Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Fred Blom Was A Scumbag Just Like Me

Fred Blom was an immigrant from Sweden early in the 1890s and he served as an officer in the Salvation Army in the city of Chicago. Later, he went on to pastor a church.

But his life took a radical downward turn around 1915.  Through circumstances that are not quite clear, he had fallen into sin and a life of crime and was eventually sentenced to prison. It was there, sick in soul and body, that he turned to Christ.  That’s when he wrote the words of this song.  It was his expression of joy in the fact that God had “healed his backsliding” and forgiven all his sin.

         Love divine, so great and wondrous,   
                 Deep and mighty, pure, sublime,
         Coming from the heart of Jesus.   
                 Just the same through tests of time!

         Like a dove when hunted, frightened.    
                As a wounded fawn was I;
         Brokenhearted, yet He healed me.    
                He will heed the sinner's cry.

         Love divine, so great and wondrous,    
                All my sins He then forgave;
         I will sing His praise forever,    
                For His blood, His power to save.  

         In life's eventide at twilight,    
               At His door, I'll knock and wait;
         By the precious love of Jesus,   
               I shall enter heaven's gate.

         He the pearly gates will open,    
               So that I may enter in;
         For He purchased my redemption  
               And forgave me all my sin.

The message of this song is simple. It is about God’s saving grace in the life of one who has gone astray.  Because of the love of God expressed in Christ our sins are forgiven, our lives are changed and we look forward to the day we make a joyful entrance into heaven.

It is said that Fred Blom was never released from prison; he died in the custody of the law.  While the gates of prison did not open for him, he knew that heaven's pearly gates would be swung wide for him by his Redeemer.

Was Fred Blom really saved before his fall or did God save him while he was in prison?  I don’t know.  But I do know one thing; I am no better than Fred Blom.

I am thankful that God is strong enough to destroy my will, my desires, and even my miserable life because left to myself, I would never have chosen Him. 

When I was running away, He sought me.  He bought me; He owns me; He keeps me, and He cleanses me.   He does whatever is necessary to bring me to repentance and make me fit for heaven. 

It was all His doing.  I had nothing to do with the transaction.  I am saved by grace alone through faith alone in the finished work of Jesus Christ alone and not by any effort or merit of my own.  


Glenn E. Chatfield said...

I suggest the use of a different word than "scumbag," in that this term means a used condom.

Ralph M. Petersen-Always Right; Sometimes Wrong! said...

Thanks Glenn, I was not aware of that meaning.

However, I looked it up in several dictionaries and the majority do not give that definition. Those that do, put it second.

The conventional usage denotes a person who is sleazy, disreputable, or despicable; a lowlife.

I am going to leave it, mainly because I have used that term, in a few other posts, to emphasize the disgusting filthiness of our sin before God.

One of those posts can be found here: http://notallowed2laff.blogspot.com/2011/04/d-is-for-dirty.html

In it I explain how I first came to use the term and then I reference the phrase, "filthy rags," as it pertains to our "works of righteousness" in the eyes of God. We don't get the full impact of the filthiness until we understand how horribly and disgustingly unclean was the disease of leprosy.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Oh, I'm fully aware of what the term means nowadays, but I'm more concerned with its origin. I just think Christians should avoid such terminology when there are other words just as useful, some of which you just noted.