THANKFULNESS FOR CHRIST Tune to â€śCOME YE THANKFUL PEOPLE COMEâ€ť 188.8.131.52./Double Words by JIM BYRD
1. Sing aloud this hymn of praise, Hallelujahs let us raise; Bless the Lord of earth and skies, Let thanksgiving ever rise. View His great creative might, In the early morning light; Study His great works and see, Proofs of total sovereignty.
2. Still a greater work appears, What relief to all our fears; God for sinners gave His Son, Christ the Lordâ€™s Anointed One. Jesus came the lost to save, His own life He freely gave; God was fully satisfied, When our Savior bled and died.
3. From His throne Christ reigns on high, By His grace He brings us nigh; He our sin has washed away, Turned our darkness into day. So this song of praise we sing, Unto Thee our God and King; We are filled with thankfulness, For the Lord our Righteousness.
â€śI will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify Him with thanksgiving.â€ť (Psalm 69:30)
A WEDDING GARMENT â€śFriend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechlessâ€ť (Matthew 22:12). He had a garment, but not a wedding garment - one of his own providing; like those who have a righteousness of their own, of whom the Lord elsewhere speaks: â€śWoe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of Me; and that cover with a covering, but not of My Spirit, that they may add sin to sinâ€ť (Isa. 30:1). Precious Lord Jesus, clothe me with the wedding garment of Thy righteousness; and feed me with the rich food of Thy body and blood; yea, Lord, be Thou my covering, my joy, my all; that when at Thy church, at Thy table, at Thine house of prayer below and at Thine kingdom of glory above, the King cometh in to see His guests, my soul may cry out, in Thine own blessed words and with a joy unspeakable and full of glory: â€śI will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewelsâ€ť (Isa. 61:10). â€“Robert Hawker RIGHTEOUSNESS ESTABLISHED BY DEATH A robe or garment is often used in Scripture to portray righteousness. â€śHe hath covered me with the robe of righteousnessâ€ť (Isa. 61:10). â€śAnd to her (the church) was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: the fine linen is the righteousness of saintsâ€ť (Rev. 19:8). When Adam and Eve sinned and â€śknew they were nakedâ€ť (Gen. 3:7), they tried to cover their shame by making fig-leaf aprons. Their actions pictured manâ€™s vain attempts to establish a righteousness for himself, but righteousness can only be established by the Lord, otherwise the sinner will remain â€śnaked.â€ť Nakedness sets forth manâ€™s unrighteousness and his exposure to wrath. The Laodiceans were â€śwretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked,â€ť and were told they needed â€śwhite raiment, that the shame of thy nakedness do not appearâ€ť (Rev. 3:17-18). Thankfully, the Lord came to the rescue of our fallen parents. He provided for their acceptance, but what did that require? In order for them to be covered, animals had to DIE and be skinned and then God robed Adam and Eve with those skins. We read that Christ is made of God to be the righteousness of His elect (1 Co. 1:30). A perfect standing before divine justice has already been established by the Savior for all of His people, but how was that accomplished? Was it by His life of exemplary obedience? Certainly our Lord lived perfectly in this world, but His life did not bring in righteousness any more than the life of the animals provided garments for Adam and Eve. That which was necessary in both cases was DEATH. Daniel said Messiah would â€śfinish the transgression, make an end of sins, make reconciliation for iniquity, and bring in everlasting righteousnessâ€ť (9:24) and He would accomplish those things by being â€ścut offâ€ť (verse 26), that is, put to DEATH. The Apostle Paul believed righteousness was established by the substitutionary, justice-satisfying cross-death of Christ, and so He wrote these words. â€śI do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law then Christ is DEAD in vainâ€ť (Galatians 2:21). â€“Pastor Jim Byrd