Songs of Meaning
Dear Church Family,
I can hardly wait to worship God with you on Sunday. On this coming Lord’s Day, we’re singing two songs that address one common theological theme: the victory over sin enjoyed by those who are in Christ.
One song, Rock of Ages, says so beautifully, “Let the water and the blood, from Thy wounded side which flowed, be of sin the double cure, save from wrath and make me pure.”
Here’s what that means: those who are alive in Christ, through faith in the gospel, have been freed from two things: one, the condemnation of sin. Sin does not determine our status before God; we are no longer under God’s wrath. We have been bought with a price, redeemed by Christ’s precious blood that “flowed from his wounded side.” We have been forgiven and adopted into God’s family, regardless of what we’ve done in the past or will do in the future. We’ve been declared righteous before God because of Christ.
We’ve also been liberated from the tyranny of sin. Hence the “double cure” that the blood of Jesus provides. Sin is no longer our master. The Apostle Paul says: “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin” (Romans 6:3).
Of course, this doesn’t mean that our battle against sin is over. Far from it. Sin no longer reigns in us (as master) but it does survive in us (as “the flesh”). In other words, as long as we remain in these bodies, the residue of indwelling sin will be present. Even after God saves us, there is no part of us that becomes totally sin-free: we remain sinful and imperfect. Every part of us is affected. Consequently, our struggle with sin remains.
Nevertheless, as biblical scholar Anthony Hoekema says: “To be sure, we cannot attain sinless perfection in this life. But our continuing imperfection does not give us an excuse for irresponsible living nor imply that we may just stop trying to do what is pleasing to God.”
In fact, to struggle is a good thing. It is a sign of spiritual life! And the good news is: when we depend on Jesus to do what is pleasing to God, we are aided by the power of Christ, which is infinitely greater than the power of sin. As another song we’re going to sing this week, Stronger, makes clear about Jesus: “You are stronger, You are stronger, Sin is broken, You have saved me, It is written, Christ is risen, Jesus You are Lord of all.”
Even though we will still yield to temptation and give in to sin, because of this baggage of the flesh, at any moment we can cry out to God for the strength to resist temptation, and He answers through the Holy Spirit. We are now under grace, which means that not only do we need not fear death or God’s wrath, but God Himself has come into our lives and promises to incline our hearts away from sin and toward righteousness as we plead with Him for His mercy.
We are completely free. From fear, guilt, shame and from the tyranny and condemnation of sin. There’s a reason to sing!
See you on Sunday,