Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me

I am always on the lookout for new music to sing either in personal times of devotion and worship, or in the setting of corporate worship. My hope is to find solid, Christ-centered, Biblical music that will uplift and teach, as well as being easily singable as an individual and by a congregation. That’s a lot of boxes to check.

But I think I found another.

The song’s title is the title of this post: Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me. It was written by Jonny Robinson, Michael Farren, and Rich Thompson for St Paul’s Castle Church, in Sydney, Australia. If you want to do a little more reading about the scriptural references and teaching of the song, I’d highly encourage you read this article from the Berean Test website, it is thorough and incredibly helpful.

Rarely do you find a new song these days that is so beautifully exalts the sufficiency of Christ, that conveys the richness of believers’ blessing in Him, and calls us to hope and faith in Him.

I’ve provided a link to a recording of the song, and the lyrics are given below. Learn this one, let it be your prayer and praise. May we join in declaring “our hope is only Jesus, all the glory evermore to him, when the race is complete still my lips shall repeat: ‘Yet not I but through Christ in me.'”

Verse 1

What gift of grace is Jesus my redeemer
There is no more for heaven now to give
He is my joy my righteousness and freedom
My steadfast love my deep and boundless peace

To this I hold my hope is only Jesus
For my life is wholly bound to his
Oh how strange and divine I can sing all is mine
Yet not I but through Christ in me

Verse 2

The night is dark but I am not forsaken
For by my side the Saviour he will stay
I labour on in weakness and rejoicing
For in my need his power is displayed

To this I hold my Shepherd will defend me
Through the deepest valley he will lead
Oh the night has been won and I shall overcome
Yet not I but through Christ in me

Verse 3

No fate I dread I know I am forgiven
The future sure the price it has been paid
For Jesus bled and suffered for my pardon
And he was raised to overthrow the grave

To this I hold my sin has been defeated
Jesus now and ever is my plea
Oh the chains are released I can sing I am free
Yet not I but through Christ in me

Verse 4

With every breath I long to follow Jesus
For he has said that he will bring me home
And day by day I know he will renew me
Until I stand with joy before the throne

To this I hold my hope is only Jesus
All the glory evermore to him
When the race is complete still my lips shall repeat
Yet not I but through Christ in me

© 2018 CityAlight Music

On The Regulative Principle of Worship

Most people are familiar with the adage of Henry Ford when introducing his Model T, saying, “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.” The whole reason behind this quote was Ford’s dedication to giving the customer the best product available, focusing on improving the passenger’s ride, and providing a vehicle that everyone could afford and maintain. Sure, a small percentage of buyers would have preferred a different color, but to meet his goal of mass production of a quality and affordable (see what I did there?) vehicle, Ford would make them his way.

This has been running through my mind lately as I’ve been reading from Leviticus as God reveals what the Old Testament worshipers must do in order to come before Him in worship and have their praises and offerings acceptable in His sight. The copious amounts of blood shed for forgiveness, purification, ordination, and every other offering is staggering. The strict rules on who may and may not approach the holy place of God is demanding.

Through it all, I am left with a profound sense of gratitude for the Gospel, the assurance that the sacrificial system has been satisfied in the perfect atoning work of Jesus Christ on our behalf, and the promise that we are living in a time when God seeks those who worship Him in spirit and in truth.

Still, that does not mean that I can worship God any way I see fit. I still must come to God on His terms, not my own. If I am to know and come to God at all, it can only be as God is revealed in His Word, the Bible.

In our reformed heritage, we call this theological viewpoint of worship the Regulative Principle. The Westminster Confession puts it this way:

But the acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by Himself, and so limited by His own revealed will, that He may not be worshipped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scripture. (Deut. 12:32, Matt. 15:9, Acts 17:25, Matt. 4:9–10, Deut. 15:1–20, Exod. 20:4–6, Col. 2:23)

The Westminster Confession of Faith. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996. Print.

To help explain what this means, I’ve shared this video from Reformed Theological Seminary’s Dr. Ligon Duncan as he explains the regulative principle and its application for the church today. Below are some quotes from the video that I’ve found helpful. May this help us to keep our focus where it needs to be in worship, that we may “major on the majors,” keeping the glory of God at the heart of our worship as we come to Him through our Lord Jesus Christ according to all He has commanded in His Word.

“The regulative principle is simply the assertion that we must worship God in the way that he has revealed himself and the way he has commanded us to worship Him in His word. We need to worship God according to Scripture. Our worship needs to be directed by Scripture. The form and the content of our worship needs to be in accord with the Bible, informed by the Bible, and warranted by the Bible. It needs to be founded in the Scriptures.”

“You do not set the terms on which you engage with God. God sets those terms.”

“You cannot worship God without coming to God through Jesus Christ. The form and the content of our worship services ought to show that.”

“The regulative principle is simply designed to make sure that our worship is radically word-centered.”