A Joyful Message
by Inglis Fleming
Last month I allowed you to read part of a letter from a young friend of mine, L.S., and many will remember that it was full of anguish and trouble on account of sin.
Perhaps my young friends will like to see part of another letter from the same girl, in which she made known the good news that at last she had found the peace and joy for which she had wished so long.
“DEAR Mr. F—, I am so happy now I know that all my sins are washed away by the precious blood of Jesus, and I now know that I have everlasting life, and that I shall never perish; for Jesus saith, ‘He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life’; and I do believe on Him, and I have everlasting life. But I do not always feel happy, for I often get angry with my brother and sisters, and that makes me very unhappy, for I know that it displeases Jesus. But I do try to please Him, and I want to live for Him, because He has done so much for me in dying upon that cruel cross. No one can help loving Him when they know and believe what He has done for them.
“I know if the Lord were to come tonight I should not be left behind, because I know that I am ready to go, and I long to see the face of the One who died for me, and I do feel like singing all the day because my sins are washed away, and I can’t help loving the One who died to wash them away.
“Your loving friend,
Those who have read the earlier letter will notice what a difference is now found.
In that she said she did not know what happiness was, in this her opening words are, “I am so happy.”
What has made the alteration? She tells us that she now knows that all her sins are washed away by the precious blood of Christ, that she has everlasting life, and that she will never perish. Well may she be glad. Sins gone, everlasting life her portion, and the assurance that she will never perish given her by her Saviour’s word. Surely this is enough to make any child happy.
I do not suppose that L—knows much of all the immensity of blessing which the words “everlasting life” include, but, at any rate, she can rely on the words of Jesus that this priceless gift is hers as a believer upon Him.
Then she knows Him as a living Saviour, and her heart is drawn out in affection towards Himself, and she desires to live for Him. This must be the outcome of knowing, and believing, His love to us, and of having rest of conscience by trusting in His precious blood. He loved her, and died for her—now she loves Him, and would live for Him.
But she finds that there are difficulties, for she is provoked by her brother and sisters, and gets angry with them, and this, of course, brings sorrow upon her. What is a young believer to do in such circumstances? There is still in the Christian an evil tendency—“the flesh” as Scripture calls it—but thank God He gives to believers the Holy Spirit to dwell in their bodies in order that they may walk so as to please God. The Spirit of God will ever lead us to pray, to read the Scriptures, and to depend upon our Lord. We have no strength to keep ourselves any more than we had to save ourselves, but though we are weak Christ is strong, and He will uphold us as we leave ourselves with Him, and rely upon His strong arm.
If we do sin, there is a way opened to us in the ninth verse of the first chapter of the first epistle of John, where we read, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Christ, too, is our living Helper, and in 1 John 2:1 we read, “If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and He is the propitiation for our sins.”
On the cross our Lord Jesus bore all our sins—the judgment was entirely exhausted by Him, so that it will never fall upon us, but if we sin, our happiness before the face of our God and Father is lost, like a naughty child is unhappy before its parents, and perhaps has to stand in the corner, but our Lord is our Advocate, and the result is that we are brought to confess our sins, and they are thus forgiven. How well it is for us that we have a living Saviour who says of all His own, “They shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”
As L—says, we who know our sins put away cannot help loving the One who died to wash them away.
Scattered Seed 1896