Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! I love these words that start one of the great hymns of the Church. Written by Fanny Crosby, these lyrics have been sung by countless believers all over the world. I love pretty much everything about this hymn, but you can get in trouble if you don’t pay attention to whole song. Taken out of context, these words can be dangerous.
The Problem with “Jesus is Mine”
The first line of the hymn could pose a potential problem if the rest of the lyrics did not help us understand. To say, “Jesus is mine,” sounds as if Jesus is a commodity I have acquired. Worse still, it is almost as if I possess or own Jesus, as if He were my servant, rather than the other way around. If we are not careful to understand the whole meaning, this can put us in the position of authority and make Jesus seem subservient. Of course, we know this is wrong, and the rest of the song makes it clear.
The next two verses begin, “Perfect submission.” The writer is not saying that we somehow own Jesus, but He has me. The song speaks of the glory, both now and to come, of being perfectly submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Through this surrender and submission to Him, I can say the fullness of the blessings and glorious realities found in Jesus are truly “mine.”
An Unfortunate Truth
This is an important concept to grasp, not so much for the sake of the song, but because there are many who profess the Name of Christ, but perceive Jesus as a commodity they have chosen to acquire based on what He can and will do for them. Jesus is really just a “get out of hell free card,” or a means for some type of blessing to be cashed in.
When you ask, you do not receive, because
you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend
what you get on your pleasures. — James 4:3
Sadly, Jesus is often preached in this light. Many believers hear that Jesus is here for the taking, and He will do a lot for you if you take and keep Him in your pocket. That “gospel” is devoid of any sense of conviction or confession of sin, repentance, and surrender. There is no submission to Jesus, perfect or otherwise. This is a “what’s in it for me” gospel that makes Jesus a mere source for stuff. This is not just wrong, it's heresy!
We can have assurance of our relationship with God through Jesus Christ, and it is indeed a blessed assurance. We can know that we stand clean before God, forgiven of our sins, redeemed by the blood of Christ, awaiting our home in heaven.
This blessed assurance comes, however, not when we grab Jesus up like the last piece of chicken at the dinner table, but as we surrender our lives fully to Him, placing ourselves perfectly and completely in submission to His will. Only when we are in Christ will we find a foretaste of glory as He fills our lives with His presence. When that happens, our song will be the praise of our Savior, all the day long.