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#177 - "I Need No Other" by Todd Agnew
NRT's Kevin Davis talks to Todd Agnew about the sufficiency of Jesus--the inspiration behind the song.

Songwriter, musician and worship artist Todd Agnew, known for anthemic hits such as “Grace Like Rain”, “This Fragile Breath” and “My Jesus,” returns with a compelling new project that explores the perceptions of our true desires, which ultimately can only be defined by acknowledging our need for a Savior.

Known for his introspective writing that often parallels the teachings of the Church and celebrates the character of God, Agnew's signature voice belts out joyful declarations of praise ("Gloria", "Joy Unspeakable"), cries for the urgency of Christ ("I Need No Other"), and yearns for answers and assurance ("Written On The Wall”, “Did You Mean Me?") with his unassuming, get-out-of-the-way-and-let-God-move style.

Speaking into the new album title Need, his fourth album for Ardent Records/INO, Todd Agnew says, “Once we finished recording this record, I looked back at it trying to find the theme running throughout. I started to realize how much of this project is about need. My need to be loved. My need for answers. My need for assurance. Our need to worship. Our need to be rescued, redeemed, restored. I noticed that God has been teaching me all year that all of my needs are met in Jesus.”

I got the great opportunity to interview Todd Agnew about “I Need No Other.” Here are the answers to the questions I asked Todd.

Please tell me the story and message behind recording the song “I Need No Other.”

The process really started from a sermon series at my church when we were going through 1 Corinthians where Paul says he’ll “know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” It seems like an amazing concept in this crazy world where we live, but I started thinking about the idea that what if all I knew was about Jesus? Would He be all that I needed? It reminded me of C.S. Lewis saying that “he who has God plus many things has no more than just God alone.” That led me back to the old hymn I sang as a kid, “I need no other argument, I need no other plea, It is enough that Jesus died, and that He died for me.” I felt it was time to re-introduce this hymn back to the church and the Gospel truth of the song because it is such a strong concept.

Please tell me about any Bible verses that you think go with the message of the song.

1 Corinthians 2:1-5: "And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God."

How can listeners apply that message in their walks as Christians when they listen to the song?

I think a big take-away for me has been the idea of satisfaction and fulfillment in Christ. The application for me is gratitude. Knowing I need nothing but God means I have all that I need. We are bent as a culture to want the things we don’t have. God has been training me to look at the things that I do have. My wife, kids, family... I spent some time looking at nature and couldn’t believe how much I overlook every day. Realizing my true “need” has been met is enough for me to give Him all of my gratitude. Spending time thinking about the cross has been all that I need for fulfillment.

Here are the lyrics:

My faith has found a resting place not in device or creed,
I trust the ever-living One,
For me His wounds shall plead.

I need no other argument, I need no other plea,
It is enough that Jesus died, and that He died for me.

It’s enough for me that Jesus saves,
This ends my fear and doubt,
A sinful soul, I come to Him,
He’ll never cast me out.

And I need no other argument, I need no other plea,
It is enough that Jesus died, and that He died for me.

My great physician heals the sick,
The lost He came to save,
For me, His precious blood was spilled,
For me, His life he gave.

I need no other argument, I need no other plea,
It is enough that Jesus died, and that He died for me,
And I need no other argument, I need no other plea,
It is enough that Jesus died, and that He died for me.

“I Need No Other” is such a yearning song with a lot of passion. Todd is the perfect vocalist to bring out the strong message of the song. God’s plan of salvation is Jesus plus nothing. It is fitting that I spoke with Todd Agnew about his version of a classic hymn as most of us were introduced to Todd by his re-write of the classic hymn “Amazing Grace” with his amazing song “Grace Like Rain.” Todd pours himself and his ministry into his transparent lyrics. Todd has also recorded a great version of “Glorious Day” on Better Questions.

Here’s Matthew Henry’s commentary on 1 Corinthians 2:1-5: “Christ in His person is the sum and substance of the gospel, and ought to be the great subject of a gospel minister's preaching, but not so as to leave out other parts of God's revealed truth and will. Paul preached the whole counsel of God. Few know the fear and trembling of faithful ministers, from a deep sense of their own weakness They know how insufficient they are, and are fearful for themselves. When nothing but Christ crucified is plainly preached, the success must be entirely from Divine power accompanying the word, and thus men are brought to believe, to the salvation of their souls.”

I love the singing this hymn of faith to Jesus and telling Him plainly that I need no other than Him. What a great testimony and way to start off a new year. Make a commitment to know Jesus. My new year’s resolution is to live out the faith decree of this song, “I need no other argument, I need no other plea, It is enough that Jesus died, and that He died for me.” Happy New Year!

Kevin Davis is a long time fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. Kevin also writes reviews for ChristianMusicReview.org. He currently lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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