If we could take a couple minutes and read 14 verses out of the book of Ezekiel together, I think it will help us see and feel the weight of the miracle of regeneration. This was a vision the Lord gave to his servant Ezekiel in chapter 37.
“The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay tendons upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were tendons on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.
Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”
Is that not EPIC?! I mean where’s that movie, right?! This vision symbolized the house of Israel who was, in a sense, the walking dead at that time. On the heels of Babylon’s attack, the captive Israelites were under judgment with no hope of escaping. This vision was a living parable of what God will surely do one day with the house of Israel (Jeremiah 31:33; 33:14-16; Matt 24:30-31). But it’s impossible to read these 14 verses and not see a clear picture of what God has done through the work of His Son Jesus Christ and His Spirit.
Ephesians 2 tells us this: “You were DEAD in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were DEAD in our trespasses, made us ALIVE together with Christ” (Eph 2:1-5, emphasis added).
Hearts of stone, now hearts of flesh (Ezk 36:26). Indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God (John 16:13; 1 Cor 3:16; 6:19) Once dead, now alive to the praise of His glorious grace (Eph 1:6)! Only God can do something like this. Only God can say, “I will put my Spirit within you and you shall live.” (Ezk 37:14) Only God can speak to something that is not and make it something that is. And once He does that, you are a new creation––the old is gone and the new has come! (2 Cor 5:17)
If you know God, you have had that moment. If you don’t know God, you can have that moment today! And once God puts His Spirit in you, He will never leave you or forsake you. And just like one is filled with love or anger in a moment, God will continually fill you with His Spirit for the work of ministry. Not only will He fill you, but He will fill you to overflowing! Jesus said in John 7:38,
“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive…”
God has breathed life into our dry bones through the precious Holy Spirit. He has changed that atmosphere in our chest through the Spirit. He is our Helper. Our comforter. The One Who sanctifies us and leads us in the way everlasting.