Well, we’re entering month 3 of our blatant knock off of the idea of memorizing hymns as a church. You can get caught up here as to why we’re doing this.
This month we’ve come to one of my favorite songs we sing in worship at Crew and probably the one that I get the most comments of God bringing folks to tears, for what that’s worth. It’s Before the Throne by Charitie Lee Smith, later to become Charitie Lee Bancroft. She got married. Good for her.
First a bit about the author. Smith was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1841. She was a pastor’s kid. She wrote this hymn, her only well known one, at age 22. Other than her dad, this song, and who she married, not much is known about her. How encouraging to know that cultural unknowns can have such a legacy in the gospel. By the way songwriters so you can you. We need you to write music of depth and glory. We want to use the local gifts and the talent that God has given to our body. Write stuff that moves our affections for Christ for us, will you?
Now, the song itself. The song was originally titled “The Advocate” because of it’s teaching on the doctrine of Christ’s role as the believers advocate. We see :
- Christ at the right hand of the throne of his father praying and pleading and interceding for those he died for.
- He is our priest and our advocate before God.
- He knows us intimately and deeply
- But our sin cannot accuse us. Through his blood we have bold confidence to approach God with our prayers and praise. He will never tell us to get out.
- Satan, the accuser, has no power with our advocate, nor should he with us.
- Guilt and despair in the inner part of our being are attacked not with shallow self esteem, but a right view of our sinfulness and the forgiveness that is offered through the satisfying (propitiating) death of Christ for us.
- We are pardoned.
- Look on Christ, who has conquered death and sin through the gospel
- He never stops forgiving, he’s unchanging and eternal
- Our identity and destiny is tied to Christ through faith in what he has done. To reject us is to reject himself.
Great song. The tune to which we sing it was added in 1997 by Vikki Cook. Sean’s going to load a demo for you to download, listen to, and memorize this month. Buy in with us. Great theology like this needs to be sung to ourselves constantly.
Before the Throne
Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea,
A great High Priest whose name is love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart;
I know that while in heav’n He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart,
No tongue can bid me thence depart.
When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free,
For God, the Just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me,
To look on Him and pardon me.
Behold Him there! the risen Lamb,
My perfect, spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of Glory and of Grace.
One with Himself I cannot die;
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God,
With Christ my Savior and my God.
Text: Charitie Lees Bancroft, 1863
Tune: Vikki Cook, 1997
Copyright © 1997 Sovereign Grace Worship