v25) and operates (Ezekiel 36v26)
4. A God who indwells (v27)
5. A God to live for (v28)
Conclusion - What about you?
What about you? If you are already a Christian here tonight, then it is not because of anything you have done. It is because of the events at Easter that you are a Christian, when God took the necessary steps so that all people could have the choice to either follow Him or not. We are primarily Christians, not because we come to church services or just happened to have been born in a supposedly Christian country. We are primarily Christians, because God first chased and harried us into His arms. We are Christians, if you are one, because God first loved you. And as a tremendous lover, He beckons and calls people all the time to respond to His call, and back to Him.
When I was younger, in my more smug moments I used to congratulate myself for being a Christian. How proud I was that I, Dave Roberts, was a Christian and that God was a jolly lucky God that I had decided to follow Him. It was during one of my less self-deluded moments, that I examined myself and I found God pricking my conscience and correcting me, and I read the New Testament "For the Son of Man came, not to serve but to give His life as a ransom for many" (Mk10v45).
So... If you are a Christian here tonight, go show and tell the transformation that the all-powerful living God has performed in you. If like me, you are a Christian today, our sins were forgiven through Jesus' death on the Cross. That is when we had our "bath" as it were. That is the point when we were justified before God and we are declared His child. Having been justified already, we don't need a bath anymore! But we do need the equivalent of a foot-washing daily and or every time we take Holy Communion and a cleansing of our sin when we confess it before our God and repent.
If you are not a Christian here today, then God is actively pursuing you. I, of course, don't know the circumstances in which He is, but I do know that He is. He wants all people to be followers of Him. That is why He is gathering, cleansing, and indwelling His people. If you would like to know more about the Christian faith, then please don't leave here tonight without talking to somebody about it.