|Posted by thePLAN diePLAN on March 21, 2017 at 9:40 AM|
GOD’S PLAN FOR RESTORATION
IS BASED AND FOUNDED ON0 HIS LOVE FOR THE WORLD
Prof J S (Kobus) Kellerman
In a world where decay of practical everything of man’s existence is a hard reality, there is a constant desire for restoration, for returning to what was good and satisfying. The ‘good old days’ when everything was more or less perfect are the dreams and longings of many persons. And this includes everything across the total spectrum of life. It is a cry for restoration to what was – to the former condition or use or whatever.
In order to restore, it is necessary to determine and to know what the original was like, what it’s purpose of existence was. It is also necessary to determine what went wrong. What intervention is needed? What plan will lead to effective results? To initiate and bring any restoration to a satisfying completion will require not only a positive attitude but also the necessary knowledge and skills.
In the Bible the idea of restoration is not unknown. It is seen in the repeatedly broken relationship between God and his people due to their continuing transgression of his law on the one side and his willingness to forgive on the other side. Many examples exist in the story of Israel. To the Jews in exile God expresses his mercy: I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh . And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws (Ezekiel 36:26,27). There is the restoration of the walls of Jerusalem under the leadership of Nehemia after the rebuilding of the temple by Serubbabel - to mention but two examples.
Man was under the judgement of God for his transgression of the law of God, already in Paradise, and it is only He who could help mankind to get freed from the condemnation of sin. God had to do the ‘setting-right-things’ and he did it through ‘Jesus-setting-right’ for us (cf. The Message). And he did it for everyone who believes in him. The Message continues: For there is no difference between us and them in this. Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them – Jews and gentiles) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.
This was done because of the love of God as John 3:16 tells us – For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him, shall not perish but have eternal life. The apostle emphasises this truth in Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. We can thus say that God’s plan for restoration of his relationship with man, is based and founded on his love for the world.
But what does this mean?
- It means that whoever a person is; whatever his or her background might be; whatever his or her lifestyle might be, yes, even whatever sinful life is recorded, God loves him or her and is willing to forgive all the sins committed. He will restore them to the righteous position before him that is required
- But this is not all. In a world of uncertainty and anxiety, of people suffering in poverty and hunger, a world in moral decay and the terrible results that follow, where there is a constant cry for hope amidst terrible needs. God in his love is there to help. And again it is to be said that his love for man covers the whole spectrum of his life whatever need there might be.
- It is quite often asked: Where is God amidst all the suffering and cries for help. If He is God, how can He allow all this to happen? One must, however, realise that we live in a broken reality of which God is not the cause. God’s involvement in our dilemmas does not mean that he will remove it but rather that we are reassured that His love and support will always be there. As St. Paul puts it: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? …..No, in all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom. 8:35-39).
- All of this is the action of God to restore his people to what he originally envisaged they should be. Through the risen Christ and their identification with him in his death and resurrection (Rom. 6:5-10) they are enabled to be more than conquerors over the problems they might face.
This wonderful message cannot be kept between the pages of a book, the Bible, but must be proclaimed all over the world by those who have experienced the reality of the love of God in Christ. They are under the obligation to share this message of hope with a troubled world so full of uncertainty and anxiety. St. Paul emphasises what Christ’s love does in his followers when he says that Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again (2 Cor. 5:14,15). In Romans 10:14-17 he argues that nobody can believe if they have not heard. And they cannot hear if somebody does not preach to them.
Every follower of Christ should realise that he or she is in this way part of God’s plan of changing the world to the glory of God.
God’s plan for restoration is his Word and a man or a woman.
Categories: Contributions: Building Blocks