When we think of restoration, we usually think of a house, a car, or a piece of furniture. We think of taking something that is old and out of repair, and bringing it back to its original state so it can be fully functional again. We may also think of placing back into a former position, or making restitution. A restorer must see the original value of what he is restoring, see that there can be future value, and have the resources to complete the job (money, equipment, parts, expertise, and time). He must have the commitment it will take, realizing there will be setbacks. Sometimes he must understand the the investment in the project may exceed the actual future value to others. Sometimes it is an act of love and not necessarily a sound financial decision.
God is a restorer, but He primarily focuses on restoring people, not things. He desires to perform all the functions of s restorer to us. He originally created man and all things good (Gen 1-3 He made us in His image, gave us dominion, made us very good, gave us the potential for eternal life, and made us intelligent. He gave us the family, innocence, freedom from fear, and communion with Him. Man lost all these things through sin, but God has always planned for our restoration. The salvation God offers us through Jesus Christ can not only take care of responsibility for sin. It can restore all that was lost as well. The Bible shows us each of the things lost in Genesis 3 restored. God wants to bring us back into our original state:
1. Image of God – Rom 8:29, 1Cor 11:7, 1Cor 15:49, 2Cor 4:18, Col 3:10
2. Dominion – Mt 10:1, Lk 10:19, Lk 24:49, Acts 1:8
3. Good – Gal 5:22, 2Pet 1:4
4. Eternal life – Jn 3:16, Jn 6:40, Jn 11:25-26
5. Intelligence (wisdom) – Lk 1:17, Lk 21:15, 1Cor 2:9-10, Eph 1:17, Col 1:19, Jam 1:5
6. Revival of family – Mal 4:5-6
7. Conscience – Heb 9:14, Heb 10:22
8. No fear – Lk 1:74, Lk 12:5, Rom 8:31-39, 2Tim 1:7, Heb 2:15, Heb 13:6, 1Jn 4:18
9. Communion with God – 1Cor 1:9, 1Cor 10:16, 2Cor 13:14, Phil 2:1, 1Jn 1:3 & 6
He wants to put us back into our former position:
1. Kings and priests – 1Pet 2:9, Rev 1:6
2. Sons of God – Lk 3:38, Jn 1:12, Phil 2:15, 1Jn 3:1-2
3. Overseers of creation – Rom 8:16-23
He wants to bring us back into usefulness (Jn 15:1-8 & 16, Rom 11:13-32, 1Cor 12:11-21, 2Cor 5:18). He wants to bring us back into paradise and restore the original order of creation (Is 11:6-9, Rom 8:16-23, Rev 22:1-5). Yet we do not have to wait until eternity to experience the restoration of God. The process can start right now (Ps 51:12, Gal 6:1). The restorer knows these things take time. He has been working on it for thousands of years (Jn 14:1-3). He has much patience (Jam 5:7-8). We also need patience to stay in the process. We will never be the finished product God intends in this life, but we must stay on the potter's wheel until that time (Is 64:8, Jer 18:1-6, Rom 9:21).