Wednesday, October 15, 2008

christus victor

In grad school I read a book called "Christus Victor" by Gustav Aulen. In it, I encountered a rather compelling idea: that Christ has effected our salvation not by merely forgiving sin, but also by gaining victory over the adverse powers, the devil and all his demons.

This idea gives one real, lasting hope as Christ's work on our behalf liberates us from sin's power.

Aulen asserts in his book that Martin Luther sought to return to this classic idea of the atonement and in many ways this is true.

Lately, I've been alternately humming and singing Luther's great hymn "A Mighty Fortress is Our God." In particular, I take much hope in the second verse.

"And though this world with devils filled
should threaten to undo us,
we will not fear for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us.
The prince of darkness grim
we tremble not for him.
His rage we can endure
for, lo, his doom is sure.
One little word shall fell him."

I love that last line: one little word.

Dear brother and sister in Christ, always remember: there is power in the very name of Jesus.

I hope that gives you strength to carry on today in joy.

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