New International Version (NIV)
24 “But if a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked person does, will they live? None of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness they are guilty of and because of the sins they have committed, they will die.
25 “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear, you Israelites: Is my way unjust? Is it not your ways that are unjust? 26 If a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin, they will die for it; because of the sin they have committed they will die.
The modern false teaching of generational curses as an excuse for sin is a major cause of many people’s deception.
It is pertinent again for us to look at the context of these verses, what is God talking about?
The context here is this. God is no longer placing the blame of the fathers’ on the children. The proverb, ““‘The parents eat sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’?” refers to the generation curse. Father sin, son gets it.
The root of this curse is found in the 2nd commandment.
4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
Now what is Ezekiel saying here?
God is saying I will not deal with the individual base on what their parents do but what the individual does. God is saying that one day “sin will not be imputed on the children” but they will be dealt individually.
The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel:
“‘The parents eat sour grapes,
and the children’s teeth are set on edge’?
3 “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel. 4 For everyone belongs to me, the parent as well as the child—both alike belong to me. The one who sins is the one who will die.
Hence the “righteous person” here is not a person who has the righteousness of Christ. He is the man who is righteous under the old covenant.
“He follows my decrees
and faithfully keeps my laws.
That man is righteous;
he will surely live,
declares the Sovereign Lord.”
See here again:
“4 “But suppose this son has a son who sees all the sins his father commits, and though he sees them, he does not do such things:
He keeps my laws and follows my decrees.
He will not die for his father’s sin; he will surely live. 18 But his father will die for his own sin, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother and did what was wrong among his people.
“20 The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.”
The son will not be responsible for the father’s sins nor the father for the child.
(Have you ever wondered then what then does this say about generation curse? Hold your horses I will come to that.)
Now only these verses apply:
“24 “But if a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked person does, will they live? None of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness they are guilty of and because of the sins they have committed, they will die.
25 “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear, you Israelites: Is my way unjust? Is it not your ways that are unjust? 26 If a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin, they will die for it; because of the sin they have committed they will die.:
See they do not refer to believers.
Dear friends, the context here refers to old covenant believers, unlike them our righteousness has nothing to do with deeds, but what has been done. If you look very carefully in verse 20 you will see these verses:
“The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.”
It will be credited to them. What does this mean? It means this, the righteousness of 1 man will be credited to them.
See Romans 5
12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—
13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.
15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through theobedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
I repeat: the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
Now how did this happen?
In Jeremiah 31 God spoke about this.
29 “In those days people will no longer say,
‘The parents have eaten sour grapes,
and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’
30 Instead, everyone will die for their own sin; whoever eats sour grapes—their own teeth will be set on edge.
31 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors (at Sinai)
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to[d] them,[e]”
declares the Lord.
33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
34 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”
Now what did Jesus do? How does he fit into all these? How is his obedience relevant to our righteousness? What brought into fruition this verse
“people will no longer say,
‘The parents have eaten sour grapes,
and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’”
What did he do that brought an end to the generation curse?
Amplified Bible (AMP)
28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished (ended), said in fulfillment of the Scripture, I thirst.
29 A vessel (jar) full of sour wine (vinegar) was placed there, so they put a sponge soaked inthe sour wine on [a stalk, reed of] hyssop, and held it to [His] mouth.
30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, It is finished! And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.
Dear friends, Jesus took the generation curse upon himself so that that curse comes to an end. Now, that is why it is upon his sacrifice, those who receive this gift of forgiveness is saved. You will see this is Hebrews 10;
14 For by a single offering He has forever completely cleansed and perfected those who are consecrated and made holy.
15 And also the Holy Spirit adds His testimony to us [in confirmation of this]. For having said,
16 This is the agreement (testament, covenant) that I will set up and conclude with them after those days, says the Lord: I will imprint My laws upon their hearts, and I will inscribe them on their minds (on their inmost thoughts and understanding),
17 He then goes on to say, And their sins and their lawbreaking I will remember no more.
The generation curse stems from the 2nd Commandment. Your sins will be visited upon your generation to come. By the finished work of Jesus which is done only once, your sins are remembered no more. Thus everyone is responsible for their own sins and salvation. Yet, this means everyone who comes to Christ and receive this gift of salvation will receive a righteousness that is imputed on him because of Jesus’ finished work on the cross.
Therefore dear friends, as believers you are freed from generation curses. Also you now have a righteousness that is independent of works. Now your righteousness is a person.
1 Corinthians 1:30
Amplified Bible (AMP)
30 But it is from Him that you have your life in Christ Jesus, Whom God made our Wisdom from God, [revealed to us a knowledge of the divine plan of salvation previously hidden,manifesting itself as] our Righteousness [thus making us upright and putting us in right standing with God], and our Consecration [making us pure and holy], and our Redemption[providing our ransom from eternal penalty for sin].
You cannot thus forsake your righteousness. Because Your righteousness will never forsake you.
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”[a]