Charlotte Elliott wrote a well known hymn long ago. In that hymn she penned:
“Just as I am, without one plea, but that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come! I come!
Just as I am, Thou wilt receive, wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come! I come!”
When a sinner comes to Christ, we must come just as we are, with all our faults weaknesses and sins. We lay it all down on the altar and surrender all. That’s the only way to come to Christ in His fullness.
But that’s the end of “Just as I Am”. We set our sins aside and walk in His righteousness from that point on. From then on its all about ‘Just As I Am in Christ’. I no longer approach my God as a sinner; I approach Him as a child, with bold confidence and deep assurance. In Christ, I already have all the promises of God. I just have to believe His promises.
Tags: grace, righteousness
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). This is something that all Christians should automatically know and have confidence in.
God is inherently good. But God is also inherently just. He demands justice. That’s the value of the cross. None of these promises work for self-righteous people who don’t need the cross, because God demands justice. Having paid the greatest price to redeem our sin, by paying for it with the precious blood of His own Son, Jesus Christ, He can now be both just and good in our lives. Grace is only available when justice has been served. Thank you, Jesus!
Since we have embraced the covenant relationship we have with God the Father, through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, and made aware of such by the revealing of the Holy Spirit, we now begin to wrap our minds around this greatest of all promises to the saints, His church.
Because the Spirit of God intercedes for me continually, with requests I can’t grasp or understand, I walk by faith in Him, trusting Him to work out His goodness in me, in spite of my many failings. That’s grace.
If you have not entered into this covenant relationship with Christ that satisfies God’s just demands, do it right now. You don’t have to be in church. You can do this at your computer or iPhone. Just do it quickly so God can begin to implement His purposes in your life.
Tags: covenant, good, grace, justice
Lillian Mitchell is a sweet sister in the Lord who is in her 90’s. Lillian had a rough life, with a couple of failed marriages, before she met the Lord in a glorious transformation. Then she got disillusioned, thought God could never accept someone like her, and continued several years in darkness, although she believed. Whenever she has an opportunity to tell her testimony, she does so. Each time she tells her story its as if its being told the very first time, bringing tears to her eyes.
There are many in our church with similar stories of finding God’s grace in small incremental steps. There are also others in our church who have spent years of their Christian experience thinking God can never forgive and bless them. This is all the devil’s lies, of course, and holds us back from growing spiritually.
But, just as Lillian keeps telling her story, and finding encouragement each time she does, I find real encouragement in listening to her story and learning anew how God works in people’s lives.
Tags: grace, salvation, testimony
Its amazing what a coat of paint will do to cover up blemishes. I just finished redoing our bedroom. We patched the holes and gouges of 18 years of wear, repainted a new color, and spray painted the white cold air return on the wall to a soft almond color. All the blemishes are still there, but they’re buried beneath to new paint.
That’s kind of like the sin in our lives. When Jesus washed my sins away with His shed blood, He covered it completely. It doesn’t mean I’m not a sinner by nature, but that He doesn’t condemn me for that past sin…He doesn’t see it anymore. But He didn’t give me amnesia. I still remember. The memory of my past failings is what makes me appreciate what Jesus did for. While I was still iun my sin, Christ died for me.
What greater motivation to want to change my life and not repeat the past errors. God help me to pass this on to others.
Love covers a multitude of sins.
Tags: cover, forgiveness, grace, paint
I have a couple of favorite coffee cups I use periodically. The cup on my desk has Open Door Ministries’ logo on the front and ‘Pastor Ralph’ printed on it. The cup on my desk at home has my unit insignia from my days in the army: ‘507th US Army Security Agency’ and my name ‘Ralph O. Diehl’ printed on it. But my favorite and most used coffee cup has a photo of the Three Stooges on it and no name. I love the Three Stooges because they represent to me the sinful world we live in.
These guys were masters of destruction, which is exactly what sin does in our lives. The damage they did to each other and those they encountered is humorous. But when that damage is real instead of pretend, its scarey. I’ve watched people do some of the stupidest and damaging things and think they were right. So, why do it keep it around? That’s what I once was. It reminds me of His grace.
Tell me about your favorite coffee cup and why.
Tags: cup, grace, sin
True story: About 25 years ago one of the other churches in town was having parking problems. They only had off street parking and there just was not enough spaces for the number of cars people drove. So, the pastor went next door to visit the manager of a small factory which had a parking lot for employees adjacent to the church. The factory was closed on Sundays so he asked if the church attendees could park there on Sunday mornings. The manager was more than pleased to share the gravel parking lot with church members.
Several years later there was a heavy snow on a Saturday night. The parking lot had deep snow drifts and was not plowed out by Sunday morning. One of the church members contacted the factory manager and scolded him soundly for not plowing out the lot for the church people. By the following Sunday there was a locked fence around the parking lot. There was no intervention the pastor could do that could undo the damage done by that one inconsiderate church member.
Sometimes we forget that what we are enjoying today does not really belong to us. Could it be that if we abuse the gift of grace given by God that we could find ourselves locked out of that grace?
Tags: grace, parking, thankful
We have an elderly widow in a nursing home that has expressed a desire to become an official member of New Hope. We have membership guidelines that includes completing the New Members Class, active attendance, and submitting a photo. This shut-in lady can do none of that. So, officially, she is ineligible.
However, we are cutting her some slack due to her circumstances. She did attend here periodically in the past, has been baptized, accepted the Lord as her Savior, and now desires to become a member. Why should we deprive her of her desire in her last days?
So, we are bending our rules for her. This weekend our elders will consider her application, and, I expect, approve her as a member. Do you agree or disagree that we should bend our rules for this lady? Why or why not?
Tags: church, grace, standard, widow