DiM | “Who You Say I Am” by Hillsong Worship

Presentation1CCM Radio Edition.

October 11, 2018. Today we’ll be taking a look at “Who You Say I Am” by Hillsong Worship which currently sits at #2 on the Top20 chart at 20theCountdownMagazine.

This is a song by Hillsong Worship, who recently declared themselves to be a denomination. This song does have nuggets of the Gospel, which we will point out in the discussion of the lyrics; however, the song’s focus is still on glorifying “me” and “who I am”. Because of the Gospel nugget, this song lands in the middle category. Let’s give it a listen and then work through the lyrics.

Video

Lyric (via KLove)

Verse 1:
Who am I that the highest King
Would welcome me
I was lost but He brought me in
Oh, His love for me
Oh, His love for me

Chorus 1:
Who the Son sets free
Oh, is free indeed
I’m a child of God
Yes, I am

Verse 2:
Free at last
He has ransomed me
His grace runs deep
While I was a slave to sin
Jesus died for me
Yes, He died for me

Chorus 2:
Who the Son sets free
Oh, is free indeed
I’m a child of God
Yes, I am
In my Father’s house
There’s a place for me
I’m a child of God
Yes, I am

Bridge:
I am chosen
Not forsaken
I am who You say I am
You are for me
Not against me
I am who You say I am

Publishing: Hillsong Music Publishing (APRA) (admin. in the US and Canada at CapitolCMGPublishing.com)
Writer(s): Ben Fielding & Reuben Morgan

Discussion

Let’s open up with an acknowledgment of the Gospel Nugget in the song:

While I was a slave to sin
Jesus died for me

In this little nugget, we have Law (I was a slave to sin) and Gospel (Jesus died for me). This alone is enough to keep the song in the “middle category”. However, it is exceedingly frustrating that the rest of the song is so “me-centric” rather than focusing on Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Let’s build out this nugget with some Scripture:

Romans 5:6-11 (ESV) For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Verse 1. So, right at the beginning, we have an interesting question of “Who am I…?” This question pops up a few times in the Old Testament. The first is when God, speaking to Moses from the Burning Bush, calls Moses to rescue Israel out of Egypt.

Exodus 3:7-15 (ESV) Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”

Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.

This was Moses trying to back down from the call because he’s a nobody in the eyes of Pharaoh. Notice that God’s response isn’t to tell Moses who Moses is, but who God is. Moses is type and shadow of Jesus Who would later come to rescue the Church (Israel) out of slavery to sin (Egypt). Another place we can look for the question of “who am I” is King David, who also prefigures Christ, decides he wants to build a House for the LORD (2 Sam 7). But the Word of the LORD come to Nathan and tells him to go and speak to David a Word of the Lord. The LORD tells David he will not build the LORD’s house, but the LORD will build his house.

2 Samuel 7:12-16 (ESV) When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’”

Here we see the LORD speaking of His Son, Jesus, the Messiah… born in the City of David, descended of David. Let’s look at David’s response:

2 Samuel 7:17-29 (ESV) In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David. Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and said, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord God. You have spoken also of your servant’s house for a great while to come, and this is instruction for mankind, O Lord God! And what more can David say to you? For you know your servant, O Lord God! Because of your promise, and according to your own heart, you have brought about all this greatness, to make your servant know it. Therefore you are great, O Lord God. For there is none like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears. And who is like your people Israel, the one nation on earth whom God went to redeem to be his people, making himself a name and doing for them great and awesome things by driving out before your people, whom you redeemed for yourself from Egypt, a nation and its gods? And you established for yourself your people Israel to be your people forever. And you, O Lord, became their God. And now, O Lord God, confirm forever the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and concerning his house, and do as you have spoken. And your name will be magnified forever, saying, ‘The Lord of hosts is God over Israel,’ and the house of your servant David will be established before you. For you, O Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have made this revelation to your servant, saying, ‘I will build you a house.’ Therefore your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you. And now, O Lord God, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant. Now therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue forever before you. For you, O Lord God, have spoken, and with your blessing shall the house of your servant be blessed forever.”

Notice that David understands that this isn’t about him, or who he is, but about God and Who He is. He believes the Promise of God through Faith in His Word. So when this song starts off with this question of “Who am I”, I’m hoping the answer to the question that will be pulled from the song will be along the lines of “it’s not about who I am, but about who God is.”

The song doesn’t really answer it, though. The song just winds up saying how great I am, I’m set free, I’m a child of God, I’m ransomed, He loves me… but the focus is all about “me”. This isn’t preaching a theology of the Cross; rather, it is promoting a theology of glory. Look at how great “ME” is thanks to Jesus.

Chorus. The Gospel nugget is in the chorus, and we’ve covered that. The Chorus is building up to the driving point of the song, I am awesome.

Bridge. This is the main point of this anthem, it’s all about self-affirmation. The mystical format of the song (emotional manipulation) sets up this bridge as the driving point of the song:

I am chosen
Not forsaken
I am who You say I am
You are for me
Not against me
I am who You say I am

While each of these themes can be rightly preached, these are just ear-tickling soundbites set to an emotionally charged rhythm. We’ll look at how we might fill out the doctrine here a bit in our conclusion section, in an attempt to somehow salvage this “me-fest”.

Conclusion

While the song does contain a Gospel-nugget, the focus of the song isn’t the Gospel of Jesus Christ; rather, the focus of the song is “self-esteem” through soundbites set to a mystical form of music.

How would I correct this one? Well, I wouldn’t recommend replacing any Traditional hymn or doctrinally rich song with this “me” anthem in church, that’s for sure. But, if we understand that the answer to the question of “who am I” is ever and always, “I am a poor miserable sinner in need of God’s Grace and Forgiveness and Mercy”, then we can set our minds on Thanksgiving to God that isn’t self-aggrandizing. For this, let’s look at Paul’s opening in his letter to the Ephesians:

Ephesians 1:1-2:10 (ESV)

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Don’t look to “me” for the answer of “who am I”… Look to Christ and Who He Is and His finished work on the Cross for your sin and mine.

In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

DiM | “You Say” by Lauren Daigle

disapproveCCM Radio Edition.

October 02, 2018. Today we’ll be taking a look at “You Say” by Lauren Daigle which currently sits at #1 on the Top20 chart at 20theCountdownMagazine.

Lauren Daigle is a gifted singer with an amazing voice. She could sing the menu at McDonald’s and keep my attention… and probably move me to order a meal as a result. It’s too bad she has been taught a version of “Christianity” that praises “me and my identity” rather than Christ crucified for our sin. This song falls into the category of “theology of glory” rather than a Theology of the Cross. I’m sure there will many who read this and try very hard to fix the theology of the song by eisegeting (adding to the text) the full preaching of Law and Gospel, but this isn’t about what we can turn the song into; rather, this is about what is in the song. Based on what we find in the lyric of this song, it falls well into the category of Disapproved.

Video

Lyrics (via K-Love)

I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough
Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up
Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low
Remind me once again just who I am, because I need to know

You say I am loved
When I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong
When I think I am weak
You say I am held
When I am falling short
When I don’t belong
You say I am Yours
And I believe
I believe
What You say of me
I believe

The only thing that matters now is everything You think of me
In You I find my worth, in You I find my identity

Taking all I have and now I’m laying it at Your feet
You have every failure, God, and You’ll have every victory

Oh, I believe
Yes, I believe
What You say of me
Oh, I believe

Publishing: © 2018 See You At The Pub & CentricSongs (SESAC) / So Essential Tunes & Fellow Ships Music (SESAC) / Flychild Publishing & So Essential Tunes (SESAC)
Words and Music by Lauren Daigle, Jason Ingram and Paul Mabury

Discussion

Verse 1. I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough So from the beginning we start with a presentation of the problem. Inner voices saying “I’m not enough”. Everyone can relate to this thought of “not being enough”… you don’t even have to be Christian to have these thoughts. Heck, even Nike plays on this theme… their solution “just do it”. Let’s see if the song gives us something more specific. Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up Is this a lie? Depends on what is being measured and by what standard. If you’ve read through some DiM, you probably know where I’m headed with this, so let’s finish out the verse. “Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low Remind me once again just who I am, because I need to know” Now here we get a typical minimization of the problem of sin as merely “a low” but greater than that error is the overall focus of the problem in the first verse and where the singer is turning for the solution. The focus of the problem is “how I measure up” being different from all of the lies being told her. She’s going to attempt to convey a gospel without acknowledging the truth… that we don’t measure up, that we aren’t enough, and if we were the sum of only our highs we’d STILL fall short of the Glory of God, which is the standard of the Law.

James 2:10-13 (ESV) For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Romans 3:21-26 (ESV) But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

We cannot move on to the Gospel by skipping the Law. The Gospel doesn’t invalidate the Law, it is the answer to the Law. The only answer.

Chorus. The chorus is a string of platitudes supposedly God’s affirmation of “me” despite anything I might think of myself, feel of myself, or am told about myself. The singer is leaving a lot of room for the listener to read him/herself into the lyric and finding “encouragement” in these platitudes… but, again, we’ve completely skipped what the Law has clearly revealed about us in our fallen, human nature.

You say I am loved

John 3:16-18 (ESV) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”

When I can’t feel a thing relying on emotion to discern truth is an error. At least, in this case, the song is indicating that our feelings lie.

You say I am strong When I think I am weak We don’t just think we are weak, we ARE weak.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (ESV) But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

1 Corinthians 1:26-29 (ESV) For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.

You say I am held When I am falling short Right back to emotional language. We’ve already addressed the fact of Scripture that all have fallen short due to sin. This isn’t merely a “past tense” situation… this is true “today” for Christians, we sin and fall short daily. Now, there is room here for a greater discussion of where Christians look for comfort. A careful reading of John 16 is a great place to look. Jesus is preparing the Disciples for what is about to come and already teaching them (and us) the role of God the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit isn’t an emotion or a feeling, but a Person of the Trinity, God the Holy Spirit.

John 16:7-15 (ESV) Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

What remains in the Chorus is filler, emotional manipulation in mystical form (repetition of self-affirming platitutes) to a soothing score as if to communicate to the listener that “this is the answer”. The focus is “belief”, but not clearly belief in Christ the Son; rather, a belief in what the singer is saying God says of “me”.

Verse 2. This isn’t a full verse… it’s designed to add some thoughts and loop right back into the chorus. “The only thing that matters now is everything You think of me In You I find my worth, in You I find my identity” So the singer is reinforcing her proposed solution to the stated problem of the lying voices of doubt in myself. But this problem has been so poorly framed, that now we’re also jettisoning what Scripture clearly teaches to be true of us… that we’re sinners who fall short daily and we need to be forgiven of our sin. Typical of CCM, this song tries to affirm the listener’s “self esteem” without preaching Law and Gospel. Trying to share the Gospel while skipping over and even ignoring the Law doesn’t work… because the Old Adam (your sinful flesh) simply asserts its self-worship, the extolling of our own virtue, our own worth, with a thin veil of “this is how God thinks of me”. There is an errant view of Salvation at work here that ignores the simul (that we are simultaneously sinner and saint as Paul lays out in Romans 1-8). So that the Christian Life, rather than being a life of repentance, becomes a life of “meaning” or “worth”, that the point of being a Christian is finally “being someone” or “having value in God’s eyes”. Clearly these are by-products, so to speak, of Christ’s Saving work, but the focus of the Gospel is that Christ has paid the price for our sin, that He took our place on that cross to pay the full price of not only our sins before, but the sins we continue to commit in our weakened flesh (weakened by sin) until the Day of His Return, the Resurrection. This song’s focus is on “self-esteem” rather than on Repentance and the forgiveness of sin by Grace alone, through Faith in Christ alone. Self-esteem is what our sinful flesh is always craving, always self-justifying, always demanding… but a life of repentance is a denial of self.

Luke 9:23 (ESV) And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

Bridge. Taking all I have and now I’m laying it at Your feet You have every failure, God, and You’ll have every victory Well, this is mystical language. We aren’t actually “laying everything down”, this isn’t like the Israelites bringing their sacrifices to the Temple. What does it mean to bring God “every failure”? Well, if CCM had a proper understanding and doctrine of Sin, this wouldn’t be less ethereal and could simply be phrased as “Confession and repentance of sin and receiving the Absolution (Forgiveness of sin)”. God has every victory already, so we see this wrong notion that somehow God cannot bless us *unless* we let Him. Revivalists and Charismatics have this very strange (unbiblical) notion of a God who cannot do unless we let Him. Again, this is a theology of glory, in our glory, our sacrifice, our surrendering of… well, really just emotions and doubts of our own self worth? The context of the song is off-center, the Gospel isn’t that Christ died on the cross so that we can have better self-esteem.

The song closes out with a refrain that I believe what God says of me… this is like Joel Osteen’s pseudo-creed of “…this is my Bible, I am what it says I am…” The focus of the Scriptures is Christ, not us.

John 5:39-40 (ESV) You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.

Conclusion

It’s little wonder how this song made it to the #1 position on the CCM charts. It’s all about pumping up the listener’s self-esteem by saying how awesome God says the listener is. No Law, no sin, no confession, no repentance, just a declaration of how awesome the listener is despite how the listener feels, what the listener think, or what anyone says about the listener. Who’s NOT going to want to hear that message sung by such an amazingly beautiful voice? Sadly, the doctrine at play is self-centered and quite carnal. This message of self affirmation is one the world proclaims daily… and it is dying in sin and trespasses. In the very first verse, the artist talks about the lie of “not measuring up”… but nowhere in the song does the artist clarify the measuring standard or how far we truly fall short, or that we do so daily. When you avoid the Law you leave no room for the Gospel.

Romans 16:24-27 (ESV) Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.

In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

CTT | 2nd Commandment Violation (2CV)?

Today I’d like to take a look at a commonly used rebuke in social media whenever someone posts an image of God or old icons from the early church depicting Jesus, or even a crucifix. The rebuke being a claim that the post was a 2CV, or 2nd Commandment Violation. So, what does this mean? 
 
This is a reference to a numbering of the 10 commandments common to the Reformed tradition and most Protestant denominations. By that numbering, the 2nd Commandment is “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” or usually shortened to “You shall not make any graven images”. The argument usually follows the line of reasoning that any image that might be of God or might be worshiped as an idol constitutes a breaking of this commandment, regardless of how the image is actually being used. There are varying definitions of what constitutes a 2CV, but in the extreme sense, any paintings, drawings, carvings, statues, etc. are forbidden by the 2nd Commandment. 
 
Lutherans don’t follow this numbering of the 10 Commandments so a “2CV” for a Lutheran would be breaking of the Commandment, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.” This leads to some confusion in communication between Lutherans and Protestants. So, let’s look at the Commandments themselves rather than the list/numbering found in a denomination’s Catechism or Confessions. For that, we’ll turn to Exodus 20:1-21 without the verses numbered.
 
Exodus 20:1-21 (ESV)
And God spoke all these words, saying,
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
“You shall have no other gods before me.
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
“You shall not murder.
“You shall not commit adultery.
“You shall not steal.
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”
Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.” Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.” The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.
Now, the ESV editors also insert line breaks. But if we look at the words themselves, we don’t see any numbering. I don’t read Hebrew or Greek so we cannot discuss this passage linguistically. But we can look at the context of what is written. Both traditions start numbering the Commandments at “You shall have no other gods before me.” 
 
2CV2CV2
In the images above, I’ve highlighted the verses surrounding what is called the 2nd Commandment by those using the 2CV rebuke. Here is where Lutherans (and others) see a problem with isolating verse 4 as its own Commandment. The context of verses 2-6 is all on the same topic… the First Commandment, “You shall have no other gods before (or besides) me”. So we treat v2-6 as all part of the 1st Commandment and consider verse 7 as the start of the 2nd. I’ve run across folks who allege that Rome and Lutherans number the Commandments so they can “skip the second commandment” to protect their graven images. This is simply untrue, particularly given how we teach the commandments. It is true that at the time of the Reformation, Rome was in grave error of several forms of idolatry, but their numbering of the Commandments wasn’t born of these errors. Rome’s numbering comes from the early Church fathers and Luther pulled from the early church as well, so Lutherans didn’t pull from Rome, we both pull from St. Augustine’s work. I believe most Protestants pull from Origen. Historicity alone cannot determine which is “more right”, which is why we started by examining the Scriptures in context.

So is it a direct violation of the 1st or 2nd Commandment to depict Christ or the Holy Trinity in a drawing or sculpture?

I cannot see that as the focus of Exodus 20 or Deuteronomy 5. The focus is on idolatry, the worshiping of idols as gods. An argument can be made that under the Mosaic covenant, the idols themselves were idolatry. Under the New Covenant, we have a clearer picture of the sin of idolatry and realize that we are guilty of the sin of idolatry when we allow anything to rise above God in our hearts, even without physical idols, and that we are far more guilty of this sin than any of us can imagine. So, under the New Covenant, we need to carefully examine the purpose of such depictions of the Triune God of Scripture to ensure that it is indeed pointing the observer to the One True God, not to worship of the depiction as god. Discernment is needed here. Now, not all depictions of Christ are sound, some are quite blasphemous. The blasphemy should be targeted and rebuked. I don’t recommend getting stuck on a blanket prohibition of drawings/depictions in hopes of making your rebuke irrefutable.

But the commandment says not to make ANY graven image of ANYTHING!

If we allow that verse to be lifted out of its context, this might be a fair argument. But it becomes highly problematic both in its immediate context and in the instructions God gives Moses for the construction of the Tabernacle (Exodus 25-27), which included several graven/woven images of cherubim. God commanded Moses to craft a fiery serpent on a pole (Numbers 21) for the Children of Israel to look at for healing from the deadly snake bites. That bronze image had to later be destroyed because the people later set it up as an idol they had named and made sacrifices to (2 Kings 18). So, we see the heart of the matter is the worship of a false god. Idolatry is found in the heart of the idolators, not in the substance of the idol. The idol itself is nothing (1 Cor 8), but in worshiping the idol, pagans are worshiping demons (1 Cor 10). This is breaking the first and greatest commandment:

Matthew 22:36-38 (ESV) “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.

Deuteronomy 6:5 (ESV) You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

Since someone might stumble due to a depiction of the Triune God, we should ban all of them!

No, the answer to sin isn’t more law; rather, it is the clear preaching of the Gospel. God’s Law doesn’t grant the power to keep it, a man-made law is infinitely worse. The New Testament makes it clear that no one keeps the law but Christ and that salvation is by Grace through Faith, not by works of the Law. Your accuser might claim to be (or speaking out of concern for) a weaker brother/sister.

1 Corinthians 8:4-13 (ESV) Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.” For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”— yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

Speak in truth with the brother/sister with all patience, humility, and kindness. If it is something you’ve posted deliberately on their wall or in their feed, remove it. If they are demanding you remove it from your own social media, kindly decline when the depiction is intended to benefit other neighbors. Need to exercise discernment here on a case-by-case basis.

Conclusion

When someone charges you with 2CV! do try to give it a best possible construction, that the individual is trying to uphold the Law as he/she has been taught. Might there have been something idolatrous in what you shared? Temper your initial response (and offense) in order to gauge the level of knowledge or understanding possessed by your accuser. Above all, do everything to the Glory of God.

Our catechisms are helpful in training up disciples. We need to know our catechisms well enough to identify where they summarize Scripture and how they’ve done so. The numbering of the 10 commandments is such a summary. Be willing and able to return to the Scriptures when dealing with differences in confessions.

Jude 24-25 (ESV) 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, 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,
Jorge

DiM | “I Just Need U” by TobyMac

Presentation1CCM Radio Edition.

May 04, 2018. Today we’ll be taking a look at “I Just Need U” by TobyMac which currently sits at #1 on the 20theCountdownMagazine.

This is probably one of the better TobyMac songs I’ve reviewed. I found the writing to be quite honest and well-intentioned. The Psalms he drew from weren’t being stretched out of context and the song doesn’t make false promises. This song finds itself on the positive side of the middle ground. It falls short of a full Approval because it lacked a clear Gospel, but at least it bore a confession of needing God. Let’s listen to the song and read the lyrics.

Video

Lyrics (via K-Love)

I Just Need U
I just need U.

Last night put the heavy on me
Woke up, and I’m feeling lonely
This world gotta a way of showin’ me
Some days it’ll lift you up
Some days it’ll call your bluff
Man, most of my days I ain’t got enough

And all I know is You’re my only hope

When I’m up, when I’m down
When the wolves come around
When my feet hit the ground
I just need, I just need U
On my darkest days, when I’m losing faith
No, it ain’t gonna change
I just need, I just need U
Lord, I need U
Yeah, I just need U

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
I will fear no evil for thou art with me
Thy rod and thy staff …
They comfort me when I’m beat down broken
Hold my heart when it’s split wide-open
Turn these eyes to my sole protector
And break the will of this born defector

When You pull me closer I come to life

Ain’t no way this thing gon’ change, it’s U
I need on my darkest days, when I’m losing faith
I need U every single day, every breath I take
I need U

Publising: Achtober Songs (BMI) (Admin. at CapitolCMGPublishing.com) / So Essential Tunes / RELWOF (SESAC) (Admin. at EssentialMusicPublishing.com) / Blake NeeSmith Publishing Designee (BMI)
Writer(s): Toby McKeehan, Bryan Fowler, and Blake NeeSmith

Discussion

Overall, the song isn’t bad. The Premise of the song is a little bit wonky, as it seems to be a song about Toby dealing with popularity and the highs and lows of it all.

Verse 1. The first verse frames the discussion oddly.

Last night put the heavy on me
Woke up, and I’m feeling lonely
This world gotta a way of showin’ me
Some days it’ll lift you up
Some days it’ll call your bluff
Man, most of my days I ain’t got enough

The focus is on how he can’t live up to the world’s expectations but stops short of calling the world evil. We’re not seeing the problem of sin being set up here, just sort of a cry of not “being enough” or not “having enough”. The problem is in the underlying theology. This follows the notion that being a Christian means having access to power once we’ve reached the end of ourselves. We turn to God when we need a life raft as if we didn’t need Him long before we were aware of our need.

Chorus. Now, the chorus does include “when I’m up”, so one might argue that this clears the song of what I just pointed out as a problem. However, the emphasis on the first verse and the rest of the song is on being down.

When I’m up, when I’m down
When the wolves come around
When my feet hit the ground
I just need, I just need U
On my darkest days, when I’m losing faith
No, it ain’t gonna change
I just need, I just need U
Lord, I need U
Yeah, I just need U

For the most part, this is a good confession of an enduring need for God. Odd that it goes from the thought of “losing faith” to “it ain’t gonna change”… how is the artist attempting to resolve the thought of losing faith? I don’t think TobyMac knows quite what to do with that. I think that’s why TobyMac memes and most of his lyrics amount to “dedicate yourself harder”, “do more”, “love more”, “strive/endure/persevere”, etc.

Romans 10:11-17 (ESV) For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Galatians 3:2-9 (ESV) Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”? Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

I bring these passage up because they are critical to understanding Law and Gospel properly distinguished. In each letter, Paul is teaching these Churches (predominantly Gentiles) the proper distinction between Law and Gospel. Faith is a Gift from God working through His Word. Both saving faith and growing in faith, which is why I brought in the passage in Galatians. Too many treat the gift of faith as something necessary to “get saved” but then rely on works to grow to maturity. Paul rebukes that thoroughly. So, my point in bringing this here is that I genuinely believe TobyMac is looking for an answer to building faith in spite of trouble, and he keeps looking to the Law. I’m not calling him unsaved when I say the problem is that TobyMac needs to hear the Gospel preached to him and for him, today and every day of this life until Christ returns.

Verse 2. Toby pulls lines from Psalm 23. It’s a wonderful Psalm.

Psalm 23 (ESV) | A Psalm of David.
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2     He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3     He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

The promise in Psalm 23 has an eternal focus. We are so tempted to invoke this Psalm for our temporal well being and comfort, but remember the Apostles and the 1st-century saints.

Bridge. It’s really just a mantra, nothing of substance.

Conclusion

This song is an honest appeal to faith during the struggle, a confession of our need for God. The closest we get to identifying which God is by quoting pieces of Psalm 23. I find it frustrating that Jesus has to be assumed in so-called “Christian” songs, though. I’ll not apologize for that frustration. The song does a good job of being honest about our internal struggle with doubt, I just wish it did a better job of resolving that doubt. I do believe that even here, we should see an acknowledgment that our primary issue is sin and the only resolution is Christ crucified for our sin.

Hebrews 13:20-21 (ESV) Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

DiM | “All My Hope” by Crowder

ApprovedCCM Radio Edition.

March 22, 2018. Today we’ll be taking a look at “All My Hope” by Crowder which currently sits at #2 on the 20theCountdownMagazine.

Today’s song has a good chorus in that it is focused on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The verses are weak and a bit vague, but minus the first verse they aren’t horrible. This song lands tentatively in the Approved category for having a good chorus with a strong focus on the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the answer for our sin. Let’s listen to the song and then work through the lyrics.

Lyric Video

Lyrics (via K-Love)

I’ve been held by the Savior
I’ve felt fire from above
I’ve been down to the river
I ain’t the same
A prodigal returned

All my hope is in Jesus
Thank God my yesterday’s gone
All my sins are forgiven
I’ve been washed by the blood

I’m no stranger to the prison
I’ve worn shackles and chains
But I’ve been freed and forgiven
And I’m not going back
I’ll never be the same
That’s why I sing

There’s a kind of thing
That just breaks a man
Break him down to his knees
God, I’ve been broken more than a time or two, yes, Lord
Then He picked me up
And showed me what it means to be a man
Come on and sing

Publishing: sixsteps Music/Worshiptogether.Com Songs/Inot Music (ASCAP) (Admin. at CapitolCMGPublishing.com)/Alletrop Music (BMI) (admin. by Music Services)
Writer(s): David Crowder and Ed Cash

Discussion

This song takes the form of a “testimony” type song, where the singer shares with the audience his/her theology or testimony of God. Such testimonies should always be focused on Christ as revealed in His Word. I’m very happy that this song didn’t slide into the humble-brag category of really being “about me” while claiming to be about “what God has done for me”.

Verse 1. The song opens up very poorly with a weak and empty verse appealing to emotional experiences.

I’ve been held by the Savior
I’ve felt fire from above
I’ve been down to the river

By faith, we have been saved by the Savior, brought to life by God the Holy Spirit delivering faith to us through the preached Word of Christ, washing us clean by water mixed with the Word in Baptism. The singer has not actually been held by the Savior in a literal sense, not yet. So, this is an emotional appeal in spiritual symbolism. Also, the singer hasn’t “felt fire from above”. This particular emotional symbolism is quite common in charismatic circles where they claim their emotional experiences are equal to what took place in the upper room on Pentecost in Acts 2.  The scriptures tell us there were tongues of fire descending upon them as they were given the miraculous gift of speaking in other languages, the praises of God. Let’s look at the text because I want to point out how clearly the Scriptures describe the event.

Acts 2:1-12 (ESV) When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”

This isn’t something these people had to imagine happening, these things actually happened. The divided tongues of fire appeared to them and rested on them. They were actually proclaiming the mighty works of God in clear languages, languages that actually existed, languages that were listed in the text. No symbolism need be invoked, this actually happened. This stuff isn’t happening today, particularly not in churches where false doctrine is being plainly taught. So, the singer is claiming to have felt fire from above, when what has really happened is the singer felt a sense of euphoria and wants to believe it was this sort of “presence of the holy spirit”. We’ve talked about the references of “being down to the river” in CCM before. As a Lutheran, I want to believe this is a reference to Baptism; however, it’s most likely a reference to the symbolism that creedal baptists believe baptism to be. Given the rest of Crowder’s theology, this is a symbolic reference to what they think baptism represents, not a direct reference to Baptism. As with the rest of this first verse, it is spiritual imagery or an appeal to an emotional experience.

I ain’t the same
A prodigal returned

The best construction I can give these 2 lines is that this is an allusion to repentance. As the prodigal son realized the error of his ways and remembered his father and repented of his sin. “And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son” Luke 15:21 (ESV).

Chorus. The chorus is a strong point in this song.

All my hope is in Jesus
Thank God my yesterday’s gone
All my sins are forgiven
I’ve been washed by the blood

All our hope is in Jesus. The Apostle Peter’s letter comes to mind first:

1 Peter 1:3-7 (ESV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

All our sins are forgiven, indeed. Now, Crowder goes back to symbolism in our having been washed by the blood. This is good symbolism and it is clearly laid out in Revelation talking about John’s vision in the resurrection. Let’s look at chapter 7.

Revelation 7:9-14 (ESV) After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Now this is a vision and in these visions in the Revelation of Jesus Christ there are lots of symbols. Let’s look at the Institution of the Lord’s Supper as recorded in Matthew, specifically at His words regarding the cup:

Matthew 26:27-28 (ESV) And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Amen. So we have the symbolism in Revelation and the reference to the substance in the Lord’s Supper, Christ’s blood of the New Covenant, poured out for the forgiveness of sins. Now, I mentioned earlier in the discussion of verse 1 how I’d like to think Crowder was directly referencing Baptism. Christ washes His Bride (the Church) in Baptism as we see the Apostle Paul reference in his letter to the Ephesians.

Ephesians 5:25-27 (ESV) Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

I understand that not everyone who reads this blog is Lutheran, so this is how I’d go about connecting “down to the river” and “washed by the Blood”… I’d point to Holy Baptism.

Verse 2. The second verse is allegorical but these are metaphors most of us can relate to emotionally, at least at some level. We have an idea of prison, shackles, chains, and we have an idea of being set free from temporal bondage and being forgiven of wrong.

I’m no stranger to the prison
I’ve worn shackles and chains
But I’ve been freed and forgiven
And I’m not going back
I’ll never be the same
That’s why I sing

The problem here is the idea that it’s an all-or-nothing thing for Christians in this temporal life, completely sanctified or still-a-sinner. The Truth is that it’s both, simultaneously sinner & saint. As long as we walk in fallen bodies of flesh, we are sinners. By faith we are saints, not because of what we have done, but solely because of what Christ has done already for us in our place at the cross. That is why our hope is in the Resurrection, when at last Christ will be revealed, we will be saved, and we will be given new bodies free of sin. Until then, we live in the simul, simultaneously sinner & saint.

Verse 3. I think this third verse/bridge gets a little bit sideways.

There’s a kind of thing
That just breaks a man
Break him down to his knees
God, I’ve been broken more than a time or two, yes, Lord
Then He picked me up
And showed me what it means to be a man
Come on and sing

We were doing okay up until this point (I’m still happy with the chorus), but now we seem to have externalized sin a bit, making it the boogie man on the outside of us breaking us down to our knees. While we do have an external enemy in the devil, our primary ill is our own sinful flesh, our black hearts filled with sinful passions craving sin and waging war against the Spirit within us.

Romans 7:15-25 (ESV) For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

Galatians 5:16-17 (ESV) But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.

There is also one other thing that is missing from the discussion in the third verse, and that is the discipline of our Heavenly Father against our sin that breaks us down. Indeed, the LORD disciplines us as sons/daughters. We see this proclaimed clearly in Hebrews.

Hebrews 12:3-11 (ESV) Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
    and chastises every son whom he receives.

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Amen. So this third verse gets sideways by only painting part of the picture of what breaks us down, for God, our Heavenly Father disciplines us as sons/daughters. This third verse in the song also wrongly externalizes the sin problem as merely external circumstances rather than our core sin issue which is in our very flesh.

Conclusion

Given this song’s clear focus on the Gospel for the chorus, the pale allegorical nature of the verses get overshadowed and I’m placing this song just into the Approved category.

Hebrews 13:20-21 (ESV) Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Amen. In Christ Jesus,
Jorge