Monday, July 28, 2008

Come Ye Sinner

Have you ever felt like not getting out of the bed on Sunday morning? I have. In fact, this past Sunday was one of those days. It had been a long and exhausting weekend. I had been going non stop day and night since Thursday and the restful moments were few during that time. When Sunday morning had finally rolled around I was exhausted. And as I looked at the clock and knew it was time to get up, I prayed, "Lord, give me one reason why I should get out of this bed and go to church this morning." As I lay there waiting on an answer, the words to this song came to my head, "Come ye sinners, poor and needy, weak and wounded sick and sore." As those words began to rang in my head, when I reached the chorus I heard myself say, "I will rise and go to Jesus, He will embrace me in his arms." There and then the Spirit of God confirmed in me that to the company of the believers and to the Table of the Lord was where I need to go.

One of the rich benefits of having the Lord's Supper every week is that you don't have to wait any longer than a week for the experience of being nourished by His presence in administering the sacraments. And so, as I rose I knew that I would meet Jesus and not only would he embrace me in his arms, but he would nourish my soul through the bread and the cup. And I could not wait!

When we arrived at church, I asked the worship leader for a favor. I asked if we could sing Come Ye Sinners as our opening hymn. He looked at me curiously, yet agreed because he knew I must have a good reason for such a request. Indeed I did. I wish I could play for you the sound of the saints singing this hymn on this past Sunday. It was a wonderful preparation for our Communion time.

While I don't have us singing it on yesterday, here is the late Elder DJ Ward leading the singing of it at the Sovereign Grace Conference last year. While it probably won't minister to you like it did me yesterday, it surely will remind you that Jesus is still inviting us to come and find rest and strength in Him (Matt. 11:28-30).

Come, ye sinners, poor and needy,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready stands to save you,
Full of pity, love and power.

I will arise and go to Jesus,
He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior,
O there are ten thousand charms.

Come, ye thirsty, come, and welcome,
God’s free bounty glorify;
True belief and true repentance,
Every grace that brings you nigh.

I will arise and go to Jesus,
He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior,
O there are ten thousand charms.

Come, ye weary, heavy laden,
Lost and ruined by the fall;
If you tarry till you’re better,
You will never come at all.

I will arise and go to Jesus,
He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior,
O there are ten thousand charms.

View Him prostrate in the garden;
On the ground your Maker lies.
On the bloody tree behold Him;
Sinner, will this not suffice?

I will arise and go to Jesus,
He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior,
O there are ten thousand charms.

Let not conscience make you linger,
Not of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness He requireth
Is to feel your need of Him.

I will arise and go to Jesus,
He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior,
O there are ten thousand charms
.

5 comments:

wwdunc said...

Thank you for that 4th verse:

"View Him prostrate in the garden;
On the ground your Maker lies.
On the bloody tree behold Him;
Sinner, will this not suffice?"

I've not seen that before.

Wyeth

Irwyn said...

AC,

That's precisely why we also celebrate the Lord's Supper every week at City of Hope. With all of the popular opinion out there that we need to be more visually appealing in our worship services through the use of media technology, how wonderful is it that God has provided for us a most glorious visual in worship. I'm all for the use of media, but if I'll take the beauty of seeing the bread and cup over nice slides any day! Let me be nourished and strengthened spiritually as I partake. Thanks for the post.

Irwyn

christopher said...

Anthony,

i'm curious, what exactly is your understanding of the Lord's Supper. i noticed you referred to it as "sacrament" rather than ordinance. Was that intentional? Although my local church observes the Lord's Supper once a month and 2 additional times throughout the year, i have no objection to weekly observance. However, i usually think of "go[ing] to Jesus" fundamentally by means of the Word (a la Romans 10:6-8), and not so much through the bread and wine. In your view, is the Lord's Supper the climax of the church meeting? Or is the preached Word? Or both? Or neither? In what way do you "experience...being nourished by His presence" by means of the Lord's Supper? Just curious.

ajcarter said...

Hey Chris.

Thanks for having no objection to weekly Communion. I don't object to your church having monthly communion either :-).
Indeed, I do prefer the word sacrament to ordinance (though the wording is not important) because I am convinced that at our Lord's Table, Jesus comes and ministers grace and strength to our souls. In this I would hold to the reformed understanding of the Real Presence of Christ.

As far as the climax of the worship service is concerned, I would say that the center of worship is not the sacraments, but the preached word. One of the primary reasons for our gathering is to hear the Word of the Lord. God speaks to us through His Word. And in that word we should hear the gospel preached.

Yet, the Lord's Table is the visible demonstration of the gospel. It respresent the life and death of Christ for us. It is the sign of the New Covenant and thus speaks of the gospel through and through. By faith, the preached word is made alive to me -convicts and comforts my soul. By faith the visible word strengthens and nourishes my soul as well. Why, because both of them should put me in mind of my need for the Gospel and the comfort of my Savior.

The word ordinance just does not communicate this to me. I suppose Shakespeare was right when he said, "a rose by any other name is still a rose." Yet we must admit that rose sounds much more romantic than orange. Don't you agree?

Anonymous said...

Hey Tony, what’s good?!
I didn’t think to look you up via blog until a recent convo on Skype with a brother in Louisiana, your name was mentioned (I won’t tell what we were talking about though:-)) and I was like, ”I gotta check that out.” It’s been a minute but it’s evident that the Lord’s been gracious. I appreciate the blog post brother; something about those hymns!

I look forward to seeing you at T4G2012, should be fun to catch up with you guys again. I’ll be popping by the blog on a regular.
My love to the wife and kids!

Shane Ebanks
First Baptist Church Grand Cayman
(Just in case you forgot)

In His grip!!