Posted by: rcottrill | February 7, 2019

Arise, My Soul, Arise

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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:
Charles Wesley (b. Dec. 18, 1707; d. Mar. 29, 1788)
Music: Lenox (also called Edson), by Lewis Edson (b. Jan. 22, 1748; d. ____, 1820)

Links:

Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: Charles Wesley was the hymn writing partner of his brother, preacher John Wesley. God used the team to bring spiritual light and revival to England in the eighteenth century. Charles wrote over 6,000 hymns, and many are found in hymn books printed today. Christ the Lord Is Risen Today; Love Divine, All Loves Excelling; Jesus, Lover of My Soul; Hark, the Herald Angels Sing; Soldiers of Christ, Arise; O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing; And Can It Be? and many more came from his pen.

Our sleep is necessary and therapeutic, But sleeping at the wrong time can be a problem. I heard of a fellow who used to fall asleep in church. One Sunday, as a practical joke, a friend nudged him and whispered, “The pastor wants you to close in prayer.” Flustered, he stood up and began to pray–in the middle of the service! (I wonder if that cured him of nodding off!)

There are other circumstances in which people sleep on. Some do so in the morning, when it’s time to stir and get on with the day. I know of one who sets three alarm clocks, one at the head of the bed, another–a loud one–across the room, and a third in a nearby room. Often it’s to no avail. The sleeper slumbers on, with bells ringing and buzzers buzzing.

The Bible sometimes uses sleep to picture a lack of awareness of spiritual things.

To the sinner in darkness, Scripture says, “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light” (Eph. 5:14).

To Christians who need to guard against temptation and spiritual lethargy, comes this exhortation: “Let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober” (I Thess. 5:6).

And since we don’t know the time of Christ’s return, we need to be alert, and active in our service for Him. “Owe no one anything except to love one another….And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer [i.e. the final consummation of it] than when we first believed” (Rom. 13:8, 11).

In 1742 Wesley published a hymn to remind believers of what is theirs, through faith in Christ. The language is dramatic and riveting. And it begins with a call to wake up, rouse ourselves, and get our minds in gear, to realize what God has done for us! Here are the words of the entire hymn, with some relevant Scripture texts interspersed. (Note: a “surety” is a guarantee.)

CH-1) Arise, my soul, arise; shake off thy guilty fears;
The bleeding Sacrifice in my behalf appears:
Before the throne my Surety stands,
Before the throne my Surety stands,
My name is written on His hands [Isa. 49:16a].

CH-2) He ever lives above, for me to intercede [Heb. 7:25];
His all redeeming love, His precious blood, to plead:
His blood atoned for all our race [I Tim. 2:6],
His blood atoned for all our race ,
And sprinkles now the throne of grace [Heb. 12:24].

CH-3) Five bleeding wounds He bears; received on Calvary;
They pour effectual prayers; they strongly plead for me:
‘Forgive him, O forgive,’ they cry,
‘Forgive him, O forgive,’ they cry,
‘Nor let that ransomed sinner die!’

CH-4) The Father hears Him pray, His dear Anointed One;
He cannot turn away, the presence of His Son;
His Spirit answers to the blood,
His Spirit answers to the blood,
And tells me I am born of God [Rom. 8:16].

CH-5) My God is reconciled; His pardoning voice I hear [Rom. 5:5, 11];
He owns me for His child [Gal. 3:26]; I can no longer fear:
With confidence I now draw nigh [Heb. 4:15-16],
With confidence I now draw nigh,
And “Father, Abba, Father,” cry.

The word “Abba” is an almost untranslatable Aramaic word, a tender expression of affection. The phrase could be paraphrased, “Father, dearest Father.” As the Bible puts it, “You did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father’” (Rom. 8:15). Amen!

Questions:
1) What are two reasons Christians can be confident of salvation (related to what Christ has done, and what the Holy Spirit has done and does)?

2) If the above is true, what may be the source of our nagging “guilty fears”?


Links:

Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org


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