Wednesday, April 27, 2011


"Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs ..." Col. 3:16

As we wrap up our Sunday morning series in Titus, "Beautiful Doctrine",  we come back full circle in Titus 3:14 with a reminder that our lives/actions are to "adorn" the doctrines that we teach. Paul makes it abundantly clear that we are to be sound in doctrine and then he challenges us to live in ways that show the beauty of the truth of God. There are, of course, many ways to do this - one way that I have been considering is through singing and through writing songs. Colossians makes a very direct connection between the truth of God in His Word and the expression of that through songs of many kinds.

I have been studying the Puritans for some time now - they give a great deal of attention to teaching, doctrine and duty - things we see in Titus. They are sometimes accused of not "adorning" their doctrine - that it is often "cold" and lacking in "heart" and grace. I have discovered that a wealth of hymns flowed out of the Puritan's and those that followed them and not just from "hymn writers" but from the preachers and theologians. Richard Baxter wrote several wonderful songs. Philip Doddridge, who wrote "The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul" and was known for his writing and preaching (William Wilberforce came to faith through his book), wrote over 400 hymns! Even John Bunyan wrote a hymn found in many of our old hymn books.

When God's Word deeply touches our hearts, when we let it work its way through the hard places, when we hear His truth and embrace it, preach it and stand unwavering upon it - what is the external result? Well one result should be an outpouring of songs! Pastor's should not just be teachers - they ought  to be singers and hymn writes as well!!! Songs that adorn doctrine and ultimately lift up Jesus ought to be on the lips of all of us.

William Gadsby (1773-1844) was known as a preacher (he preached over 12,000 sermons!), unwavering in the doctrines that he held; but that wasn't all - songs flowed from his heart as well. He compiled a hymn book and contributed over 150 songs of his own. May we be people of absolute truth, sound in doctrine and full of music and songs about our Savior.

Jesus, the Lord, My Savior
By William Gadsby
(updated by Sandra McCracken)

1. Jesus, the Lord, my Savior is,
My Shepherd, and my God;
My light, my strength, my joy, my bliss;
And I His grace record.

2. Whate’er I need in Jesus dwells,
And there it dwells for me;
’Tis Christ my earthen vessel fills
With treasures rich and free.

Chorus: Mercy and truth and righteousness,
And peace, most richly meet
In Jesus Christ, the King of grace,
In Whom I stand complete.

3. As through the wilderness I roam,
His mercies I’ll proclaim;
And when I safely reach my home,
I’ll still adore His name.

4. “Worthy the Lamb,” shall be my song,
“For He for me was slain;”
And me with all the heavenly throng
Shall join, and say, “Amen.”

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