Southern Gospel Weekend

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Creekside Gospel Music Convention

Just As I Am with Justin McLeod

Written by Staff on September 1, 2018 – 12:12 pm -

Altar Call at Creekside with David Ring. Just as I am with Justin McLeod

Altar Call at Creekside with David Ring.

Just As I Am: An Introspective by Justin McLeod

 

The words of a song can be a lot of things: A comfort when one is hurting, or a pick-me-up when one is sad. But even greater is the role that a song can play in the salvation experience.

 

While the bible, the infallible word of God, clearly lays out the path to salvation, many times a song can be heard along the sinner’s path to saving grace. Sometimes serving as the tool to prick the sinner’s heart, sometimes the fertilization of a gospel seed already sown, or the catalyst to the final harvest of a soul won to Christ: the power of a song cannot be underestimated.

 

“Just As I Am” is perhaps the most well-known invitational hymn in the Christian church. Made especially famous in the mid-1900’s as the altar call for many a Billy Graham crusade, this hymn is still sung across the nation and the world on a regular basis even today. An 1835 composition from the pen of Charlotte Elliott, the lyrics of this song are simple, yet incredibly profound.

 

The first verse of the hymn reads:

Just as I am – without one plea,

But that Thy blood was shed for me,

And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,

-O Lamb of God, I come!

 

The hymn begins with an incredible truth and a basic tenant of the Christian faith – to approach our heavenly Father for salvation, we don’t have to put on a facade or dress a certain way, either literally or figuratively. We are to come to him in whatever messy, rotten, downtrodden shape in which we find ourselves.

 

Just as I am with Justin McLeodImagine you are the defendant in a courtroom and the judge asks, “How do you plead?” This is, in essence, the situation in which a sinner finds himself. Yet, instead of answering “guilty,” the blood of Jesus that was shed is your plea bargain; the judge bangs his gavel and cries “innocent – set free!”

 

Not only can we cast appearances aside, but we can offer no defense, no plea. None but the crimson red blood that flowed from the cross.

 

The hymn’s second verse:

Just as I am – and waiting not

To rid my soul of one dark blot,

To Thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot,

-O Lamb of God, I come!

 

Billy Graham in prayerOne thing that I personally love about this hymn is that each verse starts off with a reminder that no false appearance, no put-on airs are necessary to meet the Savior. In this verse, the author speaks of the dark blot of sin and its stain on the sinner’s soul. But praise the Lord for waiting not, rushing to the feet of Jesus to claim the sacrifice of that very blood, the blood of Jesus that was shed to cleanse every spot of sin from blackest night to be as white as snow.

 

Just as I am – though toss’d about

With many a conflict, many a doubt,

Fightings and fears within, without,

-O Lamb of God, I come!

 

It can be incredibly difficult at times, especially in the middle of a circumstance or heartache, to turn to Jesus. Though tossed about, in any and every circumstance, the path to him is as simple as ever. Through conflicts, doubts, even deepest, darkest fears, the path to Jesus never changes – it is simply our view of that path that can become skewed.

 

Just as I am – poor, wretched, blind;

Sight, riches, healing of the mind,

Yea, all I need, in Thee to find,

-O Lamb of God, I come!

 

Just as I am. Justin McLeod. Billy Graham

Image processed by CodeCarvings Piczard ### FREE Community Edition ### on 2018-02-21 19:14:15Z | http://piczard.com | http://codecarvings.com

Another incredible reminder that any and all are welcome in the Savior’s arms. Regardless of financial status, social standing, or even a physical disability, anyone and everyone can come to Jesus. The new testament’s 10 lepers were considered social outcasts, and yet Jesus not only spoke to them, he healed them. No matter what ailment affects us – whether physical, social, or something other – the answer, the solution, the cure is only found in one place.

 

Just as I am – Thou wilt receive,

Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;

Because Thy promise I believe,

-O Lamb of God, I come!

 

This is one of the most marvelous lyrics in post-biblical hymn-writing. It takes one simple decision, one belief, one ounce of faith in the Savior and he will receive us, welcome us, pardon us, cleanse us, and relieve us of every one of sin’s stains. He will receive us with no plea, without any line of defense but the blood of Jesus. Welcome us right this moment, without a single, solitary delay. Pardon us of the dark blots of sin. Cleanse us through that very same blood. Relieve us of conflicts and doubts, of fightings and fears, of ailments and wretchedness.

 

And all, simply, because Thy promise I believe.

 

By Justin McLeod

Justin McLeod is a regular writer for SGNScoops Magazine.

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Justin McLeod

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