This is a song that we have been singing for a long time at Good News. I believe we first sang it in 2013. I love this song for two primary reasons:
- It incorporates scripture (which I’m always fond of)
- It also incorporates the Nicene Creed (which was written in 325AD)
Let’s dive right into the lyrics, and take a look at the scripture, and creed, that inspired these words:
Once and for all the Father’s love
Once and for all our debt is paid
There on the cross it is finished
The lamb of God for us was slain
[...] he [Jesus] entered the most holy place [the Tabernacle] once for all time, not by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.
~ Hebrews 9:12
We are not saved by Jesus sacrificing animals on our behalf, but rather by Jesus sacrificing Himself. An single act that was sufficient for all time, rather than the ritual sacrifices required throughout the Old Testament.
He is the light in the darkness
I [Jesus] have come [in flesh] as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me would not remain in darkness.
~ John 12:46
Who took on flesh
Now since the children have flesh and blood in common, Jesus also shared in these [...]
~ Hebrews 2:14
And took our place
[...] the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
~ Matthew 20:28
We were held captive in our sin, and a ransom had to be paid. Christ paid that ransom with his life. Our debt wasn’t cancelled. It was fully paid. A slave is not liberated by a favor, but a price has to be paid.
The weight of the world on His shoulders
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
~ Romans 3:23
Christ had the weight of the world’s sin on him during his death.
He himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world.
~ 1 John 2:2
And up from the grave He is risen
Up from the grave he is risen
“Why are you looking for the living among the dead?” asked the men. “He is not here, but he has risen!"
~ Luke 24:5–6
This next section is where the Nicene Creed begins and we see parallels with the early writings:
We believe our God is Jesus
We believe that He is Lord
We believe that He has saved us
From sin and death
Once and for all
We believe in one God [...] and in one Lord Jesus Christ [...]
of the same essence as the Father.
For us and for our salvation He came down from heaven; [...]
He was crucified for us [...]
He suffered and was buried, the third day he rose again [...]
God from God
Light from Light
You are our salvation
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, begotten from the Father before all ages, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God [...]
God from God
Light from Light
Your kingdom is forever
He will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead. His kingdom will never end.
I love the rich history that this song brings. I love that when we sing this song not only are we singing scriptural truths, but we are also singing words that many Christians wrote and recited thousands of years ago!