Sovereign Grace Baptist Church

Free Grace Media

Of Princeton, New Jersey


AuthorClay Curtis
TitleThe Law of Restitution
Bible TextExodus 22:1-17
Synopsis The Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled the whole law of God, making full restitution to God and his people, not only what we lost but above what we lost in the fall. Listen
Series Exodus 2016
Article Type Sermon Notes
PDF Format pdf
Word Format doc
Audio HI-FI Listen: The Law of Restitution (32 kbps)
Audio CD Quality Listen: The Law of Restitution (128 kbps)
Length 42 min.

Series: Exodus

Title: The Law of Restitution

Text: Ex 22: 1-17

Date: January 6, 2018

Place: SGBC, NJ


Subject: “The Law of Restitution.”


All the laws we are looking at in our text all have this one thing in common—RESTITUTION.  What is that?  Restitution is to re-store what you took away.  But as we will see in our text the law of restitution requires more be restored than what was lost.


Exodus 22: 1: If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. [restitution] 2: If a thief be found breaking up, [breaking/entering] and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him. [homeowner is not guilt, no death, self-defense] 3: If the sun be risen upon him, [if homeowner takes revenge] there shall be blood shed for him; [the homeowner is guilty of murder—vengeance belongs to the LORD] for [the thief] should make full restitution; if [the thief] have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. [to victim or money to victim] 4: If the theft be certainly found in his hand alive, whether it be ox, or ass, or sheep; he shall restore double.   5: If a man shall cause a field or vineyard to be eaten, and shall put in his beast, and shall feed in another man’s field; of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard, shall he make restitution. 6: If fire break out, and catch in thorns, so that the stacks of corn, or the standing corn, or the field, be consumed therewith; he that kindled the fire shall surely make restitution. 7: If a man shall deliver unto his neighbour money or stuff to keep, and it be stolen out of the man’s house; if the thief be found, let [the thief] pay double.  8: If the thief be not found, then the master of the house shall be brought unto the judges, to see whether he have put his hand unto his neighbour’s goods. 9: For all manner of trespass, whether it be for ox, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, or for any manner of lost thing, which another challengeth to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and whom the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double unto his neighbour.  10: If a man deliver unto his neighbour an ass, or an ox, or a sheep, or any beast, to keep; and it die, or be hurt, or driven away, no man seeing it: 11: Then shall an oath of the LORD be between them both, that he hath not put his hand unto his neighbour’s goods; and the owner of it shall accept thereof, and he shall not make it good.  12: And if it be stolen from him, he shall make restitution unto the owner thereof.  13: If it be torn in pieces, then let him bring it for witness, and he shall not make good that which was torn. 14: And if a man borrow ought of his neighbour, and it be hurt, or die, the owner thereof being not with it, [the borrower] shall surely make it good.  15: But if the owner thereof be with it, he shall not make it good: if it be an hired thing, it came for his hire. 16: And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, [she consents but he deceived] and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. [give a dowry] 17: If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money [to her father] according to the dowry of virgins. [usually set by father]


Though these laws be broken against ones fellow man, all trespass against our fellow man, is also trespass against God.


Leviticus 6: 1: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2: If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD, and lie unto his neighbour in that which was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived his neighbour; 3: Or have found that which was lost, and lieth concerning it, and sweareth falsely; in any of all these that a man doeth, sinning therein: 4: Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found, 5: Or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereto, and give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass offering. 6: And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD, a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest: 7  And the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD: and it shall be forgiven him for any thing of all that he hath done in trespassing therein.


The law of restitution required that not only was the principle thing taken to be restored, but in addition, the person wronged was to gain by the injury done to him.  These laws of restitution are not merely to teach us the moral precept of restitution.  They give us a picture of the gospel.


Every sinner has, by our disobedience to God, stolen the glory and honor that belongs to God.  And every sinner has, by our disobedience to God, stolen from our own selves. Yet, scripture declares…


Psalms 76:10: Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee, the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.


So it is with the wrath of man in the fall: God ordained from eternity that both he and his elect would gain, not only what we lost by the fall, but more than we lost by the fall.  How so?


Proposition: The Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled the whole law of God, making full restitution to God and his people, not only what we lost but above what we lost in the fall.


Acts 3:18: But those things, which God before had showed by the mouth of all his prophet, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.19: Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; 20: And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.




No sinner has ever fulfilled the law of restitution in perfect righteousness (nor any other).  We are the thief spoken of in the law of restitution.


In the garden, when we sinned in Adam.  We stole from God.  Doing so, we robbed ourselves.  When God gave the law of restitution, all sinners were already the thief spoken of in that very law.  A sinner might make restitution outwardly to his neighbor—and should—but not one has ever fulfilled this law due to the covetousness of sinful nature.


Jeremiah 17: 10: I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.


Proverbs 16:2: All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.


It was due to our inward heart sins that Christ said “except your righteousness’ shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisee’s, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5: 20.) He did not mean we need to try harder, as some teach.  He meant we are guilty of heart-sins, which the Pharisee’s did not regard! This is what he said next,


Matthew 5: 21: Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment:…


Matthew 5: 27: Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.


Every sinner is guilty and God says we not only owe God the justice his law demands and we not only owe God perfect obedience his law demands, we owe double restitution.  Sinner, can you confess that you are guilty and unable to make double restitution to God?  If you can truly confess to God you are the guilty, helpless sinner then I have good news for you. 




God sent his Son and Jesus Christ made double restitution both to God and to his sinful people.  Christ said,


Psalm 69: 4: They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away.


Our Lord Jesus is the “ram without blemish”, “the holy high priest” of his peopleso that all who were his enemies are his enemies wrongfully.   Our Substitute willingly became our sin-bearer that he also might be the one who “made double restitution.”  Doing so, he restored double to God and to his people—that which he himself took not away.


First, Christ restored double to you and I his people.


Isaiah 40: 1: Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.  2: Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’S hand double for all her sins.


In creation, Adam received of the LORD’s hand a sinless life.  In the new creation, God’s elect receive of the LORD’s hand, not only a sinless life, but a SINLESS, RIGHTEOUS, ETERNAL LIFE.


Romans 5: 20:…where sin abounded, grace did MUCH MORE abound: 21: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through RIGHTEOUSNESS unto ETERNAL LIFE by JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.


Christ not only saved his people, he is “the author of ETERNAL SALVATION unto all them that obey him; (Heb 5:9.)  Christ not only gives the believer righteousness, but “EVERLASTING RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Dan 9:24)  Christ not only redeemed us from the curse of the law but “by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained ETERNAL REDEMPTION for us” (Heb 9:12)  Christ not only gives us the promise of inheritance but “they which are called…receive the promise of ETERNAL INHERITANCE” (Heb 9:15).  When this earthly house is dissolved we have not only a BUILDING of God in the heavens but “we have a building of God,…ETERNAL in the heavens” (2 Cor 5:1).


Believer, Christ restored to us double, above all that Adam ever possessed in innocence.  And he did so ETERNALLY! WE CAN NEVER FALL AGAIN!


Secondly, by all that Christ accomplished as God in the flesh, he restored to God more honor and glory from his people, and from all flesh, as well as magnified and honored his law and mercy more, than had we remained innocent in the garden.


Isaiah 40: 3: The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 :Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: 5: And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.


God came in human flesh—manifesting the fulness of the glory of the Godhead bodily—and all flesh—all men shall see it together!  All flesh shall see all God glory in all his attributes manifest in the flesh, in the GodMan, Mediator.  All flesh shall see God’s glory in the way he magnified and honored the law—making mercy and truth meet in harmony.  All flesh shall see God’s glory in the salvation of his people and the total destruction of his enemies (Tt Is 42)


In Is 42, God expresses double delight in Christ his Son because he has restored to him—not only praise and glory from his people which was already his due—but double praise and glory from his people.


Isaiah 42: 1: Behold, my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; [double delight] I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. 2: He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. 3: A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.  4: He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.


Christ brought forth double praise and glory to God from his people because we see God’s righteousness manifest in Christ crucified—he brought forth judgment on the cross and in the hearts of his people.  Now, we wait for his law—his gospel—from his heavenly Mt Zion


Isaiah 42: 5: Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: 6: I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; 7: To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. 8: I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.


Christ brought double honor and praise to God from his people because God in Christ not only restored light to his blind people; he not only restored God’s covenant promises to his people, Christ is the Light and Covenant God gave for his peoplethe Light never extinguished, the Covenant never broken.  For this we praise and glorify God more than we ever could have had we remained innocent in the garden.


Christ brought double honor and praise to God from his people by a new song of praise be sung—not only from his elect in Israel in one little spot of the earth, but from every corner of the world from which he has called us, his elect Gentiles.


Isaiah 42: 9: Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them. 10: Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof. 11: Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. 12: Let them give glory unto the LORD, and declare his praise in the islands.


Christ brings double honor and praise to God, because the GodMan conquered all his enemies: those he saves by grace, as well as those who go on worshipping their idols.


Isaiah 42: 13: The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies. 14: I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once. 15: I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools. 16: And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.  17: They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods.


And “at the name of Jesus every knee [shall] bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And…every tongue [shall] confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God” [Php 2: 10-11]


Christ brought this double restitution of honor and glory to God from his people by manifesting God’s righteousness—by making justice and mercy meet in harmony in the salvation of his people—and he did it for us who would not and could not make restoration.


Isaiah 42: 21: The LORD is well pleased [double pleased] for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable. 22: But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, RESTORE! 23: Who among you will give ear to this? who will hearken and hear for the time to come? 24: Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not the LORD, he against whom we have sinned? for they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law. 25: Therefore he [God] hath poured upon him [upon Jacob, all his elect, in the person of Christ our Substitute. What did he pour upon him?] the fury of his anger, and the strength of battle: and it hath set him [Christ our Substitute] on fire round about, yet he [Jacob his elect, you and I who were blind in our sins] knew not; and it burned him, [our old man of sin died in Christ on the cross] yet he [us Jacob’s] laid it not to heart. [that is, until God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, declaring] 1: But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.

2 Corinthians 4: 6: For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.


To all you lost Jacob’s, I stand here beseeching you, on behalf of my victorious Redeemer, look to Christ!  By him double restitution has been made—God and his elect has gained more than was lost in the fall for in him the glory of God is revealed! 


Zechariah 9:12  Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee;


To all you Israelites, already called, this is his promise to you.


Isaiah 43: 2: When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. 3: For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: [God in Christ] I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. [Listen to this] 4: Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee:[in Christ our Restorer] therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. 5  Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; 6  I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; 7: Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.