Before the Throne of God Above (4)
Every Friday in 2015 we consider a verse from our “Hymn of the Month.”
Before the Throne of God Above only originally included three verses. Vikki Cook wrote a fourth verse in the 1990’s, but it is so rarely sung that we are instead going to consider an overview of this treasured song today.
In 2007 Bob Kauflin wrote of how this song came to be on his blog. The first time he had heard the song he reports his thoughts to be: “This song is a classic. The church could be singing this a hundred years from now.” It seems that most would agree that Bancroft’s lyrics put to Cook’s tune is indeed a combination that will last for a long time.
As noted a few weeks ago, Bancroft originally entitled this song “Advocate.” That is a very appropriate title as the central theme of her three verses indeed fix our eyes on Christ as our mediator and intercessor. “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1). “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all…” (1 Timothy 2:5-6).
In Christian circles we often emphasize that Jesus is who brings us to God – and rightly so! “[For] there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). But in addition to bringing us to God, Jesus keeps us with God. He is ever interceding for us.
Paul expounds this wonderful truth in Romans 8. Really the entire chapter is a treatise on the Christian’s standing with God. In verses 34-35 Paul asks, “Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” And he goes on to answer and display that the answer is that nothing can.
Think about that: nothing. There is absolutely nothing that can tear us away from Christ’s love for us. Not sin. Not Satan. Not trials. Not temptation. Nothing. Before the Throne of God Above revels in this truth, and it does so in such a beautiful way. May we be a people who not only have the truths of this song sung from our lips, but also saturating our hearts.