Ezekiel 11:19-20, “And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.”
The promises of the New Covenant show exactly what must happen for people to be saved. Prior to salvation, all of us have a heart of stone that cannot please God. Rom 8:7-8 says “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Original sin has completely corrupted us so that we don’t want to worship God and indeed cannot. In fact, none of us are even able to seek after God. Rom 3:10-12, “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” The only reason that any of us become Christians is because of God’s work of regeneration. He takes out the heart of stone and gives us a heart of flesh that is able to worship God. As Ezekiel says here, we are given a heart of flesh, so that we can walk in God’s statutes and obey Him. Why does God do this to us? It is because He loves us! John says it perfectly in 1 John 4:19, “We love because he first loved us.” God performed a miracle by changing our hearts and because of that we are now able to have faith and respond by loving and obeying Him.