Article 103-2 – Repentance & Restitution

Biblical Principles for Living

103-2.1 God commands every person to repent.1 Without repentance there is no salvation.2 Repentance is a work of the Holy Spirit producing change of mind and heart that leads to a changed life.

103-2.2 For the believer, repentance is a daily obligation to live according to the Word of God. When believers sin, they should repent and confess their sins. When they do this, the Lord promises forgiveness and cleansing.3

103-2.3 People who repent are to produce fruit of repentance in their lives.4 One fruit of repentance for the believer who has sinned is to make restitution for any loss the sin caused other people. Restitution is a demonstration of repentance. Believers should make restitution5 in accordance with the Word of God to satisfy the righteousness of God.

103-2.4 Restitution involves restoration to the offended party that which was lost through injury to reputation, life, limb or property which has been destroyed, lost, stolen, or damaged due to one’s sin, negligence or carelessness. Restitution was commanded by the Lord God in the Law.6 It is reiterated in the Proverbs7 and the prophets.8 It was advocated by John the Baptist9 and practiced by Zacchaeus the chief tax collector.10 Jesus directed His followers to settle any claims that anyone had against them even before going to the Lord in worship.11 Such settlement would include restitution of any loss suffered by others. Restitution is taught by the Apostle Paul in his letter to Philemon12 and implied in his letter to the Ephesians.13

1 Acts 2:38; 3:19; 17:30
2 Luke 13:3, 5
3 1 Jo. 1:9; Prov. 28:13
4 Mat. 3:8; Acts 26:20
5 Rom. 13:7-10
6 Exo. 21:26-36; 22:1-15; Lev. 6:1-7; 24:18; Num. 5:5-8
7 Pro. 6:30, 31
8 Eze. 33:14-16
9 Luke 3:7-14
10 Luke 19:8, 9
11 Mat. 5:23, 24
12 Philemon 18, 19
13 Eph. 4:28

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