I had the opportunity to hear Paul Washer two years ago at a conference in Georgia. I don’t know much about him but I do appreciate his passion for God and the gospel. He’s written a few books and has a few video clips on youtube. I’ve been influence over the past couple of years by his trilogy of books on recovering the gospel. We had one of them on our church book table that I read a couple of years back. I really appreciate Paul’s clarity and call for the church to get the gospel right. I’m half way through his book ‘The Gospel Call and True Conversion’. I want to reference a passage of Scripture that he lingers over for a chapter. I’ve never noticed the emphasis of this passage in the past although I’ve read it several times. It’s so theologically rich and so soul-satisfying and so God-glorifying.
 I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land.  I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.  And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.  You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. (Ezekiel 36:24-28 ESV)
God does an absolutely supernatural work in genuine conversion. Notice what the text tells us about what God does.
God will remove His people from the nations.
God will gather His people from all the countries.
God will bring His people into their own land.
God will sprinkle clean water on His people.
God will cleanse His people from uncleanness and from idols.
God will gift His people with a new heart and with a new spirit.
God will remove the heart of stone from His people and replace it with a heart of flesh.
God will put His Spirit within His people.
God will cause His people to walk in His statutes.
In a world with a lot of uncertainty, there is some rock solid certainty in this passage. It’s crystal clear. I love it when preachers preach with certainty. I love it when writers write with certainty. Many of them write and preach with certainty because they have God’s Word as their foundation and what the biblical authors write is God-breathed…therefore it’s absolutely certain. God doesn’t stutter.
This is a clear word for believers…because sometimes we struggle…sometimes we doubt. We know we’re His, but we mess up and end up down the garden path…far from home. We sin and we feel the shame and the remorse and the guilt. We feel the ache and we long for Heaven where temptation will be no more…but for the time being when we walk this earth, we will live in the land of Struggleville.
Aren’t you glad that your salvation isn’t based on your performance? Aren’t you glad that your salvation isn’t based upon how you feel? Our salvation is based on the clear and certain work of God. Our salvation is based upon His sovereign work. Our salvation is based on the glorious gospel!
Sometimes we go to bed with much guilt as we evaluate the day. I snapped at my secretary. I didn’t read my Bible. I didn’t play with my kids. I grunted at my spouse instead of speaking kindly. I sat and vegged in front of the TV for three hours. What kind of lousy Christian am I? But my standing before God is not based upon what I do or don’t do. If our relationship with God was based on our performance, He would have ditched each of us a long time ago. My righteousness before God is based on the work of Another.
If you are a blood bought child of God, remember…
God removed you from the nations.
God sprinkled you with clean water.
God has gifted you with a new heart and with a new spirit.
God removed your heart of stone and replaced it with a heart of flesh.
God put His Spirit in you.
God causes you to walk in His statutes.
May that be the pillow for you head that helps you sleep tonight. May you not wrestle for sleep thinking about what you did or didn’t do. May the work of Another cause you to rest…and cause you to rest well.