The Way of Peace

Correspondence

We have received the following letter from a correspondent: "I have been so troubled in soul that when I read your letter to 'A young man in soul difficulties', I felt I must write to you to tell me what is wrong. I professed conversion years ago, but I always felt that something was wrong with my experience. Others seemed to possess something I lacked. I prayed earnestly that I should be what God wanted me to be, and I have a desire to win men and women for God, but such an awful fear has come over me. I believe in God and love Him, but the thought keeps coming to me that I am not saved. I said for years that I was, but I am ashamed to say it now. I heard you speak on 'The all sufficient Saviour,' and cannot forget it. If I only possessed that wonderful peace I feel that it would be life to me. I do not mind what I have to go through if only I have God's peace."

My dear Friend, —

We will not talk of your experience, or your earnest prayers, or your desires to win men and women for God, or even of your love to Him, for not one nor all these things can save you or be the ground of your peace. Your whole letter convinces us that you are the Lord's, yet our convictions cannot be enough for you; what you need is an unimpeachable and absolutely reliable word that shall dispel your fears. We often tell of a young woman who was troubled as you are. She was lying ill in an infirmary, and a friend, knowing of her distress, sent her by post a Scripture text card. She eagerly read the words on it, which were, "Jesus said, My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me, and I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hands" (John 10:27-28). "Oh, if only I could say that I was one of His sheep," she said, "I should be happy." But she could not say it, and almost in despair she threw the card upon the bed. Then she saw that there were words that she had not noticed on the other side of the card, and she took it up again, and read: "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Tim. 1:15). That wonderful verse of Scripture let the light into her heart, and she said, "If I'm not a sheep, I'm a sinner, and Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, and so He came to save me." Now that was the reasoning of faith: —
1. Christ Jesus came to save sinners.
2. I'm a sinner.
3. So He came to save me.

Go over that, take it to yourself, and give thanks to Him for coming to save YOU. You will be on solid ground if you do, for you have that wonderful bit of news on the authority of the word of God who cannot lie.

It is only by the gospel that we can be saved, and there are two great facts in it: First, Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; 2nd, and He was buried and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:1-3). For your offences He was delivered to judgment and death, so that you can say, "He was there for me. He was wounded for my transgressions and bruised for my iniquities, the chastisement of my peace was upon Him and by His stripes I am healed." But "He was raised again for our justification." To be justified means to be cleared of every charge of sin before God. And it is God Himself who justifies him which believeth in Jesus (Rom. 3:26), and if it is God that justifieth, who is he that condemneth? (Rom. 8:33-34). God must have the last word about everything. His verdict must stand for ever. If you have believed this gospel you are justified — cleared of every charge of sin before God, as clear in His holy eyes as is Christ Jesus who sits at His right hand. He took upon Him all your sins when He suffered for you upon the cross. He was treated there as though they were His own, and He suffered for those sins, He the Just One for you the unjust. If He had not made a full atonement for them He would never have been raised from the dead, and He could not have been glorified at God's right hand. But He has been raised from the dead and exalted in heaven, and if you have believed in Him verse 1 of Romans 5 is for you: "Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ"; and verse 1 of Romans 8, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus." Of such, God says, "Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more" (Heb. 10:17).

Now you have several God-given facts: —
1. You are a sinner, needing a Saviour.
2. Christ Jesus came to be your Saviour.
3. He suffered on the cross for your sins, and shed His blood there for your redemption.
4. God has raised Him from the dead and given Him glory, and this is proof beyond question of the completeness and perfection of His work.
5. God justifies all who believe this gospel concerning His Son, they are saved for ever.

Go over these facts, say as you go over them, Yes, I believe that, and that, and that, until you come to the last one. Be careful about this. Remember that it is the same God who tells you of the coming of Jesus to save sinners that tells you that all who believe in Him are justified, and that from all things (Acts 13:39). This means you. You have believed what He tells you about Christ, then do not question what He tells you about "all that believe" in Christ. The work of Christ makes you safe. The Word of God makes you sure. The FACTS come first, then FAITH in the facts, and the happy FEELINGS follow the knowledge of the facts.