I Poured My Fury Upon Them
A Sermon on Ezekiel 36:16-18
16Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 17“Son of man, when the house of Israel was living on their own land, they defiled it by their ways and their deeds; their way before Me was like the uncleanness of a woman in her impurity. …
16¶ Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 17Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman. 18 …
Some may posit that the Bible could never be fully explained and understood in a single sermon. However, in Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ sermon on Ezekiel 36:16-18, he points out that two main themes can be drawn from this passage. The first, that we are all sinners. No man is perfect and all have sinned. The second, that God punishes sin. Dr Lloyd-Jones emphasizes that these two themes are interconnected and one cannot be taken without the other. Some insist that God is a completely loving entity who does not punish, when really, they know that God punishes sin. God can be both a jealous God and a God of love. Dr. Lloyd-Jones claims that, we will never understand this correlation, because if we claim that we can fully understand God, then we claim to be as intelligent as God. And that is simply impossible, for we are finite, and God is infinite. Put simply, Dr. Lloyd-Jones states, “God hates sin, God judges sin, God punishes sin” – These are facts. As shown in the passage when the Israelites were sinning, “[God] poured out [his] wrath upon them.” Dr. Lloyd-Jones even points to Adam and Eve’s banishment from the garden as a consequence for their sin. It is clear that God punishes sin. However, “Why does God punish sin?” If he is all powerful, why can’t he simply acquit all of humanity from their sinful deeds. To this, Dr. Lloyd-Jones replies that it is because God is a holy and just God. A just God cannot simply let sinners go consequence free, just as a judge cannot acquit a murderer simply because he has the power to. No, God could not simply forget our sins and welcome us into heaven. However, God loved us so much, that he gave us a lifeline that would appease the consequences of sin and uphold God’s justice. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains that this lifeline is Jesus Christ. And by his sacrifice, we may be accepted into heaven if we believe in him. We must only ask for God’s mercy, and he will receive us.
- There is only one message in the Bible - the message of God to mankind.
- This message has various parts but they are all part of one whole. You must accept all parts of the message or none at all.
- The first part of the message is the doctrine of sin. Sin makes man act foolishly and reject God.
- The second part is that God punishes sin. God hates sin and judges it. This is clearly taught throughout the Bible.
- God punished the sin of Adam and Eve by driving them out of Eden. He punished the sin of the Israelites by driving them into captivity in Babylon. He punished the Jews in AD 70 by destroying Jerusalem.
- God punishes sin by driving people out of his presence and withholding blessings from them. This is how hell is described - as being outside, without God.
- God must punish sin because he is holy, righteous and just. Sin is abhorrent to him.
- It is foolish for men to pit themselves against God. They cannot escape him or his judgment.
- God punishes people according to their sin and behavior. His judgment is always just.
- The good news is that this punishment is unnecessary. God has made a way of escape through Jesus Christ. If we confess our sins, God will forgive us and reconcile us to himself.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.