BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#334 - "Hope Of The World" by Hillsong Live
Reuben Morgan and Ben Fielding chat with Kevin Davis about the first single from the Cornerstone album.
 


Hillsong Live is the expression of worship from the globally influential Hillsong Church. This year Hillsong Live returns with their latest church resource, Cornerstone, which released on Sparrow Records July 3, 2012. 
 
Cornerstone marks the 21st live release from Hillsong. This local church creative team has a commitment to continually resource the Body of Christ with fresh songs of worship and a deep passion to see people connect with the living God in a real and personal way. 
 
The album was recorded live along with thousands of worshippers gathered together in Sydney, Australia, and features new songs by worship leaders Reuben Morgan, Ben Fielding, Joel Houston, Darlene Zschech and others. This album offers fresh, new songs to congregations worldwide with a simple desire to place emphasis on Jesus. It's a prayer that people everywhere will be encouraged to find hope in Christ, the Cornerstone.
 
Hillsong is known for such worldwide worship anthems as "Shout To The Lord". "Mighty To Save", "Hosanna", "Desert Song" and many more modern worship anthems sung by tens of millions every week in worship services around the world. 
 
I eagerly await each new Hillsong release; Cornerstone is truly stellar and is now my top overall album by them. In my opinion, Hillsong has managed to release their newest best album with each release since Mighty To Save. Nashville-based artists have been covering Hillsong to much acclaim and radio success, most recently Laura Story's recording of "Mighty To Save," Chris And Conrad's recording of "Lead Me To The Cross," Kari Jobe's recording of "Healer," Natalie Grant's recording of "Greatness Of Our God" and One Sonic Society's recording of "Forever Reign."
 
I had the great opportunity to interview Hillsong Live members Reuben Morgan and Ben Fielding about their song "Hope Of The World."   
 
Please describe the message of the song "Hope Of The World" and "Cornerstone."

I would definitely say the main message is the picture of Christ with His arms open wide on the Cross, drawing the world to Himself, welcoming the world. It's a picture of His victory through His death on the Cross. It's a powerful image and is the message of the Gospel that we believe. We sing in the bridge over and over again, "All we need is You." That's the Truth, because without Christ, we are nothing.
 
The idea behind "Cornerstone" was birthed out of an international tragedy last summer in Norway when more than 70 innocent victims--many children--were killed. This song was written in response to this frightening shooting as I was visiting the Scandinavian Peninsula. When you write songs that people sing as part of their worship to God there is a bit of your soul that shares the aches of those around you. 
 
Please tell me about any Bible verses that you used to write the song.
 
Ephesians 2:11-13: "Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands—that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ."
 
… and Mark 10:45: "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
 
What do you consider to be the takeaway message of the song and album? 
 
When there is tragedy, the song of lament wakes up with you, and when there is joy, the sound of praise fills your ears. To some it might seem really odd to reach for a guitar when tears are falling on scuffed up shoes, but I really don't know any other way of being. We only just have the time to forget the face of the gunman when another chorus of sirens wail. We have barely cleaned up after the flood when an earthquake strikes. 
 
When the earth shakes, we look to our feet and wonder what it is that we are standing on. It is an amazing picture, the thought of Jesus being our ransom. Him taking upon Himself what we deserved. Taking our rightful place, and allowing us into the presence of God is mind-blowing. Who or what do we turn towards for our strength? It's a constant and daily decision to come to the Cross and acknowledge our need for Jesus. We're nothing and we really can't do anything without Christ.
 
Lyrics:
For the love poured out
For the price of freedom
Let the whole earth sing
The praises rising
We stand in awe of what You've done
For us, at the cross

The hope of the world
Lifted on high
Calling us home with arms out wide
To know You forever, to love You forever
You are our everything

Our sin erased,
We're forgiven
You made a way
You are our ransom
And we owe this life for all You've done
For us, at the cross

The hope of the world
Lifted on high
Calling us home with arms out wide
To know You forever, to love You forever
You are our everything

All we need is You

The hope of the world
Lifted on high
Calling us home with arms out wide
To know You forever, to love You forever
You are our everything
 
Asbury's Bible commentary: "Consequently, Gentiles are no longer foreigners and aliens. Now they are fellow citizens with God's earlier people, spiritual Israel and members of God's household in the kind of relationship that only family can know. This conjoined community is established on the teachings of the apostles and prophets, and built around Jesus, the chief Cornerstone. Once rejected by human kingdom builders, Jesus now has joined together the whole building, like a holy temple in which God lives. In Christ, believing Jew and believing Gentile are being built together into the magnificent structure over which Christ rules as Head. 
 
"Where, Paul must have wondered, is there such a human institution? Apart from Christ, how can the church be explained? Jesus redirects their attention to suffering and calamity, His and theirs, for the Kingdom has not yet been fully realized. Within the community of faith, discipleship entails service for one another, best exemplified by Jesus Himself, who came to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many. This is the secret by which salvation is made available: Jesus' sacrificial death. For Mark, to understand this is to understand Jesus' true significance."
 
It was a great privilege for me to interview Reuben Morgan and Ben Fielding of Hillsong LIVE. They wrote "Mighty To Save" together, which is the most sung worship anthem in the global Church today. I sing "Hope Of The World" at the top of my lungs in total devotion to God. I am very moved by the song. As Paul says in Ephesians 2:12-13: "having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ."
 
A live version and studio version of "Hope Of The World" is also on the album and is the first radio single from Cornerstone. It opens with, "For the love poured out, For the price of freedom, Let the whole earth sing, The praises rising, We stand in awe of what You've done, For us, at the Cross," which really captures the thesis statement of this great album that we "stand in awe" at the Cross.
 
Allow the fullness of Christ's Love to indwell in your heart and proclaims the truth of this song: "To know You forever, to love You forever, You are our everything." Amen to that!
 
(You can listen to the song 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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