WHAT’S SO RADICAL ABOUT CHRISTIANITY?
The Story of Scripture, part 19
Ezekiel 36 - 37, ESV
David Platt, MBC Pastor-Teacher | June 30, 2019
Radical - what's the root or core of revolutionary about Christianity?
Why is the Christian Life revolutionary? We are missing the essence of Christianity. We as Christian's don't look different than the rest of the world.
EZEKIEL 36:22 – 32
Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. 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. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. And I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. And I will summon the grain and make it abundant and lay no famine upon you. I will make the fruit of the tree and the increase of the field abundant, that you may never again suffer the disgrace of famine among the nations. Then you will remember your evil ways, and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves for your iniquities and your abominations. It is not for your sake that I will act, declares the Lord God; let that be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel.
1. THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO EARN GOD’S LOVE FOR YOU.
No matter what you have done, he will restore us.
EPHESIANS 2:1 – 3
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience – among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
We have turned asside from God into the ways of this world.
EPHESIANS 2:4 – 9
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 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.
YOU ARE SAVED FROM YOUR SIN SOLELY BY GOD’S GRACE. YOU HAVE RADICALLY NEW REST FROM PERFORMANCE-BASED RELIGION.
We are cleaned on the basis of God's love for us. He comes to us in Christianity. Our most critical need is to be with God.
Gods pleasure for us, are not based on what we do for God. But because he sent us Jesus.
2. YOUR LIFE IS NOT ABOUT YOU ANYMORE.
Gods grace, he gives it to us freely.
EZEKIEL 36:16 – 23
The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, when the house of Israel lived in their own land, they defiled it by their ways and their deeds. Their ways before me were like the uncleanness of a woman in her menstrual impurity. So I poured out my wrath upon them for the blood that they had shed in the land, for the idols with which they had defiled it. I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries. In accordance with their ways and their deeds I judged them. But when they came to the nations, wherever they came, they profaned my holy name, in that people said of them, ‘These are the people of the Lord, and yet they had to go out of his land.’ But I had concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations to which they came. Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes.”
God saves his people for his sake. Because of his name. You are saved for his sake, for his glory.
We are not the center of God's universe. It does revolve around us.
God loves me, so that I may glorify God.
YOU ARE SAVED FROM YOUR SIN ULTIMATELY FOR GOD’S GLORY. YOU HAVE RADICALLY NEW PASSIONS FOR GOD’S WORSHIP AND GOD’S WAYS.
We are not just given a new sin. We are given new passions. We are living different than the rest of this world.
Christianity in name only is not Christianity rather it just in name. We should want to live for his glory. We all struggle in sin. We are all pulled into the evil of this world. Many professing Christian's, would just coast into heaven.
In Christianity, we are more concerned about the glory of God in all nation's. Not just our nation.
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.
3. YOU ARE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT THE GLORY OF GOD IN ALL NATIONS THAN YOU ARE ABOUT YOUR COMFORT IN YOUR OWN NATION.
LUKE 24:45 – 49
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
YOU ARE FILLED WITH GOD’S SPIRIT FOR THE SPREAD OF GOD’S GOSPEL.
EZEKIEL 37:1 – 14
The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.” So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army. Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”
God speaks to Ezekiel and God brings the dead to life.
YOU HAVE RADICALLY NEW POWER TO SEE THE DEAD COME TO LIFE.