Tag Archives: theology

My favourite song from the new CityAlight album

New CityAlight album “Yours Alone”, from St Pauls Castle Hill in Sydney, Australia.

Last Sunday saw the launch of the new album from the music ministry (“CityAlight”) of St Paul’s Castle Hill, “Yours Alone” (available here).

This album features 10 brand new songs written by the team at St Pauls, and 1 energetic rearrangement of a classic hymn, ‘Nothing But the Blood’. The songs have been sung and loved by the folk at St Pauls over the last 18 months, and it is a delight to record them and make them available to the wider world. A huge thank you to all of the music and production team that worked so hard to turn a dream into a reality that will serve the wider church!

I really like all of the songs that were recorded live at St Paul’s, but I do have a favourite.

My favourite is ‘Praise the Saviour’, and if you look at the lyrics below, you might see why.

Jonny Robinson

All my sin was so contagious
All my failing so outrageous
Says the Saviour, “I will pay this!”
Praise the Saviour, Jesus

I was lost once, full of hate then
If He left us who could blame him?
Says the Saviour, “I will claim them!”
Praise the Saviour, Jesus

Such a freedom! Who could earn this?
Who could pay for this forgiveness?
Says the Saviour, “It is finished!”
Praise the Saviour, Jesus

Praise the Saviour, praise the King
This our song, our song shall be! (x3)

Praise the Saviour, praise the King

Now, the Treasure of my whole life
I will stand soon by Your own side,
Says the Saviour, “Welcome home child!”
Praise the Saviour, Jesus

© 2014 CityAlight Music
CCLI # 6429010

This song combines 3 things that make the classic old timeless hymns so great, and hopefully makes this a classic being sung in 50 years time across the world as well:

1. Great theology.

2. Wonderful poetic expression of that great theology.

3. A powerful, easily singable melody.

The last verse in particular is incredibly moving, and a timely reminder of the hope that Christians have in the face of a world that forgets the eternal in favour of the here and now.

Do yourself a favour and check out this song, and all the songs (here), and may they bless you and your church.

[All the lyrics and charts are available for free on the website as well]

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Great article on assurance

“In short, the Biblical writers offer believers all the assurance they could ever want, grounding such assurance in the character of God, the nature of the new covenant, the finality of election, the love of God, and much more beside. But they never allow such assurance to become a sop for spiritual indifference; indeed, the same vision is what drives them to insist that the God who has called them to his new covenant works powerfully in them to conform them to the likeness of his Son, to the fruitfulness the Spirit empowers us to produce. This becomes both an incentive to press on to the mark of the upward call in Christ Jesus, and an implicit challenge to those who cry “Lord, Lord” but do not do what he commands. ”

D.A.Carson, ‘Reflections on Assurance’. First published in Westminster Theological Journal 54:1 (Spring 1992): 1-12.

Read the full article online here

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Owen, on the Holy Spirit, sonship and prayer

“A sense of God’s relation to us as a Father, is necessary to this delight [ie. prayer]. We may use other titles and appellations of God, but as a Father he is the ultimate object of all evangelical worship, of all our prayers: so it is expressed in that holy and divine description of it, given us by the apostle, “Through Christ we have access by the Spirit to the Father’ (Eph 2:18). No tongue can express, no mind can reach the heavenly placidness and soul – satisfying sweetness which are intimated in these words. Without a due apprehension of God in this relation, no man can pray as he ought; and we can have no sense hereof but by the Holy Ghost, who ‘bears witness with our spirits, that we are the children of God’ (Rom 8:16).”

John Owen, The Holy Spirit, 358.

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Owen, on how afflictions refine the believer


(Afflictions purify believers from sin.)

“And this they do by an efficacy communicated to them by the spirit of God; for by the cross of Christ, they were cut off from the curse of the first covenant, to which all their evils belonged, and implanted into the covenant of grace. The tree of the cross being cast into the waters of affliction, has rendered them wholesome and medicinal. Christ being the head of the covenant, all the afflictions of his members are originally his (Is 63:9), and they all tend to increase our conformity to him in holiness.”

John Owen (puritan), The Holy Spirit; His Gifts and Power, 296.

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Calvin, on whether my dog will go to heaven

Some questions have been around a long time!

“Mr Calvin, will my dog go to heaven?”

“Certain subtle, but scarce sober men, demand whether all kinds of beasts shall be immortal; but, if these speculations may have loose reins, whither will they carry us? Therefore, let us be content with this simple doctrine, that there shal be such a temperature, and such a decent order, that nothing shall appear either deformed or ruinous.”

Commentary on Romans, 218-19


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Barnett on Paul’s Corinthian Years

What was the time span of Paul’s ‘Corinthian’ years?

According to the surviving letters there were three visits, although the Acts mentions only two.  Interspersed between the three visits were four letters (assuming Second Corinthians was a single letter – about which I will say more shortly).

Visit 1 Acts 18:1-18

Letter 1 (‘previous’) 1 Cor. 5:9

Letter 2 (First Corinthians)

Visit 2 (‘painful’) 2 Cor. 2:1

Letter 3 (‘tearful’) 2 Cor. 2:3-4; 7:8, 12; 10:8-11

Letter 4 (Second Corinthians)

Visit 3 Acts 20:2-3

The following information from Acts helps us work out the sequence and chronology:

Acts                                                                                    AD

18:11                  1.5 plus years in Corinth                  50-52

19:10; 20:31    2-3    years in Ephesus                      53-55

20:2-3               3   months in Corinth (‘Greece’)      56/57


Read the full article from Dr Paul Barnett’s Macquarie University Society for the Study of Early Christianity presentation (given 9 August 2011) here.

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