Two Songs about the Holy Spirit

As I thought about the prayer from Valley of Vision that I posted yesterday, the two songs about the Holy Spirit that I posted at the end of this post came to mind. The Holy Spirit is the guarantee of our salvation, constantly assuring us we’re God’s children and convicting us of sin, while providing the power to overcome that sin.

I could quote several chapters about the Holy Spirit from Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians,   Galatians, Ephesians, and Hebrews at this point, but for the sake of space and time, I’ll just list a few pertinent passages to accompany these songs. (Every time I read the passages about the Holy Spirit and decide to only quote a few verses, I feel like I am short-changing Him and not doing justice to explain His work in salvation and sanctification, but the truth of the matter is that I do not have the time or ability right now to say everything I want to say. It’s also difficult to cut out any of Paul’s arguments, since he doesn’t make just passing comments about the Holy Spirit or state truths in short, pithy statements.) It might not look like it, but I have limited myself to just a few of my favorite passages.

Romans 5:1-5

5 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Romans 8:1-17

8 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

 2 Corinthians 3:2-6, 12-18

You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all.And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

12 Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, 13 not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. 14 But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. 16 But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

Ephesians 2:18-22

18 For through [Christ Jesus] we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

And now, finally, two of my favorite songs about the Holy Spirit.

“Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart”

Text by George Croly

Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;
Wean it from earth; through all its pulses move;
Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art;
And make me love Thee as I ought to love.

I ask no dream, no prophet ecstasies,
No sudden rending of the veil of clay,
No angel visitant, no opening skies;
But take the dimness of my soul away.

Teach me to feel that Thou art always nigh;
Teach me the struggles of the soul to bear.
To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh,
Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.

Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love,
One holy passion filling all my frame;
The kindling of the heaven descended Dove,
My heart an altar, and Thy love the flame.

One of the most beautiful arrangements of this song I have ever heard is by Dr. Dwight Gustafson. I searched in vain for a video of a choir singing it. If anyone can find an embed-able version of this song, please let me know.

“Holy Spirit, Living Breath of God”

Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
© 2006 Thankyou Music

Holy Spirit, living Breath of God,
Breathe new life into my willing soul.
Bring the presence of the risen Lord
To renew my heart and make me whole.
Cause Your Word to come alive in me;
Give me faith for what I cannot see;
Give me passion for Your purity.
Holy Spirit, breathe new life in me.

Holy Spirit, come abide within;
May Your joy be seen in all I do—
Love enough to cover ev’ry sin
In each thought and deed and attitude,
Kindness to the greatest and the least,
Gentleness that sows the path of peace.
Turn my striving into works of grace.
Breath of God, show Christ in all I do.

Holy Spirit, from creation’s birth,
Giving life to all that God has made,
Show your power once again on earth;
Cause Your church to hunger for Your ways.
Let the fragrance of our prayers arise.
Lead us on the road of sacrifice
That in unity the face of Christ
Will be clear for all the world to see.

In this video, Keith Getty speaks about writing the hymn.

And in this video, you can hear the entire performance of this lovely hymn as it is paired with “Gabriel’s Oboe,” which is one of the most beautiful melodies ever composed, in my opinion. This arrangement is also on the Getty’s newest cd, Hymns for the Christian Life.

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“I Run to Christ”

I love this new hymn by Chris Anderson. You can listen to it here, and read the notes on the text and a discussion of the hymn here.

“I Run to Christ”

I run to Christ when chased by fear
And find a refuge sure.
“Believe in me,” His voice I hear;
His words and wounds secure.

I run to Christ when torn by grief
And find abundant peace.
“I too had tears,” He gently speaks;
Thus joy and sorrow meet.

_____

I run to Christ when worn by life
And find my soul refreshed.
“Come unto Me,” He calls through strife;
Fatigue gives way to rest.

I run to Christ when vexed by hell
And find a mighty arm.
“The Devil flees,” the Scriptures tell;
He roars, but cannot harm.

_____

I run to Christ when stalked by sin
And find a sure escape.
“Deliver me,” I cry to Him;
Temptation yields to grace.

I run to Christ when plagued by shame
And find my one defense.
“I bore God’s wrath,” He pleads my case—
My Advocate and Friend.

“By Faith”

This week I want to share some things I learned about faith and how God words from the little book The Red Sea Rules. To start off the week, here’s a hymn by Keith and Kristyn Getty and Stuart Townend.

“By Faith”

By faith we see the hand of God
In the light of creation’s grand design
In the lives of those who prove His faithfulness
Who walk by faith and not by sight

By faith our fathers roamed the earth
With the power of His promise in their hearts
Of a holy city built by God’s own hand
A place where peace and justice reign

We will stand as children of the promise
We will fix our eyes on Him our soul’s reward
Till the race is finished and the work is done
We’ll walk by faith and not by sight

By faith the prophets saw a day
When the longed-for Messiah would appear
With the power to break the chains of sin and death
And rise triumphant from the grave

By faith the church was called to go
In the power of the Spirit to the lost
To deliver captives and to preach good news
In every corner of the earth

By faith this mountain shall be moved
And the power of the gospel shall prevail
For we know in Christ all things are possible
For all who call upon His name

Words and Music by Keith & Kristyn Getty
& Stuart Townend

“Beneath the Cross of Jesus”

I sang this in church last night. After Pastor’s sermon in the morning contrasting selfishness and servant-hood, the line “Once strangers chasing selfish dreams, / Now one through grace alone” seemed particularly appropriate. I also love the line “For hands that should discard me / Hold wounds which tell me, ‘Come.'”

I love this song! So many good lines and so much truth.

Beneath the Cross of Jesus

Beneath the cross of Jesus
I find a place to stand,
And wonder at such mercy
That calls me as I am;
For hands that should discard me
Hold wounds which tell me, “Come.”
Beneath the cross of Jesus
My unworthy soul is won.

Beneath the cross of Jesus
His family is my own—
Once strangers chasing selfish dreams,
Now one through grace alone.
How could I now dishonor
The ones that You have loved?
Beneath the cross of Jesus
See the children called by God.

Beneath the cross of Jesus—
The path before the crown—
We follow in His footsteps
Where promised hope is found.
How great the joy before us
To be His perfect bride;
Beneath the cross of Jesus
We will gladly live our lives.

“Beneath the Cross of Jesus”
Words and Music by Keith & Kristyn Getty
Copyright © 2005 Thankyou Music

“Jesus, My Lord, My God, My All”

We began working on this hymn in choir last night; I love it!

Jesus, My Lord, My God, My All

by Henry Collins (1854)

Jesus, my Lord, my God, my All,
Hear me, blest Savior, when I call;
Hear me, and from Thy dwelling place
Pour down the riches of Thy grace;
Jesus, my Lord, I Thee adore;
O make me love Thee more and more.

Jesus, too late I Thee have sought;
How can I love Thee as I ought?
And how extol Thy matchless fame,
The glorious beauty of Thy Name?
Jesus, my Lord, I Thee adore;
O make me love Thee more and more.

Jesus, what didst Thou find in me
That Thou hast dealt so lovingly?
How great the joy that Thou hast brought,
So far exceeding hope or thought!
Jesus, my Lord, I Thee adore;
O make me love Thee more and more.

Jesus, of Thee shall be my song;
To Thee my heart and soul belong;
All that I have or am is Thine;
And Thou, blest Savior, Thou art mine;
Jesus, my Lord, I Thee adore;
O make me love Thee more and more.

“Speak, O Lord”

God is Not Silent

The facts are that God is not silent, has never been silent. It is the nature of God to speak. The second Person of the Holy Trinity is called the Word. The Bible is the inevitable outcome of God’s continuous speech. It is the infallible declaration of His mind for us put into our familiar human words…

If you would follow on to know the Lord, come at once to the open Bible expecting it to speak to you. Do not come with the notion that it is a thing which you may push around at your convenience. It is more than a thing, it is a voice, a word, the very Word of the living God.

– A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God (HT: Trevin Wax)

“Speak, O Lord”

Speak, O Lord, as we come to You
To receive the food of Your Holy Word.
Take Your truth, plant it deep in us;
Shape and fashion us in Your likeness,
That the light of Christ might be seen today
In our acts of love and our deeds of faith.
Speak, O Lord, and fulfill in us
All Your purposes for Your glory.

Teach us, Lord, full obedience,
Holy reverence, true humility;
Test our thoughts and our attitudes
In the radiance of Your purity.
Cause our faith to rise; cause our eyes to see
Your majestic love and authority.
Words of pow’r that can never fail—
Let their truth prevail over unbelief.

Speak, O Lord, and renew our minds;
Help us grasp the heights of Your plans for us—
Truths unchanged from the dawn of time
That will echo down through eternity.
And by grace we’ll stand on Your promises,
And by faith we’ll walk as You walk with us.
Speak, O Lord, till Your church is built
And the earth is filled with Your glory.

“Speak, O Lord” (Here you can watch a video of the Gettys and Townend discussing and performing this song.)
Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
Copyright © 2005 Thankyou Music

“His Robes for Mine”

We sang this new hymn in church yesterday and I thought it was beautiful and powerful. The text is rich with theology, and my heart was stirred to sing such deep truths. Kudos to Christ Anderson for getting the word “propitiation” into a hymn text–and for clearly explaining it!

I had only sung this song once before, so it was fairly new to me, although it seemed like many in the congregation were familiar with it. You can find the text and sheet music here, and listen to a recording here.

His Robes for Mine

Text: Chris Anderson; Music: Greg Habegger

His robes for mine: O wonderful exchange!
Clothed in my sin, Christ suffered ‘neath God’s rage.
Draped in His righteousness, I’m justified.
In Christ I live, for in my place He died.

Chorus:

I cling to Christ, and marvel at the cost:
Jesus forsaken, God estranged from God.
Bought by such love, my life is not my own.
My praise-my all-shall be for Christ alone.

His robes for mine: what cause have I for dread?
God’s daunting Law Christ mastered in my stead.
Faultless I stand with righteous works not mine,
Saved by my Lord’s vicarious death and life.

His robes for mine: God’s justice is appeased.
Jesus is crushed, and thus the Father’s pleased.
Christ drank God’s wrath on sin, then cried “‘Tis done!”
Sin’s wage is paid; propitiation won.

His robes for mine: such anguish none can know.
Christ, God’s beloved, condemned as though His foe.
He, as though I, accursed and left alone;
I, as though He, embraced and welcomed home!

“May the Mind of Christ My Savior”

I especially love the last two stanzas of this prayerful song.

“May the Mind of Christ My Savior” by Kate B. Wilkinson (ca. 1913)

May the mind of Christ, my Savior,
Live in me from day to day,
By His love and power controlling
All I do and say.

May the Word of God dwell richly
In my heart from hour to hour,
So that all may see I triumph
Only through His power.

May the peace of God my Father
Rule my life in everything,
That I may be calm to comfort
Sick and sorrowing.

May the love of Jesus fill me
As the waters fill the sea;
Him exalting, self abasing,
This is victory.

May I run the race before me,
Strong and brave to face the foe,
Looking only unto Jesus
As I onward go.

May His beauty rest upon me,
As I seek the lost to win,
And may they forget the channel,
Seeing only Him.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 butemptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:1-11)

“Jesus, Savior, Blessed Friend”

“Jesus, Savior, Blessed Friend” by Deborah Govenor

Whom have I, O Lord, beside you? What have I except your love?
Where is home if not for heaven, there to dwell with you above?
Who are you, if not my Savior? Who am I if not your own?
What are you if not my shelter, Christ my rock and cornerstone?
Jesus, Savior, blessed friend, I will love you without end.

Who will share my earthly sorrow? Who will heal my broken heart?
Who will hold my life together when it seems to fall apart?
When the fears are far too many, and the joys are far too few,
Who will comfort and defend me? Only you, Lord, only you.
Jesus, Savior, blessed friend, I will trust you without end.

Where, O Lord, when life is over, can I go, but home to you?
What have I except the promise where you are I shall be too?
When at last I reach the comfort of that bright celestial place,
There with joy will I behold you, gaze upon your glorious face.
Jesus, Savior, heavenly friend, I will praise you without end.

Psalm 73

23 Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

“Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus”

I sang this in church last night.

Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free
Rolling as a mighty ocean
In its fullness over me
Underneath me, all around me
Is the current of Your love
Leading onward, leading homeward
To Your glorious rest above

Oh the deep, deep love
All I need and trust
Is the deep, deep love of Jesus

Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Spread His praise from shore to shore
How He came to pay our ransom
Through the saving cross He bore
How He watches o’er His loved ones
Those He died to make His own
How for them He’s interceding
Pleading now before the throne

Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Far surpassing all the rest
It’s an ocean full of blessing
In the midst of every test
Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Mighty Savior, precious Friend
You will bring us home to glory
Where Your love will never end

Oh the deep, deep love
All I need and trust
Is the deep, deep love of Jesus

Original words by Samuel Trevor Francis (1834-1925); chorus and alternate words by Bob Kauflin