Charles Wesley wrote "Soldiers of Christ, Arise" in 1747, originally calling it "The Whole Armor of God, Ephesians VI." With its bold and stirring message, the hymn was designed to confirm new believers.
Given the threatening environment he faced at the time, Wesley no doubt thought of very real battles as he wrote "Soldiers of Christ, Arise." Yet the hymn refers to more than just physical warfare: Its more important theme refers to the spiritual warfare that all Christians face.
Calling on Christians to fight these spiritual battles, the original version of "Soldiers of Christ, Arise" appeared in the 1749 publication Hymns and Sacred Poems. The lengthy hymn contained sixteen verses, each with eight lines.