Story Behind the Song: ‘King of Kings’

There are some songs you hear and instantly love. It might be the catchy tune or perhaps the lyrics resonate with you. Often it is a combination of both. This recently happened to me when I heard the song, ‘King of Kings’. I loved it as soon as I heard it. I love it both for its beautiful melody and its rich, Christ-centred lyrics. We have been singing it at church for the last month or so and the feedback is unanimous; the song is well loved.

The writers of the song were excited that the melody lent itself to pack a lot of words into each verse. With this in view one of the writers said they aimed to “…teach something, let’s impart theology, lets remember what we believe and why we believe it. Let’s sing scripture.” And what a lyrically and scripturally rich song it is!

‘King of Kings’ draws inspiration from Luke and Acts; the writers of the song intend to tell a story of “God’s intervention in history through the coming of Jesus. It’s a song that tells the story of our salvation, that tells the story of the church and our future hope of our soon coming king.”

The final verse in the song is probably my favourite part:
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

I love this verse because the song moves from history through to Pentecost and the start of the church and then, at the end of verse four, to the present day. And this is the point of the song where we locate ourselves. Friends, the gospel is an announcement of what happened 2,000 years in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, but it is also an announcement with ongoing power in our lives and in our world, and we are in the thick of it!

In the sermon series we are in at the moment, ‘Against the Tide: 1 Peter’, we are being reminded of how to live in light of the gospel and in the midst of the world. We have been set free by Jesus, resurrected into a new life with new hope. How should we live, then, in light of this freedom? As we are being taught through 1st Peter, and as this song reminds us, we remember what He has done, what He continues to do, and focus our hope on our soon coming King. In all we do, let’s give glory to the King of Kings.