Posted by: rcottrill | June 18, 2018

He’s the One

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Words: James Bruce Mackay (b. _____, 1861; d. _____, 1940)
Music: James Bruce Mackay

Wordwise Hymns (none)
The Cyber Hymnal

Note: Though he wrote quite a number of songs, almost nothing is known of Mr. Mackay other than that he served the Lord as a pastor. His name sounds Scottish, but he still could have been born in America.

In 1927, actress Clara Bow appeared in a silent movie, a romantic comedy called It. The film made her a star, and ever after she was known as the “It Girl.” The phrase was used as a compliment. You’re really it! And there are other expressions that mean something similar. You’re just the greatest! The one and only! and so on.

Such superlatives are often used in sports. Whether it’s Michael Jordan in basketball, or Waye Gretzky (“the Great One”) in hockey, they became tops in their field. And there have been athletes so remarkable that they not only dominated their sport, but are recognized way beyond it. Baseball’s Jackie Robinson, and boxing’s Muhammad Ali are like that.

Of course, phrases like those mentioned can also point to a negative, or the kind of notoriety to be avoided. Six decades after the Clara Bow movie, It became the title for a creepy horror film based on a novel by Stephen King, and “one and only” could well describe the evil ring central to the plot of Lord of the Rings

“One Ring to rule them all,
One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all
And in the darkness bind them.”

Human assessments may, in some cases, be merely promotional inventions, an advertiser’s hyperbole. Or, they may possibly be mistaken, and miss significant things. One actor who gained fame on a long-running situation comedy, and became known as “America’s Dad,” was recently convicted of being a serial rapist. Worldly fame can at times be a veneer, hiding a lot of ugliness beneath the surface.

While such false build-ups can be true of weak and sinful human beings, they are never remotely true of God. Words such as unique, supreme, and peerless can’t begin to describe Him. Fifty-seven times the Bible calls Him the Almighty God (e.g. Job 11:7-8). He’s utterly, transcendently above everything, the one and only Lord of all.

“For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome” (Deut. 10:17). “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head over all” (I Chron. 29:11). “Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite” (Ps. 147:5). “Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God” (Ps. 90:2). With Job we must say:

“Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways, and how small a whisper we hear of Him!” (Job 26:14).

How amazing, then, that God the Son deigned to come to this earth as Man (Jn. 1:14), willing to die to save us from our sins (Jn. 3:16; I Cor. 15:3). Through faith in Him, we not only have eternal salvation, but the resources to deal with life day by day (Heb. 4:14-16). “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness” (II Pet. 1:3).

In 1899, James Mackay penned the words of a simple gospel song called He’s the One, meaning Christ is the only One who can meet our deepest need.

Note: I’ve chosen to switch the order of the stanzas as they’re found in the Cyber Hymnal. It made sense to me to deal with the sin issue first, and then consider the Lord’s provision to deal with life’s trials. The answer to the questions raised is, of course, the Lord Jesus Christ, as the author tells us in the refrain. Mackay’s song says, in part:

CH-3) Is there anyone can help us
Who can give a sinner peace,
When his heart is burdened down with pain and woe?
Who can speak the word of pardon
That affords a sweet release,
And whose blood can wash and make as white as snow?

Yes, there’s One, only One,
The blessèd, blessèd Jesus,
He’s the One;
When afflictions press the soul,
When waves of trouble roll,
And you need a friend to help you,
He’s the One.

CH-2) Is there anyone can help us
When the load is hard to bear,
And we faint and fall beneath it in alarm?
Who in tenderness will lift us,
And the heavy burden share,
And support us with an everlasting arm?

1) Can you list some of the blessings and spiritual resources that we have, through Christ, that can help us in the Christian life?

2) Why is no one else able to supply these things as the Lord Jesus does?

Wordwise Hymns (none)
The Cyber Hymnal


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