Apr 11, 2010

Ezekiel 18:31 - William Styles

Ezek. 36:25, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.” Ezek. 18:31, “Make you a new heart and a new spirit.” Alleged to prove that the Bible teaches both Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility—since in the first verse God is said to give sinners a new heart, and in the second, they are commanded to make their own hearts new. But—

This interpretation supposes that the two portions refer to the same persons under the same characters, which is not the case.

Ezek. 18:31, is addressed to the Jews of Ezekiel’s day, and they are enjoined to avert their national death by national repentance and reformation. This necessitates our interpreting the “making of a new heart” to mean—not a spiritual change, but a change in the moral tone of the nation (see page 245).

Ezek. 36:25, like chap. 11:19, refers (1) to the Jews in a far distant day, when the nation will be brought to spiritual Repentance, and (2) to the election of grace, the Israel of God—on whom the Lord confers the spiritual blessings of a change of heart and spirit. Jer. 31:31, 34, as interpreted in Heb. 8:8, 12, afford a satisfactory precedent for this interpretation. Thus the baselessness of the Fullerite view is apparent.

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