Exercise in the interpretation of Scripture

January 3, 2013

Recently someone asked me about Ezekiel 18:24. Here is my explanation using our good friend context.

Keys to properly interpreting Ezekiel 18:24
It is in the Old Testament which emphasizes law (as opposed to the New Testament emphasis on Grace)

It is in the Prophets of Israel writings, which deal with Judgment on a wayward nation (Israel)

It is in Ezekiel who wrote while in exile in Babylon (because of the sinfulness of Israel)

It is in a section of Ezekiel that explains judgment (chapters 12-24)

Whereas the previous chapters dealt with national judgment, chapter 18 deals with individual responsibility

The key is 18:4 “The soul who sins will die” 18:20 “The person who sins will die”

It deals with reaping what you sow. The choice that people have in how they will live (righteously or sinfully)

Sinners who repent can be saved 18:21-23

But formerly righteous who sin will be judged 18:24

Our only hope? Not the law. Grace. John 1:17

So, this verse is not written with New Testament believers in mind. It must be filtered through what the New Testament teaches about salvation by grace.

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