To Jordan Came Our Lord, The Christ

1. To Jordan came our Lord the Christ, To do God's pleasure willing, And there was by Saint John baptized, All righteousness fulfilling; There did He consecrate a bath To wash away transgression, And quench the bitterness of death By His own blood and passion; He would a new life give us.

2. So hear ye all, and well perceive What God doth call baptism, And what a Christian should believe Who error shuns and schism: That we should water use, the Lord Declareth it His pleasure; Not simple water, but the Word And Spirit without measure; He is the true Baptizer.

3. To show us this, He hath His Word With signs and symbols given; On Jordan's banks was plainly heard The Father's voice from Heaven: "This is My well— beloved Son, In whom My soul delighteth; Hear Him." Yea, hear Him every one Whom He Himself inviteth, Hear and obey His teaching.

4. In tender manhood Jesus straight To holy Jordan wendeth; The Holy Ghost from Heaven's gate In dovelike shape descendeth; That thus the truth be not denied, Nor should our faith e'er waver, That the Three Persons all preside, At baptism's holy laver, And dwell with the believer.

5. Thus Jesus His disciples sent: Go teach ye every nation, That lost in sin they must repent; And flee from condemnation: He that believes and is baptized, Obtains a mighty blessing; A newborn man, no more he dies, Eternal life possessing, A joyful heir of Heaven.

6. Who in this mercy hath not faith, Nor aught therein discerneth, Is yet in sin, condemned to death, And fire that ever burneth; His holiness avails him not, Nor aught which he is doing; His inborn sin brings all to naught, And maketh sure his ruin; Himself he cannot succor.

7. The eye of sense alone is dim, And nothing sees but water; Faith sees Christ Jesus, and in Him The Lamb ordained for slaughter; She sees the cleansing fountain red With the dear blood of Jesus, Which from the sins inherited From fallen Adam frees us, And from our own misdoings.

Words: Martin Luther, 1541. Translated by Richard Massie, 1854.
Music: 'Christ, Unser Herr' Johann Walter, 1524.
Setting: composite from "Kern des Deutschen Kirchengesangs", 1855 and "Mehrstimmiges ChoralBuch", 1906.
copyright: public domain. This score is a part of the Open Hymnal Project, 2006 Revision.

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