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Returning to Life


Restore:
Restore literally means to return to life. It is an ancient word that is rooted in the heart of God. As the story of Scripture unfolds, the heart of God is revealed as working toward future redemption, but also for the restoration of the past. The future would bring Jesus, God-in-flesh, who through the death, burial, and resurrection would restore all things. The past wasn’t swept under the rug. God functioned with Genesis 1-2 in mind. Having created human beings as image-bearers, the result of rebellion meant that the divine imprint upon human life must be restored.

We live in this ongoing narrative in which there is always a need to return to life. The restoration of God isn’t something that is done to you for the condition of your personal, individual soul. It’s bigger than that. The restoration of God is an invitation into a way of life. It’s the Jesus-way. It is God’s never-ending passion to restore all things. It’s full allegiance. It is past, future, and now.

Restoration Movement:
“Restore” is at the core of our movement’s history. Churches of Christ were born out of the Restoration Movement. God gathered a group of people early in the 19thcentury and they became passionate about restoration. This movement wasn’t out of denial that the Reformation Movement was of God, but because division and fragmentation was running rampant, so they attempted to restore a focus on the mission of the early church. This move wasn’t an attempt to restore 1stcentury living conditions or worship styles, but to restore the mission of Jesus and the Kingdom of God as the primary components of personal and communal life. It was a call to return to life. A vision driven by the theme of “restore” is true to the gospel of Jesus and our history.

The Need for Restoration, Today:
Every human is born as one who bears the image of God. There is something holy and sacred about being human. However, the story of Scripture teaches us that when we make decisions to step outside of the parameters that God has set up to protect the sanctity of life, we disconnect ourselves from God’s purposes. Jesus came to both rescue and restore. He came to rescue us from our brokenness and separation from God’s created intent, and he longs to restore us as people who will live as those who have been created in God’s own image.

This means that we have been saved from something, but also into something. To say we have been saved from hell and into heaven doesn’t paint an accurate picture of Jesus. It’s true, but it isn’t the entire story. A more defined understanding is that we have been saved from sin, separation from God, and isolation from God’s purposes, and into a grace-oriented life where we participate in God’s coming kingdom. This means that we have become active participants in God’s ongoing acts of restoration.

Restoration is why we exist. It is our calling. It is being true to our baptism and confession that Jesus is Lord and nothing else is.

—Josh Ross (Preaching Minister)

3 comments (Add your own)

1. Susan Crawford wrote:
Amen

Thursday, November 15, 2012 @ 5:06 PM

2. Steve Vice wrote:
Paul said to "Test all things; hold fast what is good" (1 Thes. 5:21). When you test the words, "Churches of Christ were born out of the Restoration Movement" with what is written in the Scriptures, they fail (as do any denomination, 1 Cor. 1:10, 12, 13; 12:25). The seed principle of Genesis 1:11 and Luke 8:11, if it may also be applied to spiritual matters, will lead one to the original church that began in Jerusalem, not in Scotland or America. For example, if a person lived on an island and did not know about any church, but one day found a Bible, believed and followed the teaching as found in Acts 2, to what church would the Lord add that person? Would that church be a denomination? Would the Lord not add that person to the church of Christ? Now that passes the test of Scripture. And that is the church of which I am a member.

Monday, December 3, 2012 @ 9:12 AM

3. Teresa Fraser wrote:
Amen josh we were meant to be working in the kingdom daily carrying out the message God is alive and we all are never going to be sane without the holy spirit guiding us each day we live in his power and grace.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 @ 10:06 PM

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