by Mark Egerdahl & Reba Snyder
Here I Stand is a hymn rooted in the promises of Hebrews 10.
Every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified (v. 11-14)
A Beautiful Paradox
Verse 14 makes an amazing, yet paradoxical statement: “by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” The first half of this verse assures us that we have been made perfect forever by Jesus’ once and only sacrifice. Yet right of the heels of being declared perfect, the author adds “those who are being sanctified.” So are we already perfect or are we being made perfect? The answer is ‘yes.’ Positionally speaking, we are perfectly spotless. God couldn’t be more pleased with you because of Christ. Yet from a day-to-day standpoint, you are being made perfect. Practically speaking, Jesus’ sacrifice is enabling you to daily live out what He has declared you to be. This truth has amazing ramifications that the author of Hebrews expounds in verses 19-23.
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. (v. 19-23)
So, Come Boldly
These verses give us confidence. They destroy guilt and banish fear so that we can draw near to a holy God without shame. On a personal level, I know I’ve been forgiven, but in the back of my mind, there are times I wonder if God truly loves and accepts me. I wonder if He will truly be good to me, especially when I haven’t measured up. In moments like those, we must run to these liberating gospel truths. They assure us that we are perfect in God’s eyes and secure in His love.
Visit Heart Publications to hear the song and download a copy of the sheet music.
Stanza 1 begins with humanity’s brokenness. Before the fall, we were beautiful images of God. But when mankind sinned, the image of God was marred in us. We went from sons and daughters of God to being “strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12). The chorus begins with a word of contrast, “Yet, here I stand by grace complete.” There’s no way we deserved this grace from God, yet He freely gave it to us.
Stanza 2 introduces Jesus’ gracious initiative to ‘seek and to save that which was lost’ (Is. 53:6, Lk. 19:10). He sacrificed His life on the altar in order that “he might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility” (Eph. 2:16).
Stanza 3 describes the fruitful life that directly results from Jesus’ sacrifice. This new life is marked by praise: “Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name” (Heb. 13:15). It’s also marked by a desire to deny worldly temptations (1 Cor. 10:13, Heb. 4:14-16, 1 Pet. 2:10-11). The third chorus begins with, “And I will stand by grace complete.” This statement reminds us that our ongoing battles against sin have been already won. One day, your striving will be over. You will stand complete in Christ!