Feel free to sing this hymn in your church without changes, addition, or omission. Let me know all about it in the comments or via message here or on social media.
Like saints before, let us repeat
“The good fight we have fought”
No works did we ourselves achieve
The fruit, the Spirit wrought
Laid up for us is a crown: his righteousness, our award
‘Tis not of efforts that we have made; the price was paid by the Lord
That great coronation is nearing
For all who have loved his appearing
When all is done, then let us say
“Praise God, we’ve run the race”
For Christ we stood, by strength not ours
Yes, it was all of grace
As breath departs, may we proclaim
“Through him, we kept the faith”
Our boast is only in the Lord
He, who alone can save
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.”
2 Timothy 4:7-8
When reading God’s Word, I look for phrases that are especially poetic to modern tastes and could possibly inspire an entire song. I have a list of dozens of such phrases from the Bible. One that particularly stood out and stuck with me for months was “all who have loved his appearing.” I kept coming back to it and the passage it’s in. The three things Paul lists: “fought the good fight, … finished the race, … kept the faith” seemed like a good place to start, with each victory having its own verse.
The chorus, or refrain, is inspired by my study of the doctrine of imputation. At the cross, our sins were imputed onto Christ and he bore the entirety of the punishment earned by our sin. Consequently, Christ’s righteousness can now be justly imputed, or credited to those who believe. And how glorious the thought that the Lord Jesus Christ’s righteousness is so richly, so deeply applied to us, that we are awarded for it–and with eternal life, no less! Our crown of righteousness was earned and laid up for us by our Savior Jesus. What a glorious day the Redeemed have to look forward to!
1 Corinthians 1:31
1 Corinthians 5:10
2 Timothy 4:7-8