The Importance of the Words We Sing

Today I was doing some research for a couple of men I am discipling and found an article in a theological journal that referenced a hymn writer I knew but a hymn I did not. When I looked up the hymn, I knew I had found a gem. See if you don’t agree. The words are below, followed by two versions you can hear on line.


The first video below is of a male soloist accompanied by a guitar. The second is of the Capital Hill Baptist congregation singing. I know of no congregation in America that cultivates a love for grat hymns better than Capital Hill Baptist. They don’t sing old hymns because they are old. There is no nastalgia in their worship. They sing old hymns, great old hymns because of their commitment to sing great theology that reminds their hearts to value truth and the beauty of holiness. This particular hymn is saturated with the gospel of grace. It is mesmerized by the wonder of the cross and the Savior pouring out his love for us. Enjoy.

Not What My Hands Have Done 

Verse 1
Not what my hands have done
Can save my guilty soul
Not what my toiling flesh has done
Can make my spirit whole
Not what I feel or do
Can give me peace with God
Not all my prayers and sighs and tears
Can bear my awful load

Verse 2
Thy work alone, O Christ
Can ease this weight of sin
Thy blood alone O Lamb of God
Can give me peace within
Thy love to me, O God
Not mine, O Lord, to thee
Can rid me of this dark unrest
And set my spirit free

Verse 3
Thy grace alone, O God
To me can pardon speak
Thy pow’r alone, O son of God,
Can this sore bondage break,
No other work, save thine
No other blood will do;
No strength, save that which is divine
Can bear me safely through.

Verse 4
I bless the Christ of God,
I rest on love divine;
And with unfalt’ring lip and heart,
I call this Savior mine.
This cross dispels each doubt;
I bury in his tomb
Each thought of unbelief and fear,
Each ling’ring shade of gloom.

Verse 5
I praise the God of grace I trust
His truth and might He calls me His,
I call Him mine
My God, my Joy, my Light
‘Tis he who saveth me
And freely pardon gives
I love because He loveth me
I live because He lives

Text by Horatius Bonar, 1861

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