How Can Justification Make me Joyful?

Jesus Christ’s perfect birth, life, death, and resurrection were mine through faith alone apart from any of my own efforts.

After I was converted there was the inevitable spiritual joy of a newly born child of God. But only a year or so later, I was in despair. When I looked at so much of the sin and hypocrisy that was going on among other believers my age, I wondered if my conversion was real. Then I was promised assurance if I would just be open to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I prayed for that and had others pray for that for me…it never came.

 

I wrote How Can Justification Make Me Joyful because I want my fellow brothers and sisters to have the same assurance and confidence that the Holy Spirit has given me with this biblical teaching.

You see, after I was converted there was the inevitable spiritual joy of a newly born child of God. But only a year or so later, I was in despair. When I looked at so much of the sin and hypocrisy that was going on among other believers my age, I wondered if my conversion was real. Then I was promised assurance if I would just be open to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I prayed for that and had others pray for that for me…it never came.

So there I was, 19 years old, at college, feeling isolated and disillusioned until a required course on philosophy and theology. I heard the word “justification” for the first time. I heard that Jesus Christ’s perfect birth, life, death, and resurrection were mine through faith alone apart from any of my own efforts. I remember seeing my professor write on the whiteboard the words of Westminster Larger Catechism, Q&A 70, and me hurrying to copy it down before he erased it. Then I ran back to my dorm’s computer lab (yeah, we didn’t have personal laptops back then!) to type it out, print it, and post it above my desk to read every day. The Lord had given me the assurance I sought by teaching my heart and mind what Jesus had done for me and what the Holy Spirit had brought to me.

The Lord can give you this same measure of assurance and joy. How Can Justification Make Me Joyful? It doesn’t come from speaking in tongues. It doesn’t come by sitting around and waiting for a spiritual experience. It doesn’t come by your effort. It comes from the Holy Spirit who applies the Word of God to needy hearts like yours and mine.

Daniel Hyde is Pastor of Oceanside Reformed Church in Oceanside, Calif.  This article is published on David Murray’s site, Head Heart Hand, and is used with permission.