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Before the Throne Of God Above

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

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 Saviour died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace,
One with Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Saviour and my God!

Charitie L. Bankcoft 1863

This older hymn has become more widely known again with revised lyrics and (much better) music (youtube video below). I love this hymn, not only for its rousing melody but more for its teaching of the extrinsic righteousness of Jesus applied to the believer.

I, we, do not dare to come to God pleading our own cause, our own righteousness, for if we did the argument would soon be over, our silence would be absolute and our hope would be lost.  But pleading of Christ’s righteousness, our strong and perfect plea, there is boldness and confidence to enter into relationship with God and to face the accusations of our wrongdoing (and justly so) by the great accuser, Satan himself, and not fear ANY reproach for Jesus has borne the penalty in Himself on the Cross.

In Jesus there is boldness and confidence because, through faith in Jesus Christ, God has counted His righteousness as our own just as Christ counted our unrighteousness as His own at the Cross – and so the debt is paid, the accuser silenced and life hid with Christ on high, is ours and ours forever.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” Ephesians 2:8


what I didn't say in the post, cos i thought it detracted from the power of the hymn a bit is that I once heard (at a Relay 3 conference) a friend and colleague introduce this hymn saying:
"let's respond to the confidence that God has given us in Christ Jesus by singing that great hymn 'Before the throne of God above, I have a strong and perfect flea'
yes, we laughed for quite a while... and it did impact on our singing of the hymn, a little

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