Ezekiel 18  Wed. Aug 22, 2018  

Purpose summary of the passage:  The meaning of the proverb in v2 sets the theme of this chapter showing that each soul in this world shall bear responsibility for their own sin. God deals with each soul on the basis of his or her own actions, not of parents or other superiors. The righteous shall be blessed and live: the wicked are called out for their sin and are brought under the sentence of death.  There is hope, however, for the sinner through personal repentance v21.  

Key verse  v 4  “All souls are mine.”   This means we are responsible directly to God and each man or woman must bear responsibility for his or her own actions. Along with this truth comes the warning that sin demands death to the sinner.  This is an unchangeable principle (Romans 6:23).

Observations: – Lessons from the text of scripture. V5-9  The ways of the righteous who shall live are listed for us to emulate. ·        ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­____________________________________________________ ·        ____________________________________________________ ·        _____________________________________________________

V10- 13  The ways of the wicked who shall die  are listed for us to renounce and repent. ·        ___________________________________________________________________ ·        ___________________________________________________________________ ·        ___________________________________________________________________

V14-20  The son who obeys God is counted righteous. He does not face death for his father’s sins. ·        ­­­­­­­­Summarize v21 in your own words ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ V21-23  God takes delight in the sinner’s repentance and is sure to pardon.  This is because God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (v23). This is a great gospel theme. God delights in pardoning sin, not in judging sinners. ·       

What does this text teach us about the nature of God? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ V25-30  God earnestly proves that His manner of judging the unrighteous is equal, or just. ·       

Is this a common objection today? ______________________________________ V30b – 32 

God called Israel to repent.  His argument is built on His gracious, but righteous character. God must judge sinners when if they remain unrepentant, but it brings Him no pleasure. He backs this up with a bona-fide offer of mercy to all who repent.  All of God’s gospel invitations are genuine and act as a warrant for faith and repentance.  See a good example in Matt. 23:37. God would receive sinners, but many will not turn unto Him for mercy. 

They, therefore, need to be effectually called to repent unto life.

Shorter Catechism:  Q. 87  What is repentance unto life?  Ans:  Repentance unto life is a saving grace, whereby a sinner, out of a true sense of his sin, and apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ, doth, with a grief and hatred of his sin, turn from it unto God, with full purpose of, and endeavour after, new obedience ( Acts 11:18, 2 Cor. 7:11).

Westminster Confession of Faith Ch. 15.1:  Repentance unto life is an evangelical grace, the doctrine whereof is to be preached by every minister of the gospel, as well as that of faith in Christ.  

Application: – How does this apply to me?

As God was quick to correct the sense of hopelessness felt by a people who considered themselves beyond God’s grace because of their father’s sins, so we must minister hope to the worst of sinners.  Generational sins bring problems and create struggles for succeeding generations, but individuals are not locked into despair. No nation, nor sub-group of people, should be considered beyond God’s grace. We must preach the gospel to every creature with confidence that God’s grace is greater than man’s sin (Romans 5:20-21). 

Without the conviction of sin and definite repentance, there is no hope for lost souls. None have sinned, however, to the point that they are beyond God’s mercy if they will personally repent.  

Things to do in light of this study: 

1. Examine your own life to ensure that you have repented from all known sin.

2. Ask God to deepen the spirit of repentance in you so that you worship and serve God in righteousness.

3. Praise God for His grace to repentant sinners.

4. Tell the worst of sinners that there is mercy with the Lord when they give up their sins.

5. It is proper to tell sinners to change their ways and change their hearts (v32), knowing that God is the One who works this repentance in the sinner’s soul. This conviction will cause us to pray much as we witness and preach the message of repentance.  Ultimately, God must give sinners repentance.

6. Pray for God to give repentance to sinners.  

What are your own personal thoughts from this study: _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

[To print out a PDF of this study, see file attachment below.]