The Restoration Movement

W. Terry Varner
February 5, 2017

What is meant by the phrase The Restoration Movement? It can be described in the following ways: (1) it is a plea of Christ; i.e. it rejects all human names, human creeds, and human doctrines. When we give Christ preeminence in all things, then we do what Christ wants. “And He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything He might be preeminent” (Col. 1:18). (2) It is the argument that if we do what made people Christians in the first century, then if it is identically practiced today, or in any era, all who do so are pleasing to God. All ought to desire to be a Christian. As an introduction to The Restoration Movement, it can be best describe by understanding the following five principles:

(1) Search. Jesus said to the Jews seeking to kill Him “you search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life, and these are they which bear witness of me” (John 5:39, emp. added). The Scriptures testify of Jesus as the Messiah [anointed by God] and Savoir of man from his sins (cf. Matt. 1:21). The Jews realized the importance of the Scriptures. They understood the Scriptures spoke prophetically of Jesus. Jesus knew this and said that is why they “searched the Scriptures.” When Paul came to Thessalonica he “reasoned from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and rise from the dead” (Acts 17:2-3). When Paul came to Berea he found the Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily” (Acts 17:11, emp. added). To give preeminence to Christ in our life we must study, know, and obey Jesus.

(2) Discovery. Upon hearing Jesus speak, Philip said, “we have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth” (John 1:45). A searching of the Scriptures will enable anyone to discover, know, and understand how to obey Jesus. There is no other name than the name of Jesus that brings salvation to man (cf. Acts 4:12). Our discovery from searching the Scriptures will reveal what each needs to do to become a disciple of Jesus or a Christian, how to live life pleasing God to receive the eternal reward, and how to worship to please Him. Interestingly, the Scriptures reveals harmonious in all these areas.

(3) Acceptance. When Thomas was presented evidence that Jesus had risen from the dead, he exclaimed: “My Lord and My God” (John 20:28). The lesson is clear. When we have searched the Scriptures and discovered what God expects and do it, He accepts us when we accept Him. In Acts 2 when Christianity and the church began, those who obeyed “the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47). He will always do so.

(4) Practice. While many men deny the need for obedience to avail God’s grace to our life, the Bible says “whatsoever we ask we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight” (1 John 3:22). Jesus said: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15).

(5) Sharing. Christianity began and the church was established (Acts 2). The early Christians went throughout the world to preach Christ crucified” (1 Cor. 2:22-23). T. B. Larimore said, “I would be afraid to be ashamed, and ashamed to be afraid to preach the gospel of Christ.”

We must take the Bible and search it pages, discovering what we must do to please God, and accept God’s teaching by practicing in our life in order to enjoy the “hope of eternal .life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began” (Titus 2:11).