Question: What does the Bible say about restitution?
Full Definition of RESTITUTION (merriam-webster.com)
1: an act of restoring or a condition of being restored: as
a : a restoration of something to its rightful owner
b : a making good of or giving an equivalent for some injury
2: a legal action serving to cause restoration of a previous state
Restitution is fine but justification by faith has laid that work to rest.
Zaccheus (Luke 19:1-9), despite being a scoundrel, made restitution because he grasped the concept as a Jew living under the Law even as lowly fishermen did viz. Peter, James and John, let alone the Lord.
The Church, however, being predominantly Gentile since Pentecost and the decree of the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15) has been spared restitution. How is that so?
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (Rom 5:8-10)
That faith and repentance are intrinsic components in salvation, faith alone in The Christ of God (Luke 9:20) guarantees eternal security. What more, Faith to believe is the unmitigated gift of God to whom He wills.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Eph 2:8. 9)
Stripped of sacraments, morals and hype, what defines the saint then is faith – a saving believing faith in The Christ of God (Luke 9:20). Faith alone saves. It is not faith in faith, faith and baptism, faith and Eucharist, faith and works, faith and Church, faith and restitution, or any other concoctions.
Jesus Himself made this explicit when He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” (Luke 7:50).
Give the Lord His due then, the preservation of the saints rests on the laurels of Christ alone: For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous (Rom 5:19).
Restitution as a means of ‘trying to make up for wrongs’ is, in my humble opinion, somewhat expanded in karma and purgatory that has the penitent pay for a gamut of mortal and venial sins in what seems like eternity! Better then is the sinner saved by grace through faith in Christ’s finished work – once and for all!
With 613 Laws of the Old Testament called the Mitzvot and 38 Commandments from the four Gospels or 1050 commands via repetition in the New Testament for believers to obey, how else but surely that the just shall live by faith! (Rom 1:17)
11 June 2014
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