“I Have Been Redeemed”

"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people…" (Lk. 1:68)

     INTRO.: A song which praises the Lord God for having visited and redeemed us is "I Have Been Redeemed" (or just "Redeemed" in some books; #362 in Hymns for Worship Revised, and #253 in Sacred Selections for the Church). The text was written by James Rowe (1865-1933). Rowe’s best-known hymn is probably "Love Lifted Me" with music by Howard E. Smith, but a lot of his other songs have appeared in our books, including "After the Shadows," "God Holds the Future in His Hands," "He’s My King," "Home of the Soul," "I Choose Jesus," "I Walk with the King," "I Would Be Like Jesus," "Just Outside the Door," "Looking to Thee," "O Come to the Savior," "Praise The King," "Ring Out the Message," "The Friend Divine," "What Is He Worth to Your Soul?", "Wonderful City," "Wonderful Jesus," "Won’t It Be Wonderful There?", and "You Never Mentioned Him to Me," among others. The tune (I’m Redeemed) for "I Have Been Redeemed" was composed by Stancel A. Ganus (1889-1960). I have been unable to locate any further information about him. The song was copyrighted in 1916.  Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, it appeared in the 1978 Hymns of Praise edited by Reuel Lemmons. Today it may be found in the 1971 Songs of the Church, the 1990 Songs of the Church 21st C. Ed., and the 1994 Songs of Faith and Praise all edited by Alton H. Howard; the 1978/1983 Church Gospel Songs and Hymns edited by V. E. Howard; and the 1992 Praise for the Lord edited by John P. Wiegand; in addition to Hymns for Worship, Sacred Selections, and the 2007 Sacred Songs of the Church edited by William D. Jeffcoat.

     The song expresses the outpouring of a heart overflowing with gratitude to God for salvation.

I. Stanza 1 talks about singing
"Sweet is the song I am singing today;
I’m redeemed! I’m redeemed!
Trouble and sorrow have vanished away;
(I have been) I have been redeemed!"
 A. One thing that a cheerful heart does is to sing: Jas. 5:13
 B. Yes, a certain amount of trouble and sorrow must enter every life: Job 14:1
 C. However, those who are redeemed find comfort in their troubles from the Lord so that they do not sorrow as others who have no hope: 2 Cor. 1:3-4, 1 Thess. 4:13

II. Stanza 2 talks about joy and praise
"Great is my joy now as onward I go;
I’m redeemed! I’m redeemed!
All the way homeward my praises shall flow;
(I have been) I have been redeemed!"
 A. Those who are in Christ can rejoice always: Phil. 4:4
 B. This joy can be demonstrated as we press onward, running the race set before us: Phil. 3:14, Heb. 12:1-2
 C. The means by which we express our joy is praise to God: Heb. 13:15

III. Stanza 3 talks about the Savior
"Precious indeed is my Savior to me;
I’m redeemed! I’m redeemed!
Happy in glory some day I shall be;
(I have been) I have been redeemed!"
 A. Everything about redemption in Christ should be precious to the Christian: 1 Pet. 1:18-19
 B. Especially precious to us is the Savior who died for us: 1 Jn. 4:14
 C. Because of Him, we can have the hope of being happy in glory with Him: 1 Tim. 3:16

     CONCL.: The chorus reminds us that the reason for all this singing, joy, and praise is that we do have redemption in Christ.
"I’m redeemed by love divine;
Glory, glory Christ is mine, Christ is mine.
All to Him I now resign;
(I have been) I have been redeemed."
Like John Newton, "I once was lost, but now am found." Even though I sinned against God, He loved me enough to send His Son to die for my sins and to make it possible for me to have forgiveness so that I can go to heaven. Therefore, my heart should be filled with joy that "I Have Been Redeemed."


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