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Sermons

The Road of Restoration

December 28, 2014 Series: Topical Teachings

Verse: Nehemiah 1:1–1:11

Nehemiah: God’s Mission of Restoration

“The Road to Restoration”

Introduction

This week we explored the role of God in our restoration by using the historic account of Nehemiah. We laid out that restoration is defined as “being brought back into existence, to full use or to bring back to an original condition.”[1] We heard the idea presented that our perfection was destroyed in two ways: the way we reflect God’s image and the relationship we had with God.[2] We also briefly discussed the difference between the single-event legal term of justification and the continual life-long process of sanctification.

  1. What is wrong with the idea that you should have anything to do with your own restoration with God?[3]
  2. In what ways have you tried to pay for your own sin and earn a restored relationship with God? If so, does your relationship with God feel like it’s based on His grace or your works?

Report from Jerusalem (Nehemiah’s Revelation)

Using messengers and an uncomfortable situation, we saw God call Nehemiah to address the state of Jerusalem. Nehemiah’s mature response played a role in being restored back to his own people, as God wanted. We see a parallel in our own lives that when filled with pain and suffering, we must look at our situations in a biblical sense. [4]

  1. What does Proverbs 27:6 say of warnings from friends related to honest problems?
  2. How have you been guilty of not addressing sin or real life problems when it’s brought up? Is there sin you should confess now?

Nehemiah’s Response (Conviction)

Like with Nehemiah, God uses our realization of sin and shame to restore us. Being convicted is proof the Holy Spirit is working in us. Our greatest need for God is revealed most clearly in times of pain and suffering.[5]

  1. What pain(s) in your life has God used to restore you to Him?
  2. How does confessing sin help us remember the death of Jesus?

Biblical References

Nehemiah 9:32-33 ESV:

[32] “Now, therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love, let not all the hardship seem little to you that has come upon us, upon our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers, and all your people, since the time of the kings of Assyria until this day. [33] Yet you have been righteous in all that has come upon us, for you have dealt faithfully and we have acted wickedly.

Isaiah 64:6-7 ESV:

[6] We have all become like one who is unclean,

and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.

We all fade like a leaf,

and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

[7] There is no one who calls upon your name,

who rouses himself to take hold of you;

for you have hidden your face from us,

and have made us melt in the hand of our iniquities.

Romans 5:12 ESV:

“[12] Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned,”

Romans 8:19-23 ESV:

“[19] For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. [20] For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope [21] that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. [22] For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. [23] And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”

Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV:

[8] For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, [9] not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

2 Corinthians 7:9-11 ESV

[9] As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.

[10] For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. [11] For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ESV

[9] But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. [10] For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

 

 

[1]American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Ed., s. v. “Restoration.”

[2] See Romans 5:12-14

[3] See Isaiah 64:6ff and Ephesians 2:8-9.

[4] “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” – C.S. Lewis, A Problem of Pain

[5] 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

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