Being a Christian involves more than putting our faith in Jesus at the moment of salvation. It is about actively pursuing holiness and godliness. Yet, how do we strike the right balance between God’s role and our own part in this walk of faith? I believe that true progress in our Christian lives can only be made relative to a right understanding of the relationship between God’s grace, and our responsibility. Without it, aren’t we subject to such spiritual wanderings, and harassments? This is an excerpt from “The Discipline of Grace” in which author, Jerry Bridges, discusses the nature of the relationship between a guilty conscience and what he calls, “the verdict of heaven.” I think it strikes at the heart of the question that every Christian struggles to understand. How do we rise above a conscience that continually screams, “GUILTY!” and walk instead in the light of the truth of the Gospel?
“There are two ‘courts’ we must deal with: the court of God in Heaven and the court of conscience in our souls. When we first trust in Christ for salvation, God’s court is forever satisfied. Never again will a charge of guilt be brought against us in Heaven. Our consciences, however, are continually pronouncing us guilty. That is the function of conscience. Therefore, we must by faith bring the verdict of conscience into line with the verdict of Heaven. We do this by agreeing with our conscience about our guilt, but then reminding it that our guilt has already been borne by Christ.”
The Discipline of Grace, by Jerry Bridges, (page 54)