Transformation Required

Key Verse: “Every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son—both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die.”
—Ezekiel 18:4,
New International Version

Selected Scripture:
Ezekiel 18:1-4, 20, 21, 25-32

THE EIGHTEENTH CHAPTER of Ezekiel relates especially to the time when the Adamic transgression will be offset by the New Covenant. The Prophet Ezekiel said, “The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel: ‘The fathers eat sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel. For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son—both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die.” (Ezek. 18:1-4, NIV) It is evident that today, the fathers eating ‘sour grapes’ has the children’s teeth ‘set on edge.’ The law of heredity still rules and mankind continues to die because of Adam’s sin. What did he mean, no more occasion to use this proverb? Why did he make such a contrary statement?

The Apostle Paul gives us the answer. He said, “As sin entered the world through one man [Adam], and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— … the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!”—Rom. 5:12,15, NIV

It is evident that this time has not yet come. The children still have their teeth set on edge by reason of the sour grapes of sin which their fathers have eaten; man is still under the law of heredity, and all still die for Adam’s sin and not for individual sin. Christ’s atonement, secured through the merit of his sacrifice on Calvary, will accomplish the transformation which will bring the restitution blessings of the future thousand-year kingdom to the world of mankind.

Jeremiah furnishes a more detailed account pointing to the future kingdom. “The time is coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, … For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”—Jer. 31:31-34, NIV

Thus will end the law of heredity. No longer will it be possible for children to blame their parents for inheriting fallen and evil ways. Instead, everyone will have God’s law written in their hearts. This is another way of saying that God will give every man a perfect body, capable of living righteously.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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