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#987 - "King of Kings" by Hillsong Worship
NRT'S Kevin Davis talks to Brooke Ligertwood about the band's recent worship single.

Posted: September 04, 2019 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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Following up their standout worship album, Let There Be Light, featuring the Grammy-winning song, "What a Beautiful Name," churches and believers around the world celebrated Hillsong Worship's 2018 release, There is More. Album standouts include "Who You Say I Am" and "Touch of Heaven." There is More is one of my top 10 worship albums of 2018, as well as my all-time favorite Hillsong album. Now, Hillsong Worship has dropped another "best." Their latest single, "King of Kings."
I am blessed by each album released from Hillsong Worship. Myself and churches worldwide continue to worship using staples, such as "Mighty to Save," "Hosanna," "Stronger," "Forever Reign," "Cornerstone," "Hope of the World," "God is Able," "This I Believe (The Creed)," "What a Beautiful Name," and "Who You Say I Am." Without a doubt, each song has put the Word of God into the minds, mouths, and hearts of Christians everywhere. I had the chance to speak with Brooke Ligertwood about "King of Kings."

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

"King of Kings" is an attempt to summarize the story of the Gospel and the church. This song is firmly rooted in scripture and packed full of theology. Theology releases praise. We hope and we pray that the song articulates the heart of the Gospel and the story of the church, starting with the birth of Jesus and through Pentecost essentially and then placing ourselves within that story, with the birth of the Church and our salvation stories.

Hopefully, it becomes a song that we can sing every week, as a reminder of who we are in our origins and also our future. It's leaning towards liturgy in a way with a devotional angle where people can find themselves in the journey of the song and give praise to God. When we believe correctly about God, when we understand and get a greater revelation of who God is and what He's done, we can't help but respond in worship.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Matthew 5:17 (NIV): "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them."

Acts 1:8 (NIV): "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
Acts 2:24 (NIV): "But God raised Him from the dead, freeing Him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Him."
Acts 2:42 (NIV): "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer."
Acts 4:12 (NIV): "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved."

Romans 1:16-17 (NKJV): "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."
1 Peter 2:24 (NIV): "He himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; By His wounds, you have been healed."

John 15:13 (NKJV): "Greater love has no one than this, then to lay down one's life for his friends."

John 1:12 (NIV): "Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God."
Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV): "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

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?

Romans 1:16-17 says that in the Gospel, the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith. When we proclaim the Gospel, we are actually declaring and putting forth the power of God for salvation. 

Throughout all of the sections of "King of Kings," many Scriptures align with the lyrics. I love singing the lyric, "And the Church of Christ was born/Then the Spirit lit the flame." It captures, for me, that this is current and a fire that still burns today. 

We have the responsibility to pass the torch on to the next generation to be part of God's community of torchbearers. The very next line in the song, "Now this gospel truth of old/ shall not kneel, shall not faint," when we were writing that, we were thinking about how we are living in a time where we are existing within a context when the truth can be so confused and diluted.

I love the declaration that the Gospel is not swayed or diluted by any new philosophy that comes along. In the culture we are living in now, to remind ourselves that the Gospel does not grow tired or weary or less relevant is a cool thing to remind ourselves of. When we worship from the remembrance of what God has done in our lives and standing on that rock, and singing out a new song, there's power in that. I would encourage anyone who leads or sings this song to remember what Jesus has done for you personally and sing from that place and remember that He is not finished with us yet.
The Gospel is a new reality that requires a new response. It should never be treated or viewed as a relic, no matter how reverently one might err in that direction. With origins before time and echoes beyond it, it stands at the intersection of eternity and our everyday present and beckons, urges, demands us to look. Look at Christ, the Son of God, bloodied for your sin and the sin of all humanity, repent and believe and take your place in the story of all stories, the story of the King of Kings.
In the darkness we were waiting
Without hope without light
Till from heaven You came running
There was mercy in Your eyes
To fulfill the law and prophets
To a virgin came the Word
From a throne of endless glory
To a cradle in the dirt
Praise the Father
Praise the Son
Praise the Spirit
Three in One
God of glory, Majesty
Praise forever to the King of Kings
To reveal the Kingdom coming
And to reconcile the lost
To redeem the whole creation
You did not despise the cross
For even in Your suffering
You saw to the other side
Knowing this was our salvation
Jesus for our sake You died
Praise the Father
Praise the Son
Praise the Spirit
Three in One
God of glory, Majesty
Praise forever to the King of Kings
And the morning that You rose
All of heaven held its breath
Till that stone was moved for good
For the Lamb had conquered death
And the dead rose from their tombs
And the angels stood in awe
For the souls of all who'd come
To the Father are restored
And the Church of Christ was born
Then the Spirit lit the flame
Now this gospel truth of old
Shall not kneel shall not faint
By His blood and in His Name
In His freedom I am free
For the love of Jesus Christ
Who has resurrected me
Come on if He raised you up
Lift a shout to Him
Praise the Father
Praise the Son
Praise the Spirit
Three in One
God of glory, Majesty
Praise forever to the King of Kings
Praise the Father
Praise the Son
Praise the Spirit
Three in One
God of glory, Majesty
Praise forever to the King of Kings
Praise forever to the King of Kings

Closing Thoughts

If you've always enjoyed Hillsong's worship anthems, you're in for a treat with this beautiful song. This stirring new worship music really puts me in the proper mindset to praise God, for loving me so much that He gave His life away for all that was lost. God explains love in 1 John 4:19: "We love because He first loved us."

God's love was given at an outrageous cost: the life of His only begotten Son. Not only should we love God because He first loved us, but we should also love others unconditionally. Because, while we are still sinners, Christ died for us. That's a wonderful testimony to the truth of God's Word, which consistently tells us to not be afraid to be bold and to not be ashamed of the Gospel. "King of Kings" is a great way to express that joy, thankfulness and dedication to God that we all have, as followers of Jesus.
We can't earn grace, and we can't do anything to gain life other than accepting Jesus. What if we lived as though we believed the sincere words of this song? Jesus loves us so much that He came down and took our punishment so that we can be with Him forever. 

"King of Kings" is one of my favorite songs of the year. I can't get enough of the Biblical truth of the music. I love when artists take Gods' Word from the Bible and turn it into a great and catchy song, filled with truth.  While we're here on Earth, Jesus wants us to pray for His coming kingdom and witness to others about Him. That is Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Once the light of the Holy Spirit is in you, show that light to others as you live your daily life, including outside of a worship context.
I sing "King of Kings" to God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. This song is a great way to thank Jesus for the undeserved gift of grace, which we celebrate at Easter. Grace could stand for God's riches at Christ's expense. Jesus became sin, who knew no sin so that we might become His righteousness.

The message of "King of Kings" challenges us to think about our own doubts. About how Jesus calls us to rely on Him. And, about the power of His resurrection, to remember that He has overcome death and fear. 

No matter where you're at in your walk with Jesus, this song is a salvation message that helps you remember that Jesus came to die and to rise again to set us free. This music reminds us of our standing before God. We know what love is because God is love.
As this song proclaims, "Come on if He raised you up/Lift a shout to Him." Nothing can separate us from His love. For the Son has risen, thus conquering sin and death. "King of Kings" is filled with great statements of faith, celebrating our freedom in Christ: "By His blood and in His Name/In His freedom I am free/For the love of Jesus Christ/Who has resurrected me." This is a great message and song for us to celebrate our freedom, based on our faith in Christ Jesus. 

Make the lyrics of the chorus your prayer: "Praise the Father/Praise the Son/Praise the Spirit/Three in One/God of glory, Majesty/Praise forever to the King of Kings." 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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