BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#821 - "I Got Saved" by Selah
Todd Smith from Selah shares how this song ended up on their new album 'Unbreakable' by surprise.
 


BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS, #821 -
Posted: May 11, 2017 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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Veteran trio Selah recently released Unbreakable. The album serves as a marker of the celebrated band's twentieth year since their inception, a much-anticipated album following up 2014's You Amaze Us. That album featured the worshipful songs "You Amaze Us" and "We Must Not." 

Something I've long appreciated about Selah's music ministry is the focus on the Word of God in their lyrics, such as in their classics "Wonderful, Merciful Savior," "You Raise Me Up" and "Before the Throne of God Above." We know from Isaiah 55:11 (NKJV), "So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void."

Continuing in their traditional style, Unbreakable is comprised of a mix of song styles. There is newly written material like "Broken Ladders," "I Got Saved" and "Unbreakable," along with new recordings of the older hymns "In the Sweet By and By," "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot/I'll Fly Away" and "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms." There are also modern worship songs done in Selah's signature style, including a new arrangement of "Jesus Will Still Be There." I had the opportunity to interview Todd Smith about the engaging lead single "I Got Saved."

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

Basically what happened is my wife Angie is a speaker, and she wrote a best-selling Bible study called Seamless. She was speaking at a women's conference, and but she was really depressed and going through a dark time and didn't want to do the events. The promoter asked her to come and said they would love on her and to let them minister to her. She came and was getting ready to share, but she was feeling inadequate. Jennie Lee Riddle and People & Songs were leading worship. Jennie met Angie for the first time, and went to her in the dressing room. Seeing her on the floor, she laid hands on her and prayed over her, and gave Angie the strength to speak. 

During that session they sang "I Got Saved," and it transformed Angie in that moment. She recorded the song on her phone to play it for me, and she asked if we were done with our album Unbreakable. She told me we had to hear this song. I got goosebumps when I heard it, and I haven't been this excited since I first heard "You Raise Me Up." I knew immediately it was special.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Philippians 1:21 (NIV): "For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."

Hebrews 10:22 (KJV): "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water."

1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (VOICE): "For I passed down to you the crux of it all which I had also received from others, that the Anointed One, the Liberating King, died for our sins and was buried and raised from the dead on the third day. All this happened to fulfill the Scriptures; it was the perfect climax to God's covenant story."

Mark 16:15-16 (NKJV): "And He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.'"

Revelation 12:11 (NKJV): "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death."

What is the takeaway message?

I hounded Allan and Amy about the song, and in my head I knew this was a response song. It hits me personally because it reminds me of when I accepted Jesus as a 5-year-old in a small town church in Michigan, of that day and of all He's brought me through since. There was a preacher in a small town where we lived, and he shared the Gospel, and it made sense. I accepted Christ. This song brings me back to that and is what we are saying when we sing the song on tour. 

The first single was supposed to be "Unbreakable," but after we first performed this song we saw the reaction from people, and we could feel a change in the atmosphere where the Holy Spirit was present. We changed our minds and decided that this was the lead single. Our label and management all agreed. 

It's been unbelievable singing the song and seeing how people respond to it. When we share our testimony, we open up the Gospel and encourage the saints. We want people to get involved and share their testimonies of how Jesus changed their lives with the hashtag #IGotSaved on YouTube and Facebook.

Lyrics:
There is a river of gladness
That pours from Emmanuel's veins
This sinner was plunged beneath the flood
And got saved

Since then I walk in forgiveness
All of my guilt was erased
The chains of the past
Are broken at last
I got saved
Oh, I got saved

I'm undone by the mercy of Jesus
I'm undone by the goodness of the Lord
I'm restored and made right
He got a hold of my life
I've got Jesus
How could I want more

I've received nothing but goodness
I've tested and tasted Your grace
I was so lost
'Til I fell at the cross
And got saved
Oh, I got saved

I'm undone by the mercy of Jesus
I'm undone by the goodness of the Lord
I'm restored and made right
He got a hold of my life
I've got Jesus
How could I want more

The love of God
Gave me His pardon
The love of God
Won't let me stay the same
The love of God
Pulls me up higher
His will is stronger
That's why I got saved

I'm undone by the mercy of Jesus
I'm undone by the goodness of the Lord
I'm restored and made right
He got a hold of my life
I've got Jesus
How could I want more

I'm undone by the mercy of Jesus
I'm undone by the goodness of the Lord
I'm restored and made right
He got a hold of my life
I've got Jesus
How could I want more

I've got Jesus
How could I want more
I've got Jesus
How could I want more


Our salvation stories all connect perfectly with this song, as stated in 1st Corinthians 9:22: "To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some." The "irrefutable argument" we have as believers is to share our story of grace. This song celebrates the day that we were saved from our sins, causing listeners to reflect on and celebrate their salvation experience. This song is about our Savior, Jesus, who overcame the grave. 

My testimony is that the biblical messages behind the songs I heard on the debut album by Jars of Clay prompted me to seek out the biblical connection to the words of songs like "Liquid," "Love Song for a Savior" and "Worlds Apart." That led to me dive deeper into God's Word for the first time in my mid-twenties, having grown up with more of a works-based faith and not relying on Jesus alone for my salvation. The transformation process included listening to every type of Christian music, and I got saved in 1999 when I said the sinner's prayer after listening to an artist testimony at the end of a Christian album where the artist invited me to join him, for which I'm eternally grateful.

It is my prayer that my "behind the song" devotionals will encourage readers and be an influence to peoples' individual walks with Christ, or maybe to even lead people to Christ if they haven't made the decision yet. We can't earn Heaven; it's only through complete surrender to Jesus and putting all of our hope in Him can we be saved. As Christians, we all can loudly proclaim: "I'm undone by the mercy of Jesus, I'm undone by the goodness of the Lord, I'm restored and made right, He got a hold of my life, I've got Jesus, how could I want more?" Amen to that!

Watch the lyric video below.
 


 

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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