One of the beautiful hymns we sing has the title above It expresses the truth that we come to Jesus with a heart aching from sin and looking to Jesus and His sacrificial love to save us, realizing our inability to deal with sin by ourselves. But isn’t it tragic that so many seem to use this same phrase to express the idea that when we come to Jesus we do not have to change … we can simply remain as we are, thus come “just as I am”. Of course nothing could be further from the truth. In Luke 13:3 (and repeated in verse 5) the Lord states clearly that “except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”
Paul expressed the same truth in Acts 17:30 when he said that God has “commanded all men everywhere to repent.” In Matthew 21 the Lord spake a parable of two sons. In this parable He teaches clearly what repentance is. He said, But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went (28-29). Though one son refused to do the will of his father, he later had a change of heart and went. Jesus describes this change of heart that results in a change of action as repentance. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 7:10 that “godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation.”
Just as I am? As the song teaches, we cannot have a plea other than Jesus for our salvation. But
before we can go to Him we must have a change of heart that is expressed in a change of action. We
cannot remain in sin – we must repent, or perish.