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On the Singing of Hymns and Giving of Mercy November 17, 2006

Posted by Joe in Random Musings.


Thanks so much for your last post. We could probably use more hymns on the blog don’t you think? Well, I suppose we could use more hymns throughout the whole of our lives. There is such a richness and depth to them, so much more so than many of the popular ‘worship’ songs now days. I might sound to some like I am 50 years old or something, reminiscing on the old days, but my point is not about the style or the tradition.

The tradition itself is important, of course, but I believe our lack of hymn singing exposes something that must be touched upon. For most of the older hymns were written and sung in order to train people in the faith. Naturally then, the conviction of the writers was that biblical truth was the means of justification and sanctification. The truths of Scripture were (and are) the means by which God saved (and saves) His people and preserved (and preserves) His people. Don’t you think that our movement towards repetitious, meditative one-liners might expose our lack of conviction in regards to the centrality and importance of Bible doctrine? I think it might. We don’t realize how vital it is to know the truth and thus, sing the truth. May the Lord grant us mercy.

With that being said, I would like to make a smooth transition into the showing of mercy. What shall I use? O yea, how about the gospel! Referring back to your first post on “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.” we have to opint to the reality that it is only through a knowledge of the gospel (there’s a little reference back to my introductory stuff right?) that we can become people of mercy. And by knowledge I, of course, do not mean a mere intellectual notion of the gospel, but a real, heart-felt experience of it. A saving knowledge is the real need. The only mercy that is real and authentic is mercy that flows from mercy received. The vertical precedes the horizontal. We cannot give what we do not possess. We can only become people of mercy by first receiving mercy from our great and holy God. And our only hope is through the gospel!

You are right. We are by no means a gospel-centered people. We aren’t sadly, a gospel-centered blog. Let’s change that by God’s grace. For what other hope do we have for our justification or our sanctification, but the cross of Jesus Christ? No hope. Only by His blood can we approach the Holy One. Only because of His substitutionary death can we be counted righteous and grow in righteousness. A day is wasted when it is not grounded upon the gospel. We lose our moments when we lose focus on the substitutionary work of Jesus Christ. Those who show most mercy are those who receive most mercy. Those who have been forgiven little love little, but those who have been forgiven much, love much, Jesus said.

But don’t you think it is worth clarifying a bit? Those who recognize how much they have been forgiven–how much mercy they have received–grow in the giving of mercy. We are emptier than we realize. We are more sinful than we realize. The more we come to understand how bankrupt we are, the more we can appreciate and rejoice in the work of our Savior. And then, the more we can serve others–in mercy–for the sake of His name. May the Lord grant us grace to stay fixed on the Author and Perfecter of our faith.

Seeking to behold Him through His glorious gospel,




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