"SOUL, A SAVIOR THOU ART NEEDING"
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3.23)
INTRO.: A song which urges people to come to the Savior they have sinned and come short of the glory of God is "Soul, A Savior Thou Art Needing" (#301 in Hymns for Worship Revised, and #622 in Sacred Selections for the Church). The text was written by Mrs. Jessie H. Brown Pounds (1861-1921). Many of her hymns are in our books, including "The Way of the Cross Leads Home" and "Anywhere With Jesus." The tune was composed by James Henry Fillmore (1849-1936). Many of his melodies are in our books, including "Purer in Heart, O God" and "I Am Resolved." Mrs. Pounds and Mr. Fillmore collaborated on a number of songs, such as "Will You Not Tell It Today" and "I Know That My Redeemer Liveth."
"Soul, A Savior Thou Art Needing" was copyrighted in 1887 and may have been first published that year in Part III of Fillmore’s New Christian Hymn and Tune Book. However, one source gives the first publication date of 1897. It may have been copyrighted in 1887 but not published until 1897, or the 1897 date may be a typographical error. Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the song appeared in the 1921 Great Songs of the Church (No. 1) edited by E. L. Jorgenson; the 1948 Christian Hymns No. 2 and the 1966 Christian Hymns No. 3 both edited by L. O. Sanderson; and the 1963 Abiding Hymns edited by Robert C. Welch. Today it may be found in the 1971 Songs of the Church and the 1990 Songs of the Church 21st C. Ed. both edited by Alton H. Howard; and the 1992 Praise for the Lord edited by John P. Wiegand; as well as Hymns for Worship, Sacred Selections, and the 2007 Sacred Songs of the Church edited by William D. Jeffcoat.
This has been a rather well known and much used invitation song among churches of Christ.
I. Stanza 1 points out the need
"Soul, a Savior thou art needing! Soul, a Savior waits for thee!
Hear His words of tender pleading, Hear His gracious ‘Come to Me.’"
A. Each soul needs a Savior because of sin: Rom. 6.23, 1 Jn. 1.7
B. A Savior has been sent and waits for us: Mt. 1.21, 1 Tim. 1.15
C. This Savior wants us to come to Him: Matt. 16.24, Jn. 6.44-45
II. Stanza 2 points out the provision
"He hath died for thy transgression, If thou wilt, thou canst be free;
Soul, He waits for thy confession, ‘Savior, I will go to Thee."
A. The provision God made for our salvation is that Jesus died for our sins: Rom. 5.8, 1 Cor. 15.3
B. As a result of His sacrifice, we can be free from sin: Jn. 8.32, Rom. 6.17-18
C. However, we must determine to confess Him as Savior and Lord that we might go to Him: Matt. 10.32-33, Rom. 10.9-10
III. Stanza 3 points out the urgency
"Do not linger till the morrow, Let thy loving answer be,
‘Savior, in my joy or sorrow, I will ever go to Thee.’"
A. The sinner should remember that today is the day of salvation and not linger until the morrow because we have no promise of tomorrow: 2 Cor. 6.2, Jas. 4.14
B. Rather, those in sin need to make their choice and give their answer as quickly as possible while they have time: Josh. 24.15, Heb. 3.15
C. The way that lost sinners give their answer to go to the Savior is by hearing and obeying His word: Mk. 16.15-16, Acts 2.36-38
CONCL.: The chorus emphasizes the call of Jesus to come to Him.
"He is calling, softly calling, On thine ear His voice is falling;
He is calling, softly calling, ‘Come to Me and be at rest.’"
The ultimate purpose of the gospel message, whether delivered in a sermon, a home study, or an invitation song, is to let the sinner know, "Soul, A Savior Thou Art Needing."