Ezekiel 36:26

Ezekiel 36:26 (see also Jeremiah 24:7; Ezekiel 18:31)
“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

Jeremiah 24:7: I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the LORD; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.

Psalm 51:10:Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.


































John Calvin writes: “For it is madness for anyone to say that this is promised to all in general: I will make a covenant with them, not like that I made with their fathers; but I will write My laws on their hearts (Jer 31:33). To restrict this to those who are worthy or who have rightly prepared themselves by their own endeavor would be worse than gross folly; for the Lord addresses those whose hearts were formerly stony, as is clear from another prophet (Ezek 36:26).” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.106, emphasis mine)

Calvinist, James White, writes:While unregenerate men may know the facts of the gospel, they have no desire to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and cast themselves solely upon Him. It requires the work of the Spirit to take out their stony hearts and give them hearts of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). Dave Hunt is actually defending the idea that a man with a heart of stone can choose to remove that heart and implant a heart of flesh in its place and that he possesses the capacity to perform this operation on himself.” (Debating Calvinism, p.297, emphasis mine)

Ironically, though, what is attributed to Dave Hunt is precisely what Ezekiel 18:31-32 states:

Ezekiel 18:31-32: Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! For why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies, declares the Lord God. Therefore, repent and live.

Generally, though, this is something that God does:

Ezekiel 11:19-20: And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God.

Norman Geisler comments: “First, in context the passage is speaking prophetically about ‘the house of Israel’ returning to ‘their own land’ in the last days (v. 17 NASB). Further, the new heart was a result of their repentance (cf. v. 31). And in a similar text it says plainly that their stony heart condition was a result of their own free choice. Ezekiel told them earlier: ‘Cast away all your transgressions … and make yourself a new heart and a new spirit’ (Ezek. 18:31 NASB). On another occasion God said through Jeremiah, ‘“They turned their backs to me and not their faces; though I taught them again and again, they would not listen or respond to discipline”’ (Jer. 32:33). Rather, ‘“They set up their abominable idols in the house that bears my Name and defiled it”’ (Jer. 32:34). But when they returned to God, then He said, ‘“I will give them one heart and one way”’ (v. 40 NASB; cf. also Jer. 24:7).” (Chosen But Free, pp.63-64)

The Calvinist perspective is that the new heart and new spirit is what God does for elect unbelievers, as part of an act of Irresistible Grace. However, this is actually what God does for believers, that is, the repentant. That makes this text of no help for Calvinists.

Stovall Weems comments: “When we get saved, and the Holy Spirit comes in on the inside of us, remember the promise of the New Covenant when God says that I will take out your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh? That’s symbolic. That doesn’t mean that you actually had a heart of stone. Yet, you still had a human heart. But what He’s saying is, ‘I’m going to give you a heart that can feel Me.’ You’re going to have a new spirit, where you can experience Me, and that’s why Jesus said in Matthew chapter 4, the first test that the devil gave Him, and he said, ‘Jesus, turn these stones to bread,’ and Jesus says, ‘Look, for now on, man (He’s talking about the Church), for now on, man doesn’t live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God,’ What Jesus was saying is this: For now on, guess what? God’s children will have an inner drive, that the things of this world cannot satisfy. For now on, there is going to be this affection, there is going to be this drive, that only God can satisfy, that only God can fulfill, and what’s happened to us as the Church is that we have settled for such cheap substitutes in trying to find happiness.”  (What is Love, 2009)