Sometimes we sing songs but we don’t bother to let the words sink in because we have gotten used to them. In the church I attend now, a number of hymns are sung through out the service, and I only just realized how potent they are.
My Uncle is a Pastor, a Teacher, but he has no ‘Church’. He normally teaches people at home, and ministers via telephone, sometimes he is invited to preach at churches and at seminars. This particular time he was amongst about 12 pastors and he was to preach at a seminar on what it means to be ‘saved’. After the first sermon, he realized that there was much confusion, and he felt frustrated that the people didn’t seem to grasp the simple thing. But during the break, he was ‘corrected’ by the Holy Spirit, who told him that the purpose of his message wasn’t right. He had been trying to convince people which isn’t the job of any man. You cannot convince anyone, only God can touch hearts. So my uncle then repented, and began to teach as the Holy Spirit directed in the second part of the seminar.
First of all, He said; if you believe that your hope of going to heaven is based on what Christ did regardless of your behaviour, please move to my left side. Out of about 100 people including the pastors, only 10 people moved on. Everyone was watching to see what next. Then He started to sing this hymn.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
People began to sing along, and then about 30 more people joined the others on the left side, the whole place burst into laughter. Everyone was laughing and singing. He allowed the potency of the words sink in. And when things had died down, He started the next hymn.
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee;
let the water and the blood,
from thy wounded side which flowed,
be of sin the double cure;
save from wrath and make me pure.
Not the labors of my hands
can fulfill thy law’s commands;
could my zeal no respite know,
could my tears forever flow,
all for sin could not atone;
thou must save, and thou alone.
Nothing in my hand I bring,
simply to the cross I cling;
naked, come to thee for dress;
helpless, look to thee for grace;
foul, I to the fountain fly;
wash me, Savior, or I die.
While I draw this fleeting breath,
when mine eyes shall close in death,
when I soar to worlds unknown,
see thee on thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee.
About 15 more people joined those on the left side while this was being sung. Then he asked people to open their bibles to
Lamentations 3:22-23 ‘Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.’ They read it. He also read,
Ephesians 2:8-9 ‘It is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God; Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]’
Then, all but two joined those on the left side. My uncle then asked them, for their names and told them that if their hope wasn’t based on Christ Alone, they can go and have their seat, because at this point, no body can save them. Surprisingly! They went to their seats!
These hymns only express what the scriptures say from Genesis to Revelations and it would be great to search these out, Some Other Verses: Matthew 11:28, John 6:35, John 14:16 and many more.
Sometimes, we think, yes I trust in Jesus, but we also trust in our Behaviour, which only tends to negate the trust we claim to have in Christ. To be truly saved, we have to put all our eggs in one basket. Jesus is our ONLY hope.
The next article will be – Working Out Your Salvation