Christmas Hymnary: “Come and Christ the Lord Be Praising”, by Paul Gerhardt, 1667

I love these hymn texts centered around the glorious salvific theme of Christmas.  He was indeed born to die.

Come, and Christ the Lord be praising,
Heart and mind to Him be raising,
Celebrate His love amazing,
Worthy folk of Christendom.

Sin, death, hell, may all be grieving,
Satan shame feel to him cleaving;
We salvation free receiving,
Cast our every care away.

See what God for us provideth,
Life that in His Son abideth,
And our weary steps He guideth
From earth’s woe to heav’nly joy.

His soul deeply for us feeleth,
He His love to us revealeth,
He Who is in the heavens dwelleth
Came to save us from our foe.

Jacob’s star His advent maketh,
Soothes the longing heart that acheth,
And the serpent’s head He breaketh,
Scattering the powers of hell.

Op’d hath He and freedom gained us
From the prison that contained us,
Where much grief and sorrow pained us,
And our hearts were bowed with woe.

O blest hour when we receivèd
From the foe who us deceivèd
Liberty, when we believèd,
And Thee, gracious Spirit, praised.

Beauteous Infant in the manger,
O befriend us! beyond danger
Bring us where is turned God’s anger
Where with angel hosts we’ll praise.

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2 thoughts on “Christmas Hymnary: “Come and Christ the Lord Be Praising”, by Paul Gerhardt, 1667

  1. It is interesting that in your “testimony” you are highly critical of Lutherans and yet, here you are touting a hymn written by a most Lutheran pastor. Did you know that Gerhardt was fired as pastor of Nicholaikirche (St. Nicholas – Berlin) by his sovereign, the Brandenburg Elector Friedrich Wilhelm I, a Protestant like you. (Lutherans are NOT Protestant despite what secular historians state.)

    The sad fact is that you are one of those unfortunate individuals who attended a church with a pastor who called himself Lutheran but was at best “Lutheranesque,” (having the name and form but not the substance of Lutheranism.) As a Jewish friend once said, just because you were born in a Jewish bakery doesn’t make you a bagel.

    May I inquire to which church body (denomination) did your childhood Lutheran Church belong. I would guess LCA, AELC, possibly ALC. You left Lutheranism before those three bodies joined to become the liberal ELCA. I would be very surprised if it was LCMS or WELS.

    Most tragically, nothing can stop heresy from infiltrating a church despite the best efforts of the Reformation Fathers. They re-established what the Western Church had been missing, a clear statement of the cardinal doctrine, that salvation is by grace alone apprehended by faith alone in Christ’s atoning death on the cross alone. Undergirding the doctrine were the cardinal principles, sola gratia (grace alone), sola fide (faith alone), solus Christus (Christ alone), sola crux (cross alone) and sola scriptura (scripture alone). If these are unfamiliar to you, you must have been attending a church that was Lutheran only in name. Lutheran pastors who follow the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther ALWAYS preach “Law and Gospel”: universal sin of all mortals, damnation resulting from sin, Christ’s atoning death, salvation by grace (undeserved favor) through faith in the foregoing. By the way, faith is not merely believing but understanding, believing and reliance (or trust).

    The way you use “faith” sound a lot like you are doing the work of believing, and that is works righteousness that St. Paul stated in the Ephesian epistle is anti-Christian. Of course, this is not surprising given the decision theology taught at Bob Jones. Faith comes by hearing the Word and can be (and most often is) rejected but faith cannot be obtained by human effort. The point of contention is not whether we sinners must have faith, that is understood. The question is how and by what means faith comes. We Lutherans say solely by the Holy Spirit working through the preached Word, hence, sola scriptura (Scripture alone).

    Semper sub crucem Christi,
    WTK

  2. WTK,
    Thanks for visiting and for your thoughts. First, you’ll notice from my “disclaimer” in the side bar that I use resources from a lot of different directions without necessarily sanctioning everything about a certain group or individual. Also, you’ll notice if you go back and look at my testimony more objectively, I state that my Lutheran church was not the sort that preached the gospel (implying that there are some that do–and I have friends from Missouri Synod churches who enjoy good gospel preaching). So breathe deeply; I am not on a rampage against all Lutheran churches. If there is any criticism, it can be safely assumed that it was toward our minister (and apparently you agree this is warranted), whose responsibility it was to be sure we all had an adequate understanding of regeneration from the Word. I will share with you that after I had accepted Christ, I returned to my parents’ church one Christmas Eve. After the service, the choir director (who understood I was attending a Christian college) was inquiring about my reasons for going there rather than a secular institution. I shared my salvation testimony with him there, right in front of the baptismal font (the very same one where I was sprinkled to become an heir of salvation and a member of the church–according to their own order of service, even in their new hymnal), with the minister circling all the while, listening but never joining the conversation. It was an interesting experience.

    I am familiar with the “solas”. Thank you for asking. I don’t view faith as a work. I don’t necessarily call myself a “TULIP” individual, but I do believe God extended the free gift to me and by His grace allowed me to accept it. I believe scripture makes provision for both the responsibility of man and the sovereignty of God, and that the reconciling of the two is one of the “secret things” left to Him. So…be careful you do not generalize about all BJU grads (or Bible faculty for that matter). Just because I attended there, and served on faculty there, doesn’t make me a bagel. 🙂 There are many BJ grads who are very balanced, reasonable, and fair with the scriptures. I taught Personal Evangelism for several years to the University ladies, and never did I encourage a “slap dash” approach to push people through a process. Those I respect at BJU and elsewhere realize that we are not omniscient, we do not know those who are foreordained to be in the fold, and so we evangelize, fulfilling the commandment to preach the gospel. The results are His…we plant, we water.

    Does this help make things any clearer? I appreciate your visit.

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