Grace Has Come – So Has Our New Album

gracehascome_cover_600I’m overjoyed to report that last week (Aug. 1) we released Grace Has Come: Songs from the Book of Romans.

I knew when we started this project that it would be a daunting task. It was. There just isn’t any way of adequately communicating the glorious truths in the book of Romans. But we had to try.

I thank God that a lot of great songs for congregational worship have been written recently, like Not in Me and Man of Sorrows. More people are trying to write songs that are theologically driven, gospel aware, fresh, and singable.

887119_10151643097439305_316639421_oWith Grace Has Come we let a book of the Bible drive the whole album. This is by no means an exhaustive musical rendering of Romans. But I think we captured many of the prominent themes – grace, the gospel, God’s glory in creation, the sinfulness of man, justification in Christ, God’s righteousness, adoption, union with Christ, God’s love, election, and offering our lives as a living sacrifice. The songs are ordered in a way that reflects their appearance in Romans, although some of the songs cover one or more chapters. Here’s how it worked out:

The Gospel Was Promised (Rom. 1:1-6) – Joel Sczebel showed me a lyric taken from the first few verses of Romans. I thought it would be great to have a song that made clear, as Paul does, that the gospel is rooted in history, not theory, philosophy, or our imagination. I added some lyrics and a chorus and Joel came up with the music.

Grace and Peace (Rom. 1:7) –  One of the first songs we picked for the album, based on one verse. Joel did a great job capturing the wonder and awe of words we’re prone to read over quickly – Grace and peace have come to us from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. And it’s a simple, memorable melody which makes it stick. Joel landed his first lead vocal on this song.

Almighty Maker (Rom. 1:20, 11:36) – In this uptempo song, Steve & Vikki Cook explore how God clearly has revealed his eternal power and divine nature in what he’s created. “All creation sings of you, glory fills all that you do.” The bridge is based on the doxology at the end of Romans 11.

892189_10151637252879305_923023090_oJudge of the Secrets (Rom. 2:5-16) – Dave Fournier penned this song, based on a phrase found in Rom. 2:16: “on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.” That verse comes in the middle of Paul making the case that everyone has fallen short of God’s glory. Dave uses it as the basis for a song of confession, dependence, and consecration.

Our Only Hope is You (Rom. 3:9-26) – Neil and Kate DeGraide, new contributors to a Sovereign Grace Music project and members of Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville, wrote this haunting melody and lyric to express our utter inability to make our own way to God. Kate sings a moving lead vocal.

A God Who Saves (Rom. 5:6-11) – Another by Joel Sczebel, this upbeat anthem proclaims God’s power to rescue sinners and conquer death. The last two lines of verse 2 ended up being a collaborative effort of the folks in the studio when Brooks Ritter was recording the vocal.

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We Praise Your Righteousness (Rom. 3-8) – When studying for this album, I read in John Stott’s commentary: “The righteousness of (or from) God is a combination of his righteous character, his saving initiative, and his gift of a righteous standing before him. It is his just justification of the unjust, his righteous way of ‘righteoussing’ the unrighteous.” (p. 109). I wrote these lyrics to capture those ideas. My good friend, Matt Papa, supplied a hymn-like tune and ended up singing it on the album. Actually Matt supplied two tunes, but we could only use one.

Our Hope is Alive (Rom. 8:18-25) – Another DeGraide contribution, this mid-tempo 6/8 song ties our future hope to Christ’s triumphant victory over the grave.

Glory Awaits (Rom. 8:18-30) – Jon Underhill, also from Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville, sent in this bluesy but celebrative song that reminds me lyrically of the old Andrae Crouch song, Soon and Very Soon. I added a few lyrics and Brooks Ritter, our friend from Sojourn Church, sang lead. Brooks was made for songs like this.

Nothing in All the Earth (Rom. 8:31-39) – I think we wrote about ten songs for this passage. There are many more to be written. We chose this joyful song by Joel Sczebel that reminds us nothing can ever tear us from God’s everlasting love in Christ. This is one of two songs sung by David Zimmer, drummer for Enfield and this album.

All Glory Be Forever (Rom. 1:18-23, 3:21, 6:1-11; 8:1-39, 11:33) – An anthemic overview of Romans 1-11, written by my son, Jordan (who also wrote All I Have is Christ). I especially like the line, “Every trial that tempts our hearts to fear He’ll use to give us hope.” What a precious truth to remember.

577900_10151643097944305_1639225096_nIt’s Your Grace (Rom. 9:1 -11:36) – How does one write a song based on Romans 9-11? This is our attempt. Doug Plank sent me the initial idea for the song, and I finished it while he was ministering over in Africa. I tried to communicate the thought that God’s sovereign grace is a cause not for theological disputes, but for humble rejoicing and grateful worship. After all, that’s where Paul ends up at the end of chapter 11.

My Life is an Offering (Rom. 12:1-2) – A simple song of commitment, written by Joel and Pat Sczebel, closes out the album. In light of all God has done for us in Christ, our only response can be a greater desire to see Jesus magnified through the offering of our lives.

In another post, I’ll write about the special edition of Grace Has Come, which features three additional songs and helps raise money for an October worship conference in the Philippines.

As for all our albums, you can download free guitar charts, lead sheets, and piano scores from the Sovereign Grace Music website. You can also buy Grace Has Come from iTunes, Amazon, or Bandcamp. The digital liner notes are included with Bandcamp and iTunes.

17 Responses to Grace Has Come – So Has Our New Album

  1. Mike Stelzer August 9, 2013 at 12:52 PM #

    Love the new album, thanks so much for putting in together! I’m excited to start using these songs in our church!
    Mike

  2. Paul Huxley August 9, 2013 at 4:38 PM #

    I’ve listened to it extensively since it came out – good job! I particularly like that each song has driven its own production.

    The standout tracks for me on the main album are Glory Awaits (for its simplicity and guitar parts) and It’s Your Grace (for making a great song out of a difficult passage). I also love The Final Word is Christ with great words, odd time signatures and a celebratory final verse.

  3. Benji Carey-Smith August 9, 2013 at 5:28 PM #

    Have been really enjoying listening to this album in its entirety, with the flow of songs capturing Romans. Great sounds and some excellently written songs. Awesome vision to do something like this. Thank you for your ministry’s faithfulness to God’s Word – and to write songs about all aspects of God’s nature, doctrine and our faith. May God be pleased to use these songs to impact and reform people’s minds, hearts and lives.

  4. pianomom August 12, 2013 at 7:26 AM #

    so thankful for this cd and all the labors of love that went into making it. honestly, i totally agree with the comments above–God has been pleased to AGAIN let His Spirit abide with your efforts. i also especially appreciate the arrangements, instrumentation, different vocalists, and the flow of the text of scripture. in listening while i walk in the mornings, i feel as though i am getting the whole Gospel picture into my soul through these songs. God be praised!
    “It won’t be long…”

  5. Patricia Varga August 12, 2013 at 9:52 AM #

    Wow Bob! What an overtaking. I think this is great!

  6. Trent Broussard August 14, 2013 at 3:00 PM #

    I think I say this every time Sovereign Grace produces a new album, but this is my favorite so far. The Gospel Was Promised has become a family favorite. You should hear all five us singing in the van at the top of our lungs! Glory Awaits is deeply meaningful and just plain cool too. I am looking forward to introducing several of these songs to my congregation over the next few months.

    • Bob Kauflin August 14, 2013 at 3:28 PM #

      Thanks for your encouraging words, Trent! Love both of the songs you mention, as well as a few others!

  7. Vijesh August 28, 2013 at 2:06 PM #

    Wow its nice to hear, I never knew Man of Sorrows was not written by Hillsong but some other writers. So i have some new set of songs to listen.

    Thanks for the share Bob.

    • Bob Kauflin August 29, 2013 at 7:14 AM #

      Vijesh, the Man of Sorrows I linked to was written by two Hillsong writers, one of them Brooke Ligertwood, who is an excellent writer.

  8. Wayne Roberts September 12, 2013 at 3:01 PM #

    Listening to this on Bandcamp, and the song “Our Only Hope Is You” is outstanding. Kate does a really good job with the vocals. The song affects me much like their song with Sojourn “May Your Power Rest On Me”.

  9. Jason Warren September 17, 2013 at 6:27 PM #

    Hi!

    Love the new album. The Gospel Was Promised spoke to me! So much that my praise band did it this week in church. Thanks for your ministry.

  10. rowena October 15, 2013 at 9:05 PM #

    gud day pastor Bob..thankz for the time ,effort,dedication,energy and the team for coming here in cebu phils..really through you we can worship God like never been before,,your a blessing like Abraham,,until now the songs engrave,piercing in my heart…and now you experienced the earth quake here really the enemy is not happy with you and your team..see, bohol and cebu are the most affected and your here in this place…really God is working through you and the team,,,Godbless

  11. rowena October 15, 2013 at 9:11 PM #

    ohh and how i love this song…grace ang peace oh how can it be, ohh what an amazing mystery that His grace has come to us…Amen..

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