Song of the Week: “Christ Be Magnified” by Cody Carnes
by Kevin Lorow
“O Christ be magnified. Let His praise arise. Christ be magnified in me. O Christ be magnified from the altar of my life. Christ be magnified in me.”
This song has been around for a short while, but it has quickly become a favorite of mine to sing at CVC. It has such a simple message and a catchy melody that our church quickly caught on and loved to declare it together.
The heart of this song is the heart of worship itself: to magnify Christ. When Christians “worship” or “ascribe worth” to something, we’re taking part in an action (not just singing) that communicates value, worth, and significance to God. To magnify something is to “make it seem more significant or great.”
Put simply, worshipping God is making much of Him!
The verses of this song set the tone right from the start. “Where creation suddenly articulate with a thousand tongues to lift one cry, then from north to south and east to west we’d hear Christ be magnified.”
These lyrics are inspired by a few passages in Scripture that talk about the purpose of Creation. In Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.” These lyrics cause us to stop and imagine what it would be like if creation around us had voices to speak with. If they did, we’d hear all of Creation singing out the greatness of God! The earth itself declares the magnificence of its Creator! Elsewhere in Scripture we’re told that if people stop declaring God’s greatness, the rocks themselves will start singing them out!
However, the most striking part of this song isn’t until the bridge “If the cross brings transformation, I’ll be crucified with You. Because death is just the doorway into resurrection life and if I join You in Your suffering then I’ll join You when You rise. And when You return in glory with all the angels and the saints my heart will still be singing, my song will be the same.”
What an incredible declaration! It sounds like a lot to commit to. It IS a lot to commit to. Those are bold words to say – “I’ll be crucified with you.” To say that we’ll join in Christ’s suffering is not something to think of lightly, but it is something that we see modeled for us in Scripture!
These words seem to flow right out of Philippians 3 “whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him… That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”
Or maybe put more simply in Galatians 2 “Through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God.”
Paul’s encouragement to Christ-followers is this: When we repent of our sins and confess our need for Christ’s sacrifice, it is as though we died with Him on the cross. Our old selves were crucified with Christ on the cross, and our new lives should look completely transformed into something unlike the old.
They should look like Jesus.
Our lives are meant to be lived in such a way that they make much of Jesus. Christ should be magnified by how we live our lives! This week, would you purposefully pursue making much of Jesus at work and home? Would you magnify the name of Christ by how you speak and how you act?
Let’s join in with the song of Creation and declare the greatness of our God.
For the fame of the King,