Ezekiel 36:26-27 says, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” 

This chapter contains the great prophetic utterances of Ezekiel concerning the future restoration and blessing of Israel. A careful reading will show that these prophesies are as yet unfulfilled and will not be fulfilled until the Lord Jesus Christ comes again and is enthroned as King.  It is when Israel’s rejected king returns to set up His kingdom on the earth and Israel bows before Him that these prophesies will find their fulfillment.  In this prophesy, Ezekiel shares the plan of the Lord to soften the hearts of Israel and to give them a new spirit…the very spirit of God that will lead them to lives of obedience to the Lord.

Now let’s read John 6:63, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”  It is apparent that the common topic in these two portions is the spirit of God.  John’s Gospel tells us that it is the Spirit that gives life, while the flesh gives no profit at all towards pleasing the Lord. 

Let’s consider the Lord’s dealings with Nicodemus.  We read in John 3:5-7, “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”  This mention of the Spirit seemed to confuse Nicodemus so we read in verses 9-10, “Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?”  Because of verses like Ezekiel 36:26-27, Nicodemus should have understood the words of Lord.  Even in Ezekiel’s day, he spoke of newness of life and the Spirit given to His people. 

Prior to His death on the cross, the Lord instructed His disciples concerning the Holy Spirit.  We read in John 16:7-14, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”

The work of the Holy Spirit today is to convict men and women of their sinful state so that they might come to put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is the Spirit that reveals to us the truth that is found in God’s Holy Word.  It is the work of the Spirit to glorify the Lord Jesus in the world today. 

Before closing, let us consider the words of Ephesians 1:13, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.”  That same Spirit spoken of in Ezekiel 36:26-27 and John 6:63 now indwells every believer to teach and guide us to walk in all the truths of God.  (381.4)