Ezekiel 11.19 promises I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.
The purpose of religion is to make people better so that they can appease God and get along with one another better. It doesn’t work.
It doesn’t work because religion, rules to follow, is incapable in itself to accomplish such a monumental objective.
Most of us love our families. Yet we find ourselves the angriest, the meanest, the most selfish among these very people. The good we want to do we don’t seem to be able to do.
The One True God describes our problem as inherent, a brokenness that is incapable of being fixed through religion. His solution to our problem isn’t more religion but a new relationship. What the One True God promises is a personal relationship with Himself that is free from condemnation or consequence for all the bad things we have ever done.
The cost for obtaining this relationship is twofold. The first cost was paid by God Himself, the Christ, the Savior, Jesus, Who did live a perfect religious life and a perfect moral life. He exchanged that perfection for all of humanity’s imperfection and the cost of humanity’s imperfection when He died on a cross at the hands of men. That was the cost God paid. Since Jesus could and did rise from the dead because He is God, He now is capable of pardoning everyone who pays the second cost.
The second cost is the cost we pay to receive God’s peace. That cost is the admission of our need for pardon and the abandonment of all our religious practices we use to appease God by any other means than Jesus Himself.
The result of these two payments is a relationship with God where He commits to working on our inside, our heart, to change us on the outside. Why change us?
So that we can live the lives we were meant to live with each other. So we can truly love, truly give, truly serve one another without fear or reserve. So that we can be free from the pain of the past and the fear of the future but rejoice in the moment in Him Who forgives the past and promises the future with Him.
Our best life now cant be earned nor worked for, it can only be given by God Who promises new lives to those who humbly admit they need one.