This is one of the greatest hymns ever written in the history of mankind. The song sprouted in New York City by Fances Jane Crosby written around 1872. But before I move on, I want to make it clear that hymns are not merely better because they are hymns or because they are older. The best christian songs are the songs that focus our hearts and minds to Jesus, regardless of the time they are written and the genre that the composer chose.
This may not be the first time you heard this song, because hymns are not popular.Basically, this hymn celebrates the greatness of God and appreciates the wondrous things He has done.
We’re gonna go through it stanza by stanza and see the beauty of the hymn, I hope this can be helpful for you.
To God be the glory, great things He hath done;
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in.
The very essence of God’s love, who created us in His image and likeness, is the complete package of salvation. The first stanza echoes John 3:16, which tells us that the primary focus of God’s actions is on the redemption of humanity through Jesus Christ. Man has no effort in God’s great plan, only Jesus alone can open the life gate of salvation – the message of grace. This song addresses directly to God who has done great things, not a personal testimony nor christian experience.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He hath done.
We can see glorious imagery here, intended to be sung rejoice-fully in the spirit of gratitude. The lines expresses happiness and joy because God has done something great, that makes our spirit rejoice and that is because God has offered his Son for our ransom so that we can come to Him freely. John 14:5 says, “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.
My favorite line is found in stanza 2, “The vilest offender who truly believes that moment from Jesus a pardon receives”. The grace mentioned in stanza 1 is clearly supported in this stanza, that the condition for entrance through this gate is through faith alone (sola fide). Regardless of the magnitude of sin (vilest offender) if one puts his faith in Christ then immediately, he’ll receive pardon from Jesus.
Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our rapture, when Jesus we see.
It is God has done great things and the One praise and adoration belong. This is a clear understanding that God’s marvelous grace in salvation is very important. This gives special place to the Free Grace position—that salvation is provided as a gift from God to everyone who will place his or her faith in Christ, regardless of one’s sins before or after conversion. “Great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son” – The act of love on the cross is the reason to “Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the earth hear His voice! Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the people rejoice!
Let us rejoice in our salvation provided freely by Jesus Christ.
Shout out to Leo & Maegan Flores for their beautiful rendition of this Hymn, to God be the glory great things He has done.