A Glimpse into the Mind of Christ

I grew up a psalm-singer, basically because I had to be.  The Church Order of the United Reformed Churches, article 39, states that “The 150 psalms shall have the principal place in the singing of the churches.”  So I grew up principally singing psalms because that’s what we did.

It wasn’t until quite recently that I became a psalm-singer because I wanted to be.  There are many factors that went into that change, but one of the primary causes of my newfound love for the psalms has been my friendship with Rev. G. I. Williamson.

Rev. Williamson hardly needs an introduction.  He just celebrated the 60th anniversary of his ordination a few months ago (check out the write-up in the September 12, 2012, issue of Christian Renewal).  He has served churches throughout the USA and New Zealand, written beloved study guides and books, and has been an encourager of Christ’s Church and a passionate preacher of the Gospel for all those decades.  You can learn more about him and access his writing on his website, HERE.

One thing the Rev. Williamson is passionate about is the Book of Psalms and the singing thereof.  The reason?  Because he sees the Psalms as a full, clear, and beautiful revelation of our Savior Jesus Christ.

“Here more than anywhere else is the source of knowing the mind of Christ; for here, in the Book of Psalms… we hear our Savior Himself expressing His own inner life… We have in the four Gospels… objective descriptions of the suffering and death of Jesus Christ recorded by people who were eye witnesses… In the book of Psalms – not in Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John – as it is in the psalms that we actually hear [Christ] tell about it.”

I’ve mentioned before (HERE) how as Christians, we understand Christ to be the primary singer of the psalms.  It is through Him, and in union with Him, that we sing the psalms.  Jesus enables us to sing the psalms.

Rev. G. I. Williamson has taught me many things; one of the most precious is to love and cherish the psalms.  This sermon masterfully encapsulates his lifetime of love for the psalms into a powerful 32 minutes.  Please listen to this sermon.  I can’t imagine anyone listening to this sermon and still “getting bored” by singing the psalms.  I can’t imagine anyone listening to this sermon and still only singing the psalms “because they had to.”

Christ is the key to singing the psalms with gusto, faith, and fervor.  And as always, Rev. Williamson excels at pointing to Christ.  So here’s the sermon:

“THE MIND OF CHRIST” by Rev. G. I. Williamson

The sermon has some great illustrations and personal stories, but the one that really got me was when Rev. Williamson described his wife feeling somewhat down over a book she was reading.  She was reading a book detailing “the victorious Christian life” from the “feel-good,” prosperity side of the tracks.  She almost despaired, because she looked at her life and realized, “that’s not me.”  The description of the always happy, always perfect “Christian” life did not line up with the reality she felt.  So Rev. Williamson simply said, “Let’s read some psalms.”  After reading a handful of psalms, Rev. and Mrs. Williamson agreed, “Now that’s me.”  The psalms perfectly describe our lives in Christ – in all our joys, woes, highs, and lows – precisely because they are the songs of Christ and we are in Him.

So please listen to this sermon, take it to heart, pray that we might always see Christ and through and in Him sing the psalms and through and in Him see ourselves in the psalms.

-JDO

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