Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Can It Be?

I love sacred music. What I mean is the old hymns, not CCM. The old hymns have substance to them that other music lacks. The are filled with the beautiful language of the Bible, and it's precepts. Sacred hymns are like a meat and potatoes experience in music. If you feel moved from an old hymn, it is because you are actually paying attention to the words and meaning and getting solid truths. More contemporary music plays more on one's emotions. This can be found in the beat, or how the chords are used to make a more emotional experience, based on feelings. The words are watered down phrases from Christianity, or chants repeated over and over. It is basically just so much "fluff". I'm a meat and potatoes type of gal, so I'll pass over the CCM, and sink my heart and soul into some good godly music.

The Days of Praise has little devotionals on sacred music from time to time. For the last couple of days it has been focusing on "And Can It Be?"

"Christ also suffered for us... Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." (1 Peter 2:21-24)

Those who love good church music have come to love Charles Wesly's commitment to and knowledge of his Savior and the Scriptures, for he wove into his music and poetry deep insights which challenge and thrill us even today. One of his hymns, "And Can It Be That I Should Gain?", has unfortunately been abridged in modern hymnals. The original five verses are expressed:

And can it be that I should gain,
An interest in the Savior's blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him, to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That thou, my God, should'st die for me?

Even the Old Testament saints wondered why God loves man so. "What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him?" (Job 7:17). The New Testament contains many similar expressions of wonder. "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God" (1 John 3:1). "God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,... And not only so, but we also joy in the God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have received in the atonement" (Romans 5:8-11).

The point is we were desperate sinners deserving His wrath. "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love (i.e. 'amazing love) wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)" (Ephesians 2:4-5)

(Note: The above quotes were taken from Days of Praise, written by John D. Morris, Ph.D.)

To Be Continued.....

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