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Music Review: Above All, by Michael W Smith

September 16, 2009

Without question, the one song that has been thrown my way more than any others, and has been a source of much conversation at our church has been Above All. Click here to hear it. The lyrics are:

Above all powers above all kings
Above all nature and all created things
Above all wisdom and all the ways of man
You were here before the world began


Crucified laid behind the stone
You lived to die rejected and alone
Like a rose trampled on the ground
You took the fall and thought of me
Above all

Above all kingdoms above all thrones
Above all wonders the world has ever known
Above all wealth and treasures of the earth
There’s no way to measure
What You’re worth

I have made no secret about the fact that I have a theological problem with this song. Just to be clear, I have no problem with the verses of the song. They are actually a great picture of who Christ is. Where the problem comes in is the chorus, specifically where it says, “You took the fall and thought of me above all.”

The primary purpose of Christ’s death on the cross was to bring glory to His father. Romans 3.23 is perhaps one of the most popular verses in Scripture, but the following context  is often overlooked. Those verses tell us that the reason Jesus died was to preserve God’s righteousness. Why would it need to be preserved? Because God had been so patient, it would have been easy for people to think He was simply overlooking sin. In fact, He wasn’t, and it cost Him His Son to prove it. The death of Christ, His only Son, gave God the opportunity to remain just while also being the justifier, as Rom. 3.26 says.

Yes, the result was the beautiful, priceless gift of grace that we can enjoy in a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. But it’s just that… a result. It is not the #1 reason, or the reason that is “above all” other reasons.

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