Come as You Are

Matthew 11:28 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

The specific phrase “come as you are” is not found in Scripture. However, in the context of the Bible as a whole, the phrase does contain some very important truths. The phrase “come as you are” is intended to dispel the corrupt belief that we must make ourselves acceptable to Christ by doing good deeds or ceasing from sin BEFORE coming to Him.

We are simply UNABLE to stop sinning or make ourselves good; and the belief that we can could not be further from the truth. In fact, it is the complete opposite of Christ’s teachings! The Word of God tells us directly that good deeds CANNOT save us!

Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Even our best and mightiest works are likened to filthy rags in the sight of God!!!

Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”

If we could make ourselves holy, righteous, pure, and good … then for WHAT did our Saviour die? If we could save ourselves, why would we need a Saviour at all? The fact of the matter is that we cannot save ourselves, we cannot make ourselves holy, we cannot make ourselves righteous, we cannot make ourselves pure, and we most certainly cannot make ourselves good.

Psalm 14:3 “They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

Why do you think the backlash of people is filled with anger when they are told they cannot save themselves and need to trust in God completely?

Outside of Christ, there is NO salvation. Jesus Himself declared that He came to save sinners.

Matthew 9:13 “But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

He ate and drank with sinners.

Matthew 9:10 “And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.”

He even protected sinners, like the adulterous woman, from the self-righteous Pharisees.

John 8:3-11 “And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”

And we are all sinners, correct? Not one of us can go a day without sinning.

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

1 John 1:10 “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

Our Lord did not come to save those who, in their sinful pride, believe themselves to be righteous and deserving of Heaven! No, He came to save those who KNOW they are not righteous and KNOW they deserve nothing from Him!

Jesus calls all who are weary and burdened by their sins to come to Him and find rest for their souls in Him.

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Jesus did not just call sinners to be saved, He called even the most PROMINENT of sinners to be saved!

1 Timothy 1:15-16 “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.”

So, the next time ANY of you believe that you have sinned too grievously to be saved, remember that Paul was the chiefest and most prominent of sinners … and look at how mightily the Lord worked through him.

So, does Jesus demand anything from those who would come to Him? Yes, He demands that we be born again spiritually.

John 3:1-8 “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”

It is not enough to make moral improvements like being kinder and gentler to people or giving more to the needy … we need NEW HEARTS! Hearts that are repentant and full of belief.

Ezekiel 36:25-27 “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.”

God commands all people to repent and believe in Jesus Christ as the risen Saviour who came to seek, find, and save the lost.

Mark 1:15 “And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”

Acts 19:4 “Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”

Acts 20:21 “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Truth be told, however, even this faith and repentance are NOT of our own doing but are GIFTS from God through which we receive the salvation that is found in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

As a result of being made ALIVE to God, and becoming NEW CREATIONS in Christ, our lives begin to change.

Colossians 2:13 “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;”

2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

Though we do not become sinless after this rebirth, we are forgiven for all repented sins and we do have a different mindset toward sin. We DESIRE to depart from sin, we MOURN over our remaining sin, and we CONFESS our sins to God.

John 16:7-8 “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:”

Romans 7:24 “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”

2 Timothy 2:19 “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

After our spiritual rebirth, we also begin to display the fruits of the Holy Spirit, such as love, joy, and peace.

Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

It must be understood, as I said in the beginning, that all of this is a RESULT of coming to Christ and NOT something which must be achieved BEFORE coming to Him!

We come to Him as we are … but we do not remain as we were!!!

Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”

Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

2 Corinthians 3:18 “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

So yes, the Lord said to come as you are, but He says that in the same way a physician tells a patient to come to them so they might be healed. No doctor says, “come to me when your bullet wound is healed.” Doctors are not in the business of seeing healthy people … they seek the sick and broken to heal them. Yes, He loves us enough to call us just as we are, but He loves us too much to leave us the way we are.

And Jesus is the Physician who heals and saves all of us.

Matthew 9:11-12 “And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.”

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