Approximately 2,600 years ago, the prophet Ezekiel warned the
people about the consequences of their bloodshed and corruption.
In Ezekiel 18:30-31 he says:
30 "Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, each according to
his conduct," declares the Lord GOD. "Repent and turn away from all your
transgressions, so that iniquity may not become a stumbling block to
31 "Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have
committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! For why
will you die, O house of Israel?
32 "For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies," declares
the Lord GOD. "Therefore, repent and live."
~ New American Standard Bible
“A new heart and a new spirit” – now, that’s getting down to basics.
God makes it plain in His Word that He is not pleased with empty words
and rituals meant to justify evil actions. He desires positive change
for the better, and this takes self-discipline. Remember the fruit of
the spirit in Galatians 5:22? They start with “love” and end with
This is a life-long pursuit, since we become more proficient at what
we practice either for better or worse. Practice does make perfect, as
the saying goes. This is so simple. Yet most people continue to “play
games” as though they can fool their Creator. Even many of those who
claim to have found the way and are born again believers have tried to
cheapen God’s Word and “simplified” it to a ritualized prayer meant to
erase past, present and future sin. Actually the “sinner’s prayer” is an
initial awakening – the beginning of a journey of life-long improvement.
That’s what being truly born again entails. That’s what receiving “a new
heart and a new spirit means.”