Reformation Day is October 31. One of the ways our family celebrates is by breaking out our hymnals and singing some of Martin Luther’s hymns. My personal favorite? A Mighty Fortress is Our God.
One of the things I like most about old hymns is the fact that so many are so rich in doctrine. Moreover, the truths they teach can be traced straight back to the Bible. Just meditate for a moment on the words of this one. I’ve included supporting scriptures after each stanza. Just click on the references to read the related passages yourself.
A Mighty Fortress
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.
[Prov. 14:26; Psalm 62:6; Deut. 31:8; Psalm 54:4; 1 Pet. 5:8; Rev. 12:9]
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.
[Amos 2:14; 1 Cor. 1:25; 1 Pet. 1:20; Heb. 1:12; Matt. 12:8; Heb. 13:8; 1 Cor 15:57]
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.
[Rev. 18:2; Psalm 27:3; 2 Cor. 6:7; 2 Cor. 2:14; 2 Tim. 1:7; James 1:2-3; Rev. 20:10; Heb. 4:12]
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.
[John 1:1-4; John 14:26; 1 Pet. 4:10; Luke 9:23; Matt. 19:29; Matt. 10:28; Isaiah 40:8; Dan 6:26]
– Martin Luther, 1529
Lift Your Voice
Want to sing along? In four-part harmony? You can download sheet music for this grand old hymn below.
More Reformation Day Resources
Want more fresh ideas and free printable resources for celebrating Reformation Day on October 31? You’ll find a wealth of them in this post: Remembering Reformation Day