Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Christ is Our Worthiness

[Originally posted at Study and Faith.]

What I wanted to share for thought today consists of a few stanzas from a wonderful classic hymn, "Come Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy" by Joseph Hart (1712-1768):

View Him prostrate in the garden,
On the ground your Maker lies.
On the bloody tree behold Him;
Sinner, will this not suffice?

Lo! th' incarnate God ascended,
Pleads the merit of His blood:
Venture on Him, venture wholly,
Let no other trust intrude.

Let not conscience make you linger,
Nor of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness He requireth
Is to feel your need of Him.

I find this to be a powerful, moving hymn with a view-enlarging message. Christ has suffered, Christ has died - what more could we possibly require to free us from our guilt and shame and sin? The one who suffered for us was and is God indeed, and he presents his blood in the heavenly tabernacle as an atonement; what ground is there for dividing our trust between Him and any other cause? Let us place our faith firmly in him. And although it's so tempting to shrink back in fear, believing our sins to be too great or supposing that we need some worthiness of our own before we can approach, we have this promise: All we need to enter into this forgiveness, to be set free, is to know that we need Christ and to surrender ourselves to him. And in turn, God accounts our faith - our feeble, barren, trembling trust - as righteousness in his sight, a righteousness that obscures and replaces our sins and works in us to bear good fruit. We need no other worthiness than to turn to Christ and follow.