Tag Archives: Forgiveness

Rediscovering Evangelical Restitution

Mark Driscoll's Vintage Jesus

Image by six steps  via Flickr

Mark Driscoll says  restitution is a lost principle in the Evangelical church that  must be rediscovered. I certainly agree. The biblical principle was included along with repentance in  Basic Christian Doctrines class during my days at Christ for the Nations.

Restitution should extend  into every area of relational life. This is especially true when one brother defrauds another through slanderous character theft. Authentic repentance will sincerely  be motivated to restore what has been stolen from the persons good reputation. Unfortunately, less than honorable men choose to identify Evangelical  restitution with the error of Catholic penance so as to be  relieved from the responsibility of “putting back” what they have “verbally stolen”. Tragic and unprincipled.However, noble  men like Driscoll [and Dr. Dan Juster] are faithful to maintain the integrity of scripture by reminding us of the portions of scripture that we often neglect or simply choose to ignore.

Driscoll rightly differentiates Catholic penance and Evangelical restitution.  Questions at the end demonstrate the far-reaching application of biblical restitution.


“… Penance is the false teaching that you need to pay God and others back so that you can be forgiven. Restitution has nothing to do with forgiveness in the sight of God.

Rather, Zacchaeus practiced restitution as evidence that he’d received God’s forgiveness. Restitution is making right to those that you’ve sinned against as a response to the work of Jesus in your life. It’s not penance. It’s justice. And it’s the duty of every Christian.

Many Christians are content with forgiveness and don’t feel compelled to make right what they’ve done wrong. It’s not enough to say, “Jesus, forgive me.” Yes, Jesus forgives. But Jesus also changes us. And that change should always result in a desire to make right what we’ve done wrong to the best of our ability.

Restitution shows the love and generosity of Jesus to the world and causes others to rejoice in the work of Jesus in your life. What is your repentance + restitution that would resulting in rejoicing? “

 7 Questions To Ask Yourself Regarding Restitution

  1. What have you taken that you need to give back?
  2. How have you defrauded, and what should you pay?
  3. When have you been lazy, and how can you change?
  4. Whom have you neglected and what does restitution require?
  5. Which sinner have you not called out but only grumbled about?
  6. What sins have you tolerated, and what does repentance look like?
  7. Have you been greedy, and how can you be generous?

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Forgive Me For What I’ve Done!

Redemptive confrontation can be a very difficult task. It all started in the garden when the Lord of creation continued to press Adam with deep probing questions designed to bring conviction through relational  accountability. 

 Is this the way it should  be done today? Notice the pattern. Probing questions , body language that conveys guilt, a facial expression of deep remorse, concluding with appropriate discipline that is received with an attitude of absolute submission.

 Not only is the guilty party brought to account, his enabling “bad company” is “outed”  as well. This is priceless. Notice the song in the background happens to be “forgive me for what I’ve done”.



Posted by on March 27, 2011 in character, humor, temptation


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