I was at a pastor’s retreat a few years back and it was one of the best that I’ve ever been to. The preacher for the event had his theology right and he did a verse by verse exposition of Philippians 1. It was wonderful. He applied it to pastors and was especially caring to those who had been hurt. He even shared some specific struggles of his own and some of the problems that jammed up his own church. The food was amazing. It was a great three days away…but, there it is, the but. The music was lacking.
Our church back home sang some rich songs of the faith, old and new. Great expressions of our faith set to music. And when I was away I never noticed it…not right away. We seemed to sing a lot of songs by a popular artist and you would know his name if I mentioned it. He has written some decent songs…but, there it is again, the but. It seems that the songs never made it to the cross. It wasn’t until I was driving home that I realized what was missing. The songs were fine but it seemed that we assumed the cross. We made assumptions about His broken body and His blood shed. We assumed His death, burial, and resurrection in what we sang.
 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,  that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, (1 Corinthians 15:3-4 ESV)
If the cross is of first importance, and it is, why should we not sing about it? The cross is glorious! The cross is foundational to the gospel! The cross is foundational to our beliefs! The cross has rescued us in this life and in the next!
I was talking to a friend, not too long ago, about church music: the good, the bad, and the ugly. I could talk a lot about the bad and the ugly but there is a lot of good. I could mention a few artists but I want to keep my attention to Sovereign Grace music. I came across the Sovereign Grace gang when we were still in Brigden. I don’t remember exactly how I stumbled onto their music, but I came to really appreciate it. It’s got a contemporary sound, it’s singable, and it’s theologically rich. So after the conversation with the friend, I went home and made a top ten list. I made it into a playlist and listened to it on my way to the border, yesterday. It was a glorious drive! Some songs leave you smiling and some leave you mournful and some leave you in awe of our awesome God.
So I’m going to pass on my top ten list to you. I’m sure you’ll find all the songs on youtube. I just want you to enjoy some great music that should be enjoyed by all believers. I’m not saying that these are the best of Sovereign Grace, they are just ones that have ministered to me.
1. All I Have Is Christ
2. As You Go
3. Behold Our God
4. Come Praise and Glorify
5. Glories of Calvary
7. The Gospel Was Promised
8. Hope Has Come
9. Now Why This Fear
10. Show Us Christ
My bad, I couldn’t find ‘Glorious’, the one I wanted to link to on youtube…so I’ll link to ‘As You Go’. It’s a great song to use at the end of a Sunday morning worship service and launch you well into the week ahead. (I especially like the reading of the doxology from Jude.)