It has often been said that in matters of salvation we shouldn't trust our feelings. Of course, we cannot discern the truth from false doctrine merely by using our emotions; we need reason and intelligence to hear, understand, and determine what is true from what is false.

It has often been said that in matters of salvation we shouldn't trust our feelings. Of course, we cannot discern the truth from false doctrine merely by using our emotions; we need reason and intelligence to hear, understand, and determine what is true from what is false. Feelings do have a role to play in coming to God, however, because they indicate how far along we are in the process of salvation.

The feeling of remorse, for example, is usually the beginning point where our feelings indicate that what we have done may be wrong. Remorse, the dictionary says, is when a person begins to regret and think differently about what they have done in the past. It signals that perhaps there may have been a better way, a way that we might feel better about going.

Repentance is another marker on the way of salvation because it joins regret with resolve. Not only do we feel bad about what we've done but we decide to do something about it. True repentance leads to dramatic changes in our lives as mere feelings give way to actions that bring about different results – results we no longer regret.

The final step is a long for restitution, the desire to pay for or eliminate those things in our lives that caused regret in the first place. This feeling reveals to us the power of the cross of Christ. When we realize that Jesus made complete restitution with His sacrifice, our need to make restitution is completely satisfied.

Feelings don't lead us to salvation; the gospel does that. But the cycle of regret, repentance and the need for restitution describe what the experience of salvation feels like for everyone who has joyfully found it.