Dear Lord, Accept a Sinful Heart

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Description

This hymn text, originally by William Cowper but adapted and extended by David L. Ward, is really a lament against our struggle with indwelling sin, particularly anger and legalism. Legalism is the religious term for attempting or believing that you can earn or keep God's saving favor or acceptance by something that you have done or are doing such as acts of obedience, depth of love, sinful behaviors avoided, etc. Cowper was intimately aquainted with both struggles, but the song preaches to the singer "though I am thus inclined to roam, Christ died for all my sins." Even our worst, most revisited sin struggles, were paid for and dealt with finally and fully by Jesus' redeeming work. The penalty for our sin has been paid and we have received his perfect obedience as our own. Though we continue to struggle to put off sin and put on righteousness, God's umbrella of acceptance remains and does not rise or fall with our own performance.

Tune Information

The tune that we have used for this hymn was written by Justin Smith who has been a part of Indelible Grace. He wrote it originally for the Isaac Watts text O Help My Unbelief and we are thankful that he has granted permission to use it.

Lyrics

Verse 1:
Dear Lord, accept a sinful heart
Which of itself complains,
For though new life You did impart,
Such wickedness remains.
There fiery seeds of anger lurk,
Impossible to tame,
And wait but for the tempterís work
To fan them to a flame.

Verse 2:
Legality holds out a bribe
To purchase leniency
And, shunned by grace, would then prescribe
How You should deal with me.
While unbelief withstands Your grace
And puts Your mercy by,
Presumption, with a brow of brass,
Says "give me, or I die."

Verse 3:
Though I am thus inclined to roam,
Christ died for all my sin
And calls my wand'ring spirit home
To make me more like Him.
So even in my darkest hour
I know that I am loved;
This grace alone has lasting pow'r
To change me from above.

Ending:
Though I am thus inclined to roam,
Christ died for all my sin
And calls my wand'ring spirit home
To make me more like Him.

Words by William Cowper (1731-1800) & David L. Ward, © 2009 ThousandTongues.org
Music by Justin Smith, © 2007 Justin Smith Music

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