Evangelical Hymns
Hymns of grace
      The hymns of the great awakening were used to teach Biblical truth, particularly the truth of God's sovereign grace operative in conversion and the Christian life. Men like John Wesley, Isaac Watts and John Newton, focused on the free grace of God both for the forgiveness of sins and new life in Christ.
      "Amazing grace - how sweet the sound
      that saved a wretch like me!
      I once was lost, but now am found;
      was blind, but now I see."
      Hymn singing served to teach and reinforce the truth of God's grace to the children of the Great awakening.
      Sadly the substance of grace, particularly as it applies to the Christian life, is not present in most modern choruses and hymns. There are of course, some exceptions. A good example of a modern hymn which encapsulates the function of God's sovereign grace, and contextualizes it for modern believers, is the hymn "Freedom and life are ours." It was written by Christopher Idle, a prolific modern hymn writer born in 1938. Sadly, the hymn is not found in many hymn books and the recommended tunes often leave a lot to be desired.
      Freedom and life are ours
      for Christ has set us free!
      never again submit to powers
      that lead to slavery:
      Christ is the Lord who takes
      a man to be his own (fix "man")
      and by his saving gospel makes
      a slave into a son
      Called by the Lord to use
      our freedom and be strong,
      not letting liberty excuse
      a life of blatant wrong:
      freed from the law's stern hand
      God's gift of grace to prove,
      know that the law's entire demand
      is gladly met by love.
      Spirit of God, come, fill,
      emancipate us all!
      break our desire to sin, until
      before his throne we fall:
      glory and liberty
      God for his sons decreed,
      and if the Son Shall make us free
      we shall be free indeed!      
      This hymn outlines the truth that justification and sanctification are ours, by grace through faith. A modern image of freedom/emancipation is used to teach that both the imputed and imparted righteousness of Christ are ours as a gift of Grace. Freedom is ours in that we have freely received the gift of sonship. Freedom is ours in that we are no longer under the law. Freedom is ours in that the Spirit emancipates us to a new life in Christ.
      The following tune composed by Marilyn Moir serves the words well. Apologies for the poor reproduction.

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