Day 16

A Personal Responsibility for Sin

from the Ezekiel: Come to Life (Lent 2022) reading plan

​Ezekiel 18:1-32, Ezekiel 19:1-14, Romans 1:16-17, 2 Peter 3:9

BY Patti Sauls

Think about hugging a robot. Creepy, right? Today, robots are programmed to assist with everything from performing intricate surgeries and exploring outer space to delivering pizza. Still, I wouldn’t want to hug one. Void of emotion and volitional thought, even extraordinary robots remain cold, mechanical, and lifeless. 

God does not manufacture robots when He creates humans. By His own desire and design, He breathes life into every person and makes us in His own image (Genesis 1:27). Each of us is more than a pumping heart muscle and a neuron-firing brain. We miraculously embody qualities of our Creator. We think, feel, and have opinions. God gives us agency: the ability to make decisions and the freedom to make personal choices. We are not programmed robots; we are alive and free. What a gift!

In today’s reading, Ezekiel explains the consequences of personal choice. God does not declare someone sinful or righteous based on anyone else’s conduct. Rather, He judges each person individually. The one who sins is the one who will die, and the one who is righteous will surely live (Ezekiel 18:4,9). As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility.” Each of us is responsible for our actions. If we choose to live in obedience to God, we will flourish with Him forever. If we choose to disobey God, we’ll be separated from Him forever. We are not robots; we have agency. With freedom comes responsibility.

This gift of freedom can be terrifying. To live in unity with a perfect God requires choosing obedience in our every thought, word, and deed. Good grief! I can’t even scroll through social media without being jealous, critical, or fearful. I can’t meet the requirements of freedom, and neither can anyone else. This is no surprise to God, and, if we’re honest, it should be no surprise to us. His Word confirms what we experience every single day, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). 

God knows we’re crushed under the weight of freedom and responsibility. He takes no pleasure in our deadly predicament (Ezekiel 18:23). On the contrary, He lovingly urges us, “Repent and live” (v.32)! How do we turn away from choosing sin and death? Only by putting our faith in the only One who did obey God in every thought, word, and deed. The only One who did carry the weight of sin of the world and not be crushed. We choose life by placing our faith in Christ. “…the righteous will live by faith” (Romans 1:17). 

“Repent and live!” is not a command for a robotic response; it is a soul-deep call to humbly turn towards our Creator and receive the gift of salvation. Depend on Christ and live. 

Post Comments (66)

66 thoughts on "A Personal Responsibility for Sin"

  1. Adrienne McPherson says:

    Amen! I am relearning today that God is doesn’t enjoy death or punishment and in my mind and heart I had this idea of God without realising. Thank you Lord as I read about you , my heart and mind are being reformed. I repent Lord for choosing myself my hopes, desires- guide me Abba provide for me all that I need today to follow you.

  2. Tonia says:

    Praying for all the SHE’s prayer request. May God restore, heal, deliver and give us peace that passes all understanding.

    Praying that God meet us at the point of our needs.

    May God’s mighty hand carry us through difficult times and may Victory be ours in Christ Jesus. And may we always feel His presence in Jesus name Amen

  3. Kristen StLaurent says:

    Ezekiel 18 is probably my favorite chapter by far! Such wonderful revelations about the importance of turning away from our sinful ways and truly living with God, each and every day!

  4. Amanda Afshar says:

    Praying for sweet Milo ❤️ and all who love him dearly!

  5. Sarah Morrison says:

    Soul deep call!! Yes!! The more I read Ezekiel the more I need Jesus

  6. Lexi B says:

    Hi Heidi,

    Reading what you’re going through reminded me of what Neimiah was going through buidling the wall. When the enemy knows that you (praying and supporting your niece) or your niece (moving towards sobriety) he’s gonna come and try to stop progress. Continue to push through in prayer as you have been doing. God hears you and is fighting for you and your niece. I pray that He softens her heart so that she will be able to hear His voice and know the truth. Praying for you- supernatural peace, endurance, encouragement as you pray for your niece and balance all the other things you have going on in your life. God is with you and will carry you.

    And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up- Galatians 6:9
    Praying alongside you Heidi!

  7. Tamiym says:

    Jesus Christ answered, I am the way the truth and the life no one comes to the father except through me. John 14:6

    God bless you.

  8. Michael Frankowski says:

    I recently commented to relatives that I would want to be able to gruesomely kill Vladimir Putin due to what he’s doing in Ukraine. I think I’m in the company of millions. Does God really expect us to NOT think this way? If yes, and if what you say is true, then I and probably millions of other people have our tickets to hell punched!

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