Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sola gratia, sola fide, sola Christus, sola scriptura

I like that Martin Luther decided to post his discussion points on Halloween. It lets Lutherans like me do stuff like this:

Recently found a great hymn for the Reformation. Reformation Day was observed in Lutheran-- and other Protestant-- churches around the world this past Sunday. I suppose it was celebrated, or at least mentioned, in the church here in Trinec. I don't know about this, however, because I had been invited by a friend to visit her church (nothing took place there that could have been mistaken by anyone as Lutheran...). Anyway, here it is:

Salvation unto us has come
By God's free grace and favor;
Good works cannot avert our doom,
They help and save us never.
Faith looks to Jesus Christ alone,
Who did for all the world atone;
He is our one Redeemer.

What God di in His Law demand
And none to Him could render
Caused wrath and woe on ev'ry hand
For man, the vile offender.
Our flesh has not those pure desires
The spirit of the Law requires,
And lost is our condition.

It was a false, misleading dream
That God His Law had given
That sinners could themselves redeem
And by their works gain heaven.
The Law is but a mirror bright
To bring the inbred sin to light
That lurks within our nature.

From sin our flesh could not abstain,
Sin held its sway unceasing;
The task was useless and in vain,
Our guilt was e'er increasing.
None can remove sin's poisoned dart
Or purify our guileful heart--
So deep is our corruption.

Yet as the Law must be fulfilled
Or we must die despairing,
Christ came and has God's anger stilled,
Our human nature sharing.
He has for us the Law obeyed
And thus the Father's vengeance stayed
Which over us impended.

Since Christ has full atonement made
And brought to us salvation,
Each Christian therefore may be glad
And build on this foundation.
Your grace alone, dear Lord, I plead,
Your death is now my life indeed,
For You have paid my ransom.

Let me not doubt, but truly see
Your Word cannot be broken;
Your call rings out, "Come unto Me!"
No falsehood have You spoken.
Baptized into Your precious name,
My faith cannot be put to shame,
And I shall never perish.

The Law reveals the guilt of sin
And makes us conscience-stricken;
But then the Gospel enters in
The sinful soul to quicken.
Come to the cross, trust Christ, and live;
The Law no peace can ever give,
No comfort and no blessing.

Faith clings to Jesus' cross alone
And rests in Him unceasing;
And by its fruits true faith is known,
With love and hope increasing.
For faith alone can justify;
Works serve our neighbor and supply
The proof that faith is living.

All blessing, honor, thanks, and praise
To Father, Son, and Spirit,
The God who saved us by His grace;
All glory to His merit.
O triune God in heav'n above,
You have revealed Your saving love;
Your blessed name we hallow. (LSB 555)

I pray, dear reader, that this coming Reformation Day, you would be assured by the true Word of God that your salvation is in Christ alone, by grace through faith alone, and that it depends not on any deeds of your own. (See Ephesians 2:8-9)


Andrew Lacy said...

That's one of my favorite hymns. The lyric content is great and it's a typical Lutheran hymn in that it has ten verses.

Mark Justin Josephs said...

Love that...

Gail said...

Hey - guess what. I hadn't known this hymn before, but reformation Sunday fell on contemporary worship Sunday, and I had to play the piano. Pastor included this hymn alternating with the NT readings, and some explanations. It was great.

The music has some interesting twists though. Love you - MOM

Kurt Onken said...

Hi, Ashley. Is that jack o'lantern your own creation? If so, as a former art teacher, I give you an A+.

BTW, did you ever get the email I sent you about your question about what you were reading in the Confessions? I never heard back from you, so I feared it got lost in cyberspace.

AshleyEffken said...

Yeah, as hymns go, it's a good one.

The pumpkin is an Ashley Effken original. I'll take that A+!