Powerlines: What a Beautiful Name it is

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  • May 03, 2018

The following is from a series of blogs at Seven Mile Road called Powerlines in which members of Seven Mile Road discuss song lyrics or scripture verses that are particularly powerful to them and their story.

This Sunday in church, we sang Hillsong’s “What a Beautiful Name” in its entirety for the first time (we had previously used the chorus/bridge as a tag but never sang the verses before). However, if you are familiar with Hillsong’s recording of the song, you may have noticed that we changed one of the lyrics in the second verse. Here are the lyrics as written by Hillsong:

You didn’t want heaven without us

So Jesus, You brought heaven down

My sin was great, Your love was greater

What could separate us now

And here are the lyrics that we sang:

You found joy in our redemption

So Jesus, You brought heaven down

My sin was great, Your love was greater

What could separate us now

The first line of the second verse has had some pushback recently because of potential misunderstanding. There is a way of reading “You didn’t want heaven without us” that could be understood as Jesus being dissatisfied with heaven, or that God was insufficient in himself, having a need for humanity which taken to its logical end makes God no longer God (see our blog post on God’s aseity). Obviously, this was not Hillsong’s intention. They actually discuss their intention/inspiration for the lyrics here. Nevertheless, since the lyric could be misunderstood, we chose to edit the lyric to one that captured Hillsong’s intent without the potential of misinterpretation.

Consider for a moment the beauty of the truth intended behind the lyric. We have an all sufficient, perfectly joyful, blessed, Triune God and the three persons of the Godhead have eternally enjoyed perfect communion with each other. Yet, through no deficiency, Jesus still found joy in bringing us to God. Jesus praying in the garden says “Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24).

Our God doesn’t want us in heaven because He is insufficient without us, but instead because He is so sufficient that He loves to share Himself with us. In Christ, we find our hope and joy and satisfaction yet for us to be given that Christ had to suffer and die on our behalf. Our sin was great but His love was greater and for the joy of our redemption set before Him, Jesus endured the cross, despising the shame and now God has given Him the name above all names. And what a beautiful name it is.


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Jimmy Hettinger

About Jimmy Hettinger

Jimmy is a member of Seven Mile Road where he serves as story team coordinator and a bassist on the music worship team. He works as a pediatric critical care nurse while he studies to become a nurse practitioner.

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