It is something most glorious if one can say that about somebody. It demonstrates too that the liberation of Romans from slavery was something very earnest and most significant. It can be summarized as: “Snares are broken and we are free!” That opened up a powerful, happy and joyful life to them. However if we announce this to our people today, there is hardly a happy or joyful reaction – never mind a powerful one. It’s as if this powerful truth does not really hold any comfort or liberating blessing for them. Yes, it is true that the old slavery of serving sin is past and no longer a binding force, yet too often sin still plays a negative and downright impeding role in Christians lives. Healing is far away. It’s as if we’ve stopped at the crossing and are just too indecisive whether to move left or right. There seems to be no power or strength for a determinative decision – and it’s like turning around aimlessly in a circle – going either backwards or forwards, but never really breaking out of the same old and sinful cycle. Blessed is he, who is no longer is caught up in this endless sequel of rotations around his own self. Blessed is he, who has broken with the sinful past and is now free from sin and serving divine righteousness and holiness.
O Lord Jesus Christ! Strengthen the confidence of our faith, that it proves itself quite vital and vigorous in constant sanctification and living hope. Grant that we praise you joyfully as our only saviour and liberator, you, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit now and forever. Amen.
Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross; Lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss. From victory unto victory His army shall He lead, Till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed.
Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the solemn watchword hear; If while ye sleep He suffers, away with shame and fear; Where’er ye meet with evil, within you or without, Charge for the God of battles, and put the foe to rout.
Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the trumpet call obey; Forth to the mighty conflict, in this His glorious day. Ye that are brave now serve Him against unnumbered foes; Let courage rise with danger, and strength to strength oppose.
Stand up, stand up for Jesus, stand in His strength alone; The arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own. Put on the Gospel armor, each piece put on with prayer; Where duty calls or danger, be never wanting there.
Stand up, stand up for Jesus, each soldier to his post, Close up the broken column, and shout through all the host: Make good the loss so heavy, in those that still remain, And prove to all around you that death itself is gain.
Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long; This day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song. To those who vanquish evil a crown of life shall be; They with the King of Glory shall reign eternally. (George Duffield 1818-1888)
This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Thursday after the seventh Sunday after the high holiday and festival of the Holy Trinity. It is found on Pg. 268 in Lob sei Dir ewig, o Jesu! (Eternal Praise to you o Jesus!) edited by A. Schuster and published in the Freimund Verlag, Neuendettelsau 1949.