Praise God for His New Creation
This post was contributed by worship leader Mike Hale.
What songs do you use at the end of a service to send the congregation on its way? Often our “song of sending” will be one of re-dedication to serving with Jesus. But on some occasions when the scriptures, prayers, and sermon or testimonies speak powerfully of the grace and mercy of God, there may be no more fitting conclusion than to offer up pure praise (a doxology)—giving all glory to God.
Because we were crucified with Jesus and now have new life in the risen and ascended Jesus (Eph. 2:4-10, Gal. 2:20), we are new people of the new creation. And just as the angels sang for joy at the original creation (a universe meant to glorify God), today by the Holy Spirit we join with Jesus (the new Adam) in singing praise and giving glory to God as part of the new creation.
One such doxology of praise is 1 Tim. 1:17. Paul has just described having once been a violent, persecuting, blasphemous, unbelieving creature, and feeling like the worst of sinners (we even learn elsewhere that he had once been involved in putting Christians to death). But then Paul testifies that Jesus came into the world to mercifully save sinners, including Paul, and that God even patiently uses such redeemed sinners in the service of the Gospel, in proclaiming the grace, faith and love of Christ Jesus in their lives so that others can know and experience the same miraculous inclusion in this new life.
In view of Paul’s testimony of God’s love known in Jesus (though we no longer see Jesus), it was altogether fitting to stop and insert a doxology (offer up pure praise), to give honor and glory forever and ever to the eternal, immortal, invisible King that is God.
The version of 1 Tim. 1:17 used in our congregation is Joey Holder’s “Now Unto the King Eternal”. (See song 227 in what is commonly called the Maranatha! Music “Green Book”.) We’ve changed it up a bit with several repeats of the verse and chorus, and also modulate a full step midway through the song, adding to the intensity. By the final chorus the congregation sings to the top of their lungs, and it is a powerful way to be sent—with nothing ringing in our ears but the marvelous truth that all glory and honor forever and ever belongs to our King that is God.
Now unto the King eternal
Unto the King immortal
Unto the King invisible
The only wise God
The only wise God
Oh, unto the King be glory and honor
Unto the King forever
Unto the King be glory and honor forever and ever