“…Power to become the sons of God…” (Jn. 1:12)
INTRO.: A song which reminds us that it is because of God’s love for us that we have the power to be saved and to become His children is “Matchless Love” (#690 in Hymns for Worship Revised and #269 in Sacred Selections for the Church). The text was written and the tune was composed both by Samuel William Beazley (1873-1944). Born in Sparta, VA, Beazley produced over 4,000 songs, and taught in singing schools for a decade, as well as five years at Shenandoah College, before moving to Chicago, IL, where he spent the rest of his life. His melodies used in our books include those for “After the Midnight” and “I Choose Jesus” among others. In 1923, he co-edited Living Hymns for The Judson Press of Philadelphia, PA. “Matchless Love” was copyrighted in 1914 by the Quartet Music Co. of Ft. Worth, TX. It appeared in From the Cross to the Crown edited by Thomas S. Cobb in 1921 and Song Service edited by J. E. Thomas in 1922, both published by the Quartet Music Co. Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the song may currently be found in the 1971 Songs of the Church edited by Alton H. Howard, and the 1992 Praise for the Lord, as well as Sacred Selections, Hymns for Worship, and the 2009 Favorite Songs of the Church edited by Robert J. Taylor Jr.
The song mentions several things that the matchless love of Christ has done, now does, and will do for us.
I. Stanza 1 points out that the matchless love of Christ found and saved us
“It was matchless love that found me, When the bands of sin had bound me,
It was love that planned escape for me When I was lost, undone;
It was love in sad plight saw me, It was love that reached our for me,
‘Twas the precious love of Jesus Christ, The mighty, holy One.”
A. The bands of sin have at one time or another bound all responsible human beings because all have sinned: Rom. 3:23
B. Knowing this, the love of God planned escape for us even before time began: 2 Tim. 1:9
C. This love found us and reached out for us through the death of Christ on the cross: 1 Pet. 1:18-20
II. Stanza 2 points out that the matchless love of Christ redeems and frees us
“What a tender loving-kindness That sought me in my blindness,
And a marvelous redemption wrought That mortals might be free!
What an act in its completeness! What a love in tender sweetness!
What a wonderful salvation now Abounds for you and me!”
A. Those who are lost in sin are often pictured as being spiritually blind: Matt. 13:15
B. However, Jesus came to bring redemption that we might be free from sin: Eph. 1:7
C. The result is that we can have a wonderful salvation by God’s grace: Eph. 2:4-5
III. Stanza 3 points out that the matchless love of Christ will take us to heaven
“What a wonderful relation That I, in lowly station,
Am called a ‘son unto God,’ what more Could human heart desire?
By His tender love o’er-shaded, I’ll be kept till earth has faded
From my sight, and I shall enter in To join the heavenly choir.”
A. God’s love manifested through Christ makes it possible for us to be called His children: 1 Jn. 3:1
B. As His children, He’ll keep us by faith through His power till earth has faded: 1 Pet. 1:5
C. Then we shall enter into the eternal city that He has prepared for His people: Rev. 22:14
CONCL.: The chorus continues to extol the love of Christ that brings salvation to sinful mankind.
“’Twas love, ‘twas matchless love, That caused my Savior there,
Upon the cruel cross to choose a death of shame for even me;
How can I e’er repay The debt of love I owe,
For His salvation full and free, Given through love, wonderful love, matchless love!”
In one area where we lived, there was a congregation that frequently had Sunday afternoon singings, and in that congregation there was a particular brother who nearly always led this song. It was about the only time that I ever had the opportunity of hearing and singing it. It is not an easy song, especially if there are no bass singers who know what they are doing. However, the words certainly help us to recall how much our souls owe to Jesus Christ for all the benefits of His “Matchless Love.”