Expository Songs from Romans 8

Romans 8:15-16

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God[.]

Charles Wesley’s classic hymn “Arise, My Soul, Arise” draws its concluding verses from this passage:

The Father hears him pray,
His dear anointed one;
He cannot turn away
The presence of his Son:
His Spirit answers to the blood,
And tells me I am born of God.

To God I’m reconciled,
His pardoning voice I hear:
He owns me for his child,
I can no longer fear:
With confidence I now draw nigh,
And Father, Abba Father! cry.

There have been several modern-day musical arrangements of this hymn; one is by Twila Paris:

Romans 8:32, 38-39

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? … For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Michael Card’s Christmas classic “Immanuel” tells the story of the incarnation, drawing from Isaiah 7 for the first verse and chorus and from Isaiah 9 for a triumphant bridge. The second verse—which, in a rather unusual song structure, actually follows the bridge and its chorus—is a response to the Incarnation drawn directly from Romans 8:32 and 8:38-39.

Romans 8:38-39

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8 offers an embarrassment of riches to the seeker of expository songs, especially in its concluding verses. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll highlight two—a classic hymn and, first, a song more suited for a solo vocalist.

Babbie Mason’s “What Can Separate You?” is an excellent treatment of the passage. Unlike so many songs that pull a memorable verse out as a proof-text, Mason and her co-writer, Donna Douglas, show their respect for the context of this passage in the first verse: “And before the birth of time / Jesus had you on His mind / so you never need to question His concern.” This is a smartly worded reference to Romans 8:29-30, acknowledging God’s foreknowledge in layman’s terms that any Christian should be able to affirm.

James Small’s beloved hymn “I’ve Found a Friend” concludes with the assurance this verse offers us:

I’ve found a friend, O such a friend!
So kind and true and tender,
So wise a counselor and guide,
So mighty a defender!
From Him who loves me now so well
What pow’r my soul can sever?
Shall life or death or earth or hell?
No, I am his forever.

Here’s a lushly orchestrated performance of the hymn’s classic melody from the London Fox choir and the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra:

If coffee-shop singers and folk instrumentation are more your cup of tea, here’s a new, alternate melody from Remedy Collective:

Expository Songs

Hallelujah (Romans 8:1-2) (1978)
Steffi Rubin, Stuart Dauermann | Popularized by Liberated Wailing Wall
Lyrics | Amazon

No Condemnation (Romans 8:1)
Geron Davis | Popularized by The Ruppes
Lyrics

The Rule of the Spirit (Romans 8:2) (1999)
Don Francisco | Popularized by Don Francisco
YouTube | Amazon

Should we be debtors to the flesh (Romans 8:12-17)
Lyrics

Abba Father (Romans 8:15)
Michael Card | Popularized by Michael Card
YouTube | Amazon

Joint Heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17)
Margaret E. M. Sangster
Lyrics | Sheet Music

The Christian sufferings here below (Romans 8:18-23)
Lyrics

Wouldst thou inherit life with Christ on high? (Romans 8:18)
Catherine Winkworth, Simon Dach
Lyrics | Sheet Music

I Shall See the King (Romans 8:22) (1989)
Ron Hamilton | Popularized by Majesty Music
Sheet Music | Amazon

All For The Good (Romans 8:28-30) (1989)
Ed Nalle, Tom Beard | Popularized by GLAD
YouTube | Amazon

All Things (Romans 8:28) (1998)
Mark Altrogge | Popularized by Sovereign Grace Music
Lyrics | Sheet Music

All Things Work Together (Romans 8:28)
Daniel Riley, Ricky Perkins | Popularized by Brian Free and Assurance
YouTube | Amazon

All Things Work Together (Romans 8:28) (2005)
Twila Paris | Popularized by Twila Paris
YouTube | Amazon

Romans 8:28 (Romans 8:28)
Shirley Cantrell | Popularized by The Cathedrals
YouTube | Amazon

O let triumphant faith dispel (Romans 8:31-34) (1745)
Popularized by Scottish Translations and Paraphrases (1745)
Lyrics | Sheet Music

I’m Not Afraid (Romans 8:31-39) (1995)
Popularized by Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
YouTube

If God Himself Be For Me (Romans 8:31-39)
Richard Massie, Paul Gerhardt
Lyrics | Sheet Music

God is for us (Romans 8:31)
Leila Morris
Lyrics | Sheet Music

If God Be For Us (Romans 8:31)
Squire Parsons | Popularized by Gold City
YouTube

If God Is For Us (Romans 8:31)
Popularized by Maranatha Music
YouTube | Amazon

If God Is For Us (Who Can Be Against Us?) (Romans 8:31)
Popularized by DeGarmo & Key
YouTube | Amazon

Election (Romans 8:33-39)
Benjamin Beddome
Lyrics

Who shall the Lord’s elect condemn? (Romans 8:33-39) (1709)
Isaac Watts | Popularized by Hymns and Spir­it­u­al Songs (1707-09)
Lyrics | Sheet Music

All I Need to Know (Romans 8:35-39) (1998)
Popularized by Sherri Youngward
YouTube | Amazon

Love of the Lord (Romans 8:35-39) (1998)
Jamie Soles | Popularized by Jamie Soles
Lyrics | Sheet Music | YouTube | Amazon

Through Jesus’ Blood and Merit (Romans 8:35-39)
Simon Dach
Lyrics | Sheet Music

What Can Separate You? (Romans 8:35-39)
Babbie Mason, Donna Douglas | Popularized by Babbie Mason
YouTube | Amazon

Conquerors Are We (Romans 8:37)
Leila Morris
Lyrics | Sheet Music

More than a Conqueror (Romans 8:37)
Daniel Otis Teasley
Lyrics | Sheet Music

More than a Conqueror (Romans 8:37) (2013)
Popularized by Hezekiah Walker
YouTube | Amazon

More than Conquerors (Romans 8:37)
Bill Grein, Janny Grein | Popularized by The Nelons
YouTube | Amazon

Nothing Can Separate Me (Romans 8:38-39)
Tim Lovelace | Popularized by The Kingsmen
YouTube | Amazon

Nothing Shall Separate Me (Romans 8:38-39)
Nancy Harmon | Popularized by The Nelons
YouTube

I Am Persuaded (Romans 8:38) (2009)
Popularized by Travis Cottrell
YouTube | Amazon

No Height No Depth (Romans 8:39)
Popularized by Keith and Kristyn Getty
Lyrics | YouTube

The Final Word is Christ (Romans 8) (2013)
Doug Plank, Jonathan Jackson | Popularized by Sovereign Grace Music
Lyrics | Sheet Music | YouTube

Other References

And Can It Be (Romans 8:1)
Charles Wesley
Lyrics | Sheet Music | YouTube

Nailed to the Cross (Romans 8:1)
Carrie Breck
Lyrics | Sheet Music

Once For All (Free From The Law, O Happy Condition) (Romans 8:1)
Philip Bliss
Lyrics | Sheet Music | YouTube

There Is No Condemnation (Romans 8:1)
Don Francisco | Popularized by Don Francisco
YouTube | Amazon

I Am Free (Romans 8:2)
Dianne Wilkinson | Popularized by Mark Trammell Trio
YouTube | Amazon

Same Power (Romans 8:11) (2015)
Popularized by Jeremy Camp
YouTube | Amazon

That Same Power (Romans 8:11) (2014)
Popularized by Michael W. Smith
YouTube

Arise, My Soul, Arise (Romans 8:15-16)
Charles Wesley
Lyrics | Sheet Music | YouTube

Come to our poor nature’s night (Romans 8:15-16)
George Rawson
Lyrics | Sheet Music

Abba Father (Romans 8:15) (1999)
Popularized by Sherri Youngward
YouTube | Amazon

Abba, Father, hear thy child (Romans 8:15)
Charles Wesley
Lyrics | Sheet Music

Who I Am (Romans 8:16-17)
Harvey Smith | Popularized by The McKameys
YouTube | Amazon

When Glory Stands Revealed (Romans 8:18)
Popularized by Margaret Becker
YouTube | Amazon

Come, Lord, and Tarry Not (Romans 8:21-22)
Horatius Bonar
Lyrics | Sheet Music

Light of the lonely pilgrim’s heart (Romans 8:22-23)
Edward Denny
Lyrics | Sheet Music

O God of Mercy, Hear Our Plea (Romans 8:22-23) (2017)
Popularized by Sovereign Grace Music
Lyrics | YouTube | Amazon

Christ is Coming! Let Creation (Romans 8:22)
John R. MacDuff
Lyrics | Sheet Music

Come, Lord Jesus (Romans 8:22) (2017)
Popularized by Sovereign Grace Music
Lyrics | YouTube | Amazon

We Will See Him As He Is (Romans 8:22)
Popularized by Sandi Patty
YouTube | Amazon

Come, O Come, Great Quickening Spirit (Romans 8:26-27)
Heinrich Held, Edward Traill Horn III
Lyrics | Sheet Music

Come to our poor nature’s night (Romans 8:26)
George Rawson
Lyrics | Sheet Music

All Things Are Working (Romans 8:28) (1998)
Popularized by Fred Hammond
YouTube | Amazon

God Works All Things For Good (Romans 8:28)
Eric Bennett, Kirk Talley | Popularized by Triumphant Quartet
YouTube | Amazon

My Lord I Did Not Choose You (Romans 8:29-30) (2008)
Josiah Conder, Devon Kauflin | Popularized by Sovereign Grace Music

Nothing in All the Earth (Romans 8:31-39) (2013)
Joel Sczebel | Popularized by Sovereign Grace Music
Lyrics | Sheet Music | YouTube | Amazon

Christ in Us (Romans 8:31) (2003)
Twila Paris | Popularized by Twila Paris
YouTube | Amazon

David’s Psalm (Romans 8:31) (1976)
Popularized by The Imperials
YouTube | Amazon

Peace (Romans 8:31) (1997)
Popularized by Sherri Youngward
YouTube | Amazon

The Fight Is On (Romans 8:31)
Leila Morris
Lyrics | Sheet Music | YouTube

Immanuel (Romans 8:32-39)
Michael Card | Popularized by Michael Card
Lyrics | YouTube | Amazon

Questions to Unbelief (Romans 8:32) (1779)
John Newton | Popularized by Olney Hymns (1779)
Lyrics

We’ve Come to Praise You (Romans 8:32) (2001)
Stuart Townend, Kate Simmonds | Popularized by Stuart Townend
Lyrics | YouTube

I Am the Lord’s (Romans 8:35-39)
Charles Naylor
Lyrics | Sheet Music

Nothing Can Separate Us (Romans 8:35-39)
Popularized by Maranatha Music
YouTube | Amazon

Nothing Can Separate (Romans 8:35)
Popularized by Carolyn Arends
YouTube | Amazon

Conquerors (Romans 8:37) (1995)
Popularized by Kirk Franklin and the Family
YouTube | Amazon

More than a Conqueror (Romans 8:37) (2010)
Popularized by Marvin Sapp
YouTube | Amazon

Soldiers of Christ, Arise (Romans 8:37)
Charles Wesley
Lyrics | Sheet Music | YouTube

Thine Is the Glory (Romans 8:37)
Edmond L. Budry, Richard B. Hoyle
Lyrics | Sheet Music

A Debtor to Mercy Alone (Romans 8:38-39)
Augustus Toplady
Lyrics | Sheet Music | YouTube

I’ve Found a Friend (Romans 8:38-39)
James G. Small
Lyrics | Sheet Music | YouTube

I’ll Let Nothing Separate Me (Romans 8:38-39)
McNeill | Popularized by The Imperials
Amazon

I’m Persuaded To Believe (Romans 8:38-39)
Rusty Goodman | Popularized by Happy Goodmans
YouTube

Lord Jesus, are we one with thee? (Romans 8:38-39)
James Deck
Lyrics | Sheet Music

Who Trusts in God a Strong Abode (Romans 8:38-39)
Benjamin H. Kennedy, Joachim Magdeburg
Lyrics | Sheet Music

Quotes

All Things Work Together For Good (Romans 8:28) (1992)
Popularized by Steve Green and Hide ‘Em In Your Heart
YouTube | Amazon

If God be for us (Romans 8:31-34) (1741)
George Frederick Handel
Lyrics | Sheet Music | YouTube | Amazon