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677 You Shall Be My People, And... (details.asp)
Main Topics: Holiness, Freedom in Christ, Covenant

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Common Lectionary: Easter Vigil ABC

We do not make ourselves holy, but God puts his Spirit within us to move us to follow his decrees and live within his boundaries, that we might live a free and healthy life.

Keywords: - Church, Holy Spirit, John Stott, Word of God, Dual Inspiration of Scriptures

Greek or Hebrew words: - Gowy, Greek: Nations, Gentiles. Choq, Greek: decrees

Key Scriptures: - Eze 36:23-28

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1. Godís holiness

    a. Christians/Jews defile Godís name among Gentiles

    b. Christians are despised because of horrors they have wrought

    c. God shows his holiness through believers, calling them to lives of love

2. God cleanses us

    a. We cannot strive to make ourselves holy

    b. Godís Spirit in us moves us to follow his decrees and boundaries

3. Freedom in Christ

    a. Based on right, just, merciful living

    b. Not freedom from Godís authority and boundaries

 

The words of Ezekiel 36 transcend time, applying to our lives.  ďI will show the holiness of my great name, that has been profaned (defiled, misused) among the nations (Gentiles).Ē  We have profaned Godís name; Christians are despised because of the horrors they have wrought.  ďThe nations will know that I am the Lord, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes.Ē  God shows himself through us, calling us to lives of love.  ďI will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.Ē  God does this!  We cannot make ourselves holy by our own effort.  God will give us a new heart and Spirit.  We cannot change ourselves; God puts his Spirit in us, moving us to follow his decrees and laws.  This is not legalism, but respecting Godís boundaries to lead a healthy life.  Christ set us free, a freedom based on right living, treating others with justice and mercy.  ďYou will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God.Ē  This is the Covenant.  Jesus teaches us to pray that we would obey Godís will and be in his Kingdom--his boundaries.  Freedom in Christ does not mean freedom from Godís direction and authority.  We must understand that God cleanses us, God takes out our hearts of stone and gives us hearts of flesh, and God puts his Spirit within us to guide us in his boundaries.  As we do this, we are truly the church God is forming; we will be his people and he will be our God.

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