One of the great doctrines of our faith is restoration. The word restoration comes from the root word restore. To restore would mean to bring to former state. Therefore if I am to be restored it would mean that I am removed from a present state of being and brought to a former state of being. That being established let us look at the Christian doctrine of restoration.
While our Christian life is a personal relationship with The Almighty God there are aspects of Christian restoration that must be understood on a collective basis rather than just a personal level. As I explore the concept of being restored, the question begs to be answered, restored from what to what? The easy Christian answer would be from sin to grace or from being a sinner to being a saint of God or from being condemned to being saved and the list can go on as we choose the words that we can relate to.
While it is easy for me to grasp the concept of being a sinner and therefore condemned to hell and now that I have accepted Jesus Christ I am no longer condemned but saved by His grace, I keep asking the question what is my restore point?Why this question? Here it is. I personally have never been saved before, never been a saint before, so how can I say that I have been restored to any of these points when this has never been my reality before I met Jesus. Then it stands to be true that this restoration point is not to a previous personal state of being, but that of a state of being held by humanity on a whole. Then here comes another question, how far back in human history am I restored to? I think the answer to this lies in our understanding of dispensations.
Any good bible student would have learned about the dispensations of Millennial, Grace, Law, Patriarchal Rule, Human Government, Conscience and Innocence as the seven major eras of human existence. The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches that we are saved by grace thus we are now living in the dispensation of grace. As we open this grace package we find restoration, now if we are fully restored then we are restored to our best state and our best state would be our first state which as it relates to dispensations would be at the time when man was just created and God said it was good, this time would be the time of innocence, so instead of being guilty and condemned to death and hell, in the eyes of God the Holy, righteous and eternal judge we are innocent, declared to be so as he sees us washed in the blood of his Son Jesus Christ.
Who then shall lay anything to charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifies. (Romans 8:3)
This idea of innocence is awesome as I look at some declarations of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ
…verily I say unto you, except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:3)
But Jesus called them unto him and said, suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein. (St. Luke 18: 16-17)
I have heard a few comments on these parts of scripture but there is one thing that screams at me as I hold this up in the light of the grace of God. As we look at Matthew 18:3 we would wonder what childlike attribute is Jesus referring to so we read on to verse 4, “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” There we see “humble himself”, one could think to stop there and say Humility is the thing, but look up out of the bible for a bit and look around you at the children that you see, are they very humble and if they are humble how humble are they ? What then is the root cause of their level of humility the only answer that I can find is their innocence and we can see their humility fade away as they grow in knowledge as with Adam and Eve their time of innocence passed away as they gained knowledge of good and evil.
Before Adam ate the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, their lives were filled with the joyous wonder of exploring God’s creations and having an up-close and personal relationship with God unbridled by a myriad of stringent laws and unburdened by a heavy conscience. Adam and Eve were Innocent.
By law, at least in our part of the world, an under aged child is immune from prosecution for criminal activities, in that, even if the child kills someone, that child cannot be prosecuted by law. Interestingly enough, a parent or guardian can be held liable for the actions of a child in certain circumstances, even though all the evidence points to the fact that the child has done the act, that child is innocent by default. Take for example, a child and his parent walks into a convenience store while browsing the parent loses sight of the child and the child take an item from a shelf and exits the store, the actions of the child is discovered by the store’s clerk. The child is then held. There is no law that allows for that child to be prosecuted for stealing, in some cases the parent could be prosecuted for the actions of the child. The good news then is that through the grace of God manifested in the death of Jesus we are restored to a childlike state where we are seen as innocent in the eyes of our God and Father the righteous and eternal judge. No sin is therefore imputed unto us. We are God’s little children and therefore exempt from prosecution. Fully restored...INNOCENT!
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