Guilty, vile and helpless we,
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
Full atonement, can it be?
Hallelujah, what a Savior!
Before God each individual stands as an absolutely guilty sinner. “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). Being more “good” than “bad” doesn’t help, “for whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10). “We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags (literally: used menstrual cloths)” (Isaiah 64:6). We are altogether vile and worthless.
Furthermore, we are powerless to change our situation. Our sins demand the death penalty, “and without shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22). Either the guilty party must die to pay sin’s penalty, or a guiltless party must substitute and pay the penalty instead. And so, “when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. . . . God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6,8).
This transaction removes our sin from us. We now stand before a Holy God just as if we had never sinned, and just as if we had always done right, “justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24).
“And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement” (Romans 5:11).
Hallelujah, what a Savior! JDM