“God be merciful to me a sinner!” Luke 18:13
“Look on my affliction and my pain, and forgive all my sins.” Psalm 25:18
“The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The LORD is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.” Psalm 145:8-9
“Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.” Matthew 9:2
Justification, or remission of sins before the tribunal of God and the comfortable assurance of it in the heart, do not always go together. The pardon is passed in Heaven at once and in the most perfect manner. Yet the sense of it may be lacking. For the assurance of that pardon is mostly given by degrees, as believers are able to receive it. Feeble glimpses appear now and then, and many tokens usually pass between Christ and a believing soul before the Spirit gives a full and clear witness to his conscience.
Therefore a penitent soul must converse much with the gospel and pray continually for more light and a greater degree of faith and peace. As our faith is, so is our assurance. For assurance is the flower of faith. But as some flowers do not blossom the first summer, so the faith of some Christians does not soon rise to full assurance. There is often the faith that saves when there is not the faith that assures.
Seek, therefore, a greater degree of faith; cry with the disciples, “Lord, increase my faith!” Cry on, cry often, until faith is strong and steady.
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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