Posted by: rcottrill | June 19, 2015

Only Trust Him

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Words: John Hart Stockton (b. Apr. 19, 1813; d. Mar. 25, 1877)
Music: Stockton, by John Hart Stockton; refrain by Ira David Sankey (b. Aug. 28, 1840; d. Aug. 13, 1908)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: John Hart Stockton was a clergyman serving in New Jersey. The original refrain of this 1874 song of invitation was apparently:

Come to Jesus, come to Jesus,
Come to Jesus now;
He will save you, He will save you,
He will save you now.

There is also a fifth stanza that appears in early publications. Though it expresses a personal reception of the gospel, it has been dropped in modern hymn books.

CH-5) O Jesus, blessèd Jesus, dear,
I’m coming now to Thee;
Since Thou hast made the way so clear
And full salvation free.

It was Moody’s director of music who made the change in the refrain to what we have now. His version makes the only thing needed for salvation plain–faith in Christ. When using the hymn in London, Sankey asked those present to sing the refrain as, “I will trust Him.” He learned later that, for eight people that night, that expressed their new faith in the Saviour.

CH-1) Come, every soul by sin oppressed;
There’s mercy with the Lord,
And He will surely give you rest
By trusting in His Word.

Only trust Him, only trust Him,
Only trust Him now;
He will save you, He will save you,
He will save you now.

The other day I was having persistent trouble with a computer program, and went hunting for a solution. I found it, but the dozen or so steps listed were so complicated and technical that I threw up my hands in despair. The procedure seemed so impossible for me. But then I discovered a wonderful alternative. I could call a number, and simply ask a technician to do it all for me!

He was at a computer in Ottawa, and I was in Saskatchewan, but the miles between made no difference at all. As he began to work on the unit, the steps were completed, one by one. In about ten minutes the problem was solved, and he wished me good evening. Inviting him to deal with the problem was the only thing I had to do.

That provides a weak illustration of how we are to appropriate the Christian gospel. How can we have our sins forgiven and be assured of a home in the heavenly kingdom? In the words of a man from long ago, in the city of Philippi: “What must I do to be saved [i.e. in order to receive God’s eternal salvation]?” (Acts 16:30). That question has been answered in different ways–not all of them helpful.

Some suggest that the sinner must join the right church, if he is to have a hope of heaven. Others see it as a matter of accomplishing sufficient good works so that, when the good and bad are weighed by a heavenly Assessor, the good will tip the scales in the right direction. But neither of these answers gives much assurance.

Since none of our modern church denominations is named in the Bible, how can I know which is the right one to join? Or if good works will do it, how will I know when I’ve done enough? And what if I’m on my deathbed, and have no opportunity to change my behaviour?

The problem with these and other unbiblical answers to the question asked in Acts is that they have things in the wrong order. A proverbial expression, common five centuries ago, says it: We must not get the cart before the horse. Joining a church and associating with other Christians is a good thing to do (Heb. 10:23-25), as is doing good works (Gal. 6:10). But these things come after salvation. They are a worthy outcome, but not the means of salvation.

The answer give to the Philippian man zeroed in on the one requirement, the only thing he needed to do: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). The Lord Himself gave a similar response when He was asked, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” He replied, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent [on Me, in other words]” (Jn. 6:28-29). Then come the other things: “Those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works” (Tit. 3:8).

CH-2) For Jesus shed His precious blood
Rich blessings to bestow;
Plunge now into the crimson flood
That washes white as snow.

CH-3) Yes, Jesus is the truth, the way,
That leads you into rest;
Believe in Him without delay
And you are fully blessed.

Questions:
1) Why is faith in Christ the only way of salvation? Why can’t our good works help?

2) What is your answer to the comment that this is “easy believism”?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org


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