What a peace, thy life surrendered Won for sinners such as me And thy resurrection rendered Death a sting-less enemy
I’ve no fear of all tomorrows Thou dost ever hold me fast Soon shall end all earthly sorrows When I see thy face at last
I was listening to the Kings Kaleidoscope version of “Come Thou Fount” a few weeks ago, and had recently read Psalm 136 as part of my evening Bible reading. Verse 23 jumped out at me:
It is he who remembered us in our low estate, for his steadfast love endures forever;
” … remembered us in our low estate” is particularly poetic, and the wording seemed like it would be a great fit in the “Come Thou Fount” melody. Since I like to write new verses for old hymns, I got to work.
The line straight from Psalm 136:23 eventually morphed into something else, so I plan to use it in the future. But it did inspire a stanza with which I’m very pleased.
V1 Like saints before, let us repeat “The good fight we have fought” No works did we ourselves achieve The fruit, the Spirit wrought
C 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
V2 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
V3 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!