Justification Sermon Illustrations

Justification Sermon Illustrations

A friend took William Callahan, a 'down and out', into a Gospel service and he was gloriously saved. Then he tried to live down his old reputation but found it very hard. The police kept him shadowed, not believing the work of grace in his life. After five years he went to Chicago and, through the aid of a Christian lawyer, got his photos from the police. He did not want to be known as a crook. Then he employed a lawyer to get his photo from the penitentiary at Joliet and to have his Bertillon measurements there destroyed. The reply came from the warden: `You may have got the records from the Chicago police, but you can't get them away from the State of Illinois.'

Sometime after, nervous and in poor health, while staying at a Sanatorium in Battle Creek, with three Governors present including Atgeld of Illinois, he made a speech at a function, telling of his conversion and attempt to get his records from Joliet. When he got through, Governor Atgeld was wiping his eyes and said, `I'll see what I can do for you.' A month later Mr. Callahan received a letter from Executive Mansions, Springfield, State of Illinois:

`My dear Mr. Callahan, It gives me pleasure to enclose your photograph from the Penitentiary of Joliet, and to tell you that your records and measurements there have all been destroyed. There is no record, except in your memory, that you were ever there. You have the gratitude and best wishes of your friend, John P. Atgeld.'—Silas Fox

(Isa. 44. 22; Rom. 3. 23, 24; Heb. 10. 17)


Just over a hundred years ago, a woman was buried in an old churchyard in Enfield. Six lines on her tombstone show that she knew that not character but Christ, saves:

If friendship, kindness, truth, goodwill and love
Could prove a passport to the realms above,
The soul that tenanted this mouldering frame
To God's right hand might justly lay a claim.
But her own works she scorned as worthless dust:
Her Savior's merits were her only trust.—H. P. Barker

(Rom. 3. 28; Gal. 2. 16)

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