"ARISE, MY SOUL, ARISE"
"Which were born…of God" (Jn. 1.13)
INTRO.: A song which mentions the fact that we can be born of God is "Arise, My Soul, Arise." The text was written by Charles Wesley (1707-1788). It first appeared under the title "Behold The Man" in his 1742 Hymns and Sacred Poems. Several tunes have been used with the song, but the one (Towner) in our books is of unknown origin, usually identified as a traditional American melody, perhaps of early American "shaped note" origin. The arrangement was made for these words by Daniel Brink Towner (1850-1919). It first appeared in The Ideal Song and Hymn Book of 1909 which he edited for the Fleming Revell Co.
Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the song appeared in the 1921 Great Songs of the Church (No. 1), and the 1937 Great Songs of the Church No. 2, both edited by E. L. Jorgenson; the 1935 Christian Hymns (No. 1) edited by L. O. Sanderson; and the 1963 Christian Hymnal edited by J. Nelson Slater. Today it can be found in the 1986 Great Songs Revised edited by Forrest M. McCann; and the 1992 Praise for the Lord edited by John P. Wiegand.
The song reminds us that we must arise to receive the benefits of Christ’s blood.
I. Stanza 1 identifies Jesus as our Surety
"Arise, my soul, arise; shake off thy guilty fears;
The bleeding sacrifice in thy (orig. my) behalf appears:
Before the throne my Surety stands,
My name is written on His hands."
A. The means by which we arise to shake off our guilty fears is by obeying the Lord: Acts 22.16, Heb. 5.8-9
B. It is His blood that allows us to have this forgiveness: 1 Jn. 1.7
C. The idea of a "Surety" is an assurance, and Jesus Himself is our assurance that salvation is available through His new covenant: Heb. 7.22
II. Stanza 2 identifies Jesus as our Intercessor
"He ever lives above, for me to intercede;
His all redeeming love, His precious blood, to plead:
His blood atoned for all our race,
And sprinkles now the throne of grace."
A. Not only is Christ our Surety, but He ever lives to make intercession for His people: Heb. 7.25
B. He can be our Intercessor because His blood made atonement for our race to make reconciliation: Rom. 5.11
C. Just as the sacrifical blood of animals was sprinkled at the altar in the Old Testament, so the blood of Jesus is sprinkled at the throne of God in the New: 1 Pet. 1.2
III. Stanza 3 identifies Jesus as our Sacrifice
"Five bleeding wounds He bears, received on Calvary;
Thy pour effectual prayers; they strongly plead for me:
‘Forgive him, O forgive,’ they cry,
‘Nor let that ransomed sinner die!’"
A. The "five bleeding wounds" refer to the nail prints, all received on Calvary, in His two hands and His two feet, and the spear print in His side: Lk. 23.33, Jn. 20.25
B. These wounds are pictured figuratively as pleading for us because Jesus suffered them in His death for our sins: Rom. 5.8, 1 Cor. 15.1-3
C. Even as Jesus cried out on the cross for the Father to forgive His enemies, it is because of His wounds suffered then that we can have forgiveness: Lk. 23.34, Eph. 4.32
IV. Stanza 4 identifies Jesus as our Advocate
"The Father hears Him pray, His dear anointed One;
He cannot turn away The presence of His Son;
His Spirit answers to the blood,
And tells me I am born of God."
A. Jesus Christ is the dear anointed One: Acts 10.38
B. As the anointed One, He is our Advocate with the Father: 1 Jn. 2.1-2
C. His Spirit bears witness with our Spirit that we are children of God based upon the application of the blood of Christ to our souls, and the Spirit reveals this fact to us in the written word which is His sword: Rom. 8.16-17, Eph. 6.17
V. Stanza 5 identifies Jesus as our Redeemer
"To God I’m reconciled; His pardoning voice I hear;
He owns me for His child; I can no longer fear:
With confidence I now draw nigh,
And ‘Father, Abba, Father,’ cry."
A. Because Jesus is our Redeemer, we can be reconciled to God: 2 Cor. 5.17-21. (The original read, "My God is reconciled," but as Forrest M. McCann noted, "The latter was altered to make it scriptural, since we are reconciled to God, not God to us.")
B. As a result of Christ’s redeeming love, God owns us as His spiritual children: 1 Jn. 3.1
C. Therefore, we having been redeemed, we can cry out, "Abba, Father": Gal. 4.4-7
CONCL.: Most of our books, which have only stanzas 1, 2, and 5, use the last two lines of stanza 4 for a refrain or coda:
"His Spirit answers to the blood,
And tells me I am born of God; And tells me I am born of God."
The benefits of Christ’s sacrifice are available to all mankind. However, we must meet God’s conditions of pardon to receive them. Therefore, when it comes to submitting myself to the Lord’s will that I might be saved, I should say to myself, "Arise, My Soul, Arise."