The Gospel in Song

I plan to begin a “So Great a Salvation” (Hebrews 2:3) sermon series on Sunday, May 8, Lord willing.  I will preach five sermons from five great salvation texts in the Bible: Matthew 1:21; John 3:16; Acts 16:30-31; Romans 10:9-10; Ephesians 2:8-9.  I am so excited to proclaim the gospel from these texts!

I love gospel-centered hymns and songs, both old and new.  Charles Wesley’s “Arise, My Soul Arise” and “And Can It Be That I Should Gain?” rank among my favorites.  There are some new ones that I appreciate too.  For instance, “His Robes for Mine” is one that I really enjoy.  The text contains rich theology.  The tune has a pleasant, thankful, and majestic mood.  Here’s the text:

His robes for mine: O wonderful exchange!
Clothed in my sin, Christ suffered ‘neath God’s rage.
Draped in His righteousness, I’m justified.
In Christ I live, for in my place He died.

I cling to Christ, and marvel at the cost:
Jesus forsaken, God estranged from God.
Bought by such love, my life is not my own.
My praise-my all-shall be for Christ alone.

His robes for mine: what cause have I for dread?
God’s daunting Law Christ mastered in my stead.
Faultless I stand with righteous works not mine,
Saved by my Lord’s vicarious death and life.

His robes for mine: God’s justice is appeased.
Jesus is crushed, and thus the Father’s pleased.
Christ drank God’s wrath on sin, then cried “‘Tis done!”
Sin’s wage is paid; propitiation won.

His robes for mine: such anguish none can know.
Christ, God’s beloved, condemned as though His foe.
He, as though I, accursed and left alone;
I, as though He, embraced and welcomed home!

Another modern song that expresses the gospel in its simplicity is “The Gospel Song” put out by Sovereign Grace Music, originally written for teaching the gospel simply but accurately to a child, which you’ll catch in the tune.  Here’s the uncomplicated but marvelous gospel text:

Holy God, in love, became
Perfect man to bear my blame
On the cross he took my sin
By his death I live again

I hope your meditations on the glorious evangel will be sweet and motivating as you seek to “proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” by the gospel (1 Peter 2:9).  May it never cease to be “of first importance” in our lives, in our preaching, and in our churches (1 Corinthians 15:3).


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