Posted by: rcottrill | February 12, 2014

Come to the Saviour

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Words: George Frederick Root (b. Aug. 30, 1820; d. Aug. 6, 1895)
Music: George Frederick Root

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal

Note: This lovely little invitation hymn, with its appealing melody, was published in 1870. There’s a touching story of how the Lord used it on the Cyber Hymnal link.

W hen an individual is humbled, we sometimes describe him as eating crow, or eating humble pie. These two expressions are centuries old. “Umbles” were the intestines and other usually discarded parts of a deer. And “crow,” in an old English usage, refers to the intestines of an animal. To be brought to the need to consume what we would previously have thrown away is a humiliating experience.

The Christian gospel requires such a humbling in the form of what the Bible calls repentance. There is a 180 degree turn from sin to faith in the Saviour. To go our own way, rather than God’s way, exhibits the same spirit of prideful independence seen in our first parents. God had told Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge–that it would bring death upon them (Gen. 2:17). But the serpent (Satan) boldly told them God was not telling the truth (vs. 4-5). With that, the two decided to disobey the Lord (vs. 6).

The Bible says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble….Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (Jas. 4:6, 10). We do that when we admit to Him that we are on the wrong path, that our sins are an offense to Him, and that they threaten us with eternal destruction. We do that when we turn from our sin and trust in the finished work of Christ on Calvary as our only hope. “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (I Pet. 3:18; cf. Jn. 3:16).

All through the Scriptures, we see the Lord graciously inviting sinners to come to Him for what their souls so desperately need.

“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price” (Isa. 55:1; cf. vs. 6). “Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth!” (Isa. 45:22).

“Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest….the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (Matt. 11:28; Jn. 6:37). “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink’” (Jn. 7:37).

“The Spirit and the bride [the church of Christ] say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev. 22:17).

Mr. Root’s song notes several important things about this gospel call to “come” to the Lord.

1) Our coming should not be delayed (CH-1). It’s the devil’s way to prod sinners to procrastinate, to put off the most important decision of their lives. When Paul spoke to a Roman governor with the convicting power of the Spirit, the reply was, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you” (Acts 24:25). But there is no record that he ever did.

2) All the information we need to make the decision is found in the Bible, the Word of God. There “He has shown us the way” (CH-1). It is through personal faith in Christ, in Him alone, that we are saved eternally (Jn. 3:16; Acts 4:12). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). There are all kinds of “ways” in life. But only one that brings everlasting life. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Prov. 14:12). In contrast, You [Lord] will show me the path of life” (Ps. 16:12).

3) In grace, the Lord has made Himself accessible (CH-1).“‘Am I a God near at hand,’ says the LORD, ‘and not a God afar off?…Do I not fill heaven and earth,” says the Lord” (Jer. 23:23-24). As Paul told his listeners in Athens, sinners “should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27).

CH-1) Come to the Saviour, make no delay;
Here in His Word He has shown us the way;
Here in our midst He’s standing today,
Tenderly saying, “Come!”

Joyful, joyful will the meeting be,
When from sin our hearts are pure and free;
And we shall gather, Saviour, with Thee,
In our eternal home.

CH-3) Think once again, He’s with us today;
Heed now His blest command, and obey;
Hear now His accents tenderly say,
“Will you, My children, come?”

1) What are some of the hindrances to sinners hearing and obeying the call of God (see Romans 10:14 and 17, for example)?

2) What do the Lord’s repeated invitations tell us about Him?

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal


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