DiM | “Word of Life” by Jeremy Camp

disapproveCCM Radio Edition.

October 24, 2017. Today we’ll be taking a look at “Word of Life” by Jeremy Camp which currently sits at #5 on the20theCountdownMagazine.

Generally speaking, I’m a fan of Jeremy Camp’s music. This song gets a Disapproval for a couple of reasons, the most prominent is the synergism in the lyric, that it isn’t Christ alone saving us, we have to do something. The other problem is the implied notion that there is something more that we must do beyond being brought to eternal life in Jesus Christ our LORD. This is a song of revivalism, which places the emphasis on “what I’m going to do once God moves in me”.

JeremyCampVEVO (Lyric Video)

Lyrics (via K~Love)

Speak to my weary heart
Strengthen my broken parts
Lead me to Your open arms
Word of truth
Illuminate all these lies
The enemy speaks inside
In freedom I will rise

‘Cause You called me out from the grave
So I can live like I’ve been changed
There is a new song in my soul
And it begins
When I breathe in
Your word of life

Spirit of God
Take me to a deeper place
Take me out of what is safe
I will not be afraid
Spirit of God
Fill me with joy again
Springing up from within
It cannot be contained

The old has gone away
Only Your love remains
I am alive today
‘Cause You called me out

Publishing: Only In You Publishing (ASCAP) (admin. at CapitolCMGPublishing.com) / EGH Music Publishing / Be Essential Songs (BMI) (Admin. at EssentialMusicPublishing.com) / Colby Wedgeworth Music / Fair Trade Music Publishing (ASCAP) (Admin. by Music Services)

Writer(s): Written by Jeremy Camp, Ethan Hulse, and Colby Wedgeworth

Discussion

Okay, so let’s begin our discussion with who the intended target audience might be. There are no clear articulations of Law and Gospel, repentance and the forgiveness of sin. There are poetic references to salvation themes, so my guess is that this song is aimed at the weary Christian. So, before we go verse-by-verse, what is it that weary Christians need to hear the most? The clear Gospel of Jesus Christ, preached to them and for them. Which leaves us with a problem… no clear Gospel in this song. There are allusions to Gospel themes, I’ll grant the song as much, but when we are beaten-down and weary, we need clarity, assurance, and rest that can only be found in Christ Jesus.

Verse 1. The first verse is setting up our ‘weary Christian’ target audience. The setup is emotional, which leaves it open to any interpretation of what it means to be a weary Christian. That’s not a problem yet, I just want to acknowledge the writing here. The song opens with a desire for someone to speak directly to the singer’s weary heart. Strengthen my broken parts is vague, but it works lyrically and poetically, so we need to see where this is going. Lead me to Your open arms is also vague, and follows more of the romantic mysticism we get in CCM and Evangelical/Contemporary Worship (CoWo) these days. So, the first three lines have set up the relationship paradigm of understanding our need for a Savior and how we are to relate to Him. It’s a poor picture that relies too heavily on emotionalism rather than the clear Word of Truth we see in Scriptures. While there is a right way of speaking about our relationship with God, this approach brings a lot of baggage with it. What does it mean to be “led into Christ’s open arms”? This relationship metaphor bears a sense of proximity that is unhelpful in understanding Christ, and ultimately has to be turned into an “emotional proximity” which is purely subjective and easily manipulated by circumstance, fatigue, temperature, and disco lights. Christ gave us a Promise in the Great Commission that we need to bear in mind whenever someone tries to invoke the relationship metaphor of needing to be “close to God”.

Matthew 28:19-20 (ESV) Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Christ promised to be with us always, to the end of the age. That’s a promise that remains true whether we feel it or not. As far as a rescue mechanic might go, or “best construction”, we’d have to de-mystify the subjective emotionalism and translate Lead me to Your open arms into “Remind me of Your Gospel”, and understand Speak to my weary heart as something the Holy Spirit does WITH the preaching or reading of the Word of God, not as an appeal for an unmitigated direct revelation experience.

The next line in the song is Word of Truth, which is being treated as a Name of God that can be applied to Christ and the Written Word of God as the Revelation of Christ. I’d like to have it made more explicit, though, God works through the means of His Word to deliver the Grace, Forgiveness, Faith secured for us on the cross. So, we can work to insert this understanding here, that the singer is telling us we need to be in God’s Word looking for the clear Gospel of Jesus Christ for the answer to our weariness and broken parts (I really hope this isn’t a stand-in for sin). The song, however, continues in a mystical/poetic form with the request that the Word of Truth Illuminate all these lies The enemy speaks inside. The best thing we can do with this is to ground it in Scripture and the role of God the Holy Spirit.

John 16:13-15 (ESV) 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.

I really want to highlight what Jesus said of the Holy Spirit, that He will not speak on his own authority. The Holy Spirit testifies and Glorifies the Son, Jesus, our LORD and Savior. The Holy Spirit delivers us faith in Christ Jesus, and He does this primarily through the means of the Preached Word. Romans 10:17 (ESV) So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. The wording of the lies the enemy speaks inside is troublesome. If you have a poor understanding of sin, the “enemy” is only going to be demons, evil spirits, tempting us to sin. But Scripture makes it clear that our very flesh is sinful, constantly desiring to do evil.

Romans 7:21-25 (ESV) 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.

There is a really bad habit with pop evangelicalism of flipping Law and Gospel inside out, they externalize sin (the devil keeps trying to make me do something I don’t truly want to do) and internalize the search for God through our emotional proximity to Him. What we should be doing is recognizing that it is our hearts of flesh that are sinful and tempting us to sin and looking to the external Word of God for His Grace and Forgiveness.

The final line of the verse bothers me, In freedom I will rise. Within the context of this first verse, we have nothing to anchor this line. Rise from what, a weary heart? from the lies of the enemy inside? Is this an appeal to Christ’s Return? The Resurrection? Or is this just a part of the “I can do this” revivalism?

Chorus. ‘Cause You called me out from the grave -yes! So I can live like I’ve been changed -no! I mean, living differently is an outflow of having been granted saving faith and eternal life in Christ Jesus, but it’s not the reason God called us from the grave. We’re still playing around in metaphors in the lyric of the song, so there is the whole matter of the simul, the already and the not-yet. Eternity is the focus, the reason behind Christ calling us from the grave. And He will do it literally for all who fall asleep in Christ in the Resurrection into eternity.

1 Peter 1:3-9 (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. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

The problem of this so being anchored in this temporal life is that it places the focus back onto the believer’s ability to “live a changed life”, it places the focus back onto the law. The Gospel carries us into eternity in Christ Jesus. Don’t let folks turn the Gospel into only a “fresh start” where you’re supposed to finish the rest on your own.

Galatians 5:2-5 (ESV) Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.

Now, I’m not speaking against the notion that our lives should bear fruit. I’m saying that’s not the focus of the Gospel, it is an outflow of the Gospel. Saving Faith will bear fruit because God’s Word has Promised. So love and serve your neighbor, share the Gospel with peace, joy, and thanksgiving. Walk humbly before God in repentance, waiting for the Day of Christ’s return. Don’t make ‘doing good works’ the point of your having been saved. There is a new song in my soul And it begins When I breathe in Your word of life these are words that don’t convey any clear meaning. It’s part of the poetic mysticism, spiritualizing everything leaving it up to the listener to figure out what it means and how to apply this to their own lives. The new song in my soul could be a reference to having regenerate spirits by Grace through Faith in Christ Jesus. If that’s the case, though, the song is there even when we’re run down, weary, and have “broken parts” and even when we feel far away from God. As we discussed earlier, regardless of how we feel, Christ has promised to be with us, so He is. Let’s look at another passage:

Romans 6:3-5 (ESV) Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

The Apostle Paul taught that we are united with Christ’s death and resurrection in our baptism. The reference to “breathing in the word of Life” is a metaphor within a metaphor, that is not really helpful. I think it’s pointing to the Holy Spirit delivering saving Faith to those who are in Christ, but it’s buried several layers deep in metaphor. Lyrically, I think it’s building to the start of the second verse, too.

Verse 2. Spirit of God take me to a deeper place… again with the proximity relationship metaphor thingy. The mystic is always looking for deeply hidden truths, secrets, revelations, etc. The romantic mystic is looking for deeper relationship, connectedness, togetherness, but it always gets internalized emotionally. It also suggest a progression beyond salvation, a constant climbing of some ladder to get to God, to reach that next level of “Christian”. Dear, Christian, stop climbing ladders. Christ has done it all. It is finished. He IS our propitiation, our reconciliation, our adoption into the Kingdom of Heaven has already been won by His Blood. There is no “deeper” in our right-standing with God. It is in Christ, and that is more than enough. Your good works aren’t for God or for your position with Him, they are for your neighbor.

Take me out of what is safe I will not be afraid… Well, we have to deal in the subjective with this metaphorical language, otherwise we’re left wondering, “didn’t this song start out with you being weary and broken? Shouldn’t we stay in a safe place, securely in Christ Jesus?” Frankly, it feels like the start of this verse is an homage to Oceans (where feet may fail). Suddenly, the metaphor is now of our external circumstances, sort of a “get me out of my comfort zone” language to go do good works, don’t be safe, take risks, I will fear no evil sort of stuff. The Gospel is sort of a charging station where you get healed up, and then you’ve gotta get “out there” and “fight the good fight”. It’s a terrible way to consider the Christian Life or what it means to be In Christ Jesus. Christ isn’t just a charging station, He IS our Sabbath Rest, He IS our Salvation, He IS our bulwark, our Shield, our safe place.

The second half of the verse returns to the internalized, emotional metaphor, looking for joy (emotional version) that cannot be contained springing up from within. I cannot help but see this being presented as a condition that follows stepping out of the safe places and not being afraid. It’s the wrong focus. This is Revivalism, folks.

Conclusion

So, I hope I’ve at least explained where I see the problems in this lyric and where we can look in Scripture for a corrective lens. Believers need to be pointed to Christ, not just as an example of what they should be trying to emulate, but as their Savior, their propitiation, their reconciliation, and their Sabbath Rest (Hebrews 4). For now, I’d like to leave you with an encouragement written by the Apostle Paul, to the Colossians.

Colossians 2:6-23 (ESV) Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God. If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

Colossians 3:1-4 (ESV) If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Amen.
In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

DiM | “Christ in Me” by Jeremy Camp

disapproveCCM Radio Edition.

April 21, 2016. Today we’ll be taking a look at “Christ in Me” by Jeremy Camp which currently sits at #16 on the20theCountdownMagazine.

The song had a promising start, but went a bit sideways into a motivational humble-brag. It’s overly man-focused, even though it’s intended point isn’t necessarily objectionable. Giving this song our best construction, and simplest overview, the point Jeremy is trying to make here is that Christ is all we need, and in Christ we should be satisfied. The song is intended to be an anthem for making Christ the only thing that matters to us so that when people look at us they see Christ. The problem is that’s a pale anthem lacking substance in this song. It’s also like having a dream of one day being recognized as the most humble person in the world. It just doesn’t fit. Besides, we already have the Greatest Commandment of the Law, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”… and we don’t keep it. Let’s give the song a listen and read through the lyrics.

Jeremy Camp VEVO (Lyric Video)

 

Lyrics (via Google Play)

In this obsession with the things this world says make us happy
Can’t see the slaves we are in all the searching all the grasping
Like we deserve much more than all these blessing we’re holding
So now I’m running free into an ocean of mercy unending

So come and empty me
So that it’s you I breathe
I want my life to be
Only Christ in me
So I will fix my eyes
‘Cause you’re my source of life
I need the world to see
That it’s Christ in me
That it’s Christ in me

Done with what holds me down the things I once was chasing after
Throw off these heavy chains that I have let become my master
So now I’m running free into an ocean of mercy unending

So come and empty me
So that it’s you I breathe
I want my life to be
Only Christ in me
So I will fix my eyes
‘Cause you’re my source of life
I need the world to see
That it’s Christ in me
That it’s Christ in me

In this obsession with the things this world says make us happy
Can’t see the slaves we are in all the searching all the grasping

So come and empty me
So that it’s you I breathe
I want my life to be
Only Christ in me
So I will fix my eyes
‘Cause you’re my source of life
I need the world to see
Only Christ in me
Only Christ in me
Only Christ in me
Christ in me

Discussion

Verse 1. A bit artistic in its form, but I had high hopes for where this was heading. I’m all for singing about the grind of our post-modern age of business passing for success. Want to sing about the distractions that come with man-made good works and how they rob the Christian of the Rest they can only find in Christ and His finished work on the cross?… I’ll shout, AMEN! I particularly got excited at the third line… I’m all for destroying our post-modern false-sense of entitlement that despises all of the blessings of God in our lives because we’ve been encouraged to covet our neighbor’s wife, house, and possessions. I was excited for a moment. Then the needle slipped across the grooves a bit… running into an ocean of mercy? I thought we were talking about the blessings God had already given us? Maybe he’s going to be pointing us back to the Gospel and is simply being a bit artistic about it.

Chorus. Okay, so now we need Christ to empty us, so that we can Breathe Christ, and the world will see only Christ in me. Okay, so we’re going with the exhale the worldliness and inhale Christ. Fine, I suppose… but we are teetering on the pietist edge here… for our sinfulness is in our flesh. So, as long as we still walk in this fallen world in our fallen flesh, we will struggle with sins in our hearts and in our actions. No amount of zeal or self torture will rid us of our own sinful nature while we are in this life. We will die because of sin… and because Christ paid our debts in full, we will live again in Him… totally and completely free from sin. Hallelujah!

PreachGospelUseGodsWordHere is where we get the bit of a humble-brag. It’s one thing to acknowledge that we need to seek first the Kingdom of God, and not clamor after the things of this world, but it’s a different thing to seek recognition for it. As I said in the intro, while humility is a desirable trait in a Christian, dreaming of becoming so humble that you are recognized for it is self-defeating and misses the point. So there are 2 theologies at work here that I think need to have some light shined on them. First, we have the false notion of “living out the Gospel rather than preaching it”. Like the mis-attributed Francis of Assisi quote. This is that social Gospel concept that hopes that if Christians were just good enough, people would want desperately to “have what we have” and beg us show them “how to be saved”. Brothers and Sisters in Christ… that’s not how Scripture describes Salvation, preaching the Gospel, how the World views Christ, Christians, or the Gospel, nor does it fit with how Jesus said the end times would look. This modern-day fascination with winning souls by our good works is anti-Biblical. The second thing going on in this reflects back to the pietism in the previous paragraph. There are a lot of well-meaning evangelicals who desperately want to be set free from sin, and will do anything to finally accomplish that goal so that they can have the rest. It’s why they engage in such mystical worship, it’s why they “give sacrificially” in hopes of finally getting the rest for their weary souls. It’s why they answer every.sing.altar.call, with tears streaming down their faces, making promise after promise to God that this time they’ll truly change, this time they’ll truly Love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, and mind… because this time they mean it. Such was I for a very long time… and I still struggle with it. Because mysticism infects the soul with inward-centeredness… when the Gospel is external to us. The Gospel isn’t found in our emotions, our actions, or somewhere buried in our hearts waiting to be uncovered… it’s found in God’s Word. The Law is written on our hearts, and it convicts us of our sin (our conscience). Our hearts lie to us. Don’t look to your heart to find answers from God. Look to God’s Word. Look to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is only there where you’ll find rest.

1 Corinthians 15:1-5 (ESV) | The Resurrection of Christ

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

1 Peter 1:3-5 (ESV) | Born Again to a Living Hope

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.

We are saved by faith in the Person and Work of Jesus Christ. Not by our perfection here on earth, not by how the world sees us… but only through Jesus Christ. Which brings me to the final issue with this chorus… the whole “I need the world to see…” No, you don’t. The World needs Christ, yes. Christ must be preached to them. Paul lays this out well in Romans 10.

Romans 10:13-17 (ESV)

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.

They will not all repent. Many will continue to Hate Him. Do we want others to see Christ in us? Absolutely. Is that our focus? No. Our focus is Christ, not on whether or not others see Him in us. How can I say that? Well, I’m speaking in a practical manner. Those who wish to be respected for their knowledge need to focus on actually having knowledge rather than trying to insist on having everyone’s respect for a knowledge they may or may not truly possess. If I want other to look at me and see me as a physically fit, able-bodied man… then I should probably focus more on being physically fit and able-bodied than on putting a good front when in front of other people. On a more academic note, you don’t have any control over how the world sees you. You don’t have any control over how anyone else sees you, much less what they see in you. Your focus shouldn’t be on yourself, and it should be on what you think others see in you. Focus on the Person and Work of Jesus Christ, and preach the Word of Christ to others and to yourself.

The Word of Christ is sorely missing from this song. Verse 2 slides sideways into empty promises or a sort of editorializing of what I’m going to do now to make sure the world sees only Christ in me like we had our own personal commentator or life narrator. The bit of a Bridge almost returns to the one good point in the first verse, but by now we are swimming in a pool of zeal for man-centered righteousness. But it still doesn’t really go anywhere with it. It’s just a couple of lines to break up the chorus repeats.

Rounding out the discussion of this song, even if we liked everything in the song as presented (we don’t) there isn’t anything substantive to the song. The notion of exhaling our sinfulness and inhaling Christ is purely metaphorical and a bit nonsensical. Scriptures don’t ask us to do this… not this way. The Apostle Paul wrote about dying to self and being born again in Christ… and he connected it to our baptism.

Romans 5:20-6:14 (ESV)

Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased,grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

Now, while we live in this life, we who have been baptized are to consider ourselves dead to sin by faith in Christ Jesus. The Promise is real, and we are sealed by God the Holy Spirit. By Faith we know that when our physical bodies finally die, we will be brought to new life in Christ Jesus… for real… a real, bodily resurrection into perfection. By faith we hold onto that promise and even consider ourselves dead to sin already. But we fail, so we return to the waters of our baptism (by faith) and repent, knowing that Christ has forgiven us and has cleansed us from all unrighteousness. This is where confession and absolution plays into the life of a Christian. We screw up… but we are not without hope, because we know that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us.

1 John 1:8-10 (ESV) If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Law and Gospel

A real gem of Lutheran theology is C.W. Walther’s work on Law and Gospel distinctions. When we talk about the need to preach Law and Gospel, we are pointing out that the Word of God has two modes, sometimes separated by scriptures and sometimes the same passage does the work of both… we have the Law of God which convicts us of sin and we have the Gospel which saves us from that sin and the condemnation of it. The Gospel always points to the Person and Work of Jesus Christ. Walther’s work lays out several examples of the types of problems that arise when Law and Gospel get confused or improperly mixed. I encourage you to read through some of the articles and their related lectures or sermons explaining the issues, even if you aren’t Lutheran.

Conclusion

I’d like to see more of a return to scripture in CCM.  Artists seem to think its up to them to invent new ways of being spiritual or new ways of growing in faith… but none of them hold up. We have God’s Word. We don’t need some squishy emotional pep-talk about breathing Christ in when we have the Commandments and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We have the answers, and they are found in God’s Word. So point your listeners to the Word. Point them to Christ by actually proclaiming Christ rather than motivating them to love the idea of pointing to Christ. Again, it is important for each of us to daily consider our lives in light of the 10 Commandments, taking account of areas of weakness and failures (the Law)… but not apart from the Gospel of Jesus Christ… for it is only in the Gospel that we can find forgiveness, rest, and peace with God.

2 Thessalonians 3:16 (ESV)  Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.

In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

DiM | “Same Power” by Jeremy Camp

Today is “Discernment in Music” (DiM) day here at Faithful Stewardship (2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (ESV)).

September 22, 2015. Today we’ll be taking a look at “Same Power” by Jeremy Camp which currently sits at #6 on the KLove top 10 and at #19 on 20theCountdownMagazine.

Overall, this is a good song of encouragement for those saints who are solidly grounded in the Faith. This song is aimed at reminding saints of who they are in Christ Jesus. However, there is some vague wording used in the song that can be co-opted by bad teaching. The song does not stand on its own. We’ll do what we can to give it our best construction, but it falls to the listener to maintain a proper doctrinal understanding.

Jeremy Camp VEVO Lyric Video

Lyrics (via KLove)

Same Power

I can see
Waters raging at my feet
I can feel
The breath of those surrounding me
I can hear
The sound of nations rising up
We will not be overtaken
We will not be overcome

I can walk
Down this dark and painful road
I can face
Every fear of the unknown
I can hear
All God’s children singing out
We will not be overtaken
We will not be overcome

The same power that rose Jesus from the grave
The same power that commands the dead to wake
Lives in us, lives in us
The same power that moves mountains when He speaks
The same power that can calm a raging sea
Lives in us, lives in us
He lives in us, lives in us

We have hope
That His promises are true
In His strength
There is nothing we can’t do
Yes, we know
There are greater things in store
We will not be overtaken
We will not be overcome

The same power that rose Jesus from the grave
The same power that commands the dead to wake
Lives in us, lives in us
The same power that moves mountains when He speaks
The same power that can calm a raging sea
Lives in us, lives in us
He lives in us, lives in us

Greater is He that is living in me
He’s conquered our enemy
No power of darkness
No weapon prevails
We stand here in victory

The same power that rose Jesus from the grave
The same power that commands the dead to wake
Lives in us, lives in us
The same power that moves mountains when He speaks
The same power that can calm a raging sea
Lives in us, lives in us
He lives in us, lives in us

Publishing: © 2015 Stolen Pride Music (ASCAP) (admin. at CapitolCMGPublishing.com) / Sony ATV Timber Publishing / Open Hands Music (SESAC) (Admin. by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC)
Writer(s): Jeremy Camp and Jason Ingram

Discussion

Let us get the basics out of the way. This song does not clearly identify its target audience as saints, repentant sinners forgiven by grace through faith. That is a problem because the Truth is that unbelievers are NOT indwelt by the “same power” this song is singing about. This song offers nothing to the unbeliever. There is no Law and no call to repentance.

Okay, so specific to this song is the fixation on the “power” that lives within us. One of the primary concerns I have with evangelicalism today is the tendency to divorce the power of God from God Himself. In this weekend’s podcast, I got stuck in a bit of a Star Wars analogy, where people get caught up in treating God the Holy Spirit like “the Force” and faith like midichlorians… the more midichlorians in your system, the better you hear “the Force”.  I am not accusing Jeremy Camp of this error, but the song lyrics are just vague enough for such an approach to theology to embrace this song as one of their own.

I believe that the chorus of this song is intended to reflect what Paul was writing in Romans 8.

Romans 8:1-11 (ESV) | Life in the Spirit

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 ishostile 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.

Now, there are a couple of times when the song uses the pronoun “He” referring to the “Same Power” that is living in us. It is in there, so I’m confident of Jeremy Camp’s doctrine here. My concern is that it is a little subtle for an industry flooded in aberrant mysticism and panentheism.

The Power of God cannot be separated from God. It’s not like how we think of our own strength being tied to energy, because we grow weary, we grow tired, and we have to grow in strength. God Is Power. In physics, power is defined as the ability to do work. Let us look at how the Apostle Paul references the Power of God.

Romans 1:16-17 (ESV) | The Righteous Shall Live by Faith

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

1 Corinthians 1:18-31 (ESV) | Christ the Wisdom and Power of God

18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
    and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 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.27 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; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

Amen. This is what it means to say that He lives within us, those who believe in Christ Jesus. We are not only made alive in Christ Jesus by the Power of the Spirit of God, but we are also stewards of the Power of God, for we have the word of the cross, we preach Christ crucified, for only by hearing the Word of Christ can anyone be granted saving faith.

Conclusion

With a firm grasp on what the Bible teaches is the power of God, and that it isn’t something separate from God, this song is indeed a helpful reminder to the body of Christ. I hope we’ve been able to share some insight into the scriptures today. In parting, I’d like to share a portion of John 14:

John 14:23-31 (ESV)

23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. 25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 28 You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. 30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, 31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.

Amen.
In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

DiM | “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know”

trebleclefMy children love music. They love to have mommy and daddy sing for them at bedtime. One of their favorite songs, is “Jesus Loves Me”. I thought we’d spend some time today looking at the song’s origins and exercising some Biblical Discernment.

This song began as a song written for a child, so it is fitting that we consider it a children’s hymn to this day. The content of this song, however, is well worth heading as adults. It seems so much easier to proclaim the love of Jesus to the world than it is to accept it for myself. I don’t think I’m alone in that.

Luke 18:15-17 (ESV) | Let the Children Come to Me

15 Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 17 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

Performed by Johnny Cash

[youtube https://youtu.be/6JxCgo6iPrg]

Written by Anna Bartlett Warner (1860)

For a little background on her, let’s look to the quick bio found in CyberHymnal.com:

Anna’s father was Henry Warner, a wealthy New York City lawyer. When he lost most of his fortune in the 1837 depression, the family was forced to move to their summer home (Good Craig) on Con­sti­tu­tion Island in the Hudson Riv­er. It was then that Anna and her sis­ter Su­san be­gan writ­ing to earn mon­ey. They al­so con­duct­ed Bi­ble class­es for ca­dets at the near­by Mil­i­tary Acad­e­my at West Point. In mem­o­ry of her, the Acad­e­my’s Con­sti­tu­tion Is­land Asso­ci­a­tion man­ag­es the War­ner’s is­land prop­er­ty as an his­tor­ic site.

When Susan was writing a novel, Say and Seal, she asked her sister, Anna, to write a song that the doctor could sing to a sick boy. The following appeared in that novel on pages 115-116.

Jesus loves me—this I know,
For the Bible tells me so;
Little ones to him belong,—
They are weak, but he is strong.

Jesus loves me—He who died
Heaven’s gate to open wide;
He will wash away my sin,
Let His little child come in.

Jesus loves me—loves me still,
Though I’m very weak and ill;
From his shining throne on high,
Comes to watch me where I lie.

Jesus loves me—he will stay,
Close beside me all the way.
Then his little child will take,
Up to heaven for his dear sake.

The Refrain added by William Bradbury (1862)

Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

Discussion

This wonderful song conveys to children a high view of the Bible and of the Love of Jesus. That He died so that we might enter Heaven, our sing having been washed away. He loves us in our weakness, and is with us to comfort us, and to take us home for His sake. The song isn’t promising “sunshine and lollipops” here on earth. It was, after all, written as a song of comfort to a dying boy in a novel. The folks at HymnTime.com record the following testimony of the song:

The Rev. Dr. Jacob Chamberlain, who for many years has been working among the Hindus, writes as follows regarding this hymn, long one of the most popular children’s songs in the world: “Many years ago I translated into Telegu the children’s hymn, ‘Jesus loves me’ and taught it to the children of our day-school. Scarcely a week later, as I was going through the narrow streets of the native town on horseback, I heard singing that sounded natural, down a side street. I stopped to listen, cautiously drawing up to the corner, where unobserved I could look down the street and see and hear. And there was a little heathen boy, with heathen men and women standing around him, singing away at the top of his voice: ‘Jesus loves me this I know…’

As he completed the verse some one asked the question: ‘Sonny, where did you learn that song?’ ‘Over at the Missionary School,’ was the answer. ‘Who is that Jesus, and what is the Bible?’ ‘Oh! the Bible is the book from God, they say, to teach us how to get to heaven, and Jesus is the name of the divine Redeemer that came into the world to save us from our sins; that is what the missionaries say.’ ‘Well, the song is a nice one. Come, sing us some more.’ And so the little boy went on—a heathen himself, and singing to the heathen—about Jesus and his love. ‘That is preaching the Gospel by proxy,’ I said to myself, as I turned my pony and rode away, well satisfied to leave my little proxy to tell his interested audience all he himself knew, and sing to them over and over that sweet song of salvation.”

Sankey, pp. 179-80

Such a great story of the impact a children’s hymn can have in sharing the Gospel.

John 3:16-21 (ESV) For God So Loved the World

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 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. 18 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. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

John 14:27-29 (ESV)

27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 28 You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe.

Amen. When our children are young, the first lesson they need to know down deep inside is that they are loved. They will process what it means to be loved by Jesus by first considering what it means to be loved my Mom and Dad. I am such a poor example of Christ’s love for my dear sweet children, but I will preach, teach, and sing of His love for them until the Day of His return. And I really need to get better about singing the rest of the verses.

In closing, I thought I might share a fun little acoustic Blues version performed by Jeremy Camp at a private concert. A Christian Radio station held a local contest of some sort and the prize was spending time with Jeremy Camp. I hope you enjoy it.

Jeremy Camp does a Blues Version

[youtube https://youtu.be/dpO8rY4VmeM]

In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

DiM | “He Knows” by Jeremy Camp

Today is “Discernment in Music” (DiM) day here at Faithful Stewardship (2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (ESV)).

It is good to be back on this DiM Tuesday, the first of 2015. Not a lot of new music in the 20theCountdownMagazine chart, so today we’ll be taking a look at the #8 slot, “He Knows” by Jeremy Camp. Today will be the first we time we take a look at a Jeremy Camp song.

This is a good song of encouragement for sinners that God isn’t ignorant to our sins, nor our struggles, hurts, pains, or fears. By sinners, I’m including Christians. We often hear of God’s omniscience as something to fear as in “God is not mocked”, but it is also a point of comfort for the believer. He Knows, so your confession isn’t to surprise and disappoint Him, it’s to seek His forgiveness, as promised by the Blood of Christ.

Music Videos

VEVO Lyric Video

VEVO Acoustic Video

VEVO “Behind the Music” Video

Lyrics via K-Love

He Knows
Jeremy Camp
from the album He Knows

All the bitter weary ways
endless striving day by day
you barely have the strength to pray
in the valley low

how hard your fight has been
how deep the pain within
wounds that no one else has seen
hurts too much to show

all the doubt you’re standing in between
And all the weight that brings you to your knees

HE KNOWS, HE KNOWS
EVERY HURT AND EVERY STING
HE HAS WALKED THE SUFFERING
HE KNOWS, HE KNOWS
LET YOUR BURDENS COME UNDONE
LIFT YOUR EYES UP TO THE ONE
WHO KNOWS
HE KNOWS

we may faint and we may sink
feel the pain and near the brink
but the dark begins to shrink
when you find the one who knows

the chains of doubt that held you in between
one by one are starting to break free

every time that you feel forsaken
every time that you feel alone
He is near to the broken hearted
every tear
He knows…

Publishing: © 2014 Capitol CMG Genesis / Stolen Pride Music (ASCAP) (Admin. at CapitolCMGPublishing.com) / CentricSongs / 2 Hour Songs (SESAC) (Admin. at Music Services)
Writer(s): Jeremy Camp and Seth Mosley

Positive Elements

As mentioned in the introduction to this post, this is a wonderful reminder of the comfort we have in the omniscience of God. He knows. Too often we hear the law-heavy exhortation plucked out of its context:

Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.

Now let’s look at this verse in its context:

Galatians 6:1-10 (ESV) | Bear One Another’s Burdens
6 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. 5 For each will have to bear his own load.

6 Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. 7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Okay, so now that is out of the way, let’s move on with this song. Jeremy provides a good foundation for the purpose/intent behind the song in the interview above. Let’s look to the Word to expand on the ideas he presented.

John 11:28-37 (ESV)28 When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 29 And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jewswho were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32 Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. 34 And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept. 36 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?”

I encourage you to read the full chapter, because Jesus knew that everything was being done for God’s glory. He told His disciples that they were going to raise Lazarus from the dead. This was going to be a demonstration/confirmation that Jesus is indeed the Resurrection and the Life. Still, He was moved in His spirit, and He wept. There was much pain and confusion surrounding the death of Lazarus, and the Children of God were hurting from the loss as well as confused as to how God would allow such a death. Jesus did raise Lazarus for a season (Lazarus would die later, as all men do), and not too far in the future His disciples would have to endure the death of Jesus Christ on a cross. He knows. Moving forward a bit in time, let us look at Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Matthew 26:36-46 (ESV) 36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” 40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”

Without sinning, Jesus met sorrow, even to death. He knows first-hand the weakness of the flesh, without ever succumbing to sin. He knows… even more than any of us can know in this life. By His Blood, my brothers and sisters in Christ will never taste the full brunt of the wrath of God poured out on us for our sin. He bore that price on our behalf, He drank of that cup, He laid down His life on our behalf. Looking at that underlined statement Jesus made, “sleep and take your rest later on”, notice how He is separating sleep and rest. What does this mean? For this answer, let us look to the second passage Jeremy Camp referenced, Hebrews 4. Only to better understand the rest of which Jesus referred, let us begin in chapter 3.

Hebrews 3  (ESV) | Jesus Greater Than Moses
1 Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, 2 who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house. 3 For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. 4 (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) 5 Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, 6 but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.

7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,

“Today, if you hear his voice,
8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
on the day of testing in the wilderness,
9 where your fathers put me to the test
and saw my works for forty years.
10 Therefore I was provoked with that generation,
and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart;
they have not known my ways.’
11 As I swore in my wrath,
 ‘They shall not enter my rest.’

12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. 15 As it is said,

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

16 For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

Hebrews 4  (ESV)
1 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. 2 For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. 3 For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said,

“As I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter my rest,’”

although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” 5 And again in this passage he said,

“They shall not enter my rest.”

6 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, 7 again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted,

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.”

8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. 9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.

11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Amen. He knows. Your confession of sin isn’t about revealing to God a disappointment He didn’t know about already, it’s about agreeing with Him about your sin, your temptation, your weakness and placing your faith in His Word, in His Son, for the forgiveness of sin. “Please forgive me, Lord, for I am a sinner”.

Luke 18:9-14 (ESV) | The Pharisee and the Tax Collector
9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee,standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

He knows… and our humble confession and repentance is true worship.

Concerns

The one concern in this song is that it doesn’t complete the thought. “Lift your eyes up to the One who knows” isn’t clear enough to indicate confession and repentance to anyone except a Christian who is well established in the Faith.

Luke 24:44-49 (ESV)  44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

This song also carries with it the typical burden of antinomianism, meaning the accusation that those who preach “free grace” are often accused of being “soft on sin”. This is a false-accusation, but one that rears its ugly head often, especially from those who hold to a works-based salvation (such as Roman Catholicism according to the Council of Trent). We preach Law and Gospel together, not holding one above the other, understanding that Christ is the fulfillment of the Law and His blood atones for our failure to uphold the law since Adam, and this entire message is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Conclusion

I am a fan of this song, it is a welcomed comfort for all who struggle with sin (every Christian). He knows, so confess your sins to Him and be forgiven by Grace, through faith, which you received from God when you heard the Word of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-24 (ESV) | Final Instructions and Benediction
12 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

Amen.
In Christ Jesus,
Jorge