A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

The hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” was written by Martin Luther in 1529. It is a paraphrase of Psalm 46, speaking much about the faithfulness and strength of Christ that safeguards us from the evils that come against. It has been referred to as “The Battle Hymn of the Reformation.” During the period of the Protestant Reformation following Luther’s posting of his 95 Theses on the door of Wittenberg’s Castle, Luther and many others faced harsh persecution, some even to their death being burned at the stake. You can imagine how a verse like the following would be a heartfelt anthem sung during these most daunting of times: 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.

This hymn has been translated into several languages over past centuries; over 80 translations available in our own English language. The title of the hymn is also the very words etched into Luther’s own tombstone. It has influenced the hearts of many saints since it has been written and we have the great joy of joining the Psalmist and the saints as we sing it this Sunday. Here are 2 links to 2 versions of the hymn by Chris Rice and Sovereign Grace. And if you’re wondering what in the world “bulwark” means? It’s just an old fashioned way of referring to an edifice that shields/protects/defends, referring to the Psalms mention of “refuge and strength.” Looking forward to worshiping our great Bulwark with you on Sunday!

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 pow’r are great, and, armed with cruel hate
On earth is not his equal

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
The Lord of hosts His name, from age to age the same
And He must win the battle

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

That word above all earthly pow’rs, 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


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