Ezekiel 36:26

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26). It is easy to think that the way to change a person is by reforming their behaviour – if we can change the way they act then their life can be turned around. Unfortunately in the long run this achieves little more than transferring people from one sin to the next; moving people from one unacceptable idol to other more palatable gods! The church often falls into the trap of preaching a change of behaviour as ‘becoming a Christian’. If they stop their damaging habitual sin then they are ‘converted’. Law and religion then become the path to salvation. Ezekiel spoke of a radical new covenant that would come through Jesus. By God’s salvation work He would give people a new heart, He would put His Spirit in them, and give them a heart of flesh. God begins the Christian life with a new heart (even if at conversion the outer behaviour has not changed much). But slowly that heart of flesh pumps life giving blood to the new creation and in time the person’s acts are changed. But the important work is God’s renewal work. Through faith in Jesus the person is born anew, redeemed and fit for God – holy and righteous and they began to walk and live with a new heart that pumps fresh warm blood!