Agonizomai: Grace That is Greater Than All Our Sin

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Grace That is Greater Than All Our Sin

For some reason I can't quite fathom, my post "A Saint's/Sinner's Prayer" struck a chord with more people than I usually get visiting my little blog. Praise the Lord that a few were blessed in some small way.

In the course of responding to comments I was reminded of Julia Johnston's wonderful hymn, "Grace That is Greater Than All Our Sin". What a wonderful prescription (the old guys would say "physic") for the mourning soul, by which God is able to comfort us. I found the organ music on YouTube under someone named Lance's channel here and the words are provided below.

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary's mount outpoured,
there where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.


Grace, grace, God's grace,
grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
grace, grace, God's grace,
grace that is greater than all our sin!

Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
threaten the soul with infinite loss;
grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
points to the refuge, the mighty cross.


Dark is the stain that we cannot hide.
What can avail to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
brighter than snow you may be today.


Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see his face,
will you this moment his grace receive?


Lyrics by Julia Johnston


Blogger underdogtheology said...

Contrary to what most believe, maturity in the Christian faith brings with it more grief than elation. This is because we are made more aware of our utter nonconformity to Christ's character, which is our chief desire.

We desire more of Christ to be formed in us and we are discontented with our level of sanctification.

2:36 am  
Blogger agonizomai said...

Thanks for the comment.

I, too, am offended by the clappy-happy sort of Christianity that is quite prevalent in Western culture.

If anything, I would say that growing in Christ necessarily brings both sorrow and joy. They are inextricably entwined.

As Cowper said:

"The path of sorrow and that path alone
Leads to the place where sorrow is unknown."

And it is a path, so that we don't come to the end in this life but, as Christians, we know what that end is. We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. It is the Lord's doing, and it is wonderful in our sight.

So, we embrace the sorrow for the joy that is set before us. We see and grieve our corruption so that we will look upon the cross where our comfort is, because our corruption was put away as far as the east is from the west and was no longer remembered by God.

We do not comfort ourselves. We read the facts and promises believing, and abide in Christ while the Holy Spirit comforts us in His way and in His time.

That is what I have come to understand thus far - but I make no special claims to maturity.


7:58 am  
Blogger Derek Ashton said...


Great paradox - sorrow and joy intertwined, with the sorrow necessary to the joy. But one day the sorrow will vanish and only the joy will remain. And oh, what a joy we will know when we fall down before the Lamb! Unmitigated, unending, unlimited, unceasing, unobstructed, unquenched for all eternity.

The cross brings us into this.

Grace & peace,

8:21 am  
Blogger agonizomai said...


Sigh...! And I thought your blog was about paradox, not mine [/smile]



9:06 am  

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