The Worship Quote of the Week for (08/16/2005):

"By Grace Alone"
Today’s WORSHIP QUOTE is a wonderful text for remembering the gravity of sin and the forgiveness that comes only through God’s amazing grace. Look below for information about a web site where you can listen to the song and even get a free copy of the music. The Lord has used this song in my life to help me treasure the gospel more deeply.


Out of the depths I cry to You;
Lord, hear my voice of pleading.
Bend down Your gracious ear, I pray,
Your humble servant heeding.
If You remember each misdeed,
And of each thought and word take heed,
Who can remain before You?
—Only by grace, by grace alone.

Your pardon is a gift of love;
Your grace alone must save us.
Our works will not remove our guilt;
The strictest life will fail us.
Let none in deeds or merits boast,
But let us own the Holy Ghost,
For He alone can change us:
—Only by grace, by grace alone.

Though great our sins and sore our woes,
His grace much more aboundeth.
His helping love no limit knows,
Our utmost need it soundeth.
Our kind and faithful Shepherd He,
Who will set all His people free
From all their sin and sorrow:
—Only by grace, by grace alone.

Words adapted from Martin Luther’s poetic setting of Psalm 130
Altered words and music by David Ward © 2002

[Our congregation has used this song several times a year as part of our reflection on God’s abundant mercy to his people. I recommend it highly. David Ward has graciously made this and other ReformedPraise songs available at no charge. See the links below for more information.]
The home page for ReformedPraise
Look here for information about “By Grace Alone” and links to free registration where you can hear the song and get the lead sheet and piano score. (concert flyer)
INVITATION: If you are anywhere near Louisville, Kentucky, this Sunday evening, August 21, please join us at Clifton Baptist Church for a concert of ReformedPraise worship songs.

As with many biblical texts that have been rendered in the vernacular, set to poetry, translated and altered, this text has a long lineage:

1. Psalm 130
— in Hebrew, A Psalm of Ascent
2. “Aus tiefer Not schrei’ ich zu dir”
— Martin Luther’s setting of the psalm, 1523
3. “From Depths of Woe I Cry to Thee”
— English translation by Catherine Winkworth, 1863
4. “By Grace Alone”
— David Ward,, 2002

Here is Psalm 130:1-3

1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
2 O Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.
3 If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins,
O Lord, who could stand?

Verse one of Luther’s original, 1523:

Aus tiefer Not schrei’ ich zu dir,
Herr Gott, erhoer mein Rufen;
Dein’ gnädig’ Ohren kehr zu mir
Und meiner Bitt sie oeffen!
Denn so du willst das sehen an,
Was Sünd’ und Unrecht ist getan,
Wer kann, Herr, vor dir bleiben?

Verse one of Catherine Winkworth’s English setting, 1863:

From depths of woe I cry to Thee,
Lord, hear me, I implore Thee.
Bend down Thy gracious ear to me,
My prayer let come before Thee.
If Thou rememberest each misdeed,
If each should have its rightful meed,
Who may abide Thy presence?

Have a great week,

Chip Stam
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky

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