Monday, November 12, 2007

Wonderful Grace of Jesus

A few weeks ago we sang the hymn "Wonderful Grace of Jesus" at our church. I had never heard it before, and was blown away by the content of the song. I encourage you to meditate on it. Don't skip over the refrain, read it each time it comes up. My favorite part is where it says, "Broader than the scope of my transgressions, Greater far than all my sin and shame." It reminds me of 1 Tim 1:12-17 where Paul talks about his life before he was a believer. He describes himself as a "violent aggressor" (1:13) and then calls himself the "worst of sinners" (1:15). Paul definitely was the worst of sinners. So many people try to identify with Paul in this, but to do so would be a mistake. In a sense, Paul is setting himself up not as an example of the power of God's grace and patience, but as the example of God's grace and patience. Let me ask you a question, Have you killed hundreds upon hundreds of men, women, and children because they bear the name of Christ? Have you, like Sadam Huessien and Hitler, filled mass graves of those you have slaughtered? Before you were a believer, were Christians afraid of losing their lives when you came to town? Don't get all doctrinal on me and say, "Total depravity! My heart is just as black as Paul's was." In a theological sense this may be true, but here Paul is not referring to the doctrine of total depravity (sometimes we tend to over theologize passages and end up missing the main message of it). Paul is setting himself up as the "worst of sinners." Paul's rebellion against God went so deep that he was actually torturing and killing Christians by the droves. AND YET! he says, "the grace of our Lord was more than abundant" (1:14). What a wonderful example we have in Paul. God's grace was not merely sufficient to cover his sins, it was "more than abundant." It more than covered his sins. If it more than covered Paul's sins, could it not more than cover your's as well? Surely if God's grace is more than abundant to cover the sins of mass murderer, it is more than abundant to cover your sins as well! What is your response to this news concerning God's abundant grace? Look at how Paul responds to it, "Now to the King, eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever, Amen" (1:17).

Wonderful Grace of Jesus

Wonderful grace of Jesus, greater than all my sin;
How shall my tongue describe it, where shall its praise begin?
Taking away my burden, setting my spirit free,
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me!


REFRAIN: Wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus,
Deeper than the mighty rolling sea;
Higher than the mountain, sparkling like a fountain,
All-sufficient grace for even me;
Broader than the scope of my transgressions,
Greater far than all my sin and shame;
O magnify the precious name of Jesus, praise His name!

Wonderful grace of Jesus, reaching to all the lost,
By it I have been pardoned, saved to the uttermost;
Chains have been torn asunder, giving me liberty,
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me!

REFRAIN: Wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus,
Deeper than the mighty rolling sea;
Higher than the mountain, sparkling like a fountain,
All-sufficient grace for even me;
Broader than the scope of my transgressions,
Greater far than all my sin and shame;
O magnify the precious name of Jesus, praise His name!

Wonderful grace of Jesus, reaching the most defiled,
By its transforming power, making him God’s dear child.
Purchasing peace and heaven for all eternity;
And the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me!

REFRAIN: Wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus,
Deeper than the mighty rolling sea;
Higher than the mountain, sparkling like a fountain,
All-sufficient grace for even me;
Broader than the scope of my transgressions,
Greater far than all my sin and shame;
O magnify the precious name of Jesus, praise His name!

2 comments:

Pastor Luke said...

Jimmy,

Other than it's rednecked hick-like tune, I love it!!! We have sang it quite a bit at SGCC and used to sing it at FBCL. I would like to see our Sovereign Grace friends remake it in a more contemporary version.

Jessy said...

we sing that at our church a lot- it's one of the mst requested. Do you sing the upbeat version with the men's and women's parts?