WHY DOES RESTORATION
SEEM NEVER ENDING?
MANKIND IS TOTALLY DEPRAVED,
AND IN NEED DESPERATELY
God created mankind perfect and innocent, and we failed, all of us. We had it perfect, and not one of us could maintain innocence. Adam and Eve had a perfect garden, a perfect menu, a perfect peace, communion with a holy God, and no guilt or shame of a past sinful life. They had all the advantages, and still sinned.
Romans 3:20 (KJV)
20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Romans 3:23 (KJV)
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
ADAM AND EVE PROVED MANKIND WAS TOTALLY DEPRAVED
When Adam and Eve allowed their minds to be polluted, it brought to end the first dispensation of mankind, the dispensation of innocence. In it, mankind was on probation. Could he resist the pollution of sin, or not. It had a very favorable beginning. Everything was perfect, sinless, and under man's dominion. He had only one command to obey, and everything else came natural to him.
"But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it, for in the day that thou eatest, thou shalt surely die."
This was their only test to pass. Could they resist the foul ideas of temptation, to make them believe that evil was good? Could they be made to think that God would have tried to rob them of something they deserved? Could their minds be twisted to think that they could rise to the level of God? Mankind failed, due to polluted minds, that twisted the pure and true thinking they once had.
"And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and the tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."
Adam and Eve had the power of choice. If God had not given the power to mankind to choose sin or righteousness, mankind would have simply been robots. God's purpose was to test see if mankind could remain innocent, and be true to God's trust, and thereby remain perfect under all conditions. Mere untried virtue does not deserve the name. Goodness is not a passive quality, but a deliberate choice between right and wrong.
God wanted mankind to be wise, knowing, and still be faithful to Him as their Father and Creator. He knew they would sin, but He wanted to test mankind before the birth of offspring, so He could deal with such sin on a universal nature. The whole human race can now be dealt with alike, for we are all descendants of Adam and Eve who first allowed pollution of sin into the mind.
Satan is called the "accuser of the brethren", and he is known as a tempter of God's children. Temptation was subtle, but the devil could not force pollution into mankind. People are now corrupt, have a bias toward evil, and are totally unable in themselves to restore their former purity of mind. God cannot be pleased with even the good works of a sinner, for the mind is polluted, tends toward evil. The polluted mind is universal, and all people must be born again into a new mind that is mercifully given. Total depravity in our minds make mankind unable, outside the merciful grace of God, to please God.
Though mankind may possess goodness, civility, good deeds, charity, and seem religious, without the repentance of sins, and the acceptance of God's divine gift of the Lamb of God, i.e. Jesus Christ, and His atonement on the cross for us, there is no salvation from the polluted mind of sin!
"TOTAL DEPRAVITY" does not mean that everyone has no qualities pleasing to others. But it does mean, that people are prone to sin, and the mind tends to be opposed to God's ways. Even though many sinners do some things that in themselves would be pleasing to God, without the acceptance of Jesus as the atonement for our sins, those things will not please God.
The only thing sinners can do, that will avail, is to give heed to God's way of salvation. The grace of God, and the transforming power of the Spirit of God, can change the totally depraved mind of sin. Depravity of mind has infected all people. Inborn pollution of our minds will damn everyone who does not find the atoning work of Christ, and accept that atonement as their own.
Some feel guilt, and others claim to not feel any guilt. That feeling is not the measure of our condition. Whether we feel guilt or not, we are still totally depraved of any ability to please God, outside of His merciful plan. People are devoid of even the desire to serve God and repent for sins. Unless God convicts sinners, they will have no desire to ask God for mercy.
David had wives and a palace. He had possessions aplenty. He had rulership of a powerful nation. Yet, he desired another man’s wife, fell into sin, had her husband killed to attempt to cover over the fact she was pregnant by David’s sinful act. He had totally failed. Failure is something that is common, to all of us. There is none of us that are perfect, or even close to perfection. Without the grace and mercy of God, we are all totally depraved of ability to save ourselves... we are weak and failing.
1 Corinthians 10:12 (KJV)
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
Proverbs 16:18 (KJV)
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
WE ARE ALL WRETCHED FAILURES IN NEED OF RESTORATION
Paul testified to this, even after becoming a Christian, even after becoming an apostle, even after sanctification and infilling of the Spirit.
Romans 7:14-25 (KJV)
For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
How easily we sin. The devil inserts the pollution of thinking, and that leads us down a staircase of such failure. All of us have so often ignorantly fallen for the same kind of deception as Adam and Eve. We need to be more wary of the polluted sin of the devil, for it brings failure, it kills, it corrupts, and it can ultimately doom!
Because of the pollution of the mind, man’s thinking is darkened. That will lead to despicable failures.
I Corinthians 2:14
"the natural man receives not the things of God for they are foolishness to him, neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned."
Those who have pollution of the mind are debased in thinking, deceived by their own minds into thinking they are still pure in thought. We may think we are doing God’s will, speaking His message, working for His goals, and still be wrong on all counts. We end up in failure and wish we could give a reason for it. The answers we concoct for it are baseless, stupid, or laughable.
"the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it?"
Pollution of the mind makes the will to be weak, unable to choose right, unable to know we are on a path to failure, unless the pollution is eradicated by the grace of God.
"For that which I do, I allow not, for what I would that do I not, but what I hate, that I do..."
The conscience of a person, polluted in mind, will not work properly. The conscience can be seared, and not hear the warnings of the Holy Spirit, not use wise human judgment, and keep us on an unhindered path to failure.
I Timothy 4:2
"having their conscience seared with a hot iron."
The polluted mind, that took each of us to failure, needs redeemed, reborn, made totally new.
"You hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins."
I John 2:1
"If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous."
Because of the mediation of Jesus, we know our sins can be forgiven and enter into the process of RESTORATION.
I John 1:9
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
We are to ask largely, and not to simply ask God for the minimum. We have a God Who can do "exceeding abundantly above" all our requests.
"Now unto Him Who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think."
We can ask God "whatsoever" (John 16:23) we desire. Too often our minds are too "meat headed" with carnal, physical, and temporal things. God wants us to raise our prayers to a higher level.
We are to ask for even more than the minimum, but do it with un-polluted thinking.
"Ask ye of the Lord rain, in the time of the latter rain."
"Known unto God are all His works, from the beginning of the world."
God had a plan in the beginning, and has known every detail of it. He knew of mankind's fall into sin, and of mankind's wickedness through the ages. Still God provided a plan of salvation, and He has had great pleasure in the working of it. He has a plan of RESTORATION, to bring us back into perfect harmony with Him.
"Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself. That in the dispensation of the fullness of times, He might gather together in one all things in Christ..."
I Corinthians 15:24-28.
"Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For He hath put all things under His feet..."
Till the completion of this RESTORATION process, we are to allow the Holy
Spirit to continue the work.
Romans 7:15-20, 24-25
"For that which I do, I allow not; for what I would that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin dwelleth in me. for I know that in me (that is in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing; for to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good, I find not. For the good that I would, I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is nor more that I do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.... O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin."
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit ... that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled un us who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh, but they that are after the spirit, do mind the things of the spirit....they that are in the flesh cannot please God ...If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die, but if ye through the spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live."
"I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed shall live."
"And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely."
Jesus died for all, He chose to die for even the vilest sinner. He is "not willing that any should perish." We must choose Him, and then we are saved by His grace.
"For we are saved by hope, but that hope that is seen is not hope; for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He call, He also justified; whom He justified, them He also glorified. What shall we say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?...Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation? ... distress?... persecution?... famine?... nakedness? ... peril?... sword? ...we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us..."
The dispensation of innocence has ended, due to the fall of mankind into sin. The original sin has changed history to one wherein we need salvation and RESTORATION.