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Appreciating Our Lutheran Hymns

I Know My Faith is Founded

A Hymn Celebrating Justification by Faith

#381 in The Lutheran Hymnal

Our faith in Jesus Christ is under relentless assault in this world. The devil, the unbelieving world, and our own sinful flesh never give up in their attempts to undermine, weaken, and destroy our faith.

For this reason it is necessary that our faith rest firmly on the solid rock of Christ revealed in the Scriptures. If faith rests even partly on something other than Christ in the Word, it is thereby weakened and made vulnerable.

The hymnwriter Erdmann Neumeister, a Lutheran pastor in Germany in the early 1700’s, understood this. He preached the gospel to his flock, upholding sound Christian doctrine. He labored during a time when much of Lutheranism had become cold and formalistic. At the same time, the movement known as Pietism encouraged believers to judge their faith on the basis of their own works and personal religious experiences. Neumeister opposed Pietism and worked to instruct his congregtation in the old Lutheran teachings from the Bible.

In addition to preaching, Neumeister used hymns to instill Christian teaching in his congregation. “I Know My Faith is Founded,” one of 650 hymns that he wrote, teaches that sound scriptural doctrine is the only solid basis for faith. The first line is a paraphrase of 2 Timothy 1:12, Paul’s confident confession of faith in Jesus: “I know whom I have believed.” The believer can speak with this same confidence when his faith is grounded in God’s Word, for “God’s Word is all-sufficient, It makes divinely sure, And trusting in its wisdom, My faith shall rest secure.”

Our faith needs constant strengthening by the Spirit through the Word, so that it can withstand the forces that threaten it: human reason and wisdom (stz. 1), Satan (stz. 2); persecution and trials (stz. 3).

“In life and death, Lord, keep me Until Thy heav’n I gain, Where I by Thy great mercy The end of faith attain.”

–Pastor John Klatt