Restoration Principles

Restoration PrinciplesText: 2 Kings 22-23

An effort began in this country in the 19th century to restore the doctrines and practices of the New Testament. Those involved in this movement did not always get things right, but the intention is both good and necessary. The Bible describes a sort of “restoration movement” in the days of King Josiah. We can learn from his example and observe the principles which show how faithful service to God can be restored and maintained.

We Must Recognize God’s Word As Our Standard

  • One of the reasons why the nation had departed from God’s law was because they lost it – Josiah commissioned repairs to the house of God, then the book of the law was found (2 Kings 22:3-10); he already had a good attitude (wanted to repair the temple), but this kicked off the restoration
  • They were expected to obey the commandments in the law (Deuteronomy 28:1-2) – in the same way, we are expected to follow the word of the Lord (John 12:48); not to follow whatever way seems best to us (Proverbs 14:12; Matthew 7:21-23), it must be God’s way

We Need to Understand God’s Attitude toward Sin

  • Upon hearing the law read to him, Josiah tore his clothes (2 Kings 22:11) – this was a sign of mourning; he reacted this way because he recognized that the nation had sinned and because he understood God’s attitude toward sin and disobedience (2 Kings 22:12-13)
  • Just as they were expected to obey God’s law, there were punishments if they did not (Deuteronomy 28:15) – the same is true today for those who do not obey the gospel (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9) and for those who turn back to sin (Hebrews 10:29); God does not want us to perish, but we must turn from our sin (2 Peter 3:9; cf. Romans 2:4-6)

We Need to Have a Humble Heart

  • After inquiring of the Lord, Josiah received a response (2 Kings 22:18-19) – his heart was tender, not calloused, he wanted to do what was right; he humbled himself, even though he was king he knew that God was greater than him
  • This attitude was seen in his mourning over the sin of the nation (2 Kings 22:11) – we need to mourn over sin if we are going to turn from it (2 Corinthians 7:10); we need to humble ourselves before God and submit to His will (Matthew 5:3; cf. Proverbs 3:5-7)

We Must Determine to Be Obedient

  • Josiah gathered the people, read the law to them, and entered a covenant (2 Kings 23:1-3) – he made a commitment to keep God’s commandments and the people agreed to do the same; this was not just talk; he removed what was wrong (2 Kings 23:4-7, et al.) and restored the Passover (2 Kings 23:21-23)
  • God expected their obedience (Deuteronomy 28:1-2) – they were not to turn to the right or the left (Deuteronomy 28:14; 5:32); we must have the same attitude in doing whatever the Lord says (cf. John 2:5); we must not deviate from His ways (Revelation 22:18-19)

We Must Serve God Wholeheartedly

  • With all that Josiah did, there was “no king like him” (2 Kings 23:25) – he served the Lord with all his heart, soul, and might; he faithfully followed the law
  • This is remarkable, but it is also what God expected of all of His people (Deuteronomy 6:5) – this is also what God expects of us today (Matthew 22:37); we are to give our lives completely to Him (Romans 12:1)

Conclusion

  • These principles are always necessary – to restore or maintain faithful service to God
  • We must go to God’s word and follow it – be humble, commit to obedience, serve Him with all our heart
  • Whether we need to start, return, or continue, let us make sure we are serving God faithfully

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