Most people are familiar with the song of that title that was written by Charlotte Elliott and William Bradbury. It’s one of my favorite songs, and its message tells us to come to Christ no matter what state we’re in. We don’t have to clean up our lives before we come to him. Christ is the cure, so trying to get well without him doesn’t make a lot of sense.
But sometimes people take this approach of “just as I am” a little differently. When they use it, they mean coming to Christ just as they are, and then staying that way. They think that being a “Christian” is nothing more than claiming to be one – that no outward sign of their conversion is necessary.
However, I’ve never been able to find any passages that back that up.
Instead, we have the examples of the Israelites under the Old Law who were punished when they didn’t follow God’s commands. We have passages (1 John 5:2-3; Galatians 2:20; Romans 12:1-2; and many others) that encourage us to turn away from our own desires, and live the way Christ longs for us to.
A sick person doesn’t go to a doctor with the intention of remaining sick. How can we expect to come to the “Great Physician,” but continue to live our lives the way we always have? Christ is totally committed to us – as he proved by offering himself on the cross for our sins. Doesn’t it make sense that we, therefore, should be totally committed to him? As Paul said in Romans 6, “how shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”
For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. – Luke 6:44
What kind of fruit do you bear? And when people see it, who would they think you serve?