Randy Herrala | The Voice of Zion August 2019 --
God’s Word and the endeavor of faith have inspired songwriters throughout time. Hymns of praise and petition have been a great blessing through which God’s children sing the feelings of their heart to the Heavenly Father, both personally and in congregation worship. We are thankful for the gifts God has given to write and compose.
In North American Zion, we have now enjoyed our current hymnal, the Songs and Hymns of Zion, for ten years. A reoccurring message in a multitude of songs is the preciousness of the gospel of forgiveness. Scriptures tell us that Jesus appeared to His disciples on the day of Resurrection and commissioned them to go forth and preach the remission of sins through the power of the Holy Spirit (John 20:21–23). Apostle Paul wrote, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Rom. 1:16). These portions of God’s Word, the core gospel message, resound over and over again in beautiful songs of Zion, underlying the words of the songwriters.
With joy and comfort one can ponder the messages relating how distress of sin has been relieved when the gospel of forgiveness has been heard and believed. Then the love for God’s children and His kingdom comes forth with renewed hope and strength on the journey toward heaven. When a believer’s heart joins in the singing, the message is personally felt and expressed.
The following song excerpts are a few selections proclaiming the beautiful message of the gospel. As you read or sing them, you may wish to consider each song in its entirety.
All ye who watch on Zion’s wall, / proclaim the Word of grace to all! / Go loose the bound, uplift the weak, / and preach good tidings to the meek.
Assist the feeble knees to stand / and go to lift the weary hands; / when we forgive each others’ sin, / our power is renewed again.
So let this gospel message sound. / Tell ev’ry sinner Christ was crowned / and life is in the blood He shed. / His holy blood revives the dead.
Yea, as I live, the Father says, / I would not have the sinner’s death, / but that he turn from error’s way, / repent, and put his sin away.
And therefore Jesus gave command: / “Go forth and preach in ev’ry land / to contrite hearts, forgive their sin; / o’er Satan’s strength my work will win.”
“All those whose sins ye thus remit, / I truly pardon and acquit, / and those whose sins ye shall retain, / condemned and guilty they remain.”
“What thou shalt bind, that bound shall be; / what ye shall loose, that shall be free. / The Holy Ghost with you I leave, / that makes the dead arise and breathe.”
Christ gifted to His kingdom / His Spirit and His grace; / He gave His congregation / the power of the keys. / That power of forgiveness / relieves the pain of sin, / and then the sin-sick conscience / finds peace with God again.
The kingdom of salvation / is precious on this earth, / this gracious congregation / wherein they speak the Word: / Thy sins are all forgiven / as bidden by the Lord, / and souls who are imprisoned / are freed forevermore.
When I am pleading: “Can I yet believe, / can such a poor one yet this grace receive?” / “Sins are forgiven,” all the saints proclaim, / “in Jesus’ holy blood and precious name.”
This mother we do cherish, because she gave us birth / through that dear bloody gospel, the sweetest sound on earth: / “Be comforted, dear brother, your sins forgiven be!” / This voice of blood thus speaking brings peace to you and me.
Many other songs also relate of the preaching of forgiveness and resulting peace and joy of the conscience. Examples include: SHZ 184:3, 204:3, 296:5,6, 320:4, 328:4, 403:1, 466:5–7, 487:6 and 583:6,7.
A child of God lives of the gospel of forgiveness of sins. In the kingdom of God, this is the message that God’s children long to hear, freely proclaim and love to sing!