Just as I Am, Without One Plea


Servant of the Lord
Philippians 2:8, “[Jesus] humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross”
John 14:6, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

I wanted to share with you today a precious hymn entitled “Just as I am, without one plea”. This is one of the most familiar old hymns and one which is most likely remembered because of its use as an "invitational song" at the close of many traditional church services and, most famously, in its use at the end of each service in the Billy Graham Crusades. Whether or not you know this hymn, you probably are not familiar with the history of its authorship and the story behind its writing. At least, I know I wasn’t.

In his book, “My Life and the Story of the Gospel Hymns”, Ira David Sankey writes, "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 he had offended her, that he always liked to speak a word for his Master, and he hoped the young lady would someday become a worker for Jesus 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 imagine! The author of this beloved hymn was herself saved after hearing the message "Just come to him as you are" and this led to the writing of the song which has spread that message to countless others who have come to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ in the same way, just as they were. So, my brethren, I sincerely trust that you will enjoy this old precious 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

Further reflection:

Only when we fully trust someone will we commit ourselves to that person. Such complete trust is depicted in the following story. A crowd gazed in awe as a tightrope walker inched his way across Niagara Falls. The people cheered when he accomplished the feat. Then he turned to a man and said, “Do you think I could carry someone across?” “Sure,” the man replied. “Let’s go then!” “No thanks!” the man exclaimed. So, the tight roper asked another man, “What about you? Will you trust me?” “Yes, I will,” he said. That man climbed onto his shoulders, and with the water roaring below they reached the other side.

Hidden in this simple story is a spiritual challenge each of us must face. Our sinfulness is a yawning chasm between us and God, and we are unable to cross it. Only Jesus Christ is able to bring us safely to the other side. But we must repent and trust Him with our lives. The apostle Paul confidently wrote, “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” If you’re reading this, are you trying on your own to cross the chasm of sin that separates you from God? If so it’s impossible.

Trust in Jesus Christ, for He alone is able to bring you to God. He always accepts people as they are. In John 6, the people had come from miles around to hear Jesus. When the crowd became hungry, He miraculously fed them with a boy’s unselfish gift of five loaves and two fish. Then the Lord offered Himself as “the bread of life,” promising that He would not turn away anyone who came to Him. You want to know something, “It’s still true today.” No one who comes to Jesus will be turned away. Come to Him with all your sin. He’ll accept you just as you are.

Natural life came by God’s breath; eternal life comes by Christ’s death.