O Come to the Altar | Chord Charts

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O Come to the Altar | Chord Charts

publication date: Sep 5, 2018


"O Come to the Altar"
Chord Charts

This Elevation Worship song is a great for an "altar call" or response time during a service. Check out all of the free chord charts for this song.



More about the song:

Elevation Worship has a lot of high energy worship songs, but this one is a little more toned down and works great as a closing song after the message. It is an "altar call" in a sense and invites people to first acknowledge their brokenness and then accept the forgiveness of the Father. 

Musically, the song is in 6/8, which creates a bit of a slow back and forth rhythm. The chords are pretty easy over-all, and if you're playing it in the key of A, you can simply use a capo on the 2nd fret and use the G chord family. 

As far as lyrics, let's take a look at what I like to call the "song story" to see the message of the song and how to best use it in the context of a worship service. The song begins with the "call":  

Are you hurting and broken within
Overwhelmed by the weight of your sin
Jesus is calling

Have you come to the end of yourself
Do you thirst for a drink from the well
Jesus is calling

As we know in Romans 3:23. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" The first verse of this song really applies to anyone, but it's a call to simply acknowledge that this is the case in your personal life. There is probably something in your life that causes pain and brokenness and needs forgiveness. 

In a sense, the worship leader singing this song is essentially "calling" on those to whom this applies. However, as the congregation sings it together, we are also calling ourselves to acknowledge that we are sinners in need of saving.  

Now, let's move into the chorus of the song: 

O come to the altar
The Father's arms are open wide
Forgiveness was bought with
The precious blood of Jesus Christ

The chorus is the reassuring message to the prodigal son: "Come home." Even though you've messed up in life, the arms of the father are open. His hands aren't balled in a fist, and He isn't pointing a finger either. His arms are open. 

However, there is a reason His arms and hands are arms and hands of judgement, although they have every right to be. Forgiveness was bought with the sacrifice of Jesus. This allows justice to be served and forgiveness to make a way in the life of a believer. The accounts are settled, and forgiveness is offered - so, receive it. 

Now let's move to the next part of the song story in verse 2: 

Leave behind your regrets and mistakes
Come today there's no reason to wait
Jesus is calling

Bring your sorrows and trade them for joy
From the ashes a new life is born
Jesus is calling

Even though many believers know the story of the gospel, sometimes it doesn't feel true. This verse is a call (in my interpretation) to the believer who has made mistakes and feels guilt. It's for the believer who carries sorrow instead of joy.

We're told all throughout scripture to rejoice and be joyful. Even Christ went to the cross "for the joy set before Him." We are spiritually born again. We are a "new tree" that bears the fruits of the spirit, despite any sorrows. Jesus calls us into that truth. 

From this verse, we move again into the chorus of the song. Many songs, have a "bridge" that takes a little bit of a detour in the flow of the narrative and normal chord structure. Let's take a look at the lyrics of the bridge: 

Oh what a Savior
Isn't he wonderful
Sing alleluia, Christ is risen

Bow down before Him
For he is Lord of all
Sing alleluia, Christ is risen

The bridge is really a genuine response of the believer who accepted the "call" laid out in the verses and the chorus. This is the "meat on the bone" of worshipping God within the song. It's affirming that Christ is risen and is responding directly to that. 

Finally, the song ends with the chorus again, as a reminder found in Romans 12: "Be transformed by the renewal of your mind." We need this reminder as we worship. 

This is a solid song, musically and lyrically, and works especially well as a "response" song. 

You can find this song on Apple Music or Spotify.

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