“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you . And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules ” (Ezekiel 36:25-27).
Who does the sprinkling of water and cleansing from uncleanness and idols? Who puts a new heart and a new spirit in the sinner? Who removes the sinner’s heart of stone and replaces it with a heart of flesh? Who puts His Spirit within the sinner and causes them to walk in His statues and be careful to obey His rules?
The answer: God.
Here we see what God does with a sinner; a rebellious sinner who is separated from God and dead in sin (Rom 3:23, Eph 2:1). He cleanses them from all uncleanness, that is, forgiveness of sin and sanctification. He gives the sinner a new heart and a new spirit; that is, spiritual life. He replaces a heart of stone with a heart of flesh. That is, regeneration; a new life, a spiritual life: a rebirth occurs.Here is a dead and stubborn heart that has no faith in God but when this spiritual surgery occurs, the sinner is born of God (John 1:12-13, 3:3).
Then finally, God puts His Spirit within the sinner. He indwells the sinner and causes them to live in obedience to Him. The Spirit given is a guarantee one has been born of God. The Spirit dwelling in the sinner proves they belong to Christ (Eph1:14. Rom 8:9). O what a joy. He who once had no dealings with God is now a lover of God and is careful to obey His rules:
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.
The believer acknowledges that their salvation is all of God: “…you have been born again , not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God”(1Pet 1:23). “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast”(Eph 2:8-9).
You see, if God doesn’t intervene in a sinners life, there will be no spiritual life and spiritual birth. We must therefore pray that God will intervene in the lives of our unbelieving loved ones and all unbelievers so they will come to a saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Our Father in heaven.
We acknowledge your sovereignty in the salvation of sinners.
We know we are incapable of bringing anyone to salvation apart from your work of regeneration.
Therefore Father, work in the hearts of sinners and bring as many as you would to the saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen