Each Theologically Singing is intended not as criticism, nor as blind faith. Rather, I expect to find God in each of these songs. Additionally, I will not be dealing with “live” versions and such, rather, just the lyrics.
Normally the song-writers popular today keep the stories behind their songs for themselves and those close. In the case of Rend Collective, that is not always the case. The band wrote a piece for their website on ‘Boldly I Approach’, which you can find here. Here’s a small snippet, however:
Boldly I Approach (The Art Of Celebration) was born out of a season of self-condemnation for sin. As believers we sometimes find ourselves so weighed down by our own sin, we find it nearly impossible to approach the throne of God. Even after repentance, the wounds of sin can linger and keep us from accepting the forgiveness that is ours through Jesus.
But Hebrews says “We do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
By grace alone somehow I stand
where even angels fear to tread.
Invited by redeeming love
before the throne of God above.
He pulls me close with nail-scarred hands
into His everlasting arms.
Normally, when the Apostle Paul wrote a letter, he started it with a prayer for those he was writing to. When he was writing to the Ephesians, however, he got so carried away in praising God that it took him a little while to calm down. As a result, we are left with one of the greatest theological treaties on our blessings in Christ, and a song of praise to God and His grace. For it was only by God’s grace “poured out on us who belong to His dear Son” that we are blessed. (Ephesians 1:6) Through Jesus Christ He “adopted us into his own family” (1:5), redeemed us and forgave us our sins (1:7). All so we could be brought before him, “holy and without fault in his eyes.” (1:4) “The eternal God” our refuge brought us into the circle of “his everlasting arms”. (Deuteronomy 33:27)
When condemnation grips my heart
and Satan tempts me to despair,
I hear the voice that scatters fear;
the Great I Am, The Lord is here.
O praise the One who fights for me,
and shields my soul eternally!
“When condemnation grips my heart,” we know that this does not come from God. Not only is there “no condemnation for those who belong in Christ Jesus,” (Romans 8:1) but we know that Jesus did not come to condemn the world, but to save the world. (John 12:47) Rather, it is Satan who condemns us, “the one who accuses [us] before our God day and night.” (Revelation 12:10) He is our “great enemy” and “He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
However, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) And we know, also, that “we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God … This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.” (Hebrews 4:14-15) Jesus Christ is our “advocate who pleads our case before the Father.” (1 John 2:1)
“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (Hebrews 4:16)
Boldly I approach your throne,
blameless now I’m running home.
By your blood I come,
welcomed as your own
into the arms of majesty.
The Apostle Paul could not keep quiet about the fact that Jesus Christ died for us: “He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.” (2 Corinthians 5:15) God “is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.” (Ephesians 1:7) “Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever.” (1 Thessalonians 5:10)
Therefore, “Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.” (Ephesians 3:12) God “has reconciled [us] to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought [us] into his own presence, and [we] are holy and blameless as [we] stand before him without a single fault.” (Colossians 1:22)
Behold the bright and risen Son;
more beauty than this world has known.
I’m face to face with Love Himself,
His perfect spotless righteousness.
A thousand years, a thousand tongues
are not enough to sing His praise.
John, the Beloved Disciples, and the Apostle, walked and talked with Jesus for three years. He lost his Messiah, and then believed when he saw the empty tomb. He saw Jesus ascend into heaven, and heard of His appearance to Saul, now Paul. And then, one day, Jesus again appeared to John, and John saw “someone like the Son of Man.”
“He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest. His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were like flames of fire. His feet were like polished bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was like the sun in all its brilliance.”
This is our Lord Jesus, who sits “in the place of honour at God’s right hand.” (Romans 8:34)
This is the art of celebration
Knowing we’re free from condemnation.
O praise the One,
praise the One
who made an end to all my sin.
How can we not celebrate our newfound holiness and blamelessness? How can we not sing for joy at the news that, in Christ, because of His blood, we are now free from condemnation? Surely, we must praise Him! Praise the One who died for us, so that we will not perish, but have eternal life! (John 3:16)
How can we not?!