Grace

Grace Alone - June 2019

Have you ever considered why jewelers show diamonds against a black cloth? Six years ago when God, in His great kindness, convinced Emily to marry me, I went shopping for her engagement ring. So my cousin, RUF campus minister, and I head on down to a jewelry store in downtown Atlanta. After telling him what I’m there for, the jeweler escorts us to his diamond case. All I can say is “wow!” I mean, these things are magnificent, each one sparkling brightly when the light strikes it at just the right angle. Picking out a few to take a closer look, he does something really interesting and places them on a black velvet cloth. This allows each diamond to not only sparkle all the brighter but gives us a chance to really catch all the detailed intricacies of what makes it so captivating.

It’s kind of like that with the Gospel. How beautiful is the good news that sinners can be reconciled to a holy God through the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ? But when seen against the black stark backdrop of sin, the beauty of the Gospel shines all the brighter!

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You begin to see all the detailed intricacies of what it means that Christ gave His life for us. You can truly appreciate and glory in the grace of God to even allow sinners to approach a holy God through our great Savior. And you come to realize that Salvation is only ever by grace alone through faith alone, and not by anything you could ever do to earn it. In fact, you learn how inwardly (and often outwardly) you were running from God, and all along, it was God who moved you, by His Spirit, to believe and trust in Jesus. More personally, you learn how the Gospel can be applied to each aspect of your life, like a healing balm on your darkest areas of sin, and empower you to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.

We must talk about sin because it makes the cross of Christ appear all the more glorious. And we must talk about grace because it increases all the more our view of God’s glory and sovereignty.

How much theology can be packed into a single song? In Grace Alone, Dustin Kensrue helps us look at the beauty of the Gospel against the backdrop of our sin. Notice the Father, Son, and Spirit progression as we explore the sweet doctrine of Salvation by grace alone.


Grace Alone

Written by Dustin Kensrue

Lyrics:

I was an orphan lost at the fall
Running away when I'd hear you call
But Father you worked your will
I had no righteousness of my own
I had no right to draw near your throne
But Father you loved me still

And in love before you laid the world's foundation
You predestined to adopt me as your own
You have raised me up so high above my station
I'm a child of God by grace and grace alone

You left your home to seek out the lost
You knew the great and terrible cost
But Jesus your face was set
I worked my fingers down to the bone
But nothing I did could ever atone
But Jesus you paid my debt

By Your blood I have redemption and salvation
Lord you died that I might reap what you have sown
And you rose that I might be a new creation
I am born again by grace and grace alone

I was in darkness all of my life
I never knew the day from the night
But Spirit you made me see
I thought I knew the way on my own
Head full of rocks a heart made of stone
But Spirit you moved in me

And at your touch my sleeping spirit was awakened
On my darkened heart the light of Christ has shone
Called into a kingdom that cannot be shaken
Heaven's citizen by grace and grace alone

So I'll stand in faith by grace and grace alone
I will run the race by grace and grace alone
I will slay my sin by grace and grace alone
I will reach the end by grace and grace alone

© 2013 Dead Bird Theology, It's All About Jesus Music,
We Are Younger We Are Faster Music | CCLI License # 193208


Come Thou Fount - Sep 2018

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

- 1 Corinthians 13:12


This is one of the tried and true hymns of the church, sung by generation after generation. These beautifully poetic lyrics express a heart-felt dependence on the Lord for what He’s done, what He’s doing, and what He will do (Phil 1:6). Though this world seeks to pull us away from God, the good news of the Gospel is that Jesus has drawn us close, decisively securing our place as God’s children, redeemed by His blood (John 10:28).

Do you feel apathetic towards worshipping with God’s people? Ask for God to “tune your heart to sing His grace.” Do you doubt God’s goodness towards you? Look back and remember what Christ has done. Do you feel your heart wandering? Throw yourself on the mercy and grace of our good God. Believe the promise, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8).

A few years ago, I came across this lesser known 4th verse and immediately fell in love with it! Taking us on a journey as many of our hymns do, this final verse turns our affections towards the future, our heavenly hope in Christ. No longer will we suffer the stain of sin. No longer will we be prone to wander. No longer will we ache with pain. For will see the Lord face to face, with renewed hearts, worshipping in His presence (1 Cor 13:12). Oh, what joy! Indeed, come Thou Fount of every blessing.

What’s that word mean?

Ebenezer – “stone of help” from 1 Sam 7:12, a declaration and remembrance of God’s divine help

Interposed – to place in between, Jesus’ blood shields us from the righteous wrath of God

Fetter – A chain of restraint, expressing the desire for God’s grace to keep us ever so near to Him

Come Thou Fount

Written in 1758 by Robert Robinson
(4th Verse added by Bradford J. Brown)

Lyrics:

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy, never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above
Praise the mount, I'm fixed upon it
Mount of Thy redeeming love

Here I raise my Ebenezer
Hither by Thy help I come
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home
Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood

Oh, to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be
Let Thy grace, Lord, like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart, oh, take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above

Oh, that day when freed from sinning
I shall see Thy lovely face
Full arrayed in the blood washed linen
How I'll sing Thy sovereign grace
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry
Take my ransomed soul away
Send Thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day

© Public Domain