Fair and Appropriate

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Is God’s way fair?  This message continues our study the Soul Who Sins, from Ezekiel 18.

Ezekiel 18:21-32   [21] But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. [22] All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. [23] Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God : and not that he should return from his ways, and live? [24] But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. [25] Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal? [26] When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die. [27] Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. [28] Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. [29] Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal? [30] Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God . Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. [31] Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? [32] For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God : wherefore turn yourselves , and live ye.

 

I. The Delusion of Inequality

In verse 25 and 29, God speaks to the hearts and mindset of his people. They were saying- …the way of the Lord is not equal…

 Feelings of Inequality

This delusion is not a foreign concept to us.  Many today express thoughts of inequality-

* why does God allow the wicked to prosper?

* why do bad things happen to good people?

* why does it seem like my life is so hard?

* why does God allow ugly things like racism?

This delusion is quite common.  Ironically, human beings despite all of our flaws, weaknesses, and limitations seem to think that we are capable of assessing the works and character of God.  Somehow the created think they can sit in judgment of their Creator.  This is truly one of the most disturbing parts of this condition of the Jews.

Participants in the Delusion.

The participants in this delusion was the Jews.  Who were the Jews?  Well they were suppose to be God’s chosen people.  Out of all the people groups on the earth, they were intended to be the group set apart for His glory!  Sadly, they were not living out their purpose, in fact they were far from it.

More specifically, the participants in this delusion were Jews in rebellion towards God.  Do you hear that?   They were actively in rebellion towards Jehovah.  They ignored God’s laws and lived how they wanted to.

Notice, as is often the case, those who participated in this delusion were those in a state of obstinate rebellion towards God.  Mark my words, when we choose to rebel against God, it will lead down a path towards doubts about God.  The people who were questioning the character of God, were the very people who willfully chose not to obey him, not to live for him, and not to submit to him.

 

II. Truths to Recognize during Delusion

Remember God is always perfectly Holy.  My hearts desire today is to remind you of a few vital truths, especially if you find yourself doubting or wondering about God and his work in your life.  First of all remember God is always perfectly Holy!  Holy means God is absolutely clean, perfect, without spot or blemish.  There is no wrong, no corruption at all in God.  He has always been Holy, and he will never cease to be Holy.

The holiness of God does not change!   Believers you can rest in that today.  Like Job, who lost almost everything he had, we may not understand the way God is working, but we can trust in the midst of it all that God is still Holy!

Remember you are a child of God.  Secondly, remember that you are a child of God!  If you know him as your personal Savior, then Scripture says you are his child.

Romans 8:16  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:…

I John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

Ephesians 5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

These Jews listening to Ezekiel had forgotten or wanted to ignore the fact that they were God’s chosen people.  God was dealing with them in a way that was perfectly right because they were his people.

Likewise, God is fair because he works in your life in the perfectly appropriate way because you are his adopted child. 

Remember your flesh will strive against God.

Proverbs 19:3 – The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the Lord.

Solomon, one of the wisest men to ever live, said the foolishness of man and the heart of man are against the Lord.  The natural condition, the flesh, the old man is naturally opposed to God.  In a believer, there is a new man and old man in a constant struggle within to determine the choices that will be made.

Romans 7:18-19  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. [19] For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. …

Remember you are being molded like Christ.

For those who have made Jesus the Lord of your life, remember you are continually being molded into the image of Christ.  The New Testament speaks of it much like a carpenter with a chisel, God is regularly chiseling away those parts and pieces of us that do not resemble his Son.

This is a lifelong process and it’s a process that may be painful at times.  As believers we often look at those around us in the world- we see the wicked seem to prosper, the righteous appear to suffer, and we wonder how it is fair…

So, in our human minds does it all seem fair?  Well no, it probably doesn’t.  But that doesn’t change the truth that God’s way is perfect!

God is accomplishing a different plan with your life.  He is working towards a different goal with you than those neighbors around you! His purpose for the difficulties and situations in your life is significantly different than in the lost world! 

So, is God’s way fair? Yes, yes, yes.  Because God is shaping you into the image of his Son!

Is God’s way fair?  Yes.  Does it always seem fair to us?  No.   More importantly it should be said that God’s way is appropriate!  He knows you in a personal way and he always works his plan in your life in a way that is sovereignly appropriate.

 

III. Where to go after Delusion

Repent and Turn

[30] Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God . Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.

Ezekiel says the first step that must be taken in leaving this delusion is to repent.  The concept of this word is to make a 180 degree turn.  To repent is to recognize the error of our way and to turn completely around and run the opposite way.

Why?  Because these Jews were in a rebellious way, going away from God.  Repentance is when we turn completely and go towards him.

Cast Away

[31] Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

Cast away means to set aside, put down those transgressions, leave them there, and then turn and go towards God.

Make a new heart and spirit

Lastly, Ezekiel says a person must make a new heart and new spirit.  There must be a new nature put in place.  A willful choice must be made to walk in genuine faith in God.

This choice is made to today by submitting ourselves to Christ, confessing our sinful condition to him, and asking him to be Lord in our life.

Where do we go from this delusion?  We must begin a life of genuine faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

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