posted by kennyo at 9:18 PM
Ezekiel 36:22 "Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord God: "I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name's sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. 23 "And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord," says the Lord God, "when I am hallowed in you before their eyes. 24 "For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. 25 "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. To be sure one must never confuse works and Grace. But James was also speaking truth when he said, James 2: 17-18 "Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. John also insists, "If someone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also." I feel confident in saying it is the work of the Holy Spirit that regenerates the heart as described in the Ezekiel passage. That same passage states bluntly that the Law of God WILL be written in our hearts ans we will want to obey. If our fear is that we will be reliant on our sense of morality, we are right to be fearful, but if we fear it is wrong to desire morality (and I don't mean a relativized sense of morality but a morality that God has created. Perhaps I am unaware of what morality is but I am certain that God has a definition of His, and that is what I believe IS morality. It is Love generated, AGAPE love, that is not centered in self but others and only as directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
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