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RESTORATION


In my many years as a “born-again” believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, I am deeply concerned about believers who once “ran well” with a love, passion, joy, and enthusiasm for the Lord, but somehow strayed from the “Christian pathway.” Apparently, they must have taken their eyes off the Lord and instead focused on the things of this world and ceased to live a godly life.

Because of His foreknowledge, God knew that there would come the time when “some will depart from the faith,” hence in writing to Timothy, the Apostle Paul stated, “In latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1,2).

The scripture exhorts Christians to “set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 5:1-3). And, Paul continues his exhortation, “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” Being born again means exactly what God says, and that is, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). "For you died" means you trust Jesus Christ as your Savior.

This present world is filled with enticements and attractions that some Christians who stand for nothing and fall for everything will “depart from the faith.” However, the good thing is that, contrary to the belief of some, these Christians “cannot lose their salvation.” The Bible is very clear: “nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39). And there are other references in support of this truth. However, we can certainly lose the “joy of God's salvation” as King David did. He prayed, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit” (Psalm 51:12).

Trusting Jesus as Lord and Savior means that He comes to reside within us through His Spirit, and He will never depart from us. Paul writes, "Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you" (1 Corinthians 3:16). Furthermore, we are adopted into God’s family making us His children. Our salvation depends solely on Jesus Christ, who died to forgive all our sins, was buried, and rose from the dead for our justification, thereby making us right with God.

God in His wisdom, love, mercy, and grace never abandons us, even when we stray from the truth. Through restoration, the “backsliding” Christian can repent of the error of his sinful ways, and reset his disrupted focus on God. “Backsliding” means “to lose one’s resolve and give in to temptation.” Restoration is a beautiful word and can be used in more than one context. Restoration means “the reinstatement of a previous practice, right, custom, or situation.”

David committed two very serious sins, even though he was declared, “A man after God’s own heart.” David subsequently realized he “lost the joy of God’s salvation.” In admitting and confessing his sin; David said in his prayer of repentance, “Have mercy upon me O God, According to your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies. Blot out my transgression. Wash thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin” (Psalm 51:1,2). Jesus told His apostles, “These things I have spoken to you that My joy may remain in you and that your joy may be full” (John15:11).

If, as a born-again believer, you have “strayed from the faith,” where Jesus is no longer the center of your life, why not seek restoration as David did? Repent and confess the error of your ways to God, seek His immediate forgiveness and be fully restored and be “cleansed from your sin.”

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