Salvation unto Us Has Come (LSB 555)
Great hymn…great story!
Paul Speratus was born in 1489 in Germany. He began his studies at a German university, but his quest for knowledge took him to Paris and Italy, where he studied philosophy and law, eventually receiving his doctorate in both areas of learning. He later went to Vienna where he obtained his doctorate in theology.
In 1506 he began serving as a priest and was quite faithful to the Roman Catholic teachings. Luther’s writings and the Reformation movement began to bear influence on Speratus, however, and he hoped that requirements of celibacy and monastic vows could be removed. He began to preach fervently about God’s abundant grace in Christ Jesus. His beliefs and fervor did not sit well with political and church leadership, and he was excommunicated and accused of heresy. Speratus was imprisoned, and from his prison cell he continued to write letters, along with the famous hymn Salvation unto Us Has Come. This text is set to a 15th century chorale melody.
Hymnody during the Reformation, and today, is used to teach and confess the truths of the Christian faith. Speratus’ hymn is no exception. It tells us how we are justified (“made right” with God) solely through the merits of Jesus Christ. Salvation unto Us Has Come points to our good works simply being the “fruits” of true faith.
Faith clings to Jesus’ cross alone and rests in Him unceasing ; And by its fruits true faith is known, With love and hope increasing. For faith alone can justify; Works serve our neighbor and supply the proof that faith is living. (stanza 9)
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Tune: ES IST DAS HEIL