For the Church: Singing Amen

from Aug 06, 2015 Category: Ligonier Resources

Amen,” from Glory to the Holy One, is a fine example of the old adage, “sometimes less is more.” With skillful economy of words, “Amen” intersperses the word amen with four carefully-ordered concepts to present important insights about true worship. As with “Glory to the Holy One,” the textual progression of “Amen” mirrors the gospel-ordered sequence of worship: Gathering (“We come to You”), Word (“Thy Word is true”), Response (“We kneel to You”), and Sending (“Our lives we yield”). We reverently gather in God’s holy presence in worship because He sovereignly calls us by His Word and Spirit; we humbly submit to His authoritative, infallible Word; we joyfully prostrate our hearts before Him in praise and thanksgiving; and we triumphantly go forth into the world in the name of Christ with transformed minds, yielded hearts, praise-filled mouths, and serving hands and feet.

Amen is recorded in Scripture with respect to both God and man. Vines Complete Expository Dictionary summarizes: “Amen, said by God, (means) ‘it is and shall be so,’ and by men, (means) ‘so let it be.’” Amen expresses the truth of God’s being (Isaiah 65:16) and the certainty of His testimonies (Psalm 19:7), precepts (Psalm 111:7), curses (Hosea 5:9), and mercies (Isaiah 55:3). Christ is “the Amen” (Revelation 3:14), in whom all God’s promises are affirmed (2 Corinthians 1:20). Amen concludes all but three New Testament books. Christ often prefaced His pronouncements with “truly (amen) I say to you.” In the Gospel of John, He preceded His declarations 25 times with the twofold formula, “truly, truly” (amen, amen).

Amen is also expressed by God’s people in submissive affirmation of God’s Word. Amen is declared in solemn assent to God’s covenant curses (Deuteronomy 27:15-26) and the voicing of thanksgiving (1 Chronicles 16:36), praise (Romans 11:36), doxology (Psalm 41:13), and prayer (Matthew 16:13). “Amen” beautifully pictures the dialogical rhythm in which God, through Christ’s mediation, both authoritatively reveals Himself to us and works in us to obediently respond.

Amen” also reflects the tight interrelationship between orthodoxy (true doctrine), doxology (praise), and orthopraxy (correct conduct). God’s Word is true and life-transforming, and therefore we kneel before Him in praise and walk in obedience. May our doctrine, doxology, and dedicated lives continuously sing, “so let it be.”

Lyrics:

Amen, amen
We come to You, amen
Thy Word is true, amen
Amen, amen

Amen, amen
We kneel to You, amen
Our lives we yield, amen
Amen, amen

Amen

Experience Glory to the Holy One Today

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Randall Van Meggelen is chief musician at Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, Fla., and provides direction for the church’s various music ministries. He is a graduate of Covenant College and Concordia University.