THE JOY OF SINS FORGIVEN
PAUL HILL’S COUNSEL TO A WOMAN WHO HAD AN ABORTION
Enclosed is the letter Paul Hill wrote back to me after I wrote him about my abortion. I wish all women who have carried around needless guilt and pain could read his letter.
GOD’S LOVE NEVER FAILS
(Juanita Inez Shotts - Flowers letter to Paul Hill and his response)
Pastor Hill’s letter was a help to me. I am a Baptist Pastor’s daughter, but I knew nothing about abortion when I got mine, in October of 1976. I just knew that being pregnant out of wedlock would cause my dad problems at his church, and I was already a single mom at 24.
I have repented of my terrible sin, and I know my Heavenly Father has forgiven me. Please do use this letter to help other women who were brutalized by abortion and don’t know of sins forgiven through Jesus Christ my Lord. You may also use my name…..
I would like to do something to help stop abortion, that is why I sent you Pastor Hill’s letter. I cannot believe how ignorant and uninformed I was about abortion, about the baby being mostly formed at 10 weeks, etc. I cannot believe I took the life of my own child. Pastor Hill said I should find joy in sins forgiven. He is one of my heroes of the faith.
Juanita Inez Shotts - Flowers
Dear Ms. Flowers,
Greetings in Christ. May grace and peace be yours in Christ.
To be honest with you, I’m not into personal correspondence, and owe so many people a letter it’s ridiculous. But I did want to drop you a note. I certainly do sympathize with you, and trust you continue to find the grace of our marvelous Savior sufficient for you. Where sin abounds grace much more abounds.
What concerns me is where you say, “…but the pain in my heart would not go away. It never has.” I doubt I can say anything in this short letter than can cause this pain to leave, but considering how long ago it was, to be honest, I believe your burden should be, in a substantial measure, have been replace with the joy of sins forgiven. I would encourage you to seek this joy in counseling with a solidly biblical and born again evangelical counselor. And/or go to a good Christian bookstore, or find a good Christian book catalogue that deals with coping with guilt, experiencing pardon, etc. This message really is at the heart of the message of Christ.
Please read Luke 8:36-50. Since this woman was such a great sinner, her former misery caused her to love Christ all the more. The worse our sin, the more it magnifies the grace of Christ that He would die for that sin, and give us peace and love. Note that He says to the woman, “Your faith has saved you, go in peace. If you have been saved by grace through the instrumentality of faith, you too should “…go in peace.” This is His command to her. He didn’t say, “This pain will never leave your heart.” If you don’t know this peace you should - just as this woman should have.
I don’t know whether you don’t know the truths of the Bible necessary to give you peace, or whether you know them, but are not, for some reason, experiencing this peace. But regardless, you should be experiencing the peace Christ speaks of here. David speaks of this ‘…joy of salvation” in Psalms 51.
Please understand that Christ bore the punishment for your sins on the cross (Isaiah 53). Since He bore it, you don’t need to. “The chastening for our well being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed” (Isaiah 53).
Memorizing and meditating on Isaiah 53, Psalms 51, Psalms 103, and related passages (like Romans 5:1-11) should bring a sense of pardon, peace, and joy in sins forgiven. It is actually sinful to walk around with a guilty conscience after you have repented. God is glorified in our joy. Out of this joy we receive strength to live for and honor Him, and point others to Him. Thus, let me exhort you to seek the peace and joy of sins forgiven (In obedience to Christ). Remember He told the woman to “…go in peace.” It would have been sinful and rebellious for her to have gone in pain and sorrow. It would have dishonored the sufficiency of her Savior.
No amount of work can remove this pain. It is by faith in the finished work of Christ, “…your faith has saved you…”.
I suggest you meditate on the sufferings of Christ (as portrayed in the gospels, and Isaiah 53) and see that He bore all our sorrows, and God’s perfect justice was satisfied in Him.
Also, I suggest you study the perfect imputed righteousness of Christ Romans 5:1-2, Romans 5:15-21, Romans 3:19-31, Philippians 3:4-13. This speaks peace to your heart. If you are in Christ, God views you, not as if you were a sinner, but as if you had been as righteous as Christ. This is called justification by faith. The Westminster Shorter Catechism defines justification:
“Justification is an act of God’s free grace, wherein He pardoneth all our sins, and accepts us as righteous in His sight, only for the righteousness of Christ, imputed to us and received by faith alone.”
The Heidelberg Catechism asks: “ How are you right with God?”
Answer “Only by true faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Even though my conscience accuses me of having grievously sinned against all God’s commandments, and of never having kept any of them, and even though I am still inclined to all evil, and that continually, nevertheless, without my deserving it at all, out of sheer grace, God grants and credits to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ, as if I had never sinned or been a sinner, as if I had been as perfectly obedient as Christ was obedient for me. All I need to do is to accept this gift of God with a believing heart.”
This is what I say to you, “All you need to do is to accept this gift of God with a believing heart.” Not only has He forgotten and forgiven you sins, paid for them, suffered for them, and cast them into the depths of the sea, and promises never to remember them against you. In addition to all this He looks at you as if you had been absolutely perfect all your life (as Christ was on your behalf). You are positively righteous in God’s sight. As if, rather than getting an abortion, you had laid down your life to stop abortion. (Christ was put to death, in part, for healing on the Sabbath, cleansing the temple, raising the dead, etc. He did all this as our representative. Thus, in God’s book, it’s as if we had done it.)
Anyway, as I said, I’m not interested in corresponding, but I hope you get some comfort and guidance from this letter. May God richly bless your heart with joy and peace in believing.
Paul J. Hill
The Authorized Paul Hill website.
Paul Hill "I think more people should act the way I acted."
Pensacola News Journal Sept. 3, 2003 AD
Paul Hill links page.
Paul Hill "I think those bullets should be pointed in the direction of abortionists."
Pensacola News Journal Sept. 3, 2003 AD
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Or write to: Rev. Donald Spitz
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Chesapeake VA 23328