This song freshens up a 19th century hymn by George Robinson about the love of God that we experience in union with Jesus, and how that relationship affects our lives, particularly in how we view creation. Robinson says that "something lives in every hue Christless eyes have never seen." Once a person is born-again, or regenerated, it is like they are given new eyes, eyes to see the significance of Jesus in every formerly mundane aspect of the universe. As we experience the beauties of this world, we can truly say that Jesus' loveliness ever grows since we see Him - His beauty, His creative power, His tenderness - in creation. The song closes with the assurance that though "heaven and earth may fade and flee," in His arms we'll ever be. Let us rejoice in the amazing truth that we can say "I am His, and He is mine!"
Posts for the ‘Songs’ Category
The Bible records the response that people have when confronted with the presence of God in His holiness and might - they tremble in fear, usually sink to the ground prostrate, and seem to wish they were dead (Daniel actually almost died). But the Bible also records the tender and reassuring words of angels and the Lord Jesus to those lying in the dust before them: "do not fear." We will all face times of fear, whether it be times of acute awareness of our own sin before a holy God or times of struggle through life's difficulties. In the midst of these "waves of trouble," we need the anchor of that powerful voice that was able to calm the seas with a word, the voice of our loving Lord reminding us to take heart and do not fear, for He is near. We need to remember who God is - the sovereign ruler of the universe who is also our loving father. He has a wise and loving plan in every difficulty, and reminds us to trust and hold onto Him even when we can't understand the reason for our suffering. As you listen or sing, may you be encouraged with the beautiful truth that if you have put your trust in Jesus, you need not fear anything or anyone, for God has you securely in His hand.
This is a song about how the gospel rescues us from various kinds of struggle - doubt, guilt and shame, self-righteous striving, and pride. It is a song inspired by a couple of lines from Albert Midlane's obscure hymn "Sinner, Where Is Room for Doubting?" The gospel of Jesus' life and death as our only means of rescue from the penalty, power, and presence of sin is not just a message for non-Christians. The Christian life is characterized by struggle, or to use another biblical term, warfare. Though we are positionally righteous in Christ, we work out that righteousness in a glorious mystery as described in Philippians 2:12-12: "work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure." The work of sanctification can be described as applying the gospel's transforming power to specific areas in our hearts where sin remains. That's what this song is all about - filling our minds and hearts so full of the gospel that there is no more room for our spiritual idolatry. The more captivated we become in Jesus - all He is for us and all He has done for us - the less we will run to idols for meaning, significance, and pleasure.
When the church gathers for worship and a preacher opens the Bible, God's very word, what should we be hoping will happen? We want to meet with the living God, the God of the living Word, in such a way that we see and celebrate Jesus, and leave with his unmistakable imprint upon our lives. The reason the Lord gave us His Word was to know, trust, and grow in our relationship with Him who every page points to - the great Redeemer. This song is a prayer meant to be sung before the sermon in public or gathered worship. In it we ask God to grant us submissiveness to the Bible, soft hearts and readily acknowledge and own our sin, and the desire to leave our encounter joyful and refreshed. We also ask for the Spirit's help, for without his work, the Bible would be just another book. And most importantly, we ask that God would show us Jesus - in every sermon - in every book of the Bible - that we would have "faith on Christ to look."
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. - John 3:16Perhaps one of the most oft-quoted verses of the Bible, John 3:16 may also be one of the least-believed. Though here in the west we have probably heard that God loves us a thousand times, we often live like it's not true. We live in loneliness, fear, or insecurity, and those struggles ultimately have their root in unbelief - unbelief that God loves us and has promised to take care of us. This song is a cry for help - help believing in the unbreakable love of God... help in the midst of pain, doubt, and anxiety; help believing in the objective truth of Scripture: "In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." (1 John 4:10). We don't have assurance that God loves us because of how we feel or how we are doing spiritually; rather, God demonstrated His love at the cross that we might be anchored by His love even when we feel like we're being blown away by the struggles of life and the struggles of our own sinfulness. Believer, be encouraged today that God loves you even when you don't feel it.
This modern hymn was written for a sermon series in Acts, and is a prayer for strength to accomplish the mission for which God created the church - to spread the gospel of His grace to every tribe and tongue, giving testimony by word and deed of the mercy of God shown in giving His Son to rescue sinners for His glory. As we sing this song, we are triumphantly proclaiming God's rightful rule over us, His people, and expressing our dependency on His Spirit's work in our midst to empower us for His gospel mission. We're not called simply to preach the gospel, but to treasure it, to sing it. We're not called simply to share a statement, but the living Word of God, giving proof of its power to transform people through our own ransomed lives. And when we feel weak, unfit, or scared at the immensity of what God calls us to do and the dangers we face along the way, may he "strengthen hand and heart and nerve" that we might be "champions of Calvary!"
Augustus Toplady, theological champion of the so-called Particular Baptists of the 18th century, wrote many hymns so full of theology they seem to be exploding with truth. The hymn "From Whence This Fear and Unbelief" is no different, and it is strange that this hymn is not as well known or celebrated as his "Rock of Ages" or "A Debtor to Mercy Alone." In this hymn, Toplady sets out to not only defend the doctrine of particular redemption, but to show that it is a holy occasion for praise. In perhaps the most powerful verse, he declares (lyrics have been modernized), "If pardon You have now secured and freely in my place endured the whole of wrath divine, God cannot payment twice demand, first at my bleeding Surety’s hand, and then again at mine." If Jesus' death paid for the sins of every person irrespective of whether they come to put their faith in Him as their Savior, it would be unjust of God to punish unbelievers for their sins since they would have already been punished at the cross. Either God must save everyone, or Jesus' died for a particular people, as Jesus says in John 10:14-1: "I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep." And again, in Matthew 28:20: "the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Though this song is named "My Sin," it could really be named "My Savior" since the song is really about all the ways that Jesus saves us from our sin. Sin is man's most deadly enemy - a sickness far beyond any bacteria or virus we've ever encountered. Sin has run its course through every part of man - body, mind, heart, and soul. And sin is not like a normal sickness - just something we catch from others or the environment. We were both born natures already infected with sin, and are complicit and morally responsible for what our sin natures cause us to do. Sin is such an important biblical concept that the Lord gives us many metaphors to help us understand it and its effects. This song explores three of those metaphors, and how the Father and Son relate to us in those metaphors. As you read, listen, or sing this song, think not simply about how powerful your sin is, but more importantly, all that your Savior Jesus is to you and that he is able to save you from every aspect of sin's terrible force in your life.
A friend of mine sent me this text, saying her church had just sung this hymn and though the music was not very engaging, the words were extremely powerful and would I write a new melody? I read through the text and saw what she was talking about. What a faith-filled hymn! Written by Samuel Rodigast in 1676 to comfort a sick friend, he lays out what it means to deal with the problem of pain from the perspective of faith. Our God is sovereign and full of love, and though he takes us through adversity, his plans are right and true. His promise is that he will not leave us in the circumstance through which he is taking us. Samuel's response is to trust that God will hold him and to be content through the pain. May we all be blessed with such a response that can only come as a result of the Spirit working in us. I pray this song would help our people through whatever trial God is taking them, knowing that some sweet day, we will all be free from the pain of this world.
This is a versification of Psalm 1 that fits the tune SOLID ROCK (written for the hymn "My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less"). Setting the Psalms to hymn meters (therefore tunes) is one way to make them accessible for congregational singing.