Posted by: rcottrill | September 26, 2011

Christ for the World! We Sing

Words: Samuel Wolcott (b. July 2, 1813; d. Feb. 24, 1886)
Music: Italian Hymn, by Felice de Giardini (b. Apr. 12, 1716; d. June 8, 1796)

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal

It was a banner reading “Christ for the World, and the World for Christ” that gave Samuel Wolcott the inspiration for this fine missionary hymn. It describes two sides of evangelism. In effect, we are both bringing Christ to lost sinners, and seeking to bring them to Christ.

The work of sharing the gospel should be a joy, because we’re serving the Saviour who died for us. We see the need of sin-weary souls, and labour with “loving zeal. It’s the means God has ordained to save sinners (I Cor. 1:21). “Whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved….[But] how then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Rom. 10:13-14).

CH-1) Christ for the world we sing,
The world to Christ we bring, with loving zeal,
The poor and them that mourn, the faint and overborne,
Sin sick and sorrow worn, whom Christ doth heal.

We recognize our inadequacy for the task of evangelism. We are limited by the number of workers, and simply because, in ourselves, we lack the spiritual energy required. But the Lord can work through those who call upon Him in faith. “Fervent prayer” draws on the resources of heaven, as we reach out to “the wayward and the lost,” in the grip of sinful passions. “Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest” (Matt. 9:38; cf. Eph. 6:18-20).

CH-2) Christ for the world we sing,
The world to Christ we bring, with fervent prayer;
The wayward and the lost, by restless passions tossed,
Redeemed at countless cost, from dark despair.

Unity of effort is also important. Not an ecumenicity that denies or ignores the fundamentals of the faith. Not being satisfied with the lowest common denominator. But a cooperative effort by those dedicated to God and the truths of His Word, ready to labour together with others of like-precious faith, those willing “with us reproach to dare.” We are called to “the work” by Christ’s Great Commission to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mk. 16:15; cf. Acts 1:8).

CH-3) Christ for the world we sing,
The world to Christ we bring, with one accord;
With us the work to share, with us reproach to dare,
With us the cross to bear, for Christ our Lord.

Finally, before us is the joy of the harvest. To think that each of us, by God’s grace, can have some small part in reclaiming lost and dying individuals is a wonderful thing. David describes God’s deliverance this way: “He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth–praise to our God (Ps. 40:2-3). Anything we can do, by God’s grace, to bring that about is a wonderful thing!

CH-4) Christ for the world we sing,
The world to Christ we bring, with joyful song;
The newborn souls, whose days, reclaimed from error’s ways,
Inspired with hope and praise, to Christ belong.

1) How would you characterize the combination of “loving zeal” in practical terms?

2) In your view, what is the most effective method of evangelism?

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal


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