Posted by: rcottrill | September 30, 2013

Redeemed, How I Love to Proclaim It

Words: Frances Jane (“Fanny”) Crosby (b. Mar. 24, 1820; d. Feb. 12, 1915)
Music: William James Kirkpatrick (b. Feb. 27, 1838; d. Sept. 20, 1921)

Wordwise Hymns (Fanny Crosby died)
The Cyber Hymnal

Note: This hymn, sometimes titled simply Redeemed, was first published in 1882. It had five stanzas originally, though most hymnals I’ve seen drop the last. If I were the editor, I think I’d include it as stanza four, and keep “I know I shall see in His beauty…” as the final stanza. The oft omitted stanza says:

CH-5) I know there’s a crown that is waiting,
In yonder bright mansion for me,
And soon, with the spirits made perfect,
At home with the Lord I shall be.

There is another tune for the hymn that has become popular in recent years. In 1966, Aubrey L. Butler composed a tune he named Ada, after his home town in Ada, Oklahoma. Used frequently for Miss Crosby’s hymn by Cliff Barrows with crusade choirs in Billy Graham’s evangelistic meetings, it was later published in Hymns for the Living Church (1974). The Celebration Hymnal (1997) includes both the tune by Kirkpatrick and the one by Butler, as does Rejoice Hymns (2011).

The concept of redemption was common in the ancient world, in day-to-day life. The term was used to describe what individuals did when they made purchases in the local market.

Redemption is also a pervasive theme of the Bible. Words such as redeemed and redemption are found over one hundred and forty times in our English Bibles. Theologically, the word itself means: to deliver by paying a price. There are several Greek words translated redeem or redemption in relevant texts.

1) The Greek word agorazo was used of making a purchase in the market. It is applied spiritually to the work of Christ in saving us. “You were bought [agorazo] at a price” (I Cor. 6:20)–purchased by Him in the slave market of sin.

2) In spiritual terms, in the New Testament, exagorazo, meant to buy out of (ex) the market, indicating that the item is removed from further sale. “Christ has redeemed [exagorazo] us from the curse of the Law” (Gal. 3:13).

3) Lutroo means to loose and set free. Christ “gave Himself that He might redeem [lutroo] us” (Tit. 2:14).“You were not redeemed [lutroo] with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (I Pet. 1:18-19).

We see this foreshadowed in the deliverance of the Israelites from bondage in Egypt through the blood of the Passover lamb (Exod. 12:13, 27)–and foreshadowed in the Old Testament sacrificial system in general, when the innocent sacrifice died in place of the guilty sinner. The fulfilment, of course, is found in Christ, our Redeemer. Through the love (CH-3) and “infinite mercy” (CH-1) of God, we are “redeemed by the blood of the Lamb” (CH-1, cf. Jn. 1:29).

In her joyful gospel song, Fanny Crosby lists several blessings she enjoys because of the redeeming work of Christ. We rejoice with her when we sing these words about our salvation.

¤ We are made His children forever (CH-1)
¤ We live constantly in the light of His presence (CH-2)
¤ We are guarded and guided by Him (CH-4)
¤ We are happy in the Lord (CH-2)
¤ We joyfully meditate on the things of the Lord (CH-3)
¤ We have a song in our hearts, even in dark times (CH-3 and 4)
¤ We will be with Him in heaven one day (CH-4)
¤ We will have heavenly rewards and dwelling places there (CH-5)

CH-1) Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it!
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed through His infinite mercy,
His child and forever I am.

Redeemed, redeemed,
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed, redeemed,
His child and forever I am.

CH-4) I know I shall see in His beauty
The King in whose law I delight;
Who lovingly guardeth my footsteps,
And giveth me songs in the night.

1) Can you think of Scripture references for each of the eight blessings of redemption mentioned in Fanny Crosby’s song?

2) The Cyber Hymnal lists over twenty songs on the theme of redemption here. Which ones do you use in your church?

Wordwise Hymns (Fanny Crosby died)
The Cyber Hymnal


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