The Best Lutheran Hymn Ever!
Lutheran chorales are unique in Christian hymody for their powerful focus on singing the truths of God’s Word. I won’t use the "d" word, since it makes some people oh-so-uncomfortable [doctrine!]. I read a comment by a Lutheran university professor on Facebook the other day delivering himself of the opinion, "You don’t have to know, or like, Lutheran chorales to be a good Lutheran!" And I thought, "Duh, if you don’t know about them at all, of course not, but if you are a Lutheran how would you not love the Lutheran chorales?" Think of a Methodist saying "You don’t have to like Methodist hymns to be a Methodist." Huh? See my point?
Such nit-wit remarks really bug the living daylights out of me. The
reflect a woefully deep ignorance and seemingly nearly invincible
ignorance! Most hymns in Christendom are intended to rouse the singer’s
emotion, and to express this emotion, or simply to sing of pretty and
beautiful thoughts about wandering through forest glades and thinking
of how great God is, or talking a lot, a whole lot, about the believer
and his believing and his loving to believe and loving that he loves to
believe and loves to tell the story, which never gets around to being
told, praise, praise, praise, glory, glory, glory, and repeating seven
words eleven times, well…that sure gets really, really old and
shallow really, really fast and you must simply pity those Christians
put on this kind of spiritual starvation diet.
Turn now, on the other hand, to a hymn that delivers the treasures
of salvation, confesses Christ joyfully, powerfully, purely and gets
the proper distinction between Law and Gospel spot on, and that does
not at all avoid "sanctification" but preaches and confesses it as
clearly as you would ever want. Read then the words to this wonderful
hymn, the greatest Lutheran hymn ever written and one of the very
finest of all Christian hymns. That’s not an opinion, that’s just a
fact! I’ll be so bold to say that as much as you love Jesus and His
Gospel, you will love this hymn for it allows you to sing out the full
power and joy and truth of Jesus and His Gospel! Indeed, salvation unto
us has come, by God’s free grace and merit….read on for the full
"Salvation unto Us has Come"
by Paul Speratus, 1484-1551
THE LUTHERAN HYMNAL
(St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1941)
1. 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.
2. What God did in His Law demand
And none to Him could render
Caused wrath and woe on every hand
For man, the vile offender.
Our flesh has not those pure desires
The spirit of the Law requires,
And lost is our condition.
3. It was a false, misleading dream
That God His Law had given
That sinners should 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.
4. From sin our flesh could not abstain,
Sin held its sway unceasing;
The task was useless and in vain,
Our gilt was e'er increasing.
None can remove sin's poisoned dart
Or purify our guileful heart,-
So deep is our corruption.
5. Yet as the Law must be fulfilled
Or we must die despairing,
Christ came and hath God's anger stilled,
Our human nature sharing.
He hath for us the Law obeyed
And thus the Father's vengeance stayed
Which over us impended.
6. Since Christ hath full atonement made
And brought to us salvation,
Each Christian therefore may be glad
And build on this foundation.
Thy grace alone, dear Lord, I plead,
Thy death is now my life indeed,
For Thou hast paid my ransom.
7. Let me not doubt, but trust in Thee,
Thy Word cannot be broken;
Thy call rings out, "Come unto Me!"
No falsehood hast Thou spoken.
Baptized into Thy precious name,
My faith cannot be put to shame,
And I shall never perish.
8. The Law reveals the guilt of sin
And makes men conscience-stricken;
The Gospel then doth enter 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.
9. Faith clings to Jesus' cross alone
And rests in Him unceasing;
And by its fruits true faith is known,
With love and hope increasing.
Yet faith alone doth justify,
Works serve thy neighbor and supply
The proof that faith is living.
10. All blessing, honor, thanks, and praise
To Father, Son, and Spirit,
The God that saved us by His grace,-
All glory to His merit!
O Triune God in heaven above,
Who hast revealed Thy saving love,
Thy blessed name be hallowed.
Hymn 377 from _The Lutheran Hymnal_
Text: Rom. 3: 5
Author: Paul Speratus, 1523, cento
Translated by: composite
Titled: "Es ist das Heil uns kommen her"
Tune: "Es ist das Heil"
German melody, c. 1400