Sometimes we hear that someone was "restored." But what does that mean? Is it a concept from the Bible?


The key passages to the New Testament concept of restoration are Acts 8: 9-14 (Simon the Sorcerer), Galatians 6: 1-2, and James 5: 16. In the Acts 8 passage about Simon the Sorcerer or magician, Simon was converted to Christianity, doing the same things that other true believers were doing at the time, i. e., hearing God's word, believing it, repenting of past sinful ways, and being baptized. But in time Simon's old ways of indulging the pride of life (see I John 2: 15-17) returned and he sought to purchase the gift of the Holy Spirit with money. Simon Peter rebuked him sharply for his sin and told Simon the Sorcerer to repent. Simon the Sorcerer also responded by asking that Simon Peter, the spiritually strong one in that instance, pray for him.


This is consonant with the teaching of Galatians 6: 1, 2--"1Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ." and James 5: 16--"6Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." "Restoration" is thus a Biblical concept, being called as much by scripture, and has these characteristics:


In fact, little in the Bible is related to what is called The Sinner's Prayer. People are sometimes coached to pray a prayer like "Lord, I realize that I have sinned, and that I am a sinful creature; I ask that you forgive me. I take Christ as my personal savior and ask Him to come into my heart. In His name, Amen." And in this way they are sometimes led to believe that they have done what Jesus asked to do to accept Him. But what did Jesus ask people to do to accept Him? He nowhere asked anyone to pray a sinner's prayer in order to receive Him, and "The Sinner's Prayer" is not found anywhere in the Old or New Testaments. Rather, Jesus himself said in Mark 16: 16 to believe and be baptized. In Matthew 28: 19 he said said that His disciples should "go therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." ALL THINGS. He never told anyone to pray The Sinner's Prayer and then go on living any way they wanted to.


Restoration indicates a renewed interest in living the Christian life. It indicates a re-commitment. For those who reached baptism but then fell away, they are not told to be re-baptized, but rather to repent and pray. How public or private this re-commitment is would depend upon how public their sins have been and how much harm has been done to the church by it (Matthew 18: 15-19).


We hope that by visiting this website, you have been blessed.

Sid Womack, webmaster

 Please click on the doorway to return to the Sermons index page.