When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.
The lyrics above are from the second stanza in the hymn, “Before the Throne of God Above.” This is an old hymn, and the lyrics are rich in theological meaning. As Christians, we have been liberated from the power of sin, but we still often wrestle with the presence of sin in our lives (see Romans 7). Through the process of sanctification (being freed from the presence of sin in our lives), we sometimes make great leaps in holiness and other times we creep along, hardly making any noticeable advances.
Sometimes, because of our indwelling sin nature, we go backwards. Believers and unbelievers alike can see us when we fall. Sometimes believers are quick to judge when another Christian falls, but unbelievers are usually eager to point out our sins, often questioning the power of our profession.
Yet, the lyrics above can prove to be a balm to the soul of a struggling saint. We’re not perfect, and Satan & the World are right upon us to point out our sins when we fall. Our right standing before God is not because we are perfect. It is because the “Sinless Savior” satisfied God’s anger towards the sin in our lives! Our sinful souls are counted FREE and forgiven because of God’s Son.
To the world, this doesn’t seem fair, but to God it makes perfect sense. Unbelievers say, “God can’t be that forgiving,” but Paul says in Romans 5:8, “God demonstrates His own LOVE toward us in this—while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” He didn’t wait for us to clean up our act first. We never could, in the first place.
That is why His salvation is scandalous.