#637 - "Arrested By Grace" by WorshipMob
Garrett Chynoweth talks about the identity-defining power of the arresting grace of Jesus Christ.

Integrity Music's WorshipMob has a unique origin story. The Colorado-based collective of worshippers was founded by a small group of worship leaders who desired to create space for other leaders to recharge in the presence of God. The result is a gathering that today represents 30 different churches in the Colorado Springs area.
The group's first full length album is Carry the Fire, which is one of my top 10 "gourmet" albums of the first half of 2015. The 12 track project includes both popular covers and original compositions reflecting WorshipMob's goal for unity as well as creativity in worship. Part of WorshipMob's mission as a collective of musicians from different churches is to bring the Church together. 

I share in that desire as a fellow believer. In writing about songs for the Church for several years now, I've had the opportunity to speak with all types of artists with all types of backgrounds, and the common denominator is our love for Jesus and one another. Having already featured the story behind "Our Father Has Won," I had the chance to speak with WorshipMob's Nico Perez and Garrett Chynoweth about "Arrested by Grace."

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

Garrett: This is a song with a message that I kept talking to so many of my friends about. I would ask what was keeping them from believing the Good News in some area of their lives. They weren't getting the nutrition of grace in their hearts. 

I kept finding that everyone has a similar story, and it's my story too. A lot of us came into these places where we understood that Jesus bore our burden, but then we try to figure out how to pay it back. We try as hard as we can to get over our issues, to find the truth and go out and live for God. What I've found is it beats people up when they try to do all of that in their own strength. When they aren't realizing who they are, it adds burden and weight. They get confused and don't know how to get the heavy burden off of them, and it seems dark and hopeless. 

This song is for that person. I wanted to express the heart of my journey. I wrote the verses and the chorus and it came out of my heart, what God wanted to minister. How God receives people isn't how we see ourselves, no matter how we profess to see ourselves one way. We believe we aren't worth it, we've failed God and we haven't done enough in some ways. We believe that we are almost totally forgiven, almost righteous and almost holy. Our hearts tells us what Jesus says about us can't be true. Jesus says "Look at Me, you are in Me." The whole story is for the religious heart that is struggling to receive grace.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV): "And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

2 Corinthians 6:18 (The Voice): "'And I will be for you as a Father, and you will be for Me as sons and daughters,' Says the Lord Almighty!"

1 John 3:1 (NKJV): "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him."

What is the takeaway message?

Garrett: The lyrics "Stuck in the mire of a standard too high, best efforts have left me weary and dry" are my story. The chorus is filled with identity statements that all come from Scripture, if we'll just believe them. It says we are arrested by grace, and the bridge says we are adopted by Perfection. That's the truth. He rejected my rejection. We have a place and a message, we have a Father, we are part of a family, and that changes everything. I am unconditionally loved. 

All of those 1st Corinthians 13 ideas start pouring in as well. He's gentle, patient and kind, and He's way longsuffering, He keeps no records of your wrongs. He expiated those things and took them out of the equation. 

That's the message to me, that when people believe that they are righteous and holy and their sin has been fully erased, when they believe that they are beloved and accepted, they can't help but be arrested by Grace. He did it. We just get a chance to believe it in our hearts. 

Until someone is loved, it doesn't sink deep. This album is an invitation to be loved by God so that some of those cracked and dry places can get watered. The nourishment is there to receive the truth in that deep place. That's what we are seeing again and again all around the world, and when the Good News sinks deeper into people, that's a win for all of us. When one person sees who they are in Christ we all benefit, because we are all one in the Spirit. We all benefit when we operate as holy people with a badge saying "I'm forgiven, I'm redeemed and I have a message that God loves you whether you are good or not, and He's going to keep loving you unconditionally whether you like it or not." 

The more you receive that love, the more these burdens will fall off of your back. It's a trusting, not a trying. Let go of your efforts, and let God come defend your heart. Let love reach that broken place inside of you.

Stuck in the mire of a standard too high 
Best efforts have left me weary and dry
From trying to trusting, the weight is released
The cross I am bearing You carried for me

Caught in the crossfire, confusion and doubt
Entrenched in this trial, too weak to dig out 
Redemption came running, with righteous decree
"I finished the work, Child, so fall into Me... fall into Me" 

You call me Worthy, shame flooded by Mercy's sea
Forever forgiven, a new Life has risen in me 
Righteous and Holy, sin always and fully erased
Beloved, Accepted, my fall was arrested by Grace
From trying to trusting, this weight is released
The cross I am bearing You carried for me 
Redemption came running, with righteous decree
"I finished the work, Child, so fall into Me... fall into Me"

Adopted by Perfection
You rejected my rejection
Made whole by resurrection...I'm Yours

You did what I wasn't able
Your child, here at Your table
My heart is truly grateful... I'm Yours

Some truths that we can rally behind as believers in Christ are that God is Righteous and Holy, and our sin is always and fully erased. We can all say Hallelujah and celebrate those truths together while singing along with this song. The enthusiasm and energy of this song and band as a whole is infectious. I love listening to this album when I want an exciting time of worship that glorifies God and gets me pumped about my faith. 

Carry the Fire is loaded with great up-tempo songs, catchy melodies and solid lyrics reflecting unashamed faith in Jesus. "Arrested by Grace" is just one of the many highlights of this album's offerings of praise and worship. The energy of this song is a great way to infuse enthusiasm into your worship set. Rarely has an album affected me this deeply, as many of the songs cause me to physically feel the depth and sincerity of the goosebump-inducing, emotional vocals. How these songs convey our relationship with Jesus is truly inspiring and convicting.

Even once we are saved, we sometimes beat ourselves up about failure and feel unworthy of God's love. That's the point: we aren't worthy. We can't earn grace. It is a gift of unmerited favor from God for His children. Scripture tells us, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8). In our fallen and sinful tendencies, He still thinks of us as His children, His sons and His daughters, if we've accepted Jesus as our substitute and Savior. God views us "white as snow" through the blood of His Son instead of in our dirty states. That alone is cause for celebration.

The chorus: "You call me Worthy, shame flooded by Mercy's sea, forever forgiven, a new life has risen in me. Righteous and Holy, sin always and fully erased, Beloved, Accepted, my fall was arrested by Grace," does an excellent job of explaining what grace is all about. My pastor uses the acronym "Gods Riches at Christ's Expense" to define grace.

When you sing this song, the devotional thought we should all be thinking is whether we are submitting our lives to the Truth or just singing the words. God wants us to boldly approach the Throne of mercy and grace to receive and obtain what we need from Him. When we acknowledge our identity in Christ in this song, our burdens are removed. I can't get enough of the beautiful poetic and powerful expressions of faith in this song: "Adopted by Perfection, You rejected my rejection, made whole by resurrection... I'm Yours, I'm Yours." Amen to that!

(Watch the music video here.)

NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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