By Faith

Text & Music: Keith & Kristyn Getty & Stuart Townend
Copyright: 2009
Themes: Faith in God, Hope, Perseverance, Endurance

Background and Message

This modern hymn echoes the message of Hebrews 11. Throughout the Bible, God’s salvation of his people, whether in the Old or New Testament, has always been “by faith.”

In verse 1, it is by faith that we see God’s hand through the things he has created (Ps. 19). We also see faith lived out in the lives of those who have gone on before us.

Verse 2 points us to the Old Testament saints who, although they hadn’t yet seen Christ, were saved by faith as they believed God’s promises (Heb. 11:10). 

Verse 3 points to the hope that the prophets had as they looked for the Messiah, the One who would come to “break the chains of sin and death” (Isa. 25:8; Hos. 13:14; 1 Cor 15:55-56).

Verses 4 and 5 bring us to the hope that we have today. The church proclaims the gospel of salvation by faith alone, through grace alone, in Christ alone to the whole world, believing that gospel will prevail! (Matt. 16:18)

The refrain takes us to Hebrews 12, and the “race” that is set before us. By faith we look to Jesus now (Heb 12:2), and keep our eyes on him as we run this earthly race, knowing that one day the race will be finished.

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Congregational & Musical Helps

This song works well with just piano accompanying the congregation or an ensemble. Most versions recorded by the Gettys have a Celtic feel, so feel free to be creative by including different instruments.

With five verses, it will also be helpful to add some dynamic variation. If the song is being done with an ensemble of musicians, consider doing one verse with just piano and light percussion, having them join in again at the refrain.

Verse 5 is the theological climax of the song, particularly the phrase “and the power of the gospel shall prevail.” This is a good opportunity for musical emphasis.

It’s tempting to do the chorus full every time, but consider holding back some until singing it the final two times at the close of the song.


Album Version
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