God’s gift of salvation
“Lord, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive? But you offer forgiveness, that we might learn to fear you.”
The afternoon of Aldersgate
On May 24, 1738, John Wesley was depressed. He had been wrestling with spiritual questions. Was faith alone enough for salvation? If so, could a man be converted instantaneously?
That afternoon at London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral, he heard an anthem sung that opened his heart. Based on Psalm 130, it began, “Out of the deeps of long distress, the borders of despair…” He was greatly moved because the anthem from Psalm 130 told his personal story. That evening he attended a meeting in a little chapel on Aldersgate Street, heard a reading from the introduction to Luther’s commentary on Romans, and felt his heart “strangely warmed.” He had taken the leap from verse 1 to verse 5 of the psalm.
Many outstanding Christians have loved this psalm. One of them was John Owen, who wrote an extended commentary on it — with nearly three hundred pages on verse 4 alone! He loved that verse because once when he was “brought to the mouth of grace” and when his soul was “oppressed with horror and darkness,” that fourth verse brought him close to God.
God offers forgiveness, verse 4 says. Forgiveness is God’s free gift. Have you accepted it yet?
adapted from The One Year® Book of Psalms with devotionals by William J. Petersen and Randy Petersen (Tyndale) entry for October 30
Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House