Summary: God gives us amazing grace to face the reality of our future

Grace to Face the Future

Ezekiel 36:26, Jeremiah 31:31, 33

Series: Grace that Amazes

April 21, 2013

Morning Service

When I was a kid playing backyard baseball, we would hit the ball into trees and it would block the ball. Unfortunately, I did this often. We had a simple rule for these times of mistakes. We would simply call redo and start over.

Have you ever wanted to have a redo? Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could just call redo and start over? Life doesn’t work that way and we have to live with all of those mistakes that we’ve made. We have to live with all of the problems we have caused. We have to go through the day by day issues of those mistakes.

Let me let you in on a fact of life, Jesus died to give us to the right for a redo. Grace is the ultimate redo. The whole purpose is to erase those wrongs that cling to your past. We serve a God of redo. We live for a Savior who is the master of the redo. We call it a new life.

New life comes with the promise of redemption

I will make a new covenant…I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. Jeremiah 31. 31, 33

God made agreements with His people throughout the pages of scripture. These agreements were called covenants. A covenant is simply an agreement made between two or more parties. The agreement was binging much like a legal contract today.

Examples of Covenants in Scripture

Noah – God promised never again to destroy the earth with a flood.

Abraham – God made the agreement to give Abraham the Promised Land and to give him descendants

Israel – God made the agreement to be the God of Israel and gave the Ten Commandments

David – God made the agreement to send the Messiah through David’s family line

The old law was powerless to change lives. The Law could not deal with the nature of sin. The process of sacrifice and forgiveness became a series of ups and downs that makes the worst roller coaster seem like a kiddie ride. The Law could only convict people of their sin and not convert them to a new life. The Law convicted sin but could never enable those convicted to overcome sin. God understood the depth of our human need and saw the plight of our problem with sin. We were in need of something we could not acquire on our own, we were in need of grace. Our need was radical in nature and God devised a radical solution. God stepped into history, across the tides of time, to provide the answer. God gave a new covenant, a new promise to those who could not live by the Law.

Our problem was simple, no one could live by the Law God had given. There was no person able to live above the corruption of sin. We needed a radical change, we needed something only God could provide. We needed Jesus.

Our future is found in a new life. God understood that we could never live up to the Covenant. God understood that we needed more than just the Law. The Law would never be able to save anyone, it only shackled us to the shame and the stains of the past. Instead of giving the Law again, God places it within the hearts of His people. God intersects with our lives and gives us a new perspective on Him.

New life comes with the provision of renewal

I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 11:19

The heart refers to the physical organ that pumps blood through the body but it also refers to the inner most being of a person. The heart was the center of someone’s life. The heart represented the inner self and contained the character. The heart was the source of personal behavior.

The heart was the source of understanding and reason

The heart was the source of emotional being

The heart was the source of spiritual being

When God is in control of the heart, He has leadership over every major area of life. God leads our understanding, our emotions and our spirit. The problem that many people have is that they are like Israel – they have a heart of stone. They refuse to give their heart over to God and surrender their life to His control. They choose to continue life with a heart of stone.

What is a heart of stone?

1. Lifeless

The heart of stone is without genuine life. The person may breathe and their heart may beat but they just exist. Living means that the person lives with their heart in tune with God. A heart of stone cannot care for anyone or anything. It is void of compassion and concern.

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