A Commentary on the Hymn, Come Ye Sinners
Something that I think my readers will quickly learn about me is I absolutely love hymns. Not the modern worship music that many churches sing today — although I like many of those, too— but the old hymns, written as early as the 19th century. I love to think about how even though these songs are old, they are just as true today as they were then.
One of my favorite hymns is Come Ye Sinners, by Joseph Hart. My favorite verses are the first and the fourth: (but I strongly encourage you to read the whole hymn here)
“Come ye sinners, poor and wretched, Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready stands to save you, full of pity joined with power:
He is able, He is able, He is able,
He is willing doubt no more”
[skipping two verses]
“Let not conscience make you linger, Nor of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness he requireth is to feel your need of him;
This He gives you, This He gives you, This He gives you;
’Tis the Spirit’s rising beam”
Why I Love This Hymn
A while ago, I struggled with worrying I wasn’t doing enough to earn the salvation that God had given me. I was worried I wasn’t righteous enough to truly be saved.
But one Sunday, as I sang the hymn, Come Ye Sinners, with my church, I was reminded that “all the fitness He requireth is to feel your need of Him.” And He gives this to you. A believer doesn’t earn it; God gives this gift to the Christian.
Jesus came to save sinners, not the righteous. I am a sinner — I’m incapable of doing good without His grace. But, similar to what John Newton said — Although I am a great sinner, Christ is an even greater Savior. I did nothing to earn my salvation, and I can’t do anything to earn it now. The Christian is saved by grace alone, through faith alone, and in Christ alone.
I don’t think there are words to describe how thankful I am for what God has done for me and so many others. I love Him with my whole heart — I pray He would help me to love Him more. I still sin, I still doubt, and I still fall into temptations. The world is a constant enemy, always trying to turn the believer’s eye away from Christ. But Jesus says in John 16:33: “In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Does this mean that the Christian should grow lazy because he or she is already saved? James 2 says that faith without works is dead. A true believer who puts their faith in Christ will be sanctified by the Holy Spirit; that faith, if it is true, will produce good works because of God working in the heart of the Christian. Romans 7:6 summarizes this idea well —
“But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.”
God is awesome and holy — the whole earth is His footstool. Yet He willingly and lovingly chose to save a sinful, worm-like people. In fact, He loves His people so much that He gave His own Son for them, knowing their incapability to save themselves. John 3:16 says,
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Is this not amazing grace?