Have you Got Good Religion. Cert’ly Lord
Have you Got Good Religion. Cert’ly Lord
Have you got good Religion.
Cert’ly, Cert’ly, Cert’ly Lord
This is a very upbeat and sure spiritual. The singer not only emphasizes the fact of a difference between good and bad religion, but it also shows a certainty that the singer possesses this good religion.
This spiritual features a questioner and an answerer. The questioner crys, “Have you got Good Religion,” the answerer answers unashamedly and without equivocation, “Cert’ly Lord.” The questioner asks again, “Have you got Good Religion?” The answerer excitingly answers by shouting, “Cert’ly Lord.” The questioner asks one final time, “Have you got good religion?” The answerer uses repetition in the final answer, “Cert’ly, Cert’ly, Cert’ly Lord.”
The singer of this spiritual knew the importance of knowing that Good Religion was possessed. Today I must face the very important question, “Do I know that I have good religion?”
If I do not have this knowledge, I will live in uncertainty. I will not have the solid rock of purpose beneath me. I cannot live the spiritual life without knowing that I have good religion.
John wrote his book so that I, as the reader, can know that I have eternal life. The singer of this spiritual knew of the possession of good religion. John wanted his readers to know they had good religion. Do I know that I have it? By God’s grace,
I can know.
Oh Lord, today I ask you to give me the good religion and the confidence that comes from knowing I have it. Thank you for your great gift that makes this knowledge possible, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
One cannot read this spiritual without recognizing the genuine joy that comes from the singer. The singer knows that good religion is possessed and is sure of that possession. When the strength of these facts hits the singer, joy comes forth.
As the sinner, the singer recognizes that the singer does not earn this good religion that is possessed. This is evident from the knowledge that comes from other verses, being redeemed and being baptized.
The singer knows that good religion is not deserved, but that does not change the fact that it is possessed. This knowledge cannot help but bring triumphant joy which is demonstrated the shouting of, “Cert’ly, Cert’ly, Cert’ly Lord.”
If you got good religion, and you know you got good religion, then the joy of celebration will break forth. All too often sober and restrained demeanor is seen as the epitome of religion. Nevertheless, when the facts of the Gospel are clearly stated and the people realize their own need for something greater than themselves and finally, the people recognize that God has provided that something, then joy will break forth. This celebration is demonstrated in the myriad of ways that God’s people celebrate God, but it will break forth.
One must be careful to base the celebration on truth and not error. The singer is sure of the good religion possessed before the shouting. The singer has been to the pool and been redeemed.
The singer is not celebrating for show. The singer knows the death that is deserved, but the singer knows of the salvation that is presented. This salvation calls forth praise.
Do I allow the truth of salvation to permeate me to the point of celebrating that good religion? Do I enjoy the life of Salvation? I can and I should.
Oh Lord, I ask that you would break the shackles of conformity that keep me from celebrating the good religion that you have given to me. Thank you for the good religion. Help me to feel and to celebrate the good religion. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Implicit in this spiritual is an important point: there is a difference between good and bad religion. The slave knew about bad religion for daily the slave was forced to look upon the master who was practicing bad religion.
One might ask what is the difference between good and bad religion. Well there are many differences, but one of the keys is that bad religion is always stated, but not really practiced.
One of the reasons that the singer of this spiritual could be sure of the POSSESSION of good religion is that the singer PRACTICES good religion. This can be seen in the fact that the singer has gone to the pool and been redeemed in other verses.
Is my religion good or bad? Do I have a vital growing relationship to truth, or do I have a dead religion that is merely stated? Good religion can sustain someone, but bad religion is a sham that is waiting to be uncovered. Bad religion merely states theological facts, but good religion will demonstrate those same facts in a Godly life.
Do I have the genuine article, or do I have a sham? Do I have Good Religion?
Oh Lord, I ask that you would turn me from merely a hearer or a stator of the truth, into a doer of the truth. I ask that you would turn my bad religion into good for your nameâ€™s sake. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Thanks to the Jazz Theologian for finding this. Pastor Wintley Phipps teaches the origins of the song Amazing Grace in the Negro Spirituals even though it was written by a white slave ship captain. Then Pastor Phipps sings the song.
The Senate has recognized the Negro Spiritual as a national treasure. You can find the resolution at this link. The negro spiritual is a testament to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of this world. The African slave took the pains and hurts of this world and forged a music that pointed to God’s future, chastized the current world, and informed the slaves when the Underground railroad was passing through. This music has influenced all music that is american.
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