Salvation unto Us Has Come

Tune: Es ist das Heil

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  1. Salvation unto us has come
    By God’s free grace and favor;
    Good works cannot avert our doom,
    They help and save us never.
    Faith looks to Jesus Christ alone,
    Who did for all the world atone;
    He is our one Redeemer.

  2. What God did in His Law demand
    And none to Him could render
    Caused wrath and woe on ev’ry hand
    For man, the vile offender.
    Our flesh has not those pure desires
    The spirit of the Law requires,
    And lost is our condition.

  3. It was a false, misleading dream
    That God His Law had given
    That sinners might themselves redeem
    And by their works gain heaven.
    The Law is but a mirror bright
    To bring the inbred sin to light
    That lurks within our nature.

  4. From sin our flesh could not abstain,
    Sin held its sway unceasing;
    The task was useless and in vain,
    Our guilt was e’er increasing.
    None can remove sin’s poisoned dart
    Or purify our guileful heart—
    So deep is our corruption.

  5. Yet as the Law must be fulfilled
    Or we must die despairing,
    Christ came and hath God’s anger stilled,
    Our human nature sharing.
    He hath for us the Law obeyed
    And thus the Father’s vengeance stayed
    Which over us impended.

  6. Since Christ hath full atonement made
    And brought to us salvation,
    Each Christian therefore may be glad
    And build on this foundation.
    Thy grace alone, dear Lord, I plead,
    Thy death is now my life indeed,
    For Thou hast paid my ransom.

  7. Let me not doubt, but trust in Thee,
    Thy Word cannot be broken;
    Thy call rings out, “Come unto Me!”
    No falsehood hast Thou spoken.
    Baptized into Thy precious name,
    My faith cannot be put to shame,
    And I shall never perish.

  8. The only righteous in God’s sight
    Are they this faith possessing;
    But faith shines forth with heav’nly light,
    Itself by works professing.
    Though faith is all that God requires,
    Thy love the neighbor’s good desires
    If God hath truly borne Thee.

  9. The Law reveals the guilt of sin
    And makes men conscience-stricken;
    The Gospel then doth enter in
    The sinful soul to quicken.
    Come to the cross, trust Christ, and live;
    The Law no peace can ever give,
    No comfort and no blessing.

  10. Faith clings to Jesus’ cross alone
    And rests in Him unceasing;
    And by its fruits true faith is known,
    With love and hope increasing.
    Yet faith alone doth justify,
    Works serve the neighbor and supply
    The proof that faith is living.

  11. Hope waits in patience for that time
    When God will show His power.
    When to expect this joy sublime,
    God sets for us no hour.
    He knows full well when best to aid;
    Though help may often be delayed,
    In this we all must trust Him.

  12. If His goodwill be hid in night,
    Dismiss this fear unbidden.
    To those in whom is His delight,
    His love is often hidden.
    His Word shall take away thy doubt,
    And if thy flesh its “No” should shout,
    Still cast from thee all terror.

  13. May glory, laud, with highest praise,
    For this, our God’s salvation,
    To Father, Spirit, Son be raised,
    Who’ll bring unto completion
    The work He hath in us begun,
    That glory may for Him be won.
    For this His name be hallowed.

  14. His kingdom come, His will on earth
    Be done as ’tis in heaven.
    Of daily bread be there no dearth,
    And be our sins forgiven
    As we do them who owe us aught.
    Into temptation lead us not,
    From evil free us. Amen.

Es ist das Heil uns kommen her
Paul Speratus, 1523
Tr. composite

Scripture Proofs from the Achtliederbuch, 1524

A demonstration of the Scriptures on which this song is based throughout, on which our entire cause relies:

Stanza 1.
Eph. 2:7, “That He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness.”
Rom. 3:20, “By the deeds of the Law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight.”
Heb. 12:2, “We look unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.”
Heb. 2:9, “That He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”
Heb. 9:15, “And for this cause He is the Mediator of the new testament.”

Stanza 2.
Rom. 8:8, “The flesh is not subject to the Law of God, nor can it be.”
Rom. 4:15, “The Law worketh wrath.”
Rom. 7:14, “We know that the Law is spiritual, but I am fleshly.”
John 15:5, “Without Me ye can do nothing.”
Gal. 3:22, “The Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.”

Stanza 3.
As above, Rom. 8:8, “The flesh is not subject to the Law of God, nor can it be.”
Rom. 3:20, “By the Law is the knowledge of sin.”
Rom. 7:7, “I had not known that coveting is sin, except the Law had said, Thou shalt not covet.”

Stanza 4.
Eph. 2:3, “We were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”
Rom. 5:20, “The Law entered that sin might increase.”
Matt. 23, “Woe to you, hypocrites!”
Ps. 51:5, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.”

Stanza 5.
Matt. 5:18, “One jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law, till all be fulfilled.”
Gal. 4:4–5, “God sent forth His Son to redeem them that were under the Law.”
Rom. 8:3–4, “For sin He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us.”
Rom. 1:18, “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness.”

Stanza 6–7.
Rom. 7:6, “But now we are delivered from the Law of death.”
Rom. 12:2, “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is the will of God.”
John 11:25, “I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”
1 Pet. 2:24, “He bare our sins in His own body on the tree.”
Heb. 6:18, “By two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we have a strong consolation.”
Mark 16:16, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.”
John 3:16, “Whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish.”
Rom. 16:23, “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”

Stanza 8.
Gal. 5:6, “In Christ Jesus availeth naught but faith which worketh by love.”
Rom. 5:1, “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God.”
1 John 3:9–10, “Whosoever is born of God … loveth … his brother.”

Stanza 9.
Ex. 19:16, “There were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.”
Eph. 2:17, “He came and preached peace to you.”
Matt. 11:28, “Come unto Me, all ye … and I will give you rest.”
Gal. 3:10, “As many as are of the works of the Law are under the curse.”

Stanza 10.
Matt. 7:17, “Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit.”
James 2:17, “Faith, if it hath not works, is dead.”
Rom. 3:22, “The righteousness of God cometh through faith in Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe.”
2 Pet. 1:10, “Make your calling and election sure.”

Stanza 11.
Gal. 5:5, “But we wait in the Spirit of hope, that we may be justified by faith.”
Judith 8:12–13, “Have ye set for God a day according to your good pleasure? Why tempt ye God?”
Heb. 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

Stanza 12.
Heb. 12:6, “The son whom He loveth hath He chastened.”
Is. 45:15, “Thou art truly a hidden God.”
Matt. 25:35, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.”
Matt. 14:31, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”

Stanza 13.
Eph. 5:3–4, “Let naught be named among you which serveth not for the occasion, but rather thanksgiving.”
Ps. 68:28, “Strengthen, O God, that which Thou hast wrought for us.”
Phil. 1:6, “He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it.”
Ps. 79:9, “For the glory of Thy name … purge away our sins.”

Stanza 14.
Matt. 6:9–13


German Text

Tune: Es ist das Heil

  1. Es ist das Heil uns kommen her
    Von Gnad und lauter Güten,
    Die Werke helfen nimmermehr,
    Sie mögen nicht behüten;
    Der Glaub sieht Jesum Christum an,
    Der hat gnug für uns all getan,
    Er ist der Mittler worden.

  2. Was Gott im G’setz geboten hat,
    Da man es nicht konnt halten,
    Erhub sich Zorn und große Not
    Vor Gott so mannigfalten;
    Vom Fleisch wollt nicht heraus der Geist,
    Vom G’setz erfordert allermeist,
    Es war mit uns verloren.

  3. Es war ein falscher Wahn dabei,
    Gott hätt sein G’setz drum geben,
    Als ob wir möchten selber frei
    Nach seinem Willen leben;
    So ist es nur ein Spiegel zart,
    Der uns zeigt an die sündig Art,
    In unserm Fleisch verborgen.

  4. Nicht möglich war, die selbig Art
    Aus eignen Kräften lassen,
    Wiewohl es oft versuchet ward;
    Noch mehrt sich Sünd ohn Maßen;
    Denn Gleißnerswerck Gott hoch verdammt
    Und je dem Fleisch der Sünde Schand
    Allzeit war angeboren.

  5. Noch mußt das G’setz erfüllet sein,
    Sonst wärn wir all verdorben,
    Darum schickt Gott sein Sohn herein,
    Der selber Mensch ist worden;
    Das ganz Gesetz hat er erfüllt,
    Damit seins Vaters Zorn gestillt,
    Der über uns ging alle.

  6. Und wenn es nun erfüllet ist
    Durch den, der es könnt halten,
    So lerne jetzt ein frommer Christ
    Des Glaubens recht Gestalte;
    Nicht mehr, denn, lieber Herre mein,
    Dein Tod wird mir das Leben sein,
    Du hast für mich bezahlet.

  7. Daran ich keinen Zweifel trag,
    Dein Wort kann nicht betrügen;
    Nun sagst du, daß kein Mensch verzag,
    Das wirst du nimmer lügen:
    Wer glaubt an mich und wird getauft,
    Demselben ist der Himml erkauft,
    Daß er nicht wird verloren.

  8. Er ist gerecht vor Gott allein,
    Der diesen Glauben fasset;
    Der Glaub gibt aus von ihm den Schein,
    So er die Werk nicht lässet;
    Mit Gott der Glaub ist wohl daran,
    Dem Nächsten wird die Lieb Guts thun,
    Bist du aus Gott geboren.

  9. Es wird die Sünd durchs G’setz erkannt
    Und schlägt das G’wissen nieder,
    Das Evangeli kommt zu Hand
    Und stärkt den Sünder wieder,
    Und spricht: Nur kreuch zum Kreuz herzu,
    Im G’setz ist weder Rast noch Ruh
    Mit allen seinen Werken.

  10. Die Werk die kommen g’wißlich her
    Aus einem rechten Glauben;
    Denn das nicht rechter Glaube wär,
    Wollst ihn der Werk berauben;
    Doch macht allein der Glaub gerecht,
    Die Werke sind des Nächsten Knecht,
    Dabei wirn Glauben merken.

  11. Die Hoffnung wart der rechten Zeit,
    Was Gottes Wort zusaget,
    Wenn das geschehen soll zu Freud,
    Setzt Gott kein g’wisse Tage;
    Er weiß wohl, wenns am besten ist,
    Und braucht an uns kein arge List,
    Des solln wir ihm vertrauen.

  12. Ob sichs anließ, als wollt er nicht,
    Laß dich es nicht erschrecken;
    Denn wo er ist am besten mit,
    Da will ers nicht entdecken;
    Sein Wort laß dir gewisser sein,
    Und ob dein Fleisch sprach lauter Nein,
    So laß doch dir nicht grauen.

  13. Sei Lob und Ehr mit hohem Preis
    Um dieser Gutheit willen
    Gott Vater, Sohn, heiligem Geist,
    Der woll mit Gnad erfüllen
    Was er in uns ang’fangen hat,
    Zu Ehren seiner Majestät,
    Daß heilig werd sein Name.

  14. Sein Reich zukomm, sein Will auf Erd
    G’scheh, wie im Himmelsthrone,
    Das täglich Brod noch heut uns werd,
    Wohl unser Schuld verschone,
    Als wir auch unsern Schuldnern tun,
    Mach uns nicht in Versuchung stahn,
    Lös uns vom Uebel, Amen.

Paul Speratus, 1523
Source: C.F.W. Walther’s Kirchen-Gesangbuch, 1898 printing


One of the chief hymns of the Reformation, “Es ist das Heil uns kommen her” was written by Paul Speratus in 1523, during an imprisonment that was supposed to end with his burning at the stake for his Lutheran beliefs. Instead, influential friends secured his release, and he and his wife went to live in Wittenberg, where Speratus became a colleague of Martin Luther. “Es ist das Heil” had already become known to Luther: it is said that he wept upon first hearing it sung by a beggar outside his window. Never before had he heard his theology expressed so beautifully and movingly in music. This hymn would be included in the first Lutheran hymnal, the Achtliederbuch of 1524, and would be a staple of Lutheran hymnals for centuries to come.

The tune is borrowed from a German hymn of the previous century, “Freu dich, du werte Christenheit” (No. 561 in Franz Böhme’s Altdeutsches Liederbuch). For the Free Lutheran Chorale-Book, we have used the public domain arrangement from The Lutheran Hymnal, No. 377, and the Lutheran Service Book, No. 555. The text, too, is borrowed from the composite translation used in those sources, with the exception of stanzas 8, 11–12, and 14, which they omit. Stanza 13 has also been retranslated for the Free Lutheran Chorale-Book.

The text and music here provided are in the public domain and may be freely used and reproduced for any purpose whatever. They are offered with the prayer that they may serve for the edification of Christian people everywhere.