TO GOD BE THE GLORY
“To the only wise God be glory for ever through Jesus Christ! Amen” (Romans 16:27 NIV).
The hymn “To God Be the Glory” is well-recognized as a wonderful hymn of praise and adoration of God. It was composed by that famous hymn composer, Fanny Jane Crosby (1820-1915). The hymn is sung mostly in the atmosphere of praises, but its content is more than praises. It speaks volumes about the grace of God. From the beginning, it is clear that Fanny Crosby ascribed all glory to God for His work with no role for man’s efforts in God’s great plan of salvation. In the first stanza, it is Jesus alone who opens the “the lifegate” of salvation, so that everyone has the opportunity to be saved. This is a clear message of grace, in contrast to the idea that man must prove his worth before eternal life is granted. In the second stanza, Crosby set forth the conditions for entrance through this gate: faith, and faith alone. She rightly noted that redemption is promised to "every believer" (see John 3:16), and that regardless of the enormity of one’s sins, even "the vilest offender" who puts his or her faith in Christ, for example the criminal crucified with Christ (Luke 23:43) or Saul of Tarsus (1 Timothy 1:15), will immediately receive pardon from Jesus. The third stanza and chorus continue to bring this point of grace home, proclaiming that it is God who has done great things, and the One to whom praise and adoration belong.
It is good to sing this song whenever we want to praise God for any material thing He has done. However, it is far better to think of the spiritual things He has done (that is, the giving of His Son, the forgiveness of our sins, the atonement for our sins, our redemption) and what He will do: “our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see!”
The hymn “To God Be the Glory” is a marvelous expression of praise to God for His wondrous works. However, have you experienced the outcome of these works: the salvation that is provided as a gift from God to everyone who places his or her faith in Christ, regardless of his or her sins before or after conversion? It is then you can join Crosby to sing, “Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the earth hear His voice! Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the people rejoice! O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son, And give Him the glory, great things He hath done!”
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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