It was 103°F in Hell Creek, South Dakota, one day in September 1993. Dinosaur hunter Michael Hammer was amazed at what he saw. Sticking out of the ground were the remains of a Thescelosaurus, a plant-eating dinosaur. The skeleton was almost complete. Hammer says he knew right away that it was “very special.”
Scientists reported that inside the dinosaur’s chest was what seems to be a stone heart–the first dinosaur heart ever seen.
God described His people as having a “heart of stone.” In other words; they had hearts that were dead, cold, hard, lifeless and unresponsive. Now that God described the condition of their hearts and ours in this way, what would He do about it?
The Lord cares deeply for His people and promises to spiritually transform and renew them. If the Israelites had ever needed spiritual transformation and renewal, it was then. A spirit of discouragement and distress had gripped their hearts. Their nation and homeland had been totally destroyed by the ruthless Babylonian army. They had lost their homes and businesses; furthermore, their land was utterly devastated. They themselves had been deported and were exiles in a foreign nation. And, sadly, many of their loved ones, family members, and neighbors had died in the defense of their nation. Utter hopelessness flooded their minds and smothered any hope in the future. Despair and grief flooded their very souls. But the Lord knew and He cared. So He instructed Ezekiel to preach a message that offered the brightest of all futures. A day was coming when the people would be spiritually transformed and renewed.
“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. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.” Ezekiel 36: 26-27
God will give the people a new heart and put a new spirit in them. The Lord will regenerate all people who truly trust Him. They will be born again spiritually and become brand new people.
This promise from God in Ezekiel focuses upon spiritual transformation. The theological term is called “regeneration.” When we truly trust Christ, He cleanses our hearts by forgiving our sins and giving us a new spirit. He does just what He says in this Scripture:
⇒ He restores us to Himself.
⇒ He cleanses us from all sin.
⇒ He gives us a new heart and a new spirit.
⇒ He puts His precious Holy Spirit within us, making our bodies His temple.
⇒ He gives us an inheritance in the promised land of heaven.
⇒ He claims us as His people, and He becomes our God.
⇒ He delivers us from all the bondages of sin and unclean behavior.
All the promises that God originally gave Israel through the prophet Ezekiel apply to true believers, no matter what their nationality. When we truly trust the Lord, He spiritually transforms us. Let’s read more about what God’s Word says about spiritual transformation:
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” John 1:12-13
Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your [b]reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Rom. 12:1-2
Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Cor. 4:16-18
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Cor. 5:17.
That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Eph. 4:22-24.
Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ Philippians 1:6
But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7.
No matter how impure our lives are right now, God offers each of us a fresh start. You can have your sins washed away, receive a new heart for God, and have his Spirit within you—if you accept God’s promise. Why try to patch up your old life when you can have a new one?
Watch Messages: YouTube-Upwards Church
The Preacher’s Outline & Sermon Bible – Ezekiel, (Chattanooga: Leadership Ministries Worldwide, 2007), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “D. The Lordâ€™s Message to Both the Land (Mountains) and the People of Israel: A Picture of Godâ€™s Deep Care for the Holy Land and His People, 36:1-38”.
Life Application Study Bible, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale, 1988), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 1357-1358.