During the month of September, the first part of the fall sermon series on spiritual renewal will focus on the gospel of Jesus as the foundation for our spiritual life. At the 8:30 and 9:45 services, we will sing a new song, “Before the Throne of God Above,” to celebrate the person and work of Jesus that is the heart and hope of all spiritual renewal. This old hymn text set to a modern tune enables us to sing of both the past work of Jesus in dying and rising to free us from sin’s guilt and power and also of the present work of the risen Jesus that gives us access to God and the strongest assurance of God’s forgiveness and powerful presence in our lives. Because he is our “great high priest whose name is love,” and because our names are “graven on his hands” and “written on his heart,” we can sing with confidence, “one with himself I cannot die….my life is hid with Christ on high with Christ my Savior and my God.” The Chancel Choir has learned an arrangement of this song in four-part harmony to sing with the congregation, and their musical leadership will add even greater glory to an already beautiful melody.
These biblical themes and images continue to drive home the practical relevance of the recent sermon series on the book of Revelation. In Revelation, we read that Jesus is the risen Lamb who leads us in worship before the heavenly throne of God the Father. This fall, we will be reminded that the heavenly ministry of Jesus as our great high priest is not only a hope for our future but also the basis upon which we live, worship, and serve God every day in the present.
Before the Throne of God Above (audio)
Text: Charitie Lees Bancroft 1863
Tune: Vikki Cook 1997; © 1997 Sovereign Grace Worship
1. Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea,
a great high priest whose name is love,
who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on his hands;
my name is written on his heart.
I know that while in heav’n he stands
no tongue can bid me thence depart,
no tongue can bid me thence depart.
2. When Satan tempts me to despair
and tells me of the guilt within
upward I look and see him there,
who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
my sinful soul is counted free
for God the just is satisfied
to look on him and pardon me,
to look on him and pardon me.
3. Behold him there the risen Lamb,
my perfect spotless righteousness,
the great unchangeable I Am,
the King of glory and of grace.
One with himself I cannot die;
my soul is purchased by his blood.
My life is hid with Christ on high
with Christ my Savior and my God,
with Christ my Savior and my God.