Acts 15:1-11 – “cleansing their hearts by faith”
The prophecy of Ezekiel was coming true after the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As both Jews and Gentiles (non-jews) were by faith accepting that Jesus Christ died on the cross for the forgiveness of sins, they were receiving the Holy Spirit. The coming of the Holy Spirit is a sign that God created and cleaned out a new heart in that individual. The same thing is true for those who believe in Jesus Christ as their savior today. When you admit that you are a sinner in need of a savior, when you admit that your heart needed God to clean it and create something new, then through your believing heart God forgives your sins and gives you the Holy Spirit. There is no other requirement. There is no ritual or ceremony to partake. It is immediate. The Jews thought there still needed to be some outward action to seal the deal, but there wasn’t. Our outward expression is not a means to receive forgiveness. Our outward actions are a testimony of what is on the inside. Our good works now demonstrate our newly acquired heart from God. If you have never accepted Christ’s sacrifice for the forgiveness of your sins, I would encourage you to do that today. You simply let God know that you want the forgiveness of your sins and accept His gift through Jesus Christ. Congratulations! You are a new you with a new heart.
Prayer Starter: To the forgiver of my sins, thank You for freely offering me forgiveness. You offer forgiveness, mercy, and grace far more freely than I offer it to those around me. God, I pray for those who have never accepted Your gift of salvation. I pray that they would know You love them and will not withhold Your blessings on them if they would only believe. I thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit who lives in me when I believed. In the name of Jesus who gave me access to You, amen.