Posted by: rcottrill | September 11, 2017

Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: George Duffield Jr. (b. Sept. 12, 1818; d. July 6, 1888)
Music: Webb, by George James Webb (b. June 24, 1803; d. Oct. 7, 1887)

Wordwise Hymns (for another article on this hymn, see here)
The Cyber Hymnal

Note: American George Duffield became a Presbyterian clergyman like his father. Pastor Duffield, at the bedside of a dying man, had asked if he had any message for others. His reply was, “Tell them to stand up for Jesus.” Duffield not only passed on those words, he wrote a hymn expressing them.

To stand for something, or stand up and be counted, is to publicly declare support for someone of something–even if doing so requires a personal sacrifice of some kind.

Many Christians have done that through the twenty centuries of the Christian era, and many are still doing so. To stand up and identify yourself as a follower of Christ may make you unpopular, and it could lead to various kinds of social strictures and ostracism. In the extreme, it has led to martyrdom.

In the Roman Empire, Christians were executed as common criminals by crucifixion or by being thrown to wild beasts in the Colosseum. Cruel emperors delighted in novel ways of killing Christians. Nero introduced twilight executions where Christians were nailed to crosses and burned alive as torches to light public spectacles.

Early Christians used the Latin word sacramentum to describe believer’s baptism. It was the word used by a Roman soldier of his oath of absolute devotion and obedience to his general. For those who had put their faith in Christ, baptism became a public stand for Christ, despite the cost.

Centuries later, a guide was giving some travelers a tour of the Colosseum. He told how many Christians had died there to entertain the ravening crowd. The visitors asked whether relics [personal possessions, etc.] of these saints could still be obtained. The guide replied, “Gather the dust of the Colosseum; it is all the martyrs.”

Stephen was apparently the first Christian martyr (Acts 7:59), but he has been followed by a noble host of others. Amazingly, a young man named Saul was complicit in the death of Stephen (vs. 18), and went on to persecute the church of Christ (Acts 8:1; 9:1-2). But he put his faith in Christ and was transformed. Later known as Paul, he wrote this:

“In nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:20-21; cf. Acts 26:22).

And most of the churches that received letters from him were told to stand firm, whatever the cost.

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong” (I Cor. 16:13, NIV). “Stand fast [firm]…in the liberty by which Christ has made us free” (Gal. 5:1). “Stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph. 6:11, 13, 14). “Stand fast in the Lord” (Phil. 1:27; 4:1; also see I Thess. 3:8; II Thess. 2:15).

This has been the determination of many ardent servants of Christ ever since, and that same spirit has been echoed in a multitude of our hymns. A few days ago I wrote an article on the song Standing on the Promises, but there are many more that make use of the standing imagery.

¤ The Solid Rock, by Edward Mote, declares “On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand.”

¤ Charles Wesley’s Soldiers of Christ Arise urges, “Stand then in His great might.”

¤ In the great hymn How Firm a Foundation the Lord says, “I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand.”

¤ And Philip Bliss’s Dare to Be a Daniel hails those who are “Standing by a purpose true,” and “dare to stand alone.”

This is merely a small sampling, but we conclude with George Duffield’s Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus.

CH-1) 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.

CH-6) 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 him who overcometh
A crown of life shall be;
He with the King of Glory
Shall reign eternally.

1) Have you recently faced some kind of opposition or criticism for your Christian stand?

2) How did you handle it?

Wordwise Hymns (for another article on this hymn, see here)
The Cyber Hymnal


  1. Robert thank you for sharing the tale behind this hymn–I can remember it was a regular hymn sung in children’s chapel when I was little—- as the children would attend a different service from the adults as we would then go on the Sunday school following the chapel while the adult service was still taking place (ode to growing up in a large city’s cathedral….
    And I was especially touched by the comment of the tour guide regarding the Colosseum…
    I had never thought of that in that way—wishing that I too had perhaps picked up a handful of the dirt…
    And we see today that we are still be called to stand up!!!

    • Delightful to hear from you. I know you’ve linked to the site automatically, but each time “Julie (aka Cookie) appears in the mail I’m encouraged. And, as you can see in the sidebar, I finally did figure out how to provide a way for others to link to the site (slow learner :-)).

      As to children and Children’s Church, I very much appreciate workers who take this ministry on. There’s a church I preach at occasionally that once or twice had nothing for the young ones to go to during the service (and there seemed to be quite a few of them). Instead, they moved around the sanctuary during the sermon, trying first this pew, then that one, and chattering away. I don’t know if the adults had trouble concentrating, I sure did! When I complained (gently) to the church’s leaders, they simply said, “Oh, we’re used to that.” But I notice since then, when I’m invited to preach, there is a program for the children.

      Well! Didn’t mean to ramble on! God bless you. Let’s keep standing up for the Lord.

      • No Robert you’re exactly right! Children do need to be guided and not left to wander about trying this pew and that– for it was in my own early foundations of faith and service that developed an abiding Ike long love of hymns!


%d bloggers like this: