The Soul Who Sins Will Die

The Soul Who Sins Will DieText: Ezekiel 18:4

Many people do not want to take responsibility for their actions. They blame others for what they do wrong. The Lord addressed this mentality among His people in this chapter. We need to learn these lessons.

Each Person Is Accountable for His Own Sins (v. 1-4)

  • The Lord began by addressing a proverb that people were using (v. 2)
  • Depending on intent, this could have been used to state the truth – consequences of our actions extend to others; however, they were not using it this way; they wanted to pass off blame for their sins
  • The soul who sins will die” (v. 4) – we have no one to blame for our actions; others may influence us or make things difficult for us, but we are individually accountable

We Must Be Righteous to Be Accepted by God (v. 5-9)

  • Because this man was righteous, he would surely live (v. 9) – acceptable to God
  • Why was he righteous? – he did what was right (v. 5, 9) and did not do what was wrong (v. 6-8)
  • The same is true for us today – we must do what is right and not do what is wrong (1 John 3:7, 4; 2:1)

Righteousness and Unrighteousness Are Not Passed from One to Another (v. 10-20)

  • Two scenarios described in this chapter – the righteous man has a wicked son (v. 10-13); the wicked man has a righteous son (v. 14-18); each one made his own choices and was held accountable for his actions (v. 20)
  • Calvinism teaches otherwise – the sins of Adam are imputed to us (lost regardless of our actions); the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us (saved regardless of our actions)
  • Righteousness and unrighteousness are not passed on from one person to another – we will each give an account for what we have done (2 Corinthians 5:10); we need to practice righteousness (1 John 3:7), avoid sin (1 John 2:1), and walk in the Light (1 John 1:5-7)

Hope: The Wicked Can Repent (v. 21-23)

  • What must the wicked man do to be saved? – repent and obey the Lord (v. 21)
  • Result of repentance – his sins will not be remembered; this means that repentance must come before forgiveness (cf. Luke 17:3; Acts 2:38; 8:22)
  • God desires all to be saved (v. 23; cf. 2 Peter 3:9) – but we must turn to Him

Warning: The Righteous Can Fall Away (v. 24-26)

  • It is possible for a child of God to fall from grace (v. 24; cf. Galatians 5:4)
  • Some will argue this point (v. 25) – they believe in “once saved, always saved”
  • However, a child of God is still accountable for his actions (v. 26; cf. 1 Corinthians 9:27) – we must heed this warning

The Invitation (v. 27-32)

  • Salvation is open to all (v. 27; cf. Titus 2:11-12; 2 Peter 3:9)
  • This is a serious matter requiring careful consideration (v. 28; cf. 2 Corinthians 13:5)
  • Do not reject the counsel of God (v. 29; cf. Hebrews 3:14-15)
  • Repent and turn to the Lord (v. 30-31; cf. Acts 17:30-31; 3:19; 2:38)
  • The Lord wants to save you, but you must meet His conditions (v. 32; cf. John 3:16; Hebrews 5:9)

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