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Oct 2013

The Right Man

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: You 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. – Verse 2 of A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.

Continuing in our series of reflections by Rayshawn Graves on the individual verses of Martin Luther’s A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, here is verse 2:

Verse two of A Mighty Fortress is Our God begins by reminding us that to rely on our own strength is a losing proposition; our best efforts to save ourselves, futile. Left to ourselves, all of our striving to please God and be accepted before him would be losing. This is because His standard is perfection, His nature is Holy, and our sin infected lives fall short of His glory every single time. Our strength and our striving is placed in things that we believe will justify us before God – our good deeds, our reputation with others, the things that we can achieve for ourselves, and our rulekeeping. Our aim is to do these things so that we will get God to be on our side, but we fail to realize that God has placed Himself on our side freely, while there was nothing that we could do to earn His approval. God places Himself on our side through the “Man of His own choosing” – Christ.

It is because of Christ’s death on the cross, in our place, for our sins, that God accepts anyone who believes that Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient for them. Jesus is the “Right Man” who lived the perfect life we should have lived, and died the death we deserved to die, and it is through Him that we are accepted before God; and it is through Him that our striving is now enveloped by His grace. May this be comforting to us because in our striving to be accepted before God, and in our striving to fight and endure the battles that Satan brings our way, Jesus has already conquered. He is the ground of our justification – declaring us right before God. He is our Refuge and Helper, The Lord Sabaoth, -“The Lord of Hosts”- who is victorious over His enemies. Like Luther in the midst of the Reformation’s turmoil, may we, in the midst of any opposing attacks of the enemy realize that Christ has already won the battle.


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