Thursday, October26, 2017
Martin Luther wrote a hymn titled, "A Mighty Fortress is our God." It is based on the text from Psalm 46. Some of the lyrics go like this.
A mighty fortress is our God,
A trusty shield and weapon;
He helps us free from ev'ry need
That has us now o'ertaken
The old evil foe Now means deadly woe;
Deep guile and great might are his dread arms in fight;
On earth is not his equal.
With might of ours can naught be done,
Soon were our loss effected;
But for us fights the valiant One,
Whom God himself elected.
Ask you who is this? Jesus Christ it is,
Of Sabaoth Lord, And there's no other God
He holds the field forever.
When think Reformation, we think this hymn, Martin Luther, the five "Solas," and most of all, God's grace that forgives our sin by what Jesus did. When we think about this hymn, and specifically these two stanzas, we think battles and a war.
Satan and our own sinful flesh are "at war" with God, our faith, and our life with Christ. The first stanza reveals that. If we tried to "fight the good fight" without God as our refuge, strength, and battlements, we would not put up any kind of find. Our situation is hopeless. That is why stanza two is so important. God fights on our behalf. God gives us the holy armor so, when we engage in battle, we will win.
And how is the victory assured? Is Jesus riding out into the battle field, armed to the teeth in order to take Satan down? Jesus is only armed with the cross. He is naked to the world. He appears vulnerable and weak. Our hero dies. The enemy thinks he has won. He has lost.
The cross, the instrument of cursing, is the weapon that God used to defeat Satan. The holy, innocent, sufferings, death of Jesus destroyed the grip of Satan on people. The Warrior Lord struck a blow against Satan that he cannot stand against. Jesus' death AND resurrection sent Satan to hell forever. Satan has no more influence on us. The victory is assured. Hallelujah!
Pastor Robert Hemsath joined Faith Lutheran Church and School as the Senior Pastor in January 2017. Pastor Hemsath comes to FLC from Christ the King Lutheran Church in Waxahachie, TX. He has also served congregations in Aberdeen, ID and Pocatello, ID. He has been a Lutheran pastor for the past 20 years.