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Almost ten years ago Eric Schumacher and David Ward wrote a hymn called “There Is No Sin That I Have Done.” This song is the cry of a repenting sinner who realizes that no sin is too big for God.

Last year when TGC issued the call for songs based on Luke’s Gospel, Schumacher and Ward teamed up to write the “companion” to their earlier hymn. Thus was born “Not in Me,” recorded with lead vocalist Aaron Ivey on Songs for The Book Of Luke.


Schumacher said they wanted a hymn that answered,

What would the song of a repenting life-long, outwardly clean-cut, rule-keeping, church-going Lutheran sound like? What would the song of a repenting Pharisee sound like? Jesus saves Pharisees. They need songs too.

We have a lot of repenting Pharisees at my church, including me, which is why we enjoy singing “Not In Me” as we worship God. In fact, our band recently led this hymn at Sovereign Grace’s Worship God East conference. Although the song might have been new to many attendees, the crowd enthusiastically sang this modern hymn.

Your congregation would probably learn “Not in Me” easily, especially if they’re used to hymns. It’s a three-verse text written in long meter (meaning that each line is eight syllables long). The melody is singable, with a “climb” in the second half of each verse that lets us belt out truths like

O God! Be merciful to me
I am a sinner through and through!
My only hope of righteousness
Is not in me, but only You.

“Not In Me” can fill several different functions of a typical church liturgy. It works as a confession and as a celebration of assurance. It’s also a good communion song.

You can hear a piano-only version, and download free lead sheet and chord sheet, at the TGC Songs for the Book of Luke album page.

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Bobby Gilles has written several of Sojourn Music’s popular worship songs for albums like The Water and the Blood, and Before the Throne. He serves as director of communications for Sojourn Church in Louisville, Kentucky.