We will be teaching “Sovereign Grace O’er Sin Abounding” this month at FBCNorco. I thought it would be helpful to write a short explanation of what the song is about.
Written by John Kent in the late 18th century, “Sovereign Grace…” is a great expression of wonder, assurance and thankfulness in the work and weight of grace. Verse one understands grace as an expression of God’s love and draws from Ephesians 3:17-19 when referring to its unknowable depth. Verses two and three remind the believer of the assurance and security we have in the promises of God. Now bound to Christ, there is nothing that can separate us from him (John 10:28) and we are even considered heirs with him (Ephesians 1:11-14). The final verse ends with the line, “Say while lost in holy wonder, ‘Why O Lord, such love to me?’” There is no real answer for that except what we find in Ephesians 1:5, that God chooses us according to the purpose of his will. Our thankful response to that is appropriately expressed in the final chorus: “Hallelujah! Grace shall reign eternally.”
Sovereign grace o’er sin abounding!
Ransomed souls, the tidings swell;
’Tis a deep that knows no sounding;
Who its breadth or length can tell?
On its glories,
Let my soul for ever dwell.
What from Christ that soul can sever,
Bound by everlasting bands?
Once in Him, in Him for ever;
Thus the eternal covenant stands.
None shall take Thee
From the Strength of Israel’s hands.
Heirs of God, joint-heirs with Jesus,
Long ere time its race begun;
To His name eternal praises;
O what wonders love has done!
One with Jesus,
By eternal union one.
On such love, my soul, still ponder,
Love so great, so rich, so free;
Say, while lost in holy wonder,
Why, O Lord, such love to me?
Grace shall reign
Grace shall reign
Grace shall reign eternally.