Evangelical Worship Edition.
Februrary 08, 2016. In this edition we are going to be taking a look at the final song on the top new song list for 2015 found at Worship Together. Today’s song is “Shout Hosanna” by Passion featuring Kristian Stanfill.
This song is better overall than the last few songs we’ve covered on this list. There is still a problem of focus, but at least the lyrics bear the Name of Christ, His work on the Cross, and the forgiveness of sins.
Passion VEVO Lyric Video
Lyrics (via Worship Together)
To the King of glory and light, all praises
To the only Giver of life, our Maker
The gates are open wide; we worship YouVerse 2
Come see what love has done, amazing
He bought us with His blood, our Savior
The Cross has overcome; we worship YouChorus
Shout Hosanna Jesus He saves!
Shout Hosanna He rose from the grave!
Come and lift Him up, Hosanna!Verse 3
Now let the lost be found, forgiven
Death could not hold Him down, He’s risen
So let the saints cry out, we worship YouChorusBridgeThe same power that rolled the stone away
The same power a-live in us today
King Jesus we call upon Your name,
No other name | 2x |ChorusWriter(s): Brett Younker, Kristian Stanfill, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash
Theme(s): Adoration & Praise , Call to Worship
CCLI #: 7038016
Scripture Reference(s): John 12:13; Matthew 21:9
The cited Scripture References are not bad, but they aren’t great. Let’s look at them.
John 12:13 (ESV) So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out,“Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”
Matthew 21:9 (ESV) And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting,“Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”
These verses are plucked from the Triumphal Entry narratives in the Gospel According to John and According to Matthew. Did the crowds understand who Jesus is? No. The words they sang were true, they just didn’t understand what they were saying. They couldn’t understand. These were likely the same folks who would cry out “crucify Him” later. I think this is a misstep here, and I am in no way convinced that this song of praise, a call to worship, was in any way written with the triumphal entry in mind. Although, if it was, I must say it would make this song coming out of Passion ironically appropriate. The call to praise, the words being used are correct, but the ones singing them and the ones being called to join them are completely oblivious to the One they are Praising… and they are praising Him without knowing Him.
Okay, but most of the lyrics in this song are good lyrics.
Verse 1. A call to praise the King of Glory, the Creator (our Maker), and the Giver of Life. Praise the LORD. I am, however, confused by the intended referent of The gates are open wide. What gates? The gates to Jerusalem? The gates to the auditorium? Just an odd line here. It is not uncommon in triumphalism or theology of glory to allegorize the gates of Jerusalem into the doors of the local church… sometimes even pushing to the gates of Heaven, though there are not multiple gates to the Kingdom of Heaven, there only One, that is Jesus Christ.
Verse 2. An invitation to the Gospel, come see what love has done, provided the Gospel is truly preached. The strength of this lyric hinges upon the faithfulness of the local church to preach Law and Gospel. Houses that preach only Law and principles or tips on how to keep the Law better, don’t follow through on this line. At least the next lines in the verse contain Gospel nuggets, Christ bought us by His blood on the Cross, thus becoming our Saviour. By His finished work on the Cross we are forgiven of sin.
Verse 3. Let the lost be found, forgiven. Yes, Praise the LORD for His Mercy and Grace in sending His Son to make a way of Salvation, for forgiveness of sin. However, the Gospel of forgiveness isn’t limited to “the lost being found” and it shouldn’t just be assumed for the saints. Sinner and saint need to hear the Gospel of Forgiveness proclaimed. This is a major problem in modern-day evangelicalism’s soteriology (theology of salvation) in that they think “getting saved” to be the primary goal of the Gospel and once “saved” it is the duty of each Christian to worship God and steadily progress in sanctification and “fulfilling your divine purpose” in this earth. The Gospel is left behind as a “conversion experience” and the rest of their “christian walk” is law-keeping. A plain reading of Galatians will correct such ideology. We never graduate from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, repentance, and the forgiveness of sin while we walk this corrupted earth. Evangelicalism reduces the Gospel to a sort of “reset button” that we choose to push whenever we realize we are in sin. The Gospel of Jesus Christ IS our life. We have nothing apart from the Gospel. The Law kills us, the Gospel gives us faith and Life and forgiveness. The Christian walk requires BOTH Law and Gospel.
Chorus. The chorus is short and sweet. A call to praise Jesus Christ with a shout of Hosanna.
Hosanna [N] [B] [E] [H](save now). “Save, we pray!” the cry of the multitudes as they thronged in our Lords triumphal procession into Jerusalem. ( Matthew 21:9 Matthew 21:15; Mark 11:9 Mark 11:10 ; John 12:13 ) The Psalm from which it was taken, the 118th, was one with which they were familiar from being accustomed to recite the 25th and 26th verses at the feast of tabernacles, forming a part of the great hallel. Ps. 113-118.
[N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave’s Topical Bible
[B] indicates this entry was also found in Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary
[E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton’s Bible Dictionary
[H] indicates this entry was also found in Hitchcock’s Bible Names
Bridge. I think the bridge is a departure from the rest of the song. It’s like an off-ramp taking focus away from Praising Jesus Christ our Lord and directing it more on the Power of God living in us. It falls short of identifying God the Holy Spirit and sort of sits in that odd treatment of Him as a force or source of power rather than the third Person of the Trinity. I find it unsettling, personally. I had the same issue with Jeremy Camp’s song, “Same Power”. For those churches with solid doctrinal foundations, this bridge is probably not a big deal, but for the vast majority of the visible church that is awash in triumphalism and theology of glory, prosperity, and Presence… this bridge can distract from the song’s stated goal of calling us to Worship the Triune God.
I think this is one of the better songs on this 2015 list, though it doesn’t quite earn our approval because the Gospel isn’t quite clear. It’s a bit blurred in this song. There are indeed several Gospel nuggets, but the song doesn’t explain anything. Then there is the dubious citation of the Triumphal entry. I’m convinced the “citations” on these songs are the results of shallow word-searches rather than expressions of what is being taught by the writers of these songs.
Jude 24-25 (ESV) | Doxology
24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
In Christ Jesus,