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.

Advertisements

“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

“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!

“O Thou in Whose Presence My Soul Takes Delight”

I’ve continued to think about the shepherd imagery in the Bible and found this hymn in which the imagery figures.

O Thou in whose presence my soul takes delight,
On whom in affliction I call;
My comfort by day and my song in the night,
My hope, my salvation, my all.

Where dost Thou, dear Shepherd, resort with Thy sheep
To feed them in pastures of love?
Say, why in the valley of death should I weep,
Or alone in this wilderness rove?

He looks, and ten thousand of angels rejoice,
And myriads now wait for His word;
He speaks, and eternity, filled with His voice,
Re-echoes the praise of the Lord.

Dear Shepherd, I hear, and will follow Thy call,
I know the sweet sound of Thy voice;
Protect and defend me, for Thou art my all,
And in Thee I will ever rejoice.

v. 1-3 by Joseph Swain,1791
v. 4 by Unknown author

Three Songs about Jesus, Our Shepherd

Since the arrival of my church’s new pastor last week, I’ve been thinking a lot about pastors and especially their role as “under-shepherd” (a term which I just discovered is not actually in the Bible, but I’ve heard it used of pastors a bazillion times). That train of thought lead me to thinking about Jesus as our Shepherd. So for the first part of this week, I’d like to write about Jesus as our Great Shepherd, and then at the end of the week, I’ll write about our pastors as shepherds and our responses as sheep.

“Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us” text attributed to Dorothy Ann Thrupp

I greatly dislike the tune to this song, but I appreciate the message of the words.

Savior, like a shepherd lead us, much we need Thy tender care;
In Thy pleasant pastures feed us, for our use Thy folds prepare.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus! Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus! Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.

We are Thine, do Thou befriend us, be the guardian of our way;
Keep Thy flock, from sin defend us, seek us when we go astray.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus! Hear, O hear us when we pray.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus! Hear, O hear us when we pray.

Thou hast promised to receive us, poor and sinful though we be;
Thou hast mercy to relieve us, grace to cleanse and power to free.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus! Let us early turn to Thee.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus! Let us early turn to Thee.

Early let us seek Thy favor, early let us do Thy will;
Blessed Lord and only Savior, with Thy love our bosoms fill.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus! Thou hast loved us, love us still.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus! Thou hast loved us, love us still.

All the Way My Savior Leads Me

This is one of my favorite songs. Here is the text by Fanny Crosby with additional lyrics by Chris Tomlin. I know the song doesn’t specifically refer to Jesus as a Shepherd, but the idea is there.

All the way my Savior leads me;
Who have I to ask beside?
How could I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my guide?

All the way my Savior leads me;
Cheers each winding path I tread,
Gives me grace for every trial,
Feeds me with the living Bread.

You lead me and keep me from falling.
You carry me close to Your heart.
And surely Your goodness and
Mercy will follow me.

All the way my Savior leads me;
O, the fullness of His love!
O, the sureness of His promise
In the triumph of His blood!

And when my spirit clothed immortal
Wings its flight to realms of day,
This my song through endless ages:
Jesus led me all the way!
Jesus led me all the way!

All the way my Savior leads me.
All the way my Savior leads me.

Jesus, Shepherd of the Sheep

I found a page scan with this hymn text while researching songs about our Shepherd, Jesus.

“Praise the Lord Who Reigns Above”

Lynn Smith played this hymn during the Sunday evening service and I thought it was a good song for Thanksgiving week.

Praise the Lord Who reigns above and keeps His court below;
Praise the holy God of love and all His greatness show;
Praise Him for His noble deeds; praise Him for His matchless power;
Him from Whom all good proceeds let earth and heaven adore.

Publish, spread to all around the great Jehovah’s name,
Let the trumpet’s martial sound the Lord of hosts proclaim:
Praise Him in the sacred dance, harmony’s full concert raise,
Let the virgin choir advance, and move but to His praise.

Celebrate th’eternal God with harp and psaltery,
Timbrels soft and cymbals loud in this high praise agree;
Praise with every tuneful string; all the reach of heavenly art,
All the powers of music bring, the music of the heart.

God, in Whom they move and live, let every creature sing,
Glory to their Maker give, and homage to their King.
Hallowed be Thy Name beneath, as in heaven on earth adored;
Praise the Lord in every breath, let all things praise the Lord.

Charles Wesley, 1743

Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed

Quote

This is one of my favorite hymns. I love the rich text and the message of the song.

Alas! and did my Saviour bleed,
And did my Sovereign die!
Would he devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I!

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree!
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide,
And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker, died
For man the creature’s sin.

Thus might I hide my blushing face
While his dear cross appears;
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt mine eyes in tears.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe;
Here, Lord, I give myself away,
‘Tis all that I can do.

Isaac Watts, 1674-1748
Written in 1709

My current favorite version of the hymn is Nathan Clark George’s recording on Pull Up a Chair, which you can listen to here.

What is your favorite recording of this hymn?



“A Mighty Fortress is Our God”

On Mondays, I plan to post a hymn or song that reflects on the gospel. In honor of Reformation Day, here’s Martin Luther’s hymn “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.”

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.