CHRIST RECEIVETH SINFUL MEN
Erdmann Neumeister, 1671–1756
Translated by Emma F. Bevan, 1827–1909
This man welcomes sinners and eats with them. (Luke 15:2)
Did Christ o’er sinners weep, and shall our cheeks be dry?
Let floods of penitential grief burst forth from every eye.
The thrilling news of the gospel is that Jesus welcomes the nobodies of life and transforms them into somebodies. The pages of church history are filled with examples of people whose lives have been dramatically changed from vile sinners to spiritual saints.
Divine love is never forced on anyone. God created man with a free will, free even to reject Christ’s provision for salvation. Our heavenly Father does not want to send to hell people who reject His Son—it is a place that was originally intended for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). It cost God the cross and death of Jesus before He could forgive our sin and still remain a holy God. Although costly to God, salvation is a free gift to all who will receive it.
“Christ Receiveth Sinful Men” was originally written in 1718 by a Lutheran minister, Erdmann Neumeister, pastor of a church in Hamburg, Germany, for 41 years. He became widely known as an eloquent, forceful preacher as well as the author of approximately 650 hymns. More than a century later, an English lady hymnist, Emma Frances Bevan, translated this and a number of other German texts into the English language. Still today, this hymn reminds us clearly that Christ welcomes any repentant sinner who responds to His gracious invitation for forgiveness and a new life.
Sinners Jesus will receive! Sound this word of grace to all who the heav’nly pathway leave, all who linger, all who fall.
Come, and He will give you rest; trust Him for His word is plain; He will take the sinfulest; Christ receiveth sinful men.
Now my heart condemns me not; pure before the law I stand; He who cleansed me from all spot satisfied its last demand.
Christ receiveth sinful men, even me with all my sin; purged from ev’ry spot and stain, heav’n with Him I enter in.
Chorus: Sing it o’er and o’er again: Christ receiveth sinful men; make the message clear and plain: Christ receiveth sinful men.
For Today: Isaiah 55:7; Matthew 11:28, 29; Luke 15:1–7; Ephesians 1:6–8
Thank God again for His free gift of salvation that is extended to everyone. There are many today who believe that they must somehow make themselves better before they can be accepted by God. Determine to share this truth with such a one.