By S.C. Shaw
Hail the King by Citizens
Here’s an example of a great corporate worship song. What I mean by corporate worship song is a song that is appropriate for the church to sing together. We need to be singing the gospel. Too often our church songs are focused on our personal thoughts and overly experiential expressions. Our songs should be pointing our eyes to Christ, beholding the glory of God and living by the Spirits power, then and only then will we be truly transformed by the music we sing. The only proper response when you behold God in any aspect is complete humble adoration.
Hail The King (In Full)
We have been justified by faith through Jesus Christ
It’s only by His grace we stand
Once bound by sin and shame, now slave to righteousness
Our faith perfected by His love
Praise the Savior, He has won!Our sin defeated through His blood
Now exalted, Jesus reigns. Hail the King, praise His name!
We rejoice in the hope of the Glory of God
We rejoice in the Glory of God
While we were weak He died, making us reconciled
To God for all eternal days
And even in our fading flesh, our only hope and rest
Is found in faith that Jesus saves
Praise the Savior, He has won! Our sin defeated through His blood
Now exalted, Jesus reigns. Hail the King, praise His name!
Our hope of glory is, found in the one who gives
Great joy to sing about, the love that He poured out
Forever lifted high, is our Savior Jesus Christ
The gift of God given in love
Song lyrics by Citizens and are in Bold. (Commentary by Steven Shaw)
We have been justified by faith through Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1 (We’ve been made right before God. We have been made just, holy and righteous before a God who demands perfection. Now He sees us through the perfection of Christ. Only through Christ are we justified. Faith in Jesus, living in the new life that we have become in Him. Faith as an action, living out the life that has been set before us since before the creation of the world by the power of the Holy Spirit.)
It’s only by His grace we stand. Ephesians 2:8 (The God of the Old Testament is the same God as in the New Testament and the same God that we serve today. This is a God that demands perfect righteousness; holiness and He must punish sin. Sin can only be atoned for by the shedding of blood. Scary? That means there’s no hope for us. What do we do? But God loved us so that He sent His own Son to live that perfect life that we could not, nor would not live, to atone for our sins. The creator of all bled and died for our sins. God didn’t leave us in our sin, He saved us from it.)
Once bound by sin and shame, Romans 6:20 (We are a slave to our own flesh without the gift of Christ. We are literally under our flesh’s control. But through Christ, we have been set free! Not only are we under our flesh’s control but we are under the shame of our sin.)
now a slave to righteousness. Romans 6:15-18 (You are either a slave to your flesh or a slave to Christ. Our flesh will lead us straight to hell because we are under God’s wrath without Christ. But as a slave to righteousness, we are a slave to a loving, perfect God. He has saved us to Himself and for Himself for all eternity.)
Our faith perfected by His love. 1 Corinthians 6:11 (As we live these new lives as God’s children, adopted into His family, we are continually being worked on by Him through His Spirit who is inside us. It’s called sanctification. Sanctification is a once and for all, yet continual work. We have been sanctified once and for all and we continually become more sanctified each day until that glorious day Christ tares the skies open and perfects us and takes us home. Being sanctified simply means living out what we have been made for and we will not be complete until Christ’s triumphant return.)
While we were weak He died, making us reconciled, to God for all eternal days. Ephesians 2:5 (We have no power outside of God. The bible says we are dead before we know Him. Dead people can’t do anything. So while we were dead, Jesus the Christ made us alive, now we are alive in Christ, and in Christ alone. God didn’t just save us out of something, but saved into something. He saved us out a world destined for hell, and saved us into His family destined for eternal glory with Him, through Him and for Him.)
And even in our fading flesh, our only hope and rest is found in faith that Jesus saves. John 8:24 (As our earthly bodies fade each day, we can hope in the full assurance of the hope in God. We are able to rest and lay down our burdens to Him because He is in control of everything, therefore there’s no need to worry about anything. But even more so, we get to set our minds to an eternal perspective in that we will live forever with the Godhead three in one. We will be praising Him for all our endless day. Endless peace and joyous life with our King!)
Praise the Savior, He has won! Our sin defeated through His blood. Romans 8:1-39 (Christ has set death in its grave so we will never die. Our physical death is when we will truly experience life, our true life will never end. Sin can only be atoned for by the shedding of blood and Christ’s blood has cleansed all sin for all time, once and for all.)
Now exalted, Jesus reigns. Hail the King, praise His name! Philippians 2:9 (Jesus is now sitting at the right hand of the Father. He sits because His work is finished. His perfect sacrifice was strong enough to make us perfect before a perfect God. Now we can scream with joy, hail the King, praise His name! And will continue to sing that forever.)
We rejoice in the hope of the Glory of God, we rejoice in the Glory of God Romans 5:2-5 (We now have an endless song. Even if God had never done any of these wonderful things for us, He would still be worthy of eternal praise. But He has paid the ultimate price, how much more should we be shouting for joy for all that He has done for us. We have a hope in Him yet we need to always know God as God and praise Him for who He is. His glory is endless and inexhaustible.)
Our hope of glory is found in the one who gives great joy to sing about the love that He poured out. Psalm 33 (Again, we deserve nothing but punishment and death because of our rebellion, yet God has saved us fully and completely. Nothing we have done to deserve or earn His love, simply having faith in Jesus do we cling.)
Forever lifted high, is our Savior Jesus Christ. The gift of God given in love. John 3:16-21 (Now the God, King, Father, Friend, Brother, Savior, is coming back for us to show His glory in fullness to the whole world. There is nothing that can take us away from Him or defeat Him, so put your full faith and trust in the One true God today! He will not turn away any who seek Him.)
You see the power in songs like this? This is a song you can sing to rejoice, to sing in suffering, to sing with hope. This is the type of songs that needs to be in our churches more. It’s clear, not obscure; it’s rich in biblical truth, not weak with empty emotion. We need strong songs to take with us, to sanctify us for our whole life.
This song can be hard to lead because of the lack of breath time given. It’s never been a problem from a congregational standpoint that I’ve seen, but if you don’t breath at the right time, you’ll run out. A good rule of thumb is to slow it down in a congregational setting.
Like I have pointed out earlier, this song is great lyrically, so there’s no ugly to be told. The only thing I can point to is the original key. This group plays most everything in higher keys, which is great for energy and vibe for an album. But if you lead this song or any number of their other songs, you must make it easily singable for the majority of the people you are leading. Lower the key a step or so and you’ll be good to go.
Please don’t let my word be the final word on this. Pick up the Bible, read Gospel saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the Bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology”, read the 1689 London Baptist confession of faith and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.