Topic — Restitution: Evidence of Salvation II — Monday 18, September 2017.
Memorise: Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people. – Act 23:5
Read: Acts 23:1-5 (KJV)
1 And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.
2 And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth.
3 Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?
4 And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God’s high priest?
5 Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.
Bible in One Year: Ezra 4-6, Ezekiel 42:15-43:12, Hymn: Sing hymn 14 – Take My Life
A sign that confirms whether or not you have experienced genuine salvation is your willingness to make restitution with your fellow men. When you are genuinely saved, the Spirit of Jesus Christ in you will motivate you to right your wrongs and undo your evil deeds. An elderly judge once attended one of our meetings at the Sheraton Hotels, Ikeja (Lagos), and he gave his life to Christ. On his way home after the programme, he just could not contain himself. There was a person he quarrelled with several years before, and he had a burning urge to resolve the dispute; so right from the venue of our programme, he went straight to the house of the person in order to settle the matter. Did you say you are saved, but you still hold grudges, have bitterness and manifest an unforgiving spirit? Please examine yourself to be sure you are truly in Christ.
Similarly, there was a particular king in Ogun State, Nigeria. For several months, I went to preach to him and he would tell me “Before your mother married your father, I have been going to church.” He would show me a Bible that Queen Victoria gave to his grandfather. Repeatedly, I said to him, “Your royal highness, that is not what I am talking about. I am asking you to repent of your sins and surrender your life to Jesus Christ.” Then one day, he yielded and gave his life to Jesus. By that time, he had not seen his wife for years, due to a disagreement they had. Within days of giving his life to Christ, he promptly contacted her, and they resolved their differences. You cannot be genuinely saved and refuse to restitute.
In what areas would you need to make restitution today? If you stole anything from anybody, return it or pay for its replacement if it’s lost. If you bore false witness against somebody, go and uncover the truth. Have you fraudulently acquired your academic certificate? Go and restitute. If you have stolen another person’s passport and impersonated the fellow, using the passport to move around, go and restitute. Are you a second or third wife to a man, or have you as a man married two or more wives? You are living in adultery. Make restitution! Have you received payment for a contract which you did not execute? Go and return the money! Have you been falsifying records and stealing money through that? Go and restitute. If you have tough cases, seek counselling from a pastor in a true Bible-believing church. Also, ask God to help you. If you really want to obey God, He will definitely make a way for you.
Key Point: Salvation straightens your crooked paths with God, while restitution strengthens your crooked paths with men.
Open Heavens Daily Devotional guide was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, one of the largest evangelical church in the world and also the President of Christ the Redeemer’s Ministries.
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