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Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Debtor to Mercy Alone

A hymn I have not heard for ages is the title of this blog. The lyrics can be found here:

This is a great hymn. It speaks of our relationship with God - a covenant that God has made with us, an eternal covenant based on and centered in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Jesus has removed the terrors of God, failure, and death from us.

The work which His goodness began,
The arm of His strength will complete;
His promise is yea and amen,
And never was forfeited yet.

God's promise to us will be completed. Not because of anything that we have done, but because HE guarantees it. Salvation is HIS work, not ours.

Things future, nor things that are now,
Not all things below nor above
Can make Him His purpose forego,
Or sever my soul from His love.

Because our salvation and glorification are God's work, and even his priority, He will not abandon that purpose. The image in this last stanza is especially precious.

My name from the palms of His hands
Eternity will not erase;
Impressed on His heart it remains
In marks of indelible grace.

We are, as it were, engraved on the very palms of the hands of God himself. The palms of the hands are very sensitive, and in view of their owner. The palms of the hands are a place that you may gaze when engaged in deep thought. We are central to the thoughts and the life of God.

Yes, I to the end shall endure,
As sure as the earnest is given
More happy, but not more secure,
The glorified spirits in heaven.

And lastly, we are as safe and secure in the love of God as if we were in heaven itself.

Not all the old hymns are great, but they are often full of theology and truth that we miss and that we could use. They taught as well as praised.

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