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Is the Song “What a Beautiful Name It Is” Heretical?

At Bridgeway we love the song, “What a Beautiful Name It Is” (written by Ben Fielding and Brooke Ligertwood). But there is a line in it that has caused a few to wonder if perhaps we are singing heresy. The relevant portion of the lyrics goes like this:

“You were the Word at the beginning,
One with God the Lord Most High.
Your hidden glory in creation,
Now revealed in you our Christ.

What a beautiful Name it is,
What a beautiful Name it is,
The Name of Jesus Christ my King.

You didn’t want heaven without us,
So Jesus, you brought heaven down.
My sin was great, your love was greater,
What could separate us now?”

Did you see it? It’s the statement: “You didn’t want heaven without us.” Some have argued that this line suggests that Jesus is needy, that he is, in himself, somehow deficient and less than complete and only we, his people can fill up what he lacks. That’s why he “didn’t want heaven without us.” But we know from numerous biblical texts that God needs nothing, that as Creator and Providential Lord over the entire universe, he is altogether self-sufficient and independent. For example, in his speech on Mars Hill, Paul said this:

“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything” (Acts 17:24-25).

Similarly, in his doxology at the close of Romans 11, the apostle declared:

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:33-36).

It was Jesus himself who said,

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45; Matt. 20:28).

There it is again: Jesus did not come looking for people to work for him. He came to work for us. He came to serve us. Jesus didn’t come to recruit you to meet God’s needs. God has no needs. Jesus came to bring you the resources of God to meet your needs. He died to meet your needs. He rose to meet your needs. He reigns to meet your needs, and make you happy in him forever.

What I’m going to say next may be a severe blow to your ego: God doesn’t need you and me. He lacks nothing. There isn’t anything we can give him or do for him that he doesn’t already have by virtue of the fact that he is God. We cannot serve him as if he were needy, give to him as if he were lacking, supply him as if he were depleted, support him as if he were dependent, empower him as if he were weak, inform him as if he were ignorant, or heal him as if he were wounded.

Read More from Sam Storms.