Six Stages of Repentance :: Restitution (4 of 6)August 29, 2012 | Category: Christian Living
In the first three stages of repentance we have seen that we must be convinced by the Holy Spirit of our sin, confess that sin to Jesus and others, and then turn our worship from false idols to Jesus. Now we will look at what it looks like to walk out repentance.
Now rightly worshipping Jesus the King instead of counterfeit gods, we desire to make things right with the people we’ve sinned against. We desire to give back what we’ve stolen from others by sin. This is restitution. It is not an attempt to pay or atone for your sin or earn God’s favor. It is a response to God’s free grace extended to us. It is not penance but a living out our new identity gifted to us by Jesus’ work on our behalf.
Zacchaeus is a beautiful example. After meeting Jesus he repented and made restitution by giving half of what he owned to the poor, and by promising to restore fourfold to anyone whom he had defrauded (Luke 19:1-10). “He wasnʼt buying Godʼs grace here; he was responding to it” (Redemption, Mike Wilkerson). For you this may be repaying time you stole from your wife because you were previously consumed with a hobby, it may be repaying affection that you withheld from a family member, it may be giving more generously to the church and others because previously you were hoarding Jesus’ money, or it could be living on mission in your hood where formerly you treated your house as a refuge or castle.
Responding to God’s grace, what do you need to repay others because you have stolen from them in your sin?
You can read the previous three posts here.
Ryan Keeney is the Discipleship and Counseling Lead at The Paradox. You can contact him here.