THE JOY OF SALVATION

The joy of salvation cannot be separated from a sense of guilt. Only as we realize what we have been saved from can we begin to appreciate that to which we have been called.

One of the strange phenomena in the church today (and there are many) is the linking of a consciousness of guilt with an unhealthy Christian experience.

There are of course sick persons, a part of whose illness consists of a morbid feeling of guilt, which is one symptom of an afflicted mind. But this is not the subject here.

Rather I am writing of those who live with a radiant joy in their lives and on their faces—men and women who know their sins have been forgiven and who bask in Christ’s forgiving love.

David, guilty of adultery and murder, said, “My sin is ever before me,” but he did not stop them. He pled for forgiveness and had restored to him the joy of God’s salvation. It was this attitude of repentance and confession which made him a man after God’s own heart.

Contemporary preaching rarely goes further than to condemn men for sins against society; rare indeed is the sermon that condemns sin against a holy God.

A few years ago an outstanding evangelist held a meeting in a large southern city. The response was gratifying and the writer knows personally a number of individuals who made decisions for Christ at that time.

But all was not sweetness and light. The evangelist stated in the clearest biblical terms the fact of man’s sinfulness before God, the potentialities of the human heart for wickedness, and man’s only hope through faith in Christ’s atoning and redeeming work.

When these meetings were concluded a prominent minister publicly remarked that it would take ten years to eliminate the guilt complex that such preaching had brought ...

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