Friday, May 05, 2006

Humility: Day Five

Continuing on this theme of humility I would like to look at Ezekiel 36:26-32.

"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.

At the thought of our salvation we should not say to ourselves “I must be something because Jesus died for me.” Ezekiel makes it very clear that the thought of God’s grace in light of our sin should leave us confounded and ashamed.

This leaves us with an interesting tension that is particularly highlighted in the NT. We are to remember our sins yet forget them.

Ephesians 2:12-13: Remember
Philippians 3:12-13: Forget

We need to remember enough to be ashamed by our sin and satisfied with God’s grace; but don’t remember (or dwell on) your sin to the point that you are paralyzed by it.

My Conclusion:
The Gospel should humble us, not make us proud. We should be ashamed and confounded by our sin so that we will be happy and satisfied with God’s grace. Humility, that is remembering our humble state, can be a great source of joy because it will cause God-glorifying gratitude.


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