IF YOU HAVE SINNED, JESUS WANTS TO RESTORE YOU

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IF YOU HAVE SINNED, JESUS WANTS TO RESTORE YOU

Beloved, the good and Godly life is not always easy. We get tempted and distracted; detracted from the ‘straight and narrow’ and we sin. This is reality. Even though we have accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior, even though we are born again, even though we try our level best to live out this exhortation,

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2

We very quickly realize that even though Jesus said to our Father of us,

“They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” John 17:16

We are very much in the world and its trappings are very real.

Yet, Jesus wants us to always remember that just before His sufferings commenced, He did ask our Father on our behalf,

“I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.” John 17:15

And we can take heart that not only do we therefore now have our Father’s protection from the evil one, we also have Jesus’ reassurance that He will restore us as He famously restored Peter.

“Now when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. And a certain servant girl, seeing him as he sat by the fire, looked intently at him and said, “This man was also with Him.”
But he denied Him, saying, “Woman, I do not know Him.”
And after a little while another saw him and said, “You also are of them.”
But Peter said, “Man, I am not!”
Then after about an hour had passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, “Surely this fellow also was with Him, for he is a Galilean.”
But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying!”
Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So Peter went out and wept bitterly.” Luke 22:54-62

This is a famous passage that follows these famous last words.

“And [Simon Peter] said to Him, Lord, I am ready to go with You both to prison and to death.” Luke 22:33 [AMPC]

Indeed, when we first open our hearts to Christ, most of us were like this. On fire for God; wanting to do His will all the time; passionate. Then the first temptation comes, and we fall, and we feel so guilty about it, we start to walk away, because we think we wronged God and He is angry with us. But beloved, finish Peter’s story, and you will see that Jesus does not want you to walk away, He wants to restore you.

Now, we are told by Paul that Jesus appeared to Cephas; that is Peter; first before He appeared to the rest.

“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-8

But what was said was never recorded. Yet, if we look at what Jesus said to Peter and did for him after He was resurrected, and add in Peter’s later actions and ministerial doctrine, we can deduce the nature of their conversation and of Peter’s restoration.

Firstly, there can be no doubt that Peter was restored by Jesus, because the first thing Peter did when He denied Jesus was to run outside, run away from His presence. Yet, later on, after Jesus was resurrected, when Jesus called out to His disciples whilst they were in the boat fishing, Peter ran to Jesus.

“Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his tunic (for he had stripped for work), jumped into the water, and headed to shore.” John 21:7 [NLT]

So something must have happened between Peter’s denial and that episode for Peter to know that everything was alright, that Jesus has forgiven Him, that he was once again acceptable to Jesus. Just what was it?

Peter, in his first letter, outlined the principles and processes for the believers then to lead a Godly life. But before he tells believers to live peaceably and not be trouble-makers (1 Peter 2-3); and before he tells believers to persevere in the face of suffering (1 Peter 4-5); he first lays the foundation of their ability to do all these things, and this foundation is made out of two parts; the firm guarantee of our salvation and the incorruptibility of our inheritance.

The Firm Guarantee of Our Salvation

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:3-5

Between the condemned sinner who ran out to cry, and this confident apostle who penned this, Peter must have received revelation that his salvation was secure. For The Amplified Bible presents his words rather more emphatically,

“Who are being guarded (garrisoned) by God’s power through [your] faith [till you fully inherit that final] salvation that is ready to be revealed [for you] in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:5 [AMPC]

Judging from Peter’s response, one of the things Jesus must have told Peter was that everything is ok, he was forgiven and his salvation is secure; regardless of what he did. Else, a man feeling as condemned as he did when he denied Jesus, can never tell another with such certainty that their salvation is secure.

And indeed, just as it was for Peter, we too are guarded by God’s power even when we sin; and this happens because we have faith in Jesus and in our Father. Not only that, when we believe in Jesus, our Father is so pleased, not only does He help us out of our troubles, Peter tells us that He puts our faith on display; yes beloved, not His strength by which He rescued us, but our faith.

“Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.” 1 Peter 1:7 [MSG]

And Jesus did that for Peter, did He not? Because even though Peter denied knowing Jesus outwardly, inwardly he still believed. That was why, when told that Jesus’ body had disappeared, he ran to the tomb, even though the rest did not believe.

“Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who reported these things to the apostles.
But these reports seemed to the men an idle tale (madness, feigned things, nonsense), and they did not believe the women.
But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; and stooping down and looking in, he saw the linen cloths alone by themselves, and he went away, wondering about and marveling at what had happened.” Luke 24:10-12 [AMPC]

So, because Peter still believed, Jesus was faithful and restored Peter to the confident apostle that he was before he denied Him; for only a man confident in His own salvation and right standing with our Father can do this amongst the very same people who saw him deny Jesus.

“Now on one of those days Peter arose among the brethren, the whole number of whom gathered together was about a hundred and twenty.” Acts 1:15 [AMPC]

But what happens to the sin? Well, beloved, Jesus took care of that because,

“Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25

So because Peter still had faith, Jesus saw fit to appear to Peter first, and restore him; therefore, in the same way, as long as you still hold the faith that Jesus loves you, died for you on the cross, and by doing so, has paid the price for all your sins once and for all, your salvation is secure. You are heading to Heaven to be with Jesus and our Father when we are done here.

The Incorruptibility of Our Inheritance
But more than that, Peter assures us that the inheritance, the right which we received when we became sons of our Father, does not diminish, for we are,

“[Born anew] into an inheritance which is beyond the reach of change and decay [imperishable], unsullied and unfading, reserved in heaven for you,” 1 Peter 1:4 [AMPC]

We are not begrudgingly taken into heaven out of pity to become slaves for God; not at all. Our sonship which came to us through Jesus when we believed because,

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13

This sonship never diminishes because the love that our Father has for us never diminishes.

Finally, beloved, the calling that our Father has put on your life will never be taken away either. Remember what Jesus said to Peter before he denied Christ?

“And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”” Luke 22:31-32

And after the denial and restoration was done and dusted, Jesus said this.

“After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”
“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.
Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”
“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.
A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.” John 21:15-17 [NLT]

Peter’s call to minister to his brethren was restored to Him.

Beloved, for you who believe, when you sin, nothing changes between Jesus and you, between our Father and you. They do not love you any less. They do not hold anything against you. They will not take anything away from you. They have no reason to because Jesus paid for all your sins on the cross, as it is written,

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

Therefore, your right standing is secure. Your inheritance is secure because Jesus is faithful to your belief in Him. So run to Him, just as Peter did, especially if you have sinned; and He will make all things right for you.

And if by chance you have yet to make Jesus your Savior, and would like to respond to His calling; if you know you have sinned, and would also like to receive this gift of forgiveness and eternal secure salvation from Jesus, then say this with me.

“Heavenly Father, thank You for calling me today. Thank You for reaching out to me in the midst of my sin, while I am yet unclean. Thank You for loving me so much that You would send Your Son Jesus to die for me, so that by His blood shed, I may receive full remission of all my sins, past, present and future; that by His death, I too may die to sin; and by His rising, I too may rise to a new life in Him. Thank You for this everlasting assurance that as long as I put my trust in You, Your love and Your work of salvation, not only will I never lose mine, I will never lose any of the blessings You have purposed for me to enjoy. I come to You now, just as I am, trusting in nothing by the blood of Jesus and Your love for me. I come to You now knowing that I have been made clean and whole and I am completely acceptable and loved in Your sight. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Never run away from Jesus when you sin. Always run to Him.

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