only the guilty are saved
"There is no salvation in anyone else, for there is no other name in the whole world given to men by which we are to be saved." —Acts 4:12
Jesus, by His death and resurrection, has saved us (see Ti 3:5). To accept the grace of salvation, we must believe in Jesus (Eph 2:8). We must also admit our need to be saved. We all have sinned (Rm 3:23), and we are unable to atone for even one of our sins, because the effects of any sin are very serious and destructive. Therefore, to admit our need for salvation, we must begin to realize the enormity of our sins and admit our guilt. If we suppress guilt, deny it, or become so inhuman as to be incapable of guilt, we will never accept Jesus as our Savior, because we have not accepted the need for salvation.
Therefore, Peter, at and after the first Christian Pentecost, preached a message of guilt along with the message of salvation. He said to the religious leaders: "You crucified" Jesus (Acts 4:10). "You the builders" rejected the Cornerstone (Acts 4:11); "You even made use of pagans to crucify and kill Him" (Acts 2:23). "You handed over and disowned" Jesus "in Pilate's presence when Pilate was ready to release Him. You disowned the Holy and Just One and preferred instead to be granted the release of a murderer. You put to death the Author of life" (Acts 3:13-15).
Go on a short guilt trip. Admit your sinful part in Jesus' crucifixion and death. The destination of your guilt trip is repentance, salvation, and new life in the risen Christ.
Prayer: Father, make me healthy enough to feel guilty, and give me faith to be saved.
Promise: "So they made a cast, and took so many fish they could not haul the net in." —Jn 21:6
Praise: Alleluia! Jesus is risen! "It is true!" (Lk 24:34) Alleluia forever!
Reference: (For related teaching, order our leaflet, The Secret of Confession.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, October 9, 1998
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 17, 1998