Ezekiel 36:26 (ESV) … “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
Ezekiel tells us that God has promised to bring certain things to pass in the last days. For example, God has promised to bring His chosen people back to the Promised Land (v. 24). Also, God will change them spiritually; for, after all, only a transformed people can enjoy a transformed land.
Verse 26 describes the spiritual experience of what happens to every sinner who trusts Jesus Christ as their Savior. A “stony heart” is a hard heart, one that doesn’t receive God’s Word and nurture spiritual growth. However, God has promised to change the full nature of our hearts. God intends to cleanse His people spiritually (25), give them a new heart and spirit in regeneration, remove their hard-hearted rebel attitude.
In this New Testament age, God has put His Spirit in us enabling obedience. The basic principle of the regeneration of a new heart, is more fully taught by Jesus in John chapter three. In that chapter, we see Jesus discussing regeneration with Nicodemus. Jesus explains to Nicodemus, the reality of being born again or born from above.
As born-again believers, we should see the parallel here in Ezekiel with our own experience of faith in Christ. The Lord has washed us (1 Cor. 6:9–11), given us new hearts and His Holy Spirit within, and because of this, we should have a holy hatred for sin. We have the privilege of communion with God and prayer for our needs, plus a desire within to do His will. God wants to make our lives abundantly fruitful so we will glorify His name. The Lord has made us a part of His New Covenant (Heb. 8; 10) so that our union with Him through Christ is eternal and unchanging.[i]