Featured, Hymns, Ministry, Seminary, Theology

Hymns We Should Sing More: Stricken, Smitten and Afflicted

April 27, 2017

I recently began a blog series entitled Hymns We Should Sing More, which seeks to edify the church with rich, biblical hymns. This is the eighth installment in this series. You can read the previous installments here.

All around the world, Christians gather for corporate worship and sing songs, hymns and spiritual songs as an act of worship to God. Specifically these hymns are full of rich biblical truths about God, mankind, salvation, the coming Kingdom and many other theological topics. Unfortunately, many Christians are unfamiliar with a vast number of theologically rich hymns.

When hymns are sung in a contemporary worship service, there is often a lack of repertoire of hymnology. This series, Hymns We Should Sing More, is a means of getting more Christians aware of the vast number of theologically rich hymns that we rarely, if ever, sing.

The hymn Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted  was written by Thomas Kelly in 1805. Set to somber music, Kelly has written masterfully about the death of Christ. The hymn exposes the true nature of our sin and guilt by showing the only remedy appropriate: the death of the Son of God. Churches would do well to sit under the weight of this hymn, drawing us deeper into the wounds of Christ, the Son of Man and Son of God.

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Bible, Book Review, Books

Book Review: Unlimited Grace

January 7, 2017

How does one grow in their Christian faith? Is it by our efforts, God’s work, or a myriad of influences that impact our lives? Bryan Chapell presents a compelling case to see our Christian growth both founded in God’s grace and empowered by God’s grace. In other words, even in our sanctification, we do not use our good works as a means of earning God’s favor. God, through the sending of his Son, has given us the acceptance that we need through the Son’s finished work.

Chapell returns again and again to the Gospel message for the motivation for obedience. Throughout the entirety of the work, he calls believers to pursue obedience out of love for the Lord. Only grace can make a heart of stone love that which it previously hated. Chapell calls this “heart chemistry,” citing John 14:15, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

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Featured, Ministry, Theology

Church—Sing Your Theology!

August 9, 2016

Worship can easily be one of the most divisive elements in church life, ranging from the preference of style, to the actual choice of songs and structure of a service. Rarely will you meet someone who has no opinion on worship in the church. In some respects, this is a good problem because God has called his people to be a worshiping people (evidenced by the numerous Psalms); the people should care about the manner in which they worship the Lord. All that to say, worship is a complicated issue, and this post is in no way intended to produce division regarding various styles, liturgical practices, or church decisions regarding worship. Rather, I want to call our churches to see the importance of worship, and furthermore—the importance of words in worship.

Words carry immense weight. We proclaim what we believe through words, “I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth, I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,” as the creed proclaims. In a lot of ways, words are how we commune with God, through his Holy Scriptures (albeit, not solely or independent of the Holy Spirit). The Gospel is promulgated through words, as the Apostle Paul says, “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ” (Colossians 1:28, emphasis mine). Therefore, if words carry immense weight, the selection of words in the context of congregational singing also carries immense weight.

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Featured, Hymns, Ministry, Seminary, Theology

Hymns We Should Sing More: From Whence This Fear and Unbelief

August 3, 2016

I recently began a blog series entitled Hymns We Should Sing More, which seeks to edify the church with rich, biblical hymns. This is the eighth installment in this series. You can read the previous installments here.

All around the world, Christians gather for corporate worship and sing songs, hymns and spiritual songs as an act of worship to God. Specifically these hymns are full of rich biblical truths about God, mankind, salvation, the coming Kingdom and many other theological topics. Unfortunately, many Christians are unfamiliar with a vast number of theologically rich hymns.

When hymns are sung in a contemporary worship service, there is often a lack of repertoire of hymnology. This series, Hymns We Should Sing More, is a means of getting more Christians aware of the vast number of theologically rich hymns that we rarely, if ever, sing.

The hymn From Whence This Fear and Unbelief was written by Augustus Toplady (who also wrote famous hymn Rock of Ages) in the 18th century. Augustus beautifully writes of Jesus’ finished and complete work, calling upon the believer to rest in Jesus’ efficacious blood. Are you struggling and doubting God’s love and acceptance of you? Bask in the comfort of Toplady’s words, who invites you to trust and rest in the Gospel’s full and final pardon.

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Featured, Hymns, Ministry, Seminary, Theology

Hymns We Should Sing More: He Will Hold Me Fast

May 2, 2016

I recently began a blog series entitled Hymns We Should Sing More, which seeks to edify the church with rich, biblical hymns. This is the seventh installment in this series. You can read the previous installments here.

All around the world, Christians gather for corporate worship and sing songs, hymns and spiritual songs as an act of worship to God. Specifically these hymns are full of rich biblical truths about God, mankind, salvation, the coming Kingdom and many other theological topics. Unfortunately, many Christians are unfamiliar with a vast number of theologically rich hymns.

When hymns are sung in a contemporary worship service, there is often a lack of repertoire of hymnology. This series, Hymns We Should Sing More, is a means of getting more Christians aware of the vast number of theologically rich hymns that we rarely, if ever, sing.

The hymn He Will Hold Me Fast was written by Ada R. Habershon in 1906. Grounding the believer’s hope in God’s sovereign grip, this hymn encourages believers to rest their salvation and life wholly upon God.

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Featured, Hymns, Ministry, Seminary, Theology

Hymns We Should Sing More: And Can It Be That I Should Gain?

February 12, 2016

I recently began a blog series entitled Hymns We Should Sing More, which seeks to edify the church with rich, biblical hymns. This is the sixth installment in this series. You can read the previous installments here.

All around the world, Christians gather for corporate worship and sing songs, hymns and spiritual songs as an act of worship to God. Specifically these hymns are full of rich biblical truths about God, mankind, salvation, the coming Kingdom and many other theological topics. Unfortunately, many Christians are unfamiliar with a vast number of theologically rich hymns.

When hymns are sung in a contemporary worship service, there is often a lack of repertoire of hymnology. This series, Hymns We Should Sing More, is a means of getting more Christians aware of the vast number of theologically rich hymns that we rarely, if ever, sing.

The hymn And Can It Be That I Should Gain? was written by Charles Wesley in 1738. This hymn remains one of Wesley’s greatest works in all of the 6,000 hymns that he wrote.

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Featured, Hymns, Ministry, Seminary, Theology

Hymns We Should Sing More: How Sweet and Awful is the Place

February 10, 2016

I recently began a blog series entitled Hymns We Should Sing More, which seeks to edify the church with rich, biblical hymns. This is the fifth installment in this series. You can read the previous installments here.

All around the world, Christians gather for corporate worship and sing songs, hymns and spiritual songs as an act of worship to God. Specifically these hymns are full of rich biblical truths about God, mankind, salvation, the coming Kingdom and many other theological topics. Unfortunately, many Christians are unfamiliar with a vast number of theologically rich hymns.

When hymns are sung in a contemporary worship service, there is often a lack of repertoire of hymnology. This series, Hymns We Should Sing More, is a means of getting more Christians aware of the vast number of theologically rich hymns that we rarely, if ever, sing.

The hymn How Sweet and Awful is the Place was written by Isaac Watts in 1707. This title may seem odd to many of you, therefore you must understand that the word awful conveyed the sense of “awe-inducing,” which a modern equivalent would be awesome. Therefore, many hymnals translate the title How Sweet and Awesome is the Place to avoid the confusion all together.

This hymn beautifully weaves sound theology and heart-felt affections throughout the lyrics. Watts poses an excellent question that every Christian should ask, “Why was I made to hear Thy voice, when thousands make a wretched choice, and rather starve than come?” Watts grounds his assurance not in man’s response but in God’s sovereign grace that drew him in. Sadly, I have yet to find a contemporary rendition of this hymn outside of Together for the Gospel’s conference rendition, which you can listen to here.

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Featured, Hymns, Ministry, Seminary, Theology

Hymns We Should Sing More: Praise My Soul, the King of Heaven

February 8, 2016

I recently began a blog series entitled Hymns We Should Sing More, which seeks to edify the church with rich, biblical hymns. This is the fourth installment in this series. You can read the previous installments here.

All around the world, Christians gather for corporate worship and sing songs, hymns and spiritual songs as an act of worship to God. Specifically these hymns are full of rich biblical truths about God, mankind, salvation, the coming Kingdom and many other theological topics. Unfortunately, many Christians are unfamiliar with a vast number of theologically rich hymns.

When hymns are sung in a contemporary worship service, there is often a lack of repertoire of hymnology. This series, Hymns We Should Sing More, is a means of getting more Christians aware of the vast number of theologically rich hymns that we rarely, if ever, sing.

The hymn Praise My Soul, the King of Heaven was written by Henry Francis Lyte in 1834, which is drawn primarily from Psalm 103. To hear a modern rendition of this beautiful hymn, check out River Valley Music’s rendition here. To purchase the song, please visit their iTunes page here.

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Featured, Seminary, Theology

Lord, Haste the Day

January 11, 2016

“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.”

— 1 John 3:2

Rarely in this world can we have assurance regarding anything—plans changes in an instant, people fail to keep their word and life often does not pan out how we expect it to. In a world of inconsistency, John’s words in verse 2 stand as a beacon of hope for the Christian’s future of being fully transformed into the image and likeness of Christ. John has assurance in the fact that when Christ appears, we will also be like him. Two distinct but related encouragements arise out of this passage:

CHILDREN OF GOD, NOW

Surely, John’ words of being transformed into the image of Christ sound comforting and encouraging, especially for those who have walked through a great deal of suffering on this earth. Yet, as we wait for the Lord to restore and renew all things, we must rest in the fact that we have been made children of God now. Our adoption does not hang in the future but is an actual fact for every believer that has been united to Christ. Christ has rescued us from the domain of darkness and has ushered us into his family as adopted and redeemed sons and daughters.  Continue Reading…

Featured, Hymns, Ministry, Seminary, Theology

Hymns We Should Sing More: Abide With Me

January 4, 2016

I recently began a blog series entitled Hymns We Should Sing More, which seeks to edify the church with rich, biblical hymns. This is the second installment in this series. You can read Part I here and Part II here

All around the world, Christians gather for corporate worship and sing songs, hymns and spiritual songs as an act of worship to God. Specifically these hymns are full of rich biblical truths about God, mankind, salvation, the coming Kingdom and many other theological topics. Unfortunately, many Christians are unfamiliar with a vast number of theologically rich hymns.

When hymns are sung in a contemporary worship service, there is often a lack of repertoire of hymnology. This series, Hymns We Should Sing More, is a means of getting more Christians aware of the vast number of theologically rich hymns that we rarely, if ever, sing.

The hymn Abide With Me was written by Henry F. Lyte in 1861 in the midst of facing death by tuberculosis. I pray that you are blessed, edified and encouraged through the words penned hundreds of years ago.

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