One of my very best friends Aaron Hagy has written and recorded a new worship album that will be available for purchase in just a couple of weeks. Some of you may remember the name Aaron Hagy – he was the lead vocalist for the Christian rock group Judah First. His voice remains one of my very favorite and I am excited to hear him recording new music.
With his permission I have included a small clip from one of their songs called “Forever Changed.” Take a listen and I think you will see why you should spend the money to purchase the album when it becomes available.
Theologically speaking, the lyrics initially seem to be contradictory. Consider the ending to the catchy chorus:
Paid the debt that I owe
Freedom I now know
I give you all control
Forever changed in my soul
Lines 2 and 3 are the problem. Freedom can be expressed in many ways, but surely giving away “all control” is not one of them. So, how can someone claim to know freedom while simultaneously giving away all control? Either these phrases were placed together simply because they rhyme or there is more here than meets the eye. Let’s take a look.
“Paid the debt that I owe.” This is a reference to penal substitutionary atonement. Galatians 3:13 is a relevant text for this phrase of the song – “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us…” The wrath of God has been satisfied through the death of Jesus Christ in our place.
“Freedom I now know.” John 8:36 says, “If the son has set you free, you will be free indeed.” Since our debt has been paid and the wrath of God has been satisfied, we are free from the burden of guilt. Paul reminds the Galatians that “it is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1). We are no longer slaves to sin, but we are…..
…slaves to Christ. One of the most profound truths of Christianity is how our freedom enables us to become slaves. We break the yoke of sin and become slaves to Christ, who is our freedom. That is why Paul says, “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.” (Romans 6:22). Therefore…
“I give you all control.” There it is – not contradictory at all. True freedom in Christ is slavery to Christ. This is why Paul calls himself a “servant of Christ Jesus” and why we are all reminded to find our greatest freedom through our enslavement to God.
Anyway, buy the record! I will keep you posted on its release.