Tag: New Songs

NEW SONG: I Was An Orphan (Grace Alone)

New SongsWe love to sing new songs at Emmanuel.  Especially songs about God and the gospel.  Which means we’ll love this new song called Grace Alone.

Left to ourselves we would die in our sins.  But God has been very gracious to us.  It’s His grace, His unmerited kindness to us, which saves us and only His grace.  We did nothing to deserve it.  All we did was sin and yet He shows us enormous grace.  This song celebrates those truths.

Each verse addresses a different Person of the Trinity and praises them for their particular role in our redemption.  We were orphans whom the Father has adopted.  We could never atone for our sin but the Son died for us.  We were blind but the Spirit gave us eyes to see.  All thanks to God’s grace.

Listen to the writer, Dustin Kensrue, explain the thinking behind the song and then hear him perform an acoustic version of the song.  (When we sing it, we’re dropping the key down from G to E in case you’re struggling with the high notes and don’t have a cool raspy voice like Dustin…)  Check out the lyrics and another video below too.

I was an orphan lost at the fall,
running away when I’d hear you call
but Father, you worked your will.
I had no righteousness of my own.
I had no right to draw near your throne
but Father, you loved me still.

And in love before you laid the world’s foundation,
you predestined to adopt me as your own.
You have raised me up so high above my station.
I’m a child of God by grace and grace alone.

You left your home to seek out the lost.
You knew the great and terrible cost
but Jesus, your face was set.
I worked my fingers down to the bone.
Nothing I did could ever atone
but Jesus, you paid my debt.

By your blood I have redemption and salvation.
Lord you died that I might reap what you have sown.
And you rose that I might be a new creation.
I am born again by grace and grace alone.

I was in darkness all of my life.
I never knew the day from the night
but Spirit, you made me see.
I swore I knew the way on my own.
Head full of rocks, a heart made of stone
but Spirit, you moved in me.

At your touch my sleeping spirit was awakened.
On my darkened heart, the light of Christ has shone.
Called into a kingdom that cannot be shaken.
Heaven’s citizen by grace and grace alone.

So I stand in faith by grace and grace alone.
I will run the race by grace and grace alone.
I will slay my sin by grace and grace alone.
I will reach the end by grace and grace alone.

Words & Music by Dustin Kensrue

Here’s the original version with more of a beat.  Looking forward to singing it together on Sunday!


NEW SONG: Holy Spirit, Living Breath Of God

New SongsIt’s Pentecost this Sunday, the day when we remember the gift of the Holy Spirit given to the Church.  That makes it a great Sunday to learn the song Holy Spirit, Living Breath Of God.  Here’s what Keith Getty said about the song:

“As in much of our songwriting, we wanted to connect the radical truths of what we believe with everyday life. In this particular song, we desired the hymn to function as a sung prayer about the Holy Spirit’s renewing power.

We divided the hymn into three verses.  The first expresses a prayer for inward change, asking the Holy Spirit to transform us from the core of our being.  Without such change, all religious attempts are futile.  We must daily ask for renewal and the desire to love and treasure God’s word and his ways.

Verse two petitions the Spirit to abide in us so we’re able to bountifully bear His fruit, such as the kindness and gentleness described so beautifully in Galatians 5:22-23.  Closing this verse is a prayer “to show Christ is all I do.”

Verse three is a more expansive prayer for the church.  During the songwriting process, we kept revisiting this verse as we examined the role of the Holy Spirit throughout the New Testament.  In passage after passage, evidence of the Holy Spirit’s power in someone’s life was marked by two characteristics – Christ is magnified, and the individual is led on a path of sacrifice.”

The song spans four centuries of music as the melody is inspired by the music of J.S. Bach and also contains elements of the classical piece, “Gabriel’s Oboe”.   The Gettys have kindly made this song available to download for free this week, as either sheet music or an MP3.  You can get hold of that at their website here.  Watch the video and read the lyrics below so we’re ready to sing it together on Sunday.

Holy Spirit, living Breath of God,
breathe new life into my willing soul.
Bring the presence of the risen Lord
to renew my heart and make me whole.
Cause Your Word to come alive in me.
Give me faith for what I cannot see.
Give me passion for Your purity.
Holy Spirit, breathe new life in me.

Holy Spirit, come abide within.
May Your joy be seen in all I do.
Love enough to cover every sin
in each thought and deed and attitude.
Kindness to the greatest and the least,
gentleness that sows the path of peace.
Turn my striving into works of grace.
Breath of God, show Christ in all I do.

Holy Spirit, from creation’s birth,
giving life to all that God has made,
show Your power once again on earth.
Cause Your church to hunger for Your ways.
Let the fragrance of our prayers arise.
Lead us on the road of sacrifice
that in unity the face of Christ
will be clear for all the world to see.

Words & Music by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty

NEW SONG: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

New Songs

Christians have always faced strong opposition.  In the 1500s, many were discovering the truth of the Bible for the first time as the Reformation swept through Europe.  With the Catholic Church at the height of its powers, those who translated the Bible so that ordinary people could read it or who preached a message of salvation by faith alone in Christ alone, not based on our own works, were persecuted.  They were removed from churches, sent to prison and often executed.

It’s in this context that the great German Reformer, Martin Luther, wrote A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.  Based on Psalm 46, it takes the opposition we face very seriously.  At the end of the first verse we’re left singing about how clever and powerful Satan is!  Ever sung that before?!

But it doesn’t end there.  Although left to ourselves we would be ruined, God has not left us to ourselves.  He has chosen a champion for us – Jesus Christ.  With Him on our side, we cannot lose.  It’s only this kind of confidence in God which enables us to sing (and mean it), “Let goods and loved ones go, this mortal life also.  The body they may kill; God’s truth is living still!”  How fantastic!

Being an ancient hymn, the words don’t immediately make sense to modern ears.  (You can read them here.)  So we have updated the lyrics to clarify the glorious truths we might otherwise miss.  Have a listen to this version below to pick up the tune.  You could try reading our new version of the words below to spot the differences!

A mighty fortress is our God,
and He shall never fail us.
He is our help against the flood
of troubles which assail us.
Satan, our ancient foe,
he wants to bring us woe.
His skill and power are great,
and armed with cruel hate
on earth he has no equal.

If on our own strength we relied,
our striving would be losing,
were not the right Man on our side,
the Man of God’s own choosing.
You ask who this may be.
Christ Jesus, it is He!
The Lord of hosts His name.
From age to age the same.
And He will win the battle.

And though this world with devils filled
may threaten to undo us
we will not fear, for God has willed
His truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim,
we tremble not for him.
His rage we can endure.
We know his doom is sure.
One little word shall kill him.

That word above all earthly powers
stands strong and always conquers.
The Spirit and the gifts are ours
to help us battle onwards.
Let goods and loved ones go,
this mortal life also.
The body they may kill;
God’s truth is living still!
His kingdom is forever.

Words and music by Martin Luther (1529)
English translation by Frederick H. Hedges (1853)
Updated by Nathan Burley (2015)

When we sing this on Sunday, it will be more upbeat and in a more singable lower key.  Click here to listen to a version very similar to how we will do it at Emmanuel, although they only do 2 verses.

Finally, I challenge you not to be moved by the version below.  It’s very 80s but Steve Green belts out a powerful rendition of the hymn to a standing ovation.

I hope you can see why this is one of my all-time favourite hymns and why it has been sung for centuries around the world.  I pray it will become a firm favourite at Emmanuel too and give us courage when that flood of troubles looms.  “He will win the battle!”

NEW SONG: How Can It Be

New Songs

On Easter Sunday we learnt a great new song called, How Can It Be (aka Christ Is Risen!).  It’s a call to rejoice and live in the light of the resurrection of Jesus.  As we come to study 2 Timothy together, it’s especially good as it calls us to continue proclaiming the gospel despite any suffering which might come as a result.

We’re singing it again this Sunday.  So if you missed Easter Sunday or wanted a reminder, listen to the song here.  The lyrics are below.

How can it be, the One who died,
has borne our sin through sacrifice
to conquer every sting of death?
Sing, sing hallelujah.

For joy awakes as dawning light
when Christ’s disciples lift their eyes.
Alive He stands, their Friend and King;
Christ, Christ He is risen.

Christ is risen, He is risen indeed!
Oh, sing hallelujah!
Join the chorus, sing with the redeemed;
Christ is risen, He is risen indeed.

Where doubt and darkness once had been,
they saw Him and their hearts believed.
But blessed are those who have not seen,
yet sing hallelujah.

Once bound by fear now bold in faith,
they preached the truth and power of grace.
And pouring out their lives they gained
life, life everlasting.

Christ is risen…

The power that raised Him from the grave
now works in us to powerfully save.
He frees our hearts to live His grace;
Go tell of His goodness.

Christ is risen…

He’s alive (He’s alive), He’s alive (He’s alive)!
Heaven’s gates are opened wide.
He’s alive (He’s alive), He’s alive (He’s alive)!
Now in heaven glorified.

NEW SONG: Joy Has Dawned

Christmas is a time for well-worn classic songs which span the centuries with their timeless truths.  But it’s also good at this time of year not to neglect the biblical call to “sing to the Lord a new song.”  With that in mind, here’s a great new Christmas song we’ll be singing this Sunday.

It’s called Joy Has Dawned and it’s by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, writers of many of the songs we sing at Emmanuel, such as In Christ Alone, You’re The Word Of God The Father and O Church Arise.  In an interview, Getty said that they deliberately wrote this song to be “In Christ Alone for Christmas”, meaning that they sweep through the events of the first Christmas, pausing to reflect on their significance, much like they do with the Easter story in In Christ Alone.  The overall effect is a modern hymn drawing out the wonder of who Jesus is and what He came to earth to accomplish.

Here’s a recent version of the hymn.  At the end it morphs into Angels We Have Heard On High, which is a lovely touch but we’re not going to attempt that this Sunday!

Alternatively, you might like this slightly funkier version by the band King’s Kaleidoscope.  Again, don’t expect this arrangement on Sunday either!  But between these two versions you’ll pick up the tune and be ready to sing with gusto on Sunday!

Joy has dawned upon the world,
promised from creation.
God’s salvation now unfurled,
hope for every nation.
Not with fanfares from above,
not with scenes of glory,
but a humble gift of love
– Jesus born of Mary.

Sounds of wonder fill the sky
with the songs of angels
as the mighty Prince of Life
shelters in a stable.
Hands that set each star in place,
shaped the earth in darkness,
cling now to a mother’s breast,
vulnerable and helpless.

Shepherds bow before the Lamb,
gazing at the glory.
Gifts of men from distant lands
prophesy the story.
Gold – a King is born today,
Incense – God is with us,
Myrrh – His death will make a way
and by His blood He’ll win us.

Son of Adam, Son of heaven,
given as a ransom.
Reconciling God and man,
Christ our mighty champion!
What a Saviour!  What a Friend!
What a glorious mystery!
Once a babe in Bethlehem,
now the Lord of history.