Tag Archives: Church Music

My Righteousness Is in Heaven

Church reflection on water

It is a great comfort that we can say, if we are in Christ, “My righteousness is in heaven.” When we put our faith and trust in Christ, God declares us to be righteous in Him. Our standing before God is no longer on the basis of our own righteousness. If it were, we would stand before God condemned by our sin. In Christ, our righteousness is Jesus Himself! We are justified by faith in Christ alone.

When we are justified, God imputes our sin to Jesus (He treats Jesus as if He had sinned and was guilty). “The wages of sin of death” (Romans 6:23a) and so Jesus died on the cross to pay the wages due our sin. He paid the price, so we are no longer condemned. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). But that is not all! God also imputes Christ’s righteousness to us (He treats us as if we had perfectly obeyed His Law). “But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23b). In Christ we have life. We are clothed in His righteousness, accepted and beloved as sons and daughters, and brought near to God. 

Here is rest for our souls! The measure of our righteousness is not our own feeble and often failing efforts, but the finished and perfect work of Christ. We are protected from pride, knowing that on our best days, we are no more righteous than on our worst days. We must confess every day that we are sinners in need of mercy and grace. And we are protected from despair, knowing that on our worst days, we are no less righteous that on our best days. We are ever safe in the arms of our Savior, who is “able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him” (Hebrews 7:25).

John Bunyan describes this comforting truth in Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners:

But one day, as I was passing in the field, and that too with some dashes on my conscience, fearing lest yet all was notright, suddenly this sentence fell upon my soul, “Thy righteousness is in heaven.” Then it seemed to me that I saw, withthe eyes of my soul, Jesus Christ at God’s right hand. There, I say, is my righteousness; so that wherever I was, or whatever I was doing, God could not say of me, He wants my righteousness, for that was just before him. I also saw, moreover, that it was not my good frame of heart that made my righteousness better, nor yet my bad frame that made my righteousness worse; for my righteousness was Jesus Christ Himself, the same yesterday, and today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, par. 229

Unchanging Righteousness

In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: “The LORD is our righteousness” (Jeremiah 23:6 ESV).

There sits My Righteousness,
Enthroned at God’s right hand:
The perfect, spotless Lamb of God,
In Him alone I stand.
No better is my stand
On days when all feels right,
No worse when days are dark and gray,
For nothing dims His light.

Unchanging Righteousness,
My only hope and plea,
That Jesus came and lived and bled
And died and rose for me. 

The Law cannot condemn,
Since I in Christ abide.
It sees His perfect work and is
Completely satisfied.
When God looks down on me,
He sees no lack or need,
For there in heaven, My Righteousness
Does always intercede.

Unchanging Righteousness,
My only hope and plea,
That Jesus came and lived and bled
And died and rose for me. 

By imputation mine,
Through faith in Christ alone,
Enfolded in His righteousness
That God has made my own.
A never ending store,
A bountiful supply!
Each day the same, My Righteousness
Exalted reigns on high.

Unchanging Righteousness,
My only hope and plea,
That Jesus came and lived and bled
And died and rose for me.
That Jesus came and lived and bled
And died and rose for me.

Words and Music ©2005 Kenneth A Puls

Download free sheet music for this song.

More Hymns and Songs by Ken Puls

O Spirit Now We Thank You

Open Bible

O Spirit, now we thank You
For giving us Your Word.
Please bless its proclamation,
The truths that we have heard.
Indwell us and empow’r us,
And cause us to obey;
Shine now the light of Scripture
On all we do and say.

Great Artist of the Scriptures,
In beauty You have made
God’s Word to shine in glory
That cannot fail or fade.
In poetry and proverbs,
Through narrative and line;
In prophecy and hist’ry,
God’s truth in splendor shines.

You, down through many ages
Inspired men to write,
Progressively revealing,
You brought God’s truth to light.
O Spirit, come illumine
This truth for us today;
And guide us in sound doctrine,
The straight and narrow way.

Wield now Your Sword, O Spirit,
The quick and living Word,
And rend our hearts asunder
With truths that we have heard.
O search us now and know us,
Expose iniquity;
Conform us to our Savior,
And holy we shall be.

Words and Music ©1998 Kenneth Puls
In Hymns of Grace (1998) by Ken Puls
And Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs (2004) Founders Press, Cape Coral, FL

This hymn is a prayer addressed to the Holy Spirit, who inspired and crafted the Word of God. It is written to serve as a closing hymn following the preaching of the Word. In the hymn we respond to the preaching by asking the Spirit to “bless its proclamation” and apply it in an effective way to our lives. The final verse is based on Hebrew 4:12. Scripture is the sword of the Spirit, who skillfully and lovingly lays bare our hearts with truth.

“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

The idea for the hymn came in October 1995 during a Sunday School class taught by Steve Garrick at Heritage Baptist Church. Steve was teaching a series of lessons on the person and work of the Holy Spirit. During the lesson on October 22nd, he compared the Spirit’s work in bringing us God’s Word to that of an artist. When God revealed His Word to us, he did not package it as a “systematic theology.” He chose and inspired men to write from their own experiences in poetry, proverb, narrative, history, and prophesy. The Bible is a great work of art crafted by the Spirit “through many ages” as God-breathed revelation. I thought during the class that the comparison would work well for lyrics to a hymn. I finally wrote the hymn several months later. I finished the lyrics on July 8, 1996 while driving to Dallas Baptist University, where I was teaching Classical Guitar during the summer semester. The hymn tune is named for Pastor Steve Garrick.

Download the lyrics and free sheet music for this hymn, including an arrangement of the tune GARRICK for classical guitar.

More Hymns and Songs by Ken Puls

Anna’s Song—New Recording

A new recording of the song I wrote for my daughter Anna is now available on Bandcamp. I surprised her with the song and sang it at her wedding this past August (2019). My thanks to the students in the audio tech class at Florida Southwestern State College for recording and mixing the song for me during the 2019 Fall semester.

Listen and down the song here:

Anna’s Song

From little girl to radiant bride
From dolls and toys to dresses sewn
God’s hand has guided every step
With joy I’ve watched you as you’ve grown

In early days when you were small
To fountains, shops and malls we went
Your hand I held to keep you close
And treasured all the time we spent

For years you dreamed about this day
In patience waited, made your plans
You prayed and rested in God’s hands
You sought your prince, now here he stands

The day has come to say your vows
Now two are one for all of life
Your hand in marriage now I give 
To make a home as man and wife

Now in your home may Christ be known
In you His gospel on display
Your lives committed to His hands
His love your anchor day by day

For years you dreamed about this day
In patience waited, made your plans
You prayed and rested in God’s hands
You sought your prince, now here he stands

Words and Music ©2019 Kenneth Puls

Download Sheet Music and a Chord Chart for this song

Wedding music for Classical Guitar

More music for Classical Guitar

Come Boldly to the Throne of Grace

Mountain reflection on water

We have every reason to pray. We are fragile and have great needs. God is great and does wondrous things (Psalm 40:10). We are burdened and weighed down by sin. God is “is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy” (Psalm 103:8). We are troubled and oppressed. God alone can save; salvation belongs to Him (Psalm 3:8). 

Hope and help are always close at hand, yet too often we fail to pray. The very reasons that should compel us to seek God in prayer become the cause of our discouragement. We feel weighed down by our needs and undone by our sin. We feel weak and ashamed. We wrongly conclude that God will reject us when we come to Him. We think that He will turn us away, and so we do not pray.

Daniel Herbert’s hymn, “Come Boldly to the Throne of Grace,” is a welcoming encouragement to pray. Though we are “wretched sinners,” we can lay our load at Jesus’ feet. Though we are “lost and blind and lame” in our sin, the Lord will befriend us. Though we are “bankrupt” and feel the terrible weight of sin’s condemnation, we are assured of the promise: “The Lord will take you in.” Because of Christ we can “come boldly to the throne of grace” and “obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).  

Come Boldly to the Throne of Grace

Come boldly to the throne of grace,
Ye wretched sinners come;
And lay your load at Jesus’ feet,
And plead what He has done.
“How can I come?” some soul my say,
“I’m lame and cannot walk;
My guilt and sin have stopped my mouth;
I sigh but dare not talk.”

Come boldly to the throne of grace,
Though lost and blind and lame;
Jehovah is the sinner’s Friend
And ever was the same.
He makes the dead to hear His voice,
He makes the blind to see.
The sinner lost He came to save,
And set the pris’ner free.

Come boldly to the throne of grace,
For Jesus fills the throne;
And those He kills He makes alive,
He hears the sigh or groan.
Poor bankrupt souls; who feel and know
The hell of sin within,
Come boldly to the throne of grace,
The Lord will take you in.

“Come Boldly to the Throne of Grace” 
Words by Daniel Herbert (1751–1833)
From Selection of Hymns edited by William Gadsby, 1838
Tune: HERBERT
Music by Tom Wells, 2001
Words ©Public Domain
Music ©2001 Tom Wells (Used by Permission)

Tom Wells (Heritage Baptist Church in Mansfield, Texas) composed the tune for this hymn. Download free sheet music (PDF), including a guitar chord charts and an arrangement of the hymn tune HERBERT for classical guitar. 

More Hymns from History

More hymns arranged for Classical Guitar

Songs and the Trinity

Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty

Throughout the ages the church has confessed that there is One God in Three Persons. We declare it in our creeds:

“I believe in God the Father, Almighty, 
Creator of heaven and earth. 
And in Jesus Christ His only Son, our Lord;
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, 
Born of the Virgin Mary;
Suffered under Pontius Pilate;
Was crucified, died, and was buried;
He descended into hell;
On the third day He rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
And is seated at the right hand of God 
the Father Almighty;
From there He will come 
to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
The holy catholic church;
The communion of saints;
The forgiveness of sins;
The resurrection of the body;
And life everlasting.
Amen.”

The Apostle’s Creed

We affirm it in our confessions of faith:

“In this divine and infinite Being there are three subsistences, the Father, the Word or Son, and Holy Spirit, of one substance, power, and eternity, each having the whole divine essence, yet the essence undivided: the Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son; all infinite, without beginning, therefore but one God, who is not to be divided in nature and being, but distinguished by several peculiar relative properties and personal relations; which doctrine of the Trinity is the foundation of all our communion with God, and comfortable dependence on him.”

1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith, 2:3

And we celebrate it in our songs. Below is a list of psalm settings, hymns, and spiritual songs that teach on the doctrine of the Trinity: One God in Three Persons. This List is from my Theological Index of Music for Worship. If you have additional suggestions for songs related to the doctrine of the Trinity that should be included in the index, please comment or send me a message.

Note: The songs are listed below by title and author. For more complete entries (including tunes and hymnal page numbers) see the page for Songs and the Trinity in the Theological Index of Music for Worship online. I will be updating the online Index with more songs and topics in the days ahead as I receive recommendations. 

Songs and the Trinity: There is one God in Three Persons 

  • All Creatures of Our God and King (St. Francis of Assisi / William H Draper)
  • Angels from the Realms of Glory (James Montgomery)
  • Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation (Latin Hymn – 7th C / J M Neale)
  • Come Praise and Glorify (Bob Kauflin / Tim Chester) • Sovereign Grace Music 
  • Come, Thou Almighty King (Anonymous)
  • God, Our Father, We Adore Thee (G W Frazer / A S Loizeaux)
  • Holy God, We Praise Your Name—Te Deum(Anonymous / I Franz / C Walworth)
  • Holy, Holy, Holy (Reginald Heber)
  • Lord Jesus Christ, Be Present Now (Anonymous / Catherine Winkworth)
  • We Believe—Apostles Creed (Keith and Kristyn Getty / Stuart Townend) 

2.  The work of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in Creation

  • All Creatures of Our God and King (St. Francis of Assisi / William H Draper)
  • Holy, Holy, Holy (Reginald Heber)
  • Of the Father’s Love Begotten (Prudentius / J M Neale / H Baker)
  • We Believe—Apostles Creed (Keith and Kristyn Getty / Stuart Townend) 

3.  The work of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in Salvation

  • All Glory Be to Thee Most High—Gloria in Excelsis (Latin Hymn)
  • Behold, My Soul (Ken Puls) to DUANE STREET • Ken Puls Music
  • Come Praise and Glorify (Bob Kauflin / Tim Chester) • Sovereign Grace Music 
  • God, Our Father, We Adore Thee (G W Frazer / A S Loizeaux)
  • Heavenly Father, Beautiful Son (Mark Altrogge) • Sovereign Grace Music 
  • Vast the Immensity, Mirror of Majesty (Edmund Clowney)
  • Only Jesus (Doug Plank) • Sovereign Grace Music 
  • Savior of the Nations, Come (Ambrose of Milan / M Luther / W M Reynolds)
  • There Is a Redeemer (Melody Green)
  • We Believe—Apostles Creed (Keith and Kristyn Getty / Stuart Townend) 
  • Wonderful, Merciful Savior (Dawn Rogers / Eric Wyse) 

4.  Prayer to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

  • All Glory Be to Thee Most High—Gloria in Excelsis (Latin Hymn)
  • Blessed Jesus, at Thy Word (Tobias Clausnitzer / Catherine Winkworth)
  • Come, Thou Almighty King (Anonymous)
  • God, Our Father, We Adore Thee (G W Frazer / A S Loizeaux)
  • Heavenly Father, Beautiful Son (Mark Altrogge) • Sovereign Grace Music 
  • Holy God, We Praise Your Name—Te Deum(Anonymous / I Franz / C Walworth)
  • Holy, Holy, Holy (Reginald Heber)
  • Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Thy Word (Martin Luther / Catherine Winkworth)
  • O God, We Praise Thee—Te Deum (Anonymous – 5th C)
  • Only Jesus (Doug Plank) • Sovereign Grace Music 
  • Wonderful, Merciful Savior (Dawn Rogers / Eric Wyse)

5.  Praise and adoration to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

  • All Creatures of Our God and King (St. Francis of Assisi / William H Draper)
  • Alleluia! Alleluia! (Christopher Wordsworth)
  • Angels from the Realms of Glory (James Montgomery)
  • Blessed Jesus, at Thy Word (Tobias Clausnitzer / Catherine Winkworth)
  • Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation (Latin Hymn – 7th C / J M Neale)
  • Come Praise and Glorify (Bob Kauflin / Tim Chester) • Sovereign Grace Music 
  • Come, Thou Almighty King (Anonymous)
  • Doxology (Thomas Ken)
  • God, Our Father, We Adore Thee (G W Frazer / A S Loizeaux)
  • Holy God, We Praise Your Name—Te Deum(Anonymous / I Franz / C Walworth)
  • Holy, Holy, Holy (Reginald Heber)
  • Lord Jesus Christ, Be Present Now (Anonymous / Catherine Winkworth)
  • O God, We Praise Thee—Te Deum (Anonymous – 5th C)
  • Of the Father’s Love Begotten (Prudentius / J M Neale / H Baker)
  • Savior of the Nations, Come (Ambrose of Milan / M Luther / W M Reynolds)
  • The God of Abraham Praise (Thomas Olivers)
  • Wonderful, Merciful Savior (Dawn Rogers / Eric Wyse)

The next post in the series will be Songs and God’s Uniqueness—He alone is God.

For more complete entries (including tunes and hymnal page numbers) see the online Index:

Entry for “Songs and the Trinity”

TOC for Index Theology and Song

Come Walk in the Light of the Lord

Light on pathway through trees

Many voices in our day are crying out for justice. We see oppression and we want it to stop. We see pain and we want to bring relief. We know that there is much wrong with the world and we want to make things right. But try as we might, evil and suffering persist. We still live in a fallen and broken world. How are we to overcome pain and find peace? How can we offer forgiveness, yet achieve true justice? How can we pursue reconciliation, yet punish evil? The answers to these questions elude us. Our ways fail and fall short. The world simply cannot provide the justice and righteousness that we long to see.

But there is hope! Where we stumble, God triumphs. His ways are not our ways. He alone can accomplish what we cannot. His ways are astounding! His ways are astonishing. Isaiah speaks of “the latter days” when

Many people shall come and say,
“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
He will teach us His ways,
And we shall walk in His paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations,
And rebuke many people;
They shall beat their swords into plowshares,
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
Neither shall they learn war anymore.
O house of Jacob, come and let us walk
In the light of the Lord.
(Isaiah 2:3–5)

God judges the nations. He will bring us true and lasting peace. Through the prophet Hosea, God gives us His promise.

“I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yes, I will betroth you to Me
In righteousness and justice,
In lovingkindness and mercy;
I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness,
And you shall know the Lord.”
(Hosea 2:19–20)

God is righteous and just. He cannot overlook our sin. His Law demands that He punish our sin. Yet God is merciful and abundant in lovingkindness. He looks upon us with compassion. He has made a way to rescue us from sin. How can He do both? He has accomplished both by sending His Son. In Christ we see His perfect righteousness as well as His abundant lovingkindness. At the cross He united justice and mercy.  In Christ there is hope! In Him there is righteousness that we could never attain on our own. In Him we find true peace, forgiveness, and reconciliation. We must go to the cross if we are to be made whole.

How astounding!
How astonishing
Are the ways of our God!
Look to His Word, 
Find rest in His love,
Come walk in the light of the Lord!

Come Walk in the Light of the Lord

“O house of Jacob, come and let us walk In the light of the Lord” (Isaiah 2:5).

How can we know what’s just and right? 
The world is dark and blind.
And where is hope for those condemned?
Forgiveness who can find?
When sinned against and faced with wrongs,
The world decries its loss;
But God says look beyond our grief
To hope found at the cross

How astounding!
How astonishing
Are the ways of our God!
Look to His Word, 
Find rest in His love,
Come walk in the light of the Lord!

We seek for justice, yet we know,
The world can’t satisfy.
Its methods to atone for sin
Fall short or go awry.
The righteousness we long to see,
The world cannot provide.
The only place where sins are cleansed:
The cross where Jesus died.

How astounding!
How astonishing
Are the ways of our God!
Look to His Word, 
Find rest in His love,
Come walk in the light of the Lord!

The full forgiveness of God’s love,
The world can’t comprehend.
For it seeks justice in its own
Perpetual revenge.
But in the Gospel of God’s grace
Is love the world can’t give.
Because we are forgiv’n in Christ,
We also can forgive.

How astounding!
How astonishing
Are the ways of our God!
Look to His Word, 
Find rest in His love,
Come walk in the light of the Lord!

So come and see the love of God
Unto the world revealed.
Come kneel before the cross for there
Our deepest pains are healed.
Believe the promise in His Word,
The world our God so loved.
He will forgive, raise up, and call
A sinner His beloved.

How astounding!
How astonishing
Are the ways of our God!
Look to His Word, 
Find rest in His love,
Come walk in the light of the Lord!

Words and Music ©2019 Ken Puls

Download the lyrics and free sheet music for this hymn, including an arrangement of the tune CAPE CORAL for classical guitar.

More Hymns and Songs by Ken Puls

More Christmas Music for Classical Guitar

“…for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people, for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10–11).

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. I especially enjoy sharing and celebrating through music the good news of Christ’s coming. If you are a guitarist looking for music to play during this season of Advent and Christmas, here are a few hymns and songs I recently added:

  • Once in Royal David’s City
  • Savior of the Nations Come
  • Infant Holy, Infant Lowly
  • We Three Kings of Orient Are
  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas

You can download these (and more) free here: 
Christmas Music for Classical Guitar

You are welcome to copy and share these hymns with friends and fellow guitarists. You can use them for accompanying congregational singing, playing prelude or offertory music, or simply playing for your own enjoyment.  Please copy the full page with the website address and the “Used by Permission” notice at the bottom (see Permissions).

For additional music, visit:

Hymns for Classical Guitar

Music of Bach for Classical Guitar

Wedding Music for Classical Guitar

Student Pieces and Music for Classical Guitar 

Songs and God’s Word

Open Bible on Table with Hymn Tune: How Firm a Foundation

This is the second post from my Theological Index of Music for Worship

Below is a list of psalm settings, hymns, and spiritual songs that teach on the doctrine of Scripture: Special Revelation. The songs are arranged under 17 theological statements, including one for which I have not yet found related songs  

If you have additional suggestions for songs related to the doctrine of Scripture that should be included in the index, please comment or send me a message.

Note: The songs are listed below by title and author. For more complete entries (including tunes and hymnal page numbers) see the page for Songs and God’s Word in the Theological Index of Music for Worship online. I will be updating the online Index with more songs and topics in the days ahead as I receive recommendations. 

If you missed the first post, you can read it here: Songs and God’s Creation.

Songs and God’s Word: Special Revelation 

1.  God’s Word is divine revelation, given by inspiration of God—it is God breathed

  • Father of Mercies in Thy Word (Anne Steele)
  • Forever Settled in the Heavens—Psalm 119:89–97 (The Psalter, 1912)
  • Holy Bible, Book Divine (John Burton)
  • How Precious Is the Book Divine (John Fawcett) 
  • O Spirit, Now We Thank You (Ken Puls) • Ken Puls Music 
  • O Word of God Incarnate (William Walsham How)
  • We Have an All-Sufficient Word (Ken Puls) • Ken Puls Music
  • With Grateful Heart My Thanks I Bring—Psalm 138 (The Psalter, 1912) 

2. God’s Word is our final rule of faith and life—it is our final authority

  • How Firm a Foundation (Rippon’s Selection of Hymns) 
  • Speak, O Lord (Stuart Townend / Keith Getty) 

3. God’s Word is infallible—it is incapable of error or failing

  • O Spirit, Now We Thank You (Ken Puls) • Ken Puls Music 
  • O Word of God Incarnate (William Walsham How)
  • Standing on the Promises (R. Kelso Carter)

4. God’s Word is inerrant—it is without error or failing

  • Ancient Words (Lynn DeShazo) 
  • Most Perfect Is the Law of God—Psalm 19:7–11 and 119:97 (The Psalter 1912)
  • O Spirit, Now We Thank You (Ken Puls) Ken Puls Music 
  • O Word of God Incarnate (William Walsham How)
  • Speak, O Lord (Stuart Townend / Keith Getty) 
  • We Have an All-Sufficient Word (Ken Puls) • Ken Puls Music

5. God’s Word is complete—nothing is ever to be added to Scripture

  • How Firm a Foundation (Rippon’s Selection of Hymns) 
  • O Word of God Incarnate (William Walsham How)
  • Sufficient Is the Word of God (Ken Puls) • Ken Puls Music

6. God’s Word is all-sufficient—it teaches all that is necessary for salvation and life eternal

  • God in the Gospel of His Son (Benjamin Beddome / Thomas Cotterill)
  • Sufficient Is the Word of God (Ken Puls) • Ken Puls Music
  • We Have an All-Sufficient Word (Ken Puls) • Ken Puls Music
  • With Grateful Heart My Thanks I Bring—Psalm 138 (The Psalter, 1912)

7. God’s Word is efficacious—it accomplished God’s purposes and does not return void 

  • Forever Settled in the Heavens—Psalm 119:89–97 (The Psalter, 1912)
  • Lord, We Come to Hear Your Word (Ken Puls / Drew Hodge) • Ken Puls Music / Desert Springs 
  • Speak, O Lord (Stuart Townend / Keith Getty) 
  • We Have an All-Sufficient Word (Ken Puls) • Ken Puls Music

8. God’s Word is perspicuous—it is sufficiently clear upon essential matters of faith and practice

  • Most Perfect Is the Law of God—Psalm 19:7–11 and 119:97 (The Psalter 1912)
  • Sufficient Is the Word of God (Ken Puls) • Ken Puls Music
  • Vast the Riches of God’s Word (Ken Puls) • Ken Puls Music

9. God’s Word must be illumined by the Spirit of God if we are to rightly understand and apply it

  • Blessed Jesus, at Thy Word (Tobias Clausnitzer / Catherine Winkworth)
  • Break Thou the Bread of Life (Mary Lathbury)
  • Father of Mercies in Thy Word (Anne Steele)
  • Lord, Speak to Me That I May Speak (Francis Havergal)
  • Lord, We Come to Hear Your Word (Ken Puls / Drew Hodge) • Ken Puls Music / Desert Springs 
  • O Spirit, Now We Thank You (Ken Puls) • Ken Puls Music
  • Teach Me O Lord Thy Way of Truth—Psalm 119:33–40 (The Psalter 1912)
  • The Spirit Breathes upon the Word (William Cowper)
  • Vast the Riches of God’s Word (Ken Puls) • Ken Puls Music
  • We Have an All-Sufficient Word (Ken Puls) • Ken Puls Music

10. God’s Word is its own best interpreter—the infallible rule for interpreting Scripture is Scripture itself

11. God’s Word is profitable for doctrine, corrections, reproof, and instruction in righteousness

  • Father of Mercies in Thy Word (Anne Steele)
  • Holy Bible, Book Divine (John Burton)
  • How Precious Is the Book Divine (John Fawcett)
  • O Spirit, Now We Thank You (Ken Puls) • Ken Puls Music
  • Teach Me O Lord Thy Way of Truth—Psalm 119:33–40 (The Psalter 1912)
  • Twas God that Made the Ocean (George B. Bubier)
  • Two Voices Cry Out to Be Heard (Ken Puls) • Ken Puls Music
  • We Have an All-Sufficient Word (Ken Puls) • Ken Puls Music
  • Wonderful Words of Life (Sing Them Over Again to Me) (Philip Bliss)

12. God’s Word is Christ-centered—Scripture (the written Word) points us to Christ (the incarnate Word)

  • Blessed Jesus, at Thy Word (Tobias Clausnitzer / Catherine Winkworth)
  • Break Thou the Bread of Life (Mary Lathbury)
  • Father of Mercies in Thy Word (Anne Steele)
  • Holy Bible, Book Divine (John Burton)
  • Lord, We Come to Hear Your Word (Ken Puls / Drew Hodge) • Ken Puls Music / Desert Springs 
  • O Word of God Incarnate (William Walsham How)
  • Standing on the Promises (R. Kelso Carter)
  • Twas God that Made the Ocean (George B. Bubier)
  • Two Voices Cry Out to Be Heard (Ken Puls) • Ken Puls Music
  • Vast the Immensity, Mirror of Majesty (Edmund Clowney)
  • Vast the Riches of God’s Word (Ken Puls) • Ken Puls Music
  • Wonderful Words of Life (Sing Them Over Again to Me) (Philip Bliss)
  • Word of God, Across the Ages (Ferdinand Blanchard)

13. God’s Word is life-giving and powerful, able to defeat the powers of darkness.

  • A Mighty Fortress Is Our God (Martin Luther / Frederick Hedge)
  • Ancient Words (Lynn DeShazo) 
  • Speak, O Lord (Stuart Townend / Keith Getty) 
  • The Heavens Declare Thy Glory, Lord—Psalm 19(Isaac Watts)
  • The Spirit Breathes upon the Word (William Cowper)
  • Twas God that Made the Ocean (George B. Bubier)
  • Two Voices Cry Out to Be Heard (Ken Puls) • Ken Puls Music
  • We Have an All-Sufficient Word (Ken Puls) • Ken Puls Music
  • Wonderful Words of Life (Sing Them Over Again to Me) (Philip Bliss)
  • Word of God, Across the Ages (Ferdinand Blanchard)

14. God’s Word is a message for all peoples to be proclaimed in every tongue.

  • Lord, Speak to Me That I May Speak (Francis Havergal)
  • O Word of God Incarnate (William Walsham How)
  • The Heavens Declare Thy Glory, Lord—Psalm 19(Isaac Watts)
  • The Spirit Breathes upon the Word (William Cowper)
  • Wonderful Words of Life (Sing Them Over Again to Me) (Philip Bliss)
  • Word of God, Across the Ages (Ferdinand Blanchard)

15. God’s Word is the Sword of the Spirit, arming us for spiritual battle.

  • Lord, We Come to Hear Your Word (Ken Puls / Drew Hodge) • Ken Puls Music / Desert Springs 
  • O Spirit, Now We Thank You (Ken Puls) • Ken Puls Music
  • Standing on the Promises (R. Kelso Carter)
  • We Have an All-Sufficient Word (Ken Puls) • Ken Puls Music
  • Your Word Is Like a Garden Lord (Edwin Hodder)

16. God’s Word is our light and guide for how we are live and walk in this world.

  • Ancient Words (Lynn DeShazo) 
  • Every Promise (Keith Getty / Stuart Townend) 
  • God in the Gospel of His Son (Benjamin Beddome / Thomas Cotterill)
  • Holy Bible, Book Divine (John Burton)
  • How Precious Is the Book Divine (John Fawcett)
  • How Shall the Young Direct Their Ways? —Psalm 119:9–16 (The Psalter 1912)
  • O Spirit, Now We Thank You (Ken Puls) • Ken Puls Music
  • O Word of God Incarnate (William Walsham How)
  • Sufficient Is the Word of God (Ken Puls) • Ken Puls Music
  • The Heavens Declare Thy Glory, Lord—Psalm 19(Isaac Watts)
  • The Spirit Breathes upon the Word (William Cowper)
  • Two Voices Cry Out to Be Heard (Ken Puls) • Ken Puls Music
  • Vast the Riches of God’s Word (Ken Puls) • Ken Puls Music
  • Word of God, Across the Ages (Ferdinand Blanchard)
  • Your Word Is Like a Garden Lord (Edwin Hodder)

17. God’s Word stands forever—it is eternal.

  • Every Promise (Keith Getty / Stuart Townend) 
  • Father of Mercies in Thy Word (Anne Steele)
  • Forever Settled in the Heavens—Psalm 119:89–97 (The Psalter, 1912)
  • God in the Gospel of His Son (Benjamin Beddome / Thomas Cotterill)
  • Speak, O Lord (Stuart Townend / Keith Getty) 
  • Word of God, Across the Ages (Ferdinand Blanchard)

The next post in the series will be Songs and The Trinity—One God in Three Persons.

For more complete entries (including tunes and hymnal page numbers) see the Theological Index of Music and Worship online:

Entry for “Songs and God’s Word”

TOC forIndex—Theology and Song

Songs and God’s Creation

Open Bible and hymn near an ocean at sunset

This is the first of what I hope to be many posts exploring the connection between music for worship and the study of theology. Below is a list of psalm settings, hymns, and spiritual songs that teach on the doctrine of creation: natural revelation. The songs are arranged under 16 theological statements, including 5 statements for which I have not yet found related songs.  

If you have additional suggestions for songs related to the doctrine of creation that should be included in the index, please comment or send me a message.

Note: The songs are listed below by title and author. For more complete entries (including tunes and hymnal page numbers) see the page for “Songs and God’s Creation” in Theology and Song: A Theological Index of Music for Worship online. I will be updating the online Index with more songs and topics in the days ahead as I receive recommendations. 

Songs and God’s Creation: Natural Revelation 

1. Creation affirms that there is a Creator—God created heaven and earth

  • All Things Bright and Beautiful (Cecil F Alexander)
  • Before Jehovah’s Awful Throne—Psalm 100 (Isaac Watts / John Wesley)
  • God, the Lord, a King Remaineth—Psalm 93 (John Keble)
  • Great Is Thy Faithfulness (Thomas Obediah Chisholm)
  • Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah—Psalm 146 (The Psalter, 1912)
  • Hast Thou Not Known, Hast Thou Not Heard (Isaac Watts)
  • I Sing the Mighty Power of God (Isaac Watts)
  • Let All Things Now Living (Katherine Davis • Welsh melody)
  • The Spacious Firmament on High (Joseph Addison)
  • This Is My Father’s World (Maltbie Babcock)
  • Vast the Immensity, Mirror of Majesty (Edmund Clowney)
  • With Glory Clad, With Strength Arrayed—Psalm 93 (Tate and Brady’s New Version)
  • Wondrous King, All-Glorious (Joachim Neander / William Schaefer)

2. Creation glorifies God—all things exist for His glory and praise

  • All Creatures of Our God and King (St. Francis of Assisi / William H Draper)
  • All Glory to You (Steve and Vikki Cook) • Sovereign Grace Music
  • All People That on Earth Do Dwell—Psalm 100 (William Kethe / Thomas Ken)
  • All that I Am I Owe to Thee—Psalm 134:14–24 (The Psalter, 1912)
  • Before Jehovah’s Awful Throne—Psalm 100 (Isaac Watts / John Wesley)
  • Behold Our God (Ryan, Jonathan & Meghan Baird / Stephen Altrogge) • Sovereign Grace Music
  • Exalt the Lord, His Praise Proclaim—Psalm 135 (The Psalter, 1912)
  • For the Beauty of the Earth (Folliott Sandford Pierpoint)
  • From All That Dwell Below the Skies—Psalm 117 (Isaac Watts)
  • God, the Lord, a King Remaineth—Psalm 93 (John Keble)
  • Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah—Psalm 146 (The Psalter, 1912)
  • I Sing the Mighty Power of God (Isaac Watts)
  • Let All Things Now Living (Katherine Davis • Welsh melody)
  • Of the Father’s Love Begotten (Prudentius / J. Neale / H. Baker)
  • Praise to the Lord, the Almighty (Joachim Neander / Catherine Winkworth)
  • Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above (Jonann Schütz / Francis Cox)
  • The Spacious Firmament on High (Joseph Addison)
  • This Is My Father’s World (Maltbie Babcock)
  • With Songs and Honors Sounding Loud—Psalm 147 (Isaac Watts)
  • Wondrous King, All-Glorious (Joachim Neander / William Schaefer)

3. Creation testifies of God’s wisdom and design

  • All that I Am I Owe to Thee—Psalm 134:14–24 (The Psalter, 1912)
  • Hast Thou Not Known, Hast Thou Not Heard (Isaac Watts)
  • Praise to the Lord, the Almighty (Joachim Neander / Catherine Winkworth)
  • Vast the Immensity, Mirror of Majesty (Edmund Clowney)

4. The testimony of creation is insufficient for knowing the way of salvation.

  • Vast the Immensity, Mirror of Majesty (Edmund Clowney)

5. The testimony of creation leaves man inexcusable

  •  

6. God delights in creation—all things were made for His pleasure

  • All Glory to You (Steve and Vikki Cook) • Sovereign Grace Music
  • Vast the Immensity, Mirror of Majesty (Edmund Clowney)

7. God made all of creation and pronounced it good

  • I Sing the Mighty Power of God (Isaac Watts)

8. The world was spoken into existence by God’s Word.

  • I Sing the Mighty Power of God (Isaac Watts)
  • Of the Father’s Love Begotten (Prudentius / J. Neale / H. Baker)
  • Vast the Immensity, Mirror of Majesty (Edmund Clowney)

9. The world was created by God ex nihilio (out of nothing).

  •  

10. The world continues to be upheld and sustained by God

  • All Things Bright and Beautiful (Cecil F Alexander)
  • Exalt the Lord, His Praise Proclaim—Psalm 135 (The Psalter, 1912)
  • Forever Settled in the Heavens—Psalm 119:89–97 (The Psalter, 1912)
  • Great Is Thy Faithfulness (Thomas Obediah Chisholm)
  • Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah—Psalm 146 (The Psalter, 1912)
  • Hast Thou Not Known, Hast Thou Not Heard (Isaac Watts)
  • I Sing the Mighty Power of God (Isaac Watts)
  • Let All Things Now Living (Katherine Davis • Welsh melody)
  • Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above (Jonann Schütz / Francis Cox)
  • With Glory Clad, With Strength Arrayed—Psalm 93 (Tate and Brady’s New Version)
  • With Songs and Honors Sounding Loud—Psalm 147 (Isaac Watts)

11. God creates all people—He is the One who gives and sustains all life.

  • All People That on Earth Do Dwell—Psalm 100 (William Kethe / Thomas Ken)
  • Let All Things Now Living (Katherine Davis • Welsh melody)
  • Praise to the Lord, the Almighty (Joachim Neander / Catherine Winkworth)

12. God created man (male and female) out of the dust of the earth 

  • Before Jehovah’s Awful Throne—Psalm 100 (Isaac Watts / John Wesley)

13. Man was breathed into a living being by God.

14. God made man (male and female) in His own image

  •  

15. God gave man dominion over all other living things on the earth.

  •  

16. God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh.

  • Today We Gather in This Place (Ken Puls) • Ken Puls Music

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The next post in the series will be “Songs and God’s Word: Special Revelation.”

For more complete entries (including tunes and hymnal page numbers) see the Theological Index of Music and Worship online:

Entry for “Songs and God’s Creation”

TOC for Index: Theology and Song

Theology and Song

Guitar and Hymnal

Music and theology have always been closely entwined. Theology (in the broadest sense) encompasses what we understand to be true about God, His Word, and the world He has made. Music, as it comes alongside theology, helps the church say and celebrate in song what it believes and affirms to be true. 

God’s people have been writing music for thousands of years. Beginning with the rich wellspring of the psalms, music has served the church to carry the voice of God’s people in praise, prayer, and proclamation. Within the many settings of psalms, and numerous hymns and spiritual songs is an opulent banquet of truth. For those who are willing to search, there are many savory delights to be found.

Unfortunately many churches miss out on this feast of song. Some shy away from doctrinally rich lyrics and prefer instead those that are lighter and more subjective. Some, despite Paul’s paradigm in Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16, exhorting the church to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, impose a more narrow interpretation: “only the psalms,” “only the old hymns that have stood the test of time,” or “only what is new, contemporary, and speaks to me today.” Some are content to sing a limited number of favorites. Others select music based on emotional appeal or a catchy melody, rather than theological soundness.

In this new series, Theology and Song, I hope to encourage pastors and musicians to think theologically about music in worship. Each post will focus on a specific theological topic and will feature a portion of my Theological Index of Church Music

I began the Index 26 years ago (in 1993) as a project for one of my PhD seminars when I was at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  The index listed 350 psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, and arranged them according to the theological truths that they highlight. It proved especially valuable in ministry for planning worship and selecting music that would underscore the sermon. You can read more about the Index in an earlier article: “Selecting Music for Worship—Know Theology.”

As I post this series on my blog, I will be updating and expanding the Index so I can make it available on my website as a resource for worship leaders. My list of songs will certainly not be exhaustive. I’ll be asking for your suggestions and adding songs (as well as more topics) to the Index in the days ahead.

Here is list of some of the upcoming topics: [updated]

Songs and God’s Creation (Natural Revelation)
Songs and God’s Word (Special Revelation)
Songs and the Trinity (One God in Three Persons)
Songs and Knowing God (God’s knowability and Incomprehensibility)
Songs and God’s Presence (God’s Immanence and Transcendence)
Songs and God’s Sovereignty
Songs and God’s Decrees
Songs and God’s Will

TOC for Index: Theology and Song