Friday, February 10, 2012

Ask Ye What Great Thing I Know

For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I Corinthians 2:2

When singing this hymn recently, I was struck by the simplicity of the message - the restatement of the gospel that Jesus Christ was crucified for me. He took my place. As we look forward to the upcoming Lenten season, I wanted to take some time to reflect on this wonderful old hymn (written in 1741) and its timeless message for us as Christians, and for the world.

What great thing do I know, that delights my soul and wins me an eternal reward? Jesus Christ, God's son, gave His life for me so that I would be free from the bondage of sin and reconciled to God.

And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach. Colossians 1:21

Whose is the name I glory in? Jesus Christ, the crucified. For through His subsitutionary death of the cross, He has made salvation available to those who believe. We deserved to die for our sin, but He took our place.

Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. Isaiah 53:4-5

Lord Jesus, may we know you! May we be conformed to Your death so that we may attain the resurrection from the dead.

But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:7-11

Ask Ye What Great Thing I Know
Words by Johann Schwedler

Ask ye what great thing I know,
That delights and stirs me so?
What the high reward I win?
Whose the name I glory in?
Jesus Christ, the Crucified.

What is faith’s foundation strong?
What awakes my heart to song?
He who bore my sinful load,
Purchased for me peace with God,
Jesus Christ, the Crucified.

Who is He that makes me wise
To discern where duty lies?
Who is He that makes me true
Duty, when discerned to do,
Jesus Christ, the Crucified.

Who defeats my fiercest foes?
Who consoles my saddest woes?
Who revives my fainting heart,
Healing all its hidden smart?
Jesus Christ, the Crucified.

Who is life in life to me?
Who the death of death will be?
Who will place me on His right,
With the countless hosts of light?
Jesus Christ, the Crucified.

This is that great thing I know;
This delights and stirs me so;
Faith in Him who died to save,
Him who triumphed over the grave:
Jesus Christ, the Crucified.

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