“But if the wicked man turns [away] from all his sins which he has committed and keeps all My statutes and practices justice and righteousness, he shall certainly live; he shall not die. All of his transgressions which he has committed will not be remembered against him; because of his righteousness which he has practiced [for his moral and spiritual integrity in every area and relationship], he will live. Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked,” says the Lord God, “rather than that he should turn [away] from his [malevolent] acts and live? – Ezekiel 18:21-23
On this is grounded an exhortation to repent, and to make them a new heart and a new spirit. God does not command what cannot be done, but admonishes us to do what is in our power, and to pray for what is not. Ordinances and means are appointed, directions and promises are given, that those who desire this change may seek it from God. – Matthew Henry
It is out from faith: ek pistis – spiritual life which involves imputation of divine righteousness to the believer, is out from the non-meritorious thinking system of faith. – Ron Wallace
“In our society, those whose lives are marked by moral soundness, uprightness, honesty, and sincerity are usually thought of as people of integrity. However, society’s standards often fall far short of God’s. Spiritual integrity calls for the highest possible standard of behavior and requires supernatural resources available only to those who trust in Him.” (John MacArthur)
Biblical religion is thus seen to be an indivisible synthesis of moral and spiritual principles, on the one hand, and practical observances on the other.
God’s Spirit, poured into the human heart — Ezekiel proclaims — will make these same sentiments of justice and solidarity, which live in the Lord’s heart, take root in you.
To become moral, we must kill our selfish egos through the use and guidance of God’s Holy Spirit. When we see that our thoughts and ways are not His, we should reform and repent. By submitting to Him, we take a small step in being transformed into what He is.
It is our deep conviction that the vital question most requiring to be raised today is this: Is humanity a totally and thoroughly depraved people by nature? Do they enter the world completely ruined and helpless, spiritually blind and dead in trespasses and sins? According as is our answer to that question, so will be our views on many others. It is on the basis of this dark background that the Bible proceeds. Any attempt to change or abate, repudiate or tone down the teaching of Scripture on the matter is fatal. Put the question in another form: Is humanity now in such a condition that they cannot be saved without the special and direct intervention of the triune God on their behalf? In other words, is there any hope for them apart from their personal election by the Father, their particular redemption by the Son, and the supernatural operations of the Spirit within them? Or, putting it in still another way: If humanity is a totally depraved people, can they possibly take the first step in the matter of their return to God?