In Need of a Savior
Why Did Jesus Come to Earth?3 Digging Deeper
What is the Covenant Jesus Offers?3 Digging Deeper
Did Jesus Really Rise From The Dead?3 Digging Deeper
What does Jesus' Resurrection Mean to Me?3 Digging Deeper
Who is Jesus?3 Digging Deeper
Why Should I Be Like Jesus?3 Digging Deeper
What Change Does God Expect of Me?3 Digging Deeper
How Can I Find Life Through Death?3 Digging Deeper
What Does it Mean to Repent?3 Digging Deeper
How Can I Be Born Again?4 Digging Deeper
Restoring what was Lost
“Restore” means to “renew or re-make something back to its original condition.” The word is frequently used to refer to working with old automobiles or pieces of furniture to clean, repair and return them to their original, mint condition. Spiritually, about 400 B.C. through the prophet Malachi, God promised a restoration or renewal of his people returning to him: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. 6 And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers” (Malachi 4:5-6). This prophecy was fulfilled in the ministry of John the Baptist who preached repentance and remission of sins that “prepared people for the Lord” (Luke 1:16-17; Matthew 11:7-15). Jesus referred to John’s work as “restoring all things” (Matthew 17:11).
Before sinning, Adam lived in perfect fellowship with God, with his wife, Eve, and with nature. As a result of his sin, Adam felt guilt because he knew that he had broken God’s command. His fellowship with God was broken. He tried to cover up his nakedness with fig leaves. He tried to hide from God. He blamed his wife for his failure. He would experience hardship, suffering and toil as nature fought against him. He would eventually die and his body would return to the dust of the ground from whence it was made. Eve would have pain in childbearing and eventually die physically, too.
What was lost in Adam was restored in Christ Jesus came into the world “to save sinners” (2 Timothy 1:15) through his once for all sacrifice as the perfect lamb of God (John 1:29; Hebrews 9:28). “Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). Through the sacrifice of Jesus on behalf of our sins, we can now be forgiven of all our sins, receive God’s Holy Spirit, and have fellowship with God as his children (Acts 2:22-38; 13:38-39; Galatians 3:26-29). Here is what happened to us:
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation. (Colossians 1:21-22)
Because we have been put right with God by our faith in Jesus, we have peace with God (Romans 5:1-2). We were united with Christ’s death and resurrection when we were baptized into Christ and raised up to live a new life as a new creation in Christ (Romans 6:3-5; 2 Corinthians 5:17). We are now God’s workmanship to do good works that honor him (Ephesians 2:10). We “serve the living and true God and wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead who rescues us from the coming wrath” (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10).
Our new and restored relationship with God also brings with it a new, loving relationship between husbands and wives who love and serve each other “in the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22-33) with “consideration and respect” (1 Peter 3:1-7). We love others as Christ loves us (John 13:34-35; Ephesians 5:1-2). In regard to our old way of life, we “put off the old self which is corrupted by deceitful desires” and are “made new in the attitude of our minds and put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24).
Through the indwelling Spirit of God and the presence of Christ we live now to please God in everything (Ephesians 3:17-18). He enables us to be “strong in the Lord and in the power of his might” (Ephesians 6:10). He is constantly with us and will never leave us or forsake us (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5-6).
As descendants of Adam, we know we will physically die (unless Jesus returns first). But in Christ, God reverses our death warrant. He promises that just as he raised Jesus from the dead, so he will raise us up, too, to be with him forever. Jesus, who is “the resurrection and the life,” promised, “Because I live, you shall live also” (John 11:25-26; 14:19). The resurrection of Jesus also guarantees our resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-28). The Apostle Paul writes about the nature of our resurrection body:
The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. (15:42-44)
Death is a reality, but, ”Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57). Because of the certainty of this victory, Paul concludes:
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain (15:58).