Accepting Individual Responsibility Ezekiel 18:1-13 June 26, 2005
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Have you noticed how most everyone can judge someone else's sin differently than they judge their own? I have heard people who were living together outside of marriage judge another couple because they were living together outside of marriage. Our application of this lesson will hopefully continue to find us Accepting Individual Responsibility for our sins.

1. Our Forefathers and accepting Individual Responsibility. 18:1-3

A.    The . . Contrast of the Word of God. v 1
    1 The word of the Lord came to me:

B.    The . . Challenge of the Word of God. v 2
    2 What do you mean by using this proverb concerning the land of Israel: The fathers eat sour grapes,
    and the children's teeth are set on edge?

C.    The . . Certification of the Word of God. v 3
    3 As I live [this is] the declaration of the Lord God you will no longer use this proverb in Israel.

    God's Word presents a contrast to the proverbs of man. God challenges the people's use of the proverb; "The fathers eat sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge." This is an attempt to excuse disobedient behavior. God certifies His word with the promise; "you will no longer use this proverb in Israel." God is tired of their excuses, and I am sure He has similar thoughts today. The discipline of Psychology has switched from blaming the environment and heredity for an individuals' problems. Today in emphasizing personal responsibility they encourage a person to own the problem. Of course all of us are influenced by our environment and heredity, but not to the point of eliminating personal accountability before God. We cannot realistically place all the blame for sin totally on our forefathers.

2.    Our Faithfulness . . and Accepting Individual Responsibility. 18:4-8

A.     The . . Ownership of Faithfulness Described. v 4
    4 Look, every life belongs to Me. The life of the father is like the life of the sons both belong to Me.
    The person who sins is the one who will die.

B.    The . . Obedience of Faithfulness Described. v 5-9
    5 Now suppose a man is righteous and does what is just and right: 6 He does not eat at the mountain
    shrines] or raise his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel. He does not defile his neighbor's wife or
    come near a woman during her menstrual impurity. 7 He doesn't oppress anyone but returns his
    collateral to the debtor. He does not commit robbery, but gives his bread to the hungry and covers the
    naked with clothing. 8 He doesn't lend at interest or for profit but keeps his hand from wrongdoing
    and carries out true justice between men. 9 He follows My statutes and keeps My ordinances, acting
    faithfully. Such a person is righteous; he will certainly live. [This is] the declaration of the Lord God.

    God declares ownership of every life. (After all He is Creator.) All individuals need to take ownership of their faithfulness and obedience to God. If we sin we need to blame ourselves, and realize there will be a personal penalty. In verses 5-9 God describes in detail one who's lifestyle demonstrates faithfulness. If you could ask these people why they accepted responsibility for this kind of lifestyle, I believe you would hear of their love for the Lord. Recently I heard the country and western singer, Charley Daniels, say;
"I sing a gospel song every night and simply say this song is for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ." I like to hear of people Accepting Individual Responsibility for faithfulness.

3. Our Faithlessness . . and Accepting Individual Responsibility. 18:10-13

A.    The . . Son of Faithlessness. v 10-13 a
    10 Now suppose the man has a violent son, who sheds blood and does any of these [things],
    11 though the father has done none of them. Indeed, when the son eats at the mountain [shrines] and
    defiles his neighbor's wife, 12 and [when] he oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, and
    does not return collateral, and [when] he raises his eyes to the idols, commits abominations, 13 and
    lends at interest or for profit, will he live?

B.    The . . Seriousness of Faithlessness. v 13 b
    He will not live! Since he has committed all these abominations, he will certainly die. His blood Will
    be on him.

    The text now describes faithlessness to the commands, teachings, and statutes of the Lord. The lifestyle of a disobedient son is given, and it is sad to even read of such a boy. This becomes sadder when a parent or relative dismisses such a lifestyle, and makes excuses for the son. God asked; "Will that son live?" I believe the question relates to the punishment for his sin. Unforgiven sin causes eternal death, unconfessed sin causes death in fellowship. Sin is serious! Just look at the cross! God describes this young man by saying; "His blood will be upon him." I am so glad that does not have to be the final word for us and our sin. It pleases me that the words of Romans 4:7 (HCSB) applies to those in Christ; "How happy those whose lawless acts are forgiven and whose sins are covered!" How are they covered? By the sacrificial blood of Christ! It seems very wise to me to admit my need of Christ, and be found Accepting Individual Responsibility. Amen? Amen!