BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#963 - "Greatness of Our God" by Newsboys
The CCM supergroup shares the inspiration behind its latest single.
 


BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS, #963 -
Posted: March 19, 2019 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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Newsboys has already had a busy year. The band has released two new singles, "Greatness of Our God," and "Symphony." Plus, they've appeared on Winter Jam. Not to mention that they will be releasing their new album United in May. The album and tour celebrates the return of long-time former members Phil Joel and Peter Furler.

Their songs "God's Not Dead," "Guilty," "Live with Abandon," "That's How You Change the World," as well as the God's Not Dead movies are great inspirations about standing up for our faith, following up the bold proclamations, "Let our faith be more than anthems/greater than the songs we sing," from the hit song, "We Believe."

Without faith, it's impossible to please God. Sometimes, we think we can try to know everything. God tells us in the Bible that with faith, we can do anything in Christ. I had the chance to speak with Duncan Phillips and Phil Joel in-person before Winter Jam in Reading, Pennsylvania about "Greatness of Our God."


Please tell me the personal story behind the song.

Duncan: Newsboys United was born out of a song we did together a couple of years ago. We were working on this song and we needed some help and we asked Peter to help us finish this song. It sounded so good. Subsequently, we asked Peter to join us and sing with us on this song, this tour and this upcoming album. It was an idea seeded from a song, then a tour and now we're on Winter Jam together.

The wonderful thing about Newsboys United is that people are getting to hear songs they never thought they would hear us sing again. I get to hang out with Peter and Phil again. And, we're all loving it. We're so grateful that people want to hear us play.

When we first recorded "Greatness of Our God," we knew we had to share it with the world. It's a special song. We've been blessed with hits like "He Reigns," "Born Again," "We Believe," and "God's Not Dead." These are all great and powerful anthems. And "Greatness of Our God" contains the same theme about God's greatness.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Colossians 1:15-18 (NIV): "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy."

Ephesians 3:17-19 (NIV): "And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."

Psalm 33:3 (VOICE): "Sing to Him a new song; play each the best way you can, and don't be afraid to be bold with your joyful feelings."

2 Corinthians 4:5-6 (NIV): "For it is God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

Romans 1:16-17 (MSG): "It's news I'm most proud to proclaim, this extraordinary Message of God's powerful plan to rescue everyone who trusts him, starting with Jews and then right on to everyone else! God's way of putting people right shows up in the acts of faith, confirming what Scripture has said all along: "The person in right standing before God by trusting him really lives."

Romans 8:38-39 (NIV): "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

What is the takeaway message?

Duncan: We hope you join us remembering how great our God really is. There are so many voices coming at us on a daily basis. And, this song is about sitting back and taking in God's greatness and His creation and not being distracted by the world. It is so wonderful and so great. And, sometimes we forget and get bogged down by our lives. "Greatness of Our God" is a revelation about God's greatness. When I was young, I prayed that God would give me the desires of my heart. And, He's been so faithful and exceeded anything I could imagine when I was praying to Him, as a sixteen year old kid. The fact that we're sitting here today is a miracle. It doesn't get any better than to serve God and walk into the calling for our lives. It's not easy or for the faint-hearted. We love pop music. We are church kids. We blend our pop sensibilities with our hearts of worship. This is Newsboys 3.0. You're getting the old, the new, and the best of our blended sounds.

Phil: There's always been an element of worship in Newsboys songs. We all grew up in church and many of us are pastor's kids. And, we're wired for corporate worship and making declarations and proclamations about God together and being unified in our praises of Him. Newsboys United is a unification of who we are in Christ and singing these declarations of who God is. "Greatness of Our God" is a corporate worship song, and God knows who He is. We're singing this song to remind ourselves of His greatness. We sing not because He's forgotten, but because sometimes we forget. God knows we need it.

Lyrics:
From the dawn of creation
This world has been crying out for hope
For a hero to save us
We long for the supernatural

But there is only one God Who can save the day
So clear the stage, prepare the way
'Cause heaven and earth are singing

Glory, hallelujah
Let the whole world see

The greatness of our God
In awesome wonder, He reigns forever
We know the greatness of our God
His power is endless, He lives within us
We know the greatness of our God
The greatness of our God

There's no one above Him
Only our Savior wears the crown
There's none who can stop Him
Not even the grave could hold Him down

But there is only one King Who can save the day
So clear the stage, prepare the way
'Cause heaven and earth are singing

Glory, hallelujah
Let the whole world see

The greatness of our God
In awesome wonder, He reigns forever
We know the greatness of our God
His power is endless, He lives within us
We know the greatness of our God
The greatness of our God
The greatness of our God

We stand in awe and wonder
All the honor is Yours
We stand in awe and wonder
All the honor is Yours, Jesus
We stand in awe and wonder
Awe and wonder

The greatness of our God
In awesome wonder, He reigns forever
We know the greatness of our God
His power is endless, He lives within us
We know the greatness of our God
The greatness of our God

Oh, Lord You're great
Oh, God You're great
The greatness of our God
Holy is our God
The greatness of our God


Closing Thoughts

One of my favorite memories about Newsboys is seeing them at Creation Festival in 1998 after they released their album, Step up to the Microphone. As a crowd of believers, we all sang their bold anthems, "Shine," "Breakfast," "Take Me to Your Leader," "I'm Not Ashamed," "Entertaining Angels," and "Spirit Thing" at the top of our lungs, "Not ashamed of the Gospel." That's when I became a huge fan of the Newsboys. And, the next year, I gave my life to Jesus after saying the sinner's prayer after listening to a Christian album in my car, for which I'm eternally grateful.

Christians are called to display their faith in their words, letting their "faith be more than anthems." And, also in their actions, once they are changed on the inside and become followers of Jesus.

We're challenged in God's Word in Matthew 5:14-16 as believers to not hide the light of Jesus that is in us as His redeemed sons and daughters, and remember that "God is not a secret to be kept." I find Paul's exhortation in 2nd Corinthians 4:5-6 very relevant to us as believers today and a strong reminder of why we all need to live for Jesus. One of the life lessons I've learned is that we shouldn't wait to fix ourselves before we step out in faith.

We need to fully trust God. The faith statements found in the lyrics: "In awesome wonder, He reigns forever/We know the greatness of our God/His power is endless, He lives within us/We know the greatness of our God." has been resonating with me, as I realize that Jesus commands us to trust God completely--no matter our circumstances, personal distractions or concerns.

This song is about recognizing our fragile existence in view of God's incomprehensible greatness. "Greatness of Our God" is a great way to pray along with the band and to remember that God will never leave or forsake us. There's nothing that can separate us from the love of Jesus.

"Greatness of Our God" celebrates the truth from Ephesians and Romans about grasping, "how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ." Allow the fullness of Christ's love to indwell in your heart and proclaim the truth of this song. This great new worship song really sets me in the proper mindset to praise God for loving me so much that He gave His life away for all that was lost. I am challenged to believe these words when I sing along and proclaim with all of my heart: "Glory, hallelujah/Let the whole world see/The greatness of our God/In awesome wonder, He reigns forever/We know the greatness of our God." Amen to that.

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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