SOLDIERS OF CHRIST, ARISE
Charles Wesley, 1707–1788
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. (Ephesians 6:10, 11)
Followers of Christ are also His soldiers—called to do battle with the forces of Satan and evil. Victories are never won while resting in the barracks. God’s soldiers must always be alert and dressed in full armor. That armor includes six important pieces: (Ephesians 6:10–20)
• The belt of truth (warriors with absolute integrity).
• The breastplate of righteousness (people must see our good works).
• Sandals of peace (though soldiers, we are called to be peacemakers).
• Shield of faith (for extinguishing all of Satan’s doubts and fears).
• Helmet of salvation (one of Satan’s chief attacks is the mind).
• Sword of the Spirit—the Word of God (our only offensive weapon).
In addition to wearing armor, the Christian soldier is to face every occasion with prayer and to remember the fellow saints in prayer (v. 18). Ultimately, however, the battle is not ours but God’s (2 Chronicles 20:15). He knows the battle plan. Our responsibility is only to be active and obedient in the small duty wherever He has placed us on the battlefield.
Charles Wesley knew much about the Christian life as warfare. Many times both John and Charles were physically abused for their evangelical ministries. This text was first published in 1749 and was titled “The Whole Armor of God—Ephesians VI.” The hymn has often been referred to as “the Christian’s bugle blast” for its strong call to arms.
Soldiers of Christ, arise and put your armor on, strong in the strength which God supplies thru His eternal Son; strong in the Lord of hosts and in His mighty pow’r: Who in the strength of Jesus trusts is more than conqueror.
Stand then in His great might, with all His strength endued, and take, to arm you for the fight, the panoply of God; that having all things done, and all your conflicts past, ye may o’ercome thru Christ alone and stand entire at last.
Leave no unguarded place, no weakness of the soul; take ev’ry virtue, ev’ry grace, and fortify the whole. From strength to strength go on; Wrestle and fight and pray; tread all the pow’rs of darkness down and win the well-fought day.
For Today: 1 Corinthians 15:57, 58; Ephesians 6:10–20; Philippians 1:27–30; 1 Timothy 6:12
Reflect on the words of Maltbie D. Babcock—“We are not here to play, to dream, to drift; we have hard work to do, and loads to lift. Shun not the struggle; face it—’tis God’s gift.” Go forth in your full armor and in the power of His might. Carry this musical encouragement with you—