Awake to Righteousness1. By words and actions we express
    The holy gospel we profess;
So let our works and virtues shine,
    To prove the doctrine all divine.

2. Thus shall we best proclaim abroad
    The power of our gracious Lord,
When His salvation reigns within,
    And grace eradicates our sin.

3. When we confess sin’s pois’nous fruit,
    We will as well confess its root;
And not go on to sin again,
    Else our forgiveness is in vain.

4. But still our flesh must be denied,
    Its passions tend to lust and pride;
But love and temp’rance, hate of sin,
    Reveal that Christ is form’d within.


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The text was taken from a hymn by Isaac Watts (1707) and modified a bit to reflect the particular emphases on certain aspects of the gospel that are important for our time:

  1. The Gospel is a living power in the soul of man. This is the evidence of Christ’s divinity that the world needs to see. Christians are not “just” forgiven, they are cleansed also.
  2. The root of sin in the spiritual nature of man is eradicated at the new birth. It is a radical change from death to life. Sin brings not just condemnation but corruption. So the gospel must deal with both aspects in order to be effective.
  3. The new birth changes the heart (spiritual nature) of man, but does not change the flesh. This must still be denied and brought into submission. Temperance (control of the appetites, passions, and affections) is the outworking of the gospel power in the practical areas of life: eating, drinking, dressing, guarding the avenues of the soul. This will especially set apart those who are preparing for Christ’s return. They will take hold of His grace in all areas of their lives and thereby “make themselves ready” to meet Him.

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