A Mighty Fortress (4)
Every Friday in 2015 we consider a verse from our “Hymn of the Month.”
That word above all earthly pow'rs
No thanks to them abideth
The Spirit and the gifts are ours
Thru 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
“At the end of the day…” “When all is said and done…” “What it all adds up to…” We have all sorts of idioms in English that express the same basic idea, which is that what ultimately matters is what reality in the end is. And when it comes to the testimony of Scripture and the hope of the Christian, at the end is God.
We look at the fourth verse of A Mighty Fortress this week again picking up where we left off last week. In the third verse we ended by focusing in on Satan’s promised demise, and how it is only one little word from the lips of God Almighty that can defeat him. Now in the fourth verse we begin by focusing on that word.
“That word above all earthly pow’rs; No thanks to them abideth.” Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Matthew 24:25; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33). Likewise, the prophet Isaiah wrote, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” (Isaiah 40:8). There is nothing that can compare with the power of God and his Word. “Forever, O LORD, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens” (Psalm 119:89). His word lasts despite no one else holding it up, and despite anyone else attacking it.
But the great promise of that word is that the same power behind that word is for those who trust in Christ for salvation. For at salvation, “The Spirit and the gifts are ours; Thru Him who with us sideth.” The Apostle Paul prays for his readers “that according to the riches of [the Father’s] glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being” (Ephesians 3:16). The Apostle Peter says that when we repent and identify ourselves with Christ, we “will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
In light of the great gifts that God has given us, we can sing “Let goods and kindred go; This mortal life also; The body they may kill; God’s truth abideth still; His kingdom is forever.” Our stuff, our family, our very lives are worth nothing in comparison to being a child of God. Jesus counsels us, “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!” (Luke 12:4-5). When compared to the timeline of eternity, this life is but a speck. Therefore, it is much wiser to invest in eternity than in this temporal life.
God indeed is A Mighty Fortress, and he is that because of who he is and because of what he has done. Let us hide ourselves in him and find great confidence in our destiny because we do so.