Worship Song of the Month

Worship Song of the Month

September 21: How Firm a Foundation

How firm a foundation, you saints of the Lord…

Some songs are directed toward God, some exhort or encourage our own hearts (perhaps addressed to “my soul”), and other songs we sing to each other.  We sing How Firm a Foundation to “you saints of the Lord.”  Who are these saints?    

When I think of saints, I think of people like Mother Theresa, or maybe Stephen.  Stephen, described in the Bible as being full of the Holy Spirit, delivered a hard-hitting, prophetic message, then looked up and saw the glory of Jesus in heaven, before being rushed at and dragged to his death.  A saint is someone with a sacrificial life and a dramatic death, right?  

Perhaps this is why some translations of the Bible don’t use the word “saints” anymore.  We could never live up to the example of people like Mother Theresa and Stephen.  We might think saints are only those canonized by the Catholic church.  The word might seem old-fashioned.  Or maybe the word is avoided because we’ve become disenfranchised with “spiritual greats” who have shown themselves to have grievous faults.  

Instead of saints, translations use phrases like “the people of the Lord,” “the body of Christ,” or “God’s holy people.”  The words being translated are derivatives of the Greek word “hagios” which simply means “holy.”  

The next time you sing “How Firm a Foundation,” remember that we are describing one another as holy.  Maybe you don’t think of yourself in this way, much less the person next to you in church.  But we are holy because we are God’s people.  Not because we’ve lived a sacrificial life or died a dramatic death, but because we’ve trusted in the One who did.  

For reflection:  Ephesians 1:15-23 and 2:19-22, Colossians 1:9-14, and 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 are a few of the passages that refer to God’s people as saints.  What promises and privileges are described in these verses?  Thank God for gifting you his holiness, and ask him to help you treat your brothers and sisters in Christ as holy.  

3 thoughts on “Worship Song of the Month”

  1. Yes, by God’s grace and mercy. He has made me holy, is making me holy, will make me holy. Make me think of “Oh, to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I keep reflecting on this song, your blog, my comment. Thank you for keeping hymns before us. This one is one of my favorites. I hope that it is appropriate for me to be making so many comments. Here’s more: After all these years, I didn’t know how articulate you are in writing! (All of you girls are! Like your father! 😊) I would sometime (in person?) like to hear your thought/writing process. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

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