Just As I Am

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture (John 10:9).

Just As I Am is yet again another hymn I first heard in my earliest youth at Highland Park Baptist Church where it was used often for a song on invitation. It has been used as such a song of invitation in every church I been a member of since as well. Still, perhaps my most vivid memories of hearing Just As I Am is from watching televised Billy Graham crusade meetings in which I believe the great hymn was used in every single instance for the altar call.

The lyrics of Just As I Am do lend the hymn to be a song of invitation. They paint man in our sinful, wretched condition coming to Christ acknowledging our very condition, not in a state of self-righteousness. They tell how the blood of Christ blots out all sin of those that come to him, just as they are. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow (Ps 51:1-7). The psalmist acknowledged his sinful condition and called on God to cleanse him. Likewise the psalmist wrote in Psalm 40. I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD Ps 40:1-3). Notice in verses 12 and 13 he acknowledges his sin and calls on God just as he is, no other pretext or pretending. For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me. Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me. When one comes to Christ just as they are they will leave a new person, not as they were. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Cor 5:17).

Many Bible scholars say Christ’s parable of the prodigal son is about a wayward Christian that returns to a life in Christ and perhaps so but it also can be seen in the context of a sinner coming to Christ. In Luke 15 the prodigal went about life in his own strength and will only to end up in a dire condition, living with swine. The son came to his right condition acknowledging his sin (just as he was). I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee (Luke 15:18). The father forgave him and gave him riches.

Sadly we have the parable of the rich man in Mark 10. He came to Christ with a question but not as a sinner in need of repentance. The rich man in the parable did not want to give up his sinful idol (his riches) in order to come to Christ to be cleansed. He went away sorrowful. How about you? Have you come to Christ just as you are, a sinner in need of a savior? Or have you tried to come to Christ with a question but unwilling to give up your sin? Or perhaps you see yourself as righteous. Remember there is no one that is righteous, not one, read Romans 3:10 through 12. If only we will come, Christ has already provided the remedy. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Rom 5:8).

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely (Rev 22:17).

Just As I Am was written by Char­lotte El­li­ott in 1835. The primary music used with the lyrics was scored by Will­iam B. Brad­bu­ry. Cyberhymnal gives this account on the writing of the hymn. “Miss Charlotte Elliott was vi­sit­ing some friends in the West End of Lon­don, and there met the em­i­nent min­is­ter, Cé­sar Ma­lan. While seat­ed at sup­per, the min­is­ter said he hoped that she was a Christ­ian. She took of­fense at this, and re­plied that she would ra­ther not dis­cuss that quest­ion. Dr. Ma­lan said that he was sor­ry if had of­fend­ed her, that he al­ways liked to speak a word for his Mas­ter, and that he hoped that the young la­dy would some day be­come a work­er for Christ. When they met again at the home of a mu­tu­al friend, three weeks lat­er, Miss Ell­i­ott told the min­is­ter that ev­er since he had spok­en to her she had been try­ing to find her Sav­iour, and that she now wished him to tell her how to come to Christ. “Just come to him as you are,” Dr. Ma­lan said. This she did, and went away re­joic­ing. Shortly af­ter­ward she wrote this hymn.”

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, I come.

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, I come.

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

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, 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.

Just as I am, Thy love unknown
Hath broken every barrier down;
Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, of that free love
The breadth, length, depth, and height to prove,
Here for a season, then above,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

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