Ezekiel 18

* God has no respect of persons. (1-20) The Divine providence is

vindicated. (21-29) A gracious invitation to repentance. (30-32)

1-20 The soul that sinneth it shall die. As to eternity, every

man was, is, and will be dealt with, as his conduct shows him to

have been under the old covenant of works, or the new covenant

of grace. Whatever outward sufferings come upon men through the

sins of others, they deserve for their own sins all they suffer;

and the Lord overrules every event for the eternal good of

believers. All souls are in the hand of the great Creator: he

will deal with them in justice or mercy; nor will any perish for

the sins of another, who is not in some sense worthy of death

for his own. We all have sinned, and our souls must be lost, if

God deal with us according to his holy law; but we are invited

to come to Christ. If a man who had shown his faith by his

works, had a wicked son, whose character and conduct were the

reverse of his parent's, could it be expected he should escape

the Divine vengeance on account of his father's piety? Surely

not. And should a wicked man have a son who walked before God as

righteous, this man would not perish for his father's sins. If

the son was not free from evils in this life, still he should be

partaker of salvation. The question here is not about the

meritorious ground of justification, but about the Lord's

dealings with the righteous and the wicked.
21-29 The wicked man would be saved, if he turned from his evil

ways. The true penitent is a true believer. None of his former

transgressions shall be mentioned unto him, but in the

righteousness which he has done, as the fruit of faith and the

effect of conversion, he shall surely live. The question is not

whether the truly righteous ever become apostates. It is certain

that many who for a time were thought to be righteous, do so,

while ver. #26,27| speaks the fulness of pardoning mercy: when

sin is forgiven, it is blotted out, it is remembered no more. In

their righteousness they shall live; not for their

righteousness, as if that were an atonement for their sins, but

in their righteousness, which is one of the blessings purchased

by the Mediator. What encouragement a repenting, returning

sinner has to hope for pardon and life according to this

promise! In verse #28| is the beginning and progress of

repentance. True believers watch and pray, and continue to the

end, and they are saved. In all our disputes with God, he is in

the right, and we are in the wrong.
30-32 The Lord will judge each of the Israelites according to

his ways. On this is grounded an exhortation to repent, and to

make them a new heart and a new spirit. God does not command

what cannot be done, but admonishes us to do what is in our

power, and to pray for what is not. Ordinances and means are

appointed, directions and promises are given, that those who

desire this change may seek it from God.

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