No forgiveness without restitution

Many Christians believe that saying a prayer is enough for forgiveness or removal of any curses they may have. They completely ignore that our LORD is a God of recompense and restitution is required. In this post, we will explore the requirement for restitution for true repentance.

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Requirement of Restitution

“I will send out [the curse,]” says the LORD of hosts; “It shall enter the house of the thief And the house of the one who swears falsely by My name. It shall remain in the midst of his house And consume it, with its timber and stones.”

Zech 5:4

Can a thief steal the money from others and ask forgiveness to God without restoring what he stole? Can his descendent prosper from a stolen inheritance while there is a curse from God to consume his house?

Speak to the children of Israel: ‘When a man or woman commits any sin that men commit in unfaithfulness against the LORD, and that person is guilty, then he shall confess the sin which he has committed. He shall make restitution for his trespass in full, plus one-fifth of it, and give [it] to the one he has wronged. But if the man has no relative to whom restitution may be made for the wrong, the restitution for the wrong [must go] to the LORD for the priest, in addition to the ram of the atonement with which atonement is made for him’.

Num 5:6-8

While Christ became an atonement by giving His own life instead of the ram in the law, it is our responsibility of making restitution to the one we wronged when we confess our sins.

Requirement of reconciliation

If you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.

Matt 5:23-26

Jesus taught us not to give any gifts to God if a brother has something against us. He always wants us to agree (or settle as in the gospel of Luke 12:58-59) with our adversary. It is important to note that the adversary here is someone we owe money to. This can be either money we borrowed, stole from, or pledged. This is why Jesus taught us we will be thrown in prison until we have paid the last penny. If Jesus taught us to agree or settle with our adversary to whom we owe money, can we ask forgiveness to God but refuse to obey Him i.e, to settle and agree with our adversary?

And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.”

Luke 11:4

While restitution is required for us to pay back for true repentance, we must not extract it from those who owe us but to forgive them. If we don’t forgive, God will not forgive our sins.

Restitutive Justice

PropertyRestitution
Stolen ox and slaughtered or sold or killed (Exod 22:1)Restore 5 times
Stolen sheep and slaughtered or sold or killed (Exod 22:1)Restore 4 times
Stolen livestock found alive (Exod 22:4)Restore double
Livestock feeds in another man’s field (Exod 22:5)Restitution from best of his own
Loss by kindled fire (Exod 22:6)Restitution
Stealing money or articles or clothing or ox or sheep or donkey (Exod 22:7-9)Restore double

Long story short, God wants us to restore double for all stolen things. He also wants us to restore the loss of others because of our wrong doing but necessarily stolen.

Conclusion

True repentance involves not just confession of sins but restitution to those we wronged. Restitution is double for all stolen items. If someone had any loses because of our wrongdoing, we must restore it to them. While restitution is required for us to pay back for true repentance, we must not extract it from those who owe us but to forgive them. If we don’t forgive, God will not forgive our sins.

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