Separated Unto Holiness
A Sermon on Ezekiel 36:21-33
21But I had concern for My holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations where they went.
Israel to Be Renewed for His Name’s Sake
22“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what the Lord God says: “It is not for your sake, house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. 23And I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord,” declares the Lord God, “when I show Myself holy among you in their sight. 24For I will take you from the nations, and gather you from all the lands; and I will bring you into your own land. 25Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27And I will put My Spirit within you and bring it about that you walk in My statutes, and are careful and follow My ordinances. 28And you will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God. 29Moreover, I will save you from all your uncleanness; and I will call for the grain and multiply it, and I will not bring a famine on you. 30Instead, I will multiply the fruit of the tree and the produce of the field, so that you will not receive again the disgrace of famine among the nations. 31Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for your wrongdoings and your abominations. 32I am not doing this for your sake,” declares the Lord God; “let that be known to you. Be ashamed and humiliated for your ways, house of Israel!”
33‘This is what the Lord God says: “On the day that I cleanse you from all your wrongdoings, I will populate the cities, and the places of ruins will be rebuilt.
21¶ But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. 22Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. 23And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. 24For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
25¶ Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26A 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. 27And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. 28And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. 29I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. 30And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen. 31Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. 32Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel. 33Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded.
In this sermon on Ezekiel 36:21–33 titled “Separated Unto Holiness,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones asks the questions: Whose idea was salvation? What is the primary reason for the gospel? Is a person’s happiness God’s goal? The gospel is the unchanging word of God to humanity. People must know they are in trouble but do they know the cause of their pain? No one can accept God’s salvation without understanding His doctrine of sin. God hates sin, He punishes sin, and He will ultimately punish all sin. God allows people to reap the consequences of their own folly, but there is eternal hope offered through one phrase—“but God.” Salvation is altogether in spite of the sinner who deserves nothing but punishment. The listener is encouraged to be awakened to their own poverty and enslavement, and fall speechless before God. It is God who started, thought, planned, and acted out this gospel. Christ died to vindicate His name and make His people holy, not primarily to make them happy, as salvation separates a holy people for God.
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.