Sunday, October 25, 2015

Ein Feste Berg

Today is celebrated as Reformation Day in some churches, and of course "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" will be sung, hopefully with an organ with all the stops pulled out.  To reflect on this (and because I am not in church this morning due to traveling), I will write a reflection/paraphrase of this great song, not because it is needed, but because it helps me and perhaps someone else see the deep doctrine of it.

 A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Our God is a mighty fortress, a never-failing defense.
He is our helper through the flood of sin and death that seems to prevail in this world.
Because Satan still seeks to do evil to us;
His craft, power, and hate used against us are great, 
and no human has the power that Satan does.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

If we trust in our own strength, all our attempts to fight Satan and sin will end in failure,
unless the Son of Man and Son of God is on our side to fight for us.
Do you not know who this person is?  It is Jesus Christ, whose name is also
The Lord of Hosts, a name He has had since eternity past and will always have.
He must win the battle because no one else can.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

Because God has willed from the foundation of the earth that His truth will triumph in His church, 
It does not ultimately matter how threatening the myriad demons of earth and hell are and what they plan.
We do not need to tremble in fear of Satan, despite his rage.  We, hidden in Christ, can endure Him and His tools, knowing that his doom is sure.  One small word, if the right one, is enough to send Satan running.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

The word that destroys Satan exist on earth but not because of the powers of kings and princes of earth.
The Lord Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit and the spiritual gifts that will lead us to be conquerors.  
Eventually, material possessions and even family, sadly, will fade away, as well as this earthly, mortal life.  Satanic and earthly powers may kill the body, but all things of God--His truth, His kingdom, will abide forever. 

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