THE PURPOSE OF THIS BLOG

I am the song leader in my church. I am not very proficient as a musician or a choral director. I pray that, someday soon, God will send someone more capable, to take this ministry from me. But for the time being it is my responsibility to select the music and lead the congregation in the singing every week.

I take that responsibility seriously. The hymns and songs that I select must be doctrinally sound, they must be appropriate for worship with a God-centered worldview, and, withing those parameters, I try to select music that will reinforce and, support the text and subject of my pastor’s messages.

Some of us have been singing the hymns for years; the words roll off our lips but the messages often don't engage our minds or penetrate our hearts. With the apostle Paul, I want the congregation to "sing with understanding."

So for the past couple years, it has been my practice to select one hymn each week, research it, and then highlight it with a short introductory commentary so that the congregation will be more informed regarding the origin, the author's testimony, or the doctrinal significance of the hymns we sing.

It is my intention here with this blog, to archive these hymn commentaries for my reference and to make them freely available to other church song leaders. For ease of reference, all the hymn commentaries in this blog will be titled IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. Other posts (which will be music ministry related opinion pieces) will be printed in lower case letters.

I know that some of the comments contain traces of my unique style, but please feel free to adapt them and use the content any way you can for the edification of your congregation and to the glory of God.

All I ask is that you leave a little comment should you find something helpful.


Ralph M. Petersen

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Friday, March 18, 2016

*ALL HAIL THE POWER OF JESUS' NAME


ALL HAIL THE POWER OF JESUS' NAME was originally written by Edward Perronet.  It is listed among the greatest hymns of the Christian church and it has been called “the most inspiring and triumphant hymn in the English language.”

The hymn was first published in 1780. Perronet’s biblical allusions were often vague, and his poetry was awkward and unnatural so, some of his hymns were not widely appreciated.

But seven years after he published this, Pastor John Rippon produced an amended version that more resembles the hymn we have today.  Of the original eight stanzas, only four are commonly used today and these have been significantly altered for the better.



In verse one, is this somewhat archaic phrase, “Let angels prostrate fall.”  From the day God created them, the angelic hosts have constantly praised and worshiped God, and they will continue to do so eternally.

And when God called Abraham and promised to make, of Him, a great nation, it was His purpose that “the chosen seed of Israel’s race” should also be to the praise of His glory.

The Church is not Israel and Israel is not the Church.  I don’t know if Edward Perronet recognized that important distinction and it really isn't clear from the text of this hymn; it seems confused or muddled.  There is a distinction between God’s earthly people, Israel, and His heavenly people, the Church.  One is a national race consisting of the descendants of Abraham, the other is a spiritual body made up of all the redeemed of every nation.
 
Regardless, the Bible is clear; God has a wonderful future for both.   We, the Church, do have a spiritual kinship with Abraham, as the father of the faithful, but that does not make us Jews. 

Nevertheless, the text of this hymn strongly emphasizes what we, His people, will be doing for eternity.  Both the Nation of Israel and the Church, the body of Christ, will ALL, be joined with the angelic hosts of heaven.  We are created and redeemed to be to the praise of His glory not only now, but in the Millennial Kingdom, and then on into eternity forever.

So the central object of our worship must be now and will be forever, the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.  "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

"For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.  And He is the head of the body, the church, Who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence."  Col. 1:15-18

"Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Phil. 2:9-11 

"He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords."


 1. All hail the power of Jesus' name!
Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown Him Lord of all.
Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown Him Lord of all.

2. Ye chosen seed of Israel's race,
Ye ransomed from the fall,
Hail Him who saves you by His grace,
And crown Him Lord of all.
Hail Him who saves you by His grace,
And crown Him Lord of all.

3. Let every kindred, every tribe
On this terrestrial ball,
To Him all majesty ascribe,
And crown Him Lord of all.
To Him all majesty ascribe,
And crown Him Lord of all.

4. O that with yonder sacred throng
We at His feet may fall!
We'll join the everlasting song,
And crown Him Lord of all.
We'll join the everlasting song,
And crown Him Lord of all.



7-26-2015

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