I’ve only sung “In Christ Alone” once while visiting another congregation. Yet, its beautiful melody and even more impacting lyrics have found their way onto my list of favorite spiritual songs. I could never pick just one!
“In Christ alone my hope is found.
He is my light, my strength, my song.
This Cornerstone, this solid ground;
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace;
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease.
My Comforter, my All in All;
Here in the love of Christ I stand.”
It’s been said that we all have a God-shaped hole within us, and try as we might, we will never be fully satisfied when we fill the void with the things of this world. What a beautiful reminder that when I choose to fill that hole with the substance it was shaped for, an abundant life awaits me (John 10:10). Sure, the physical luxuries of life fill us for a season, and even the depths of sin can be pleasurable, but in Christ alone I have all of the things that this world is so desperately groping for. I have guidance and purpose – He is my light (John 12:46; Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 16:9). I have support through trials and temptations – He is my strength (Hebrews 2:18; Matthew 11:28; Acts 4:11). I have reason for hope and rejoicing – He is my song (James 5:13).
“In Christ alone, who took on flesh;
Fullness of God in helpless babe.
This gift of love and righteousness;
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
‘Til on that cross as Jesus died;
The wrath of God was satisfied.
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.
There in the ground His body lay;
Light of the World by darkness slain.
Then bursting forth in glorious Day;
Up from the grave He rose again.
And as He stands in victory;
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me.
For I am His and He is mine;
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.”
I thank God for the tremendous blessing of being born into a Christian family. I often wonder where my life would be had that not been the case. Would I be diligently searching for the truth, or would I settle for a cheap imitation? Yet, I believe those who have struggled and hunted for that “pearl of great price,” naturally tend towards a greater appreciation for what they have received (Matthew 13:45-46). Perhaps Thomas Paine said it best, “That which we achieve too easily we esteem too lightly.” The poetic words of the second and third stanzas so beautifully depict the depth of love and extreme sacrifice our Father purposed for the salvation of those in Christ. I pray that sin’s curse has ever “lost its grip on me,” but may I never take for granted the amazing sacrifice given on my behalf.
“No guilt in life, no fear in death;
This is the power of Christ in me.
From life’s first cry to final breath;
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand.
‘Til He returns or calls me home;
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.”
We live in uncertain times. We are continually bombarded with unsettling news. One of the greatest spiritual blessings is that all-encompassing peace. It’s the kind of peace that causes the world to marvel as to how we can remain calm in turmoil and find joy in dire circumstances (Philippians 4:7). What would my mental state be if I did not have the full assurance that God is in control? How would I sleep at night without the knowledge that nothing can separate me from the love of Christ (Romans 8:35-39)? “No power of hell, no scheme of man can ever pluck me from His hand.” It is here in this abundant life, with sincere gratitude and calming peace, that I choose to stand.
A Capella Recording:
In Christ Alone
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Kathryn and her husband Andy live in San Marcos, TX and worship with the University church of Christ where Andy has served as the Associate/Youth Minister for 6 years. She stays at home with their 2 daughters and enjoys teaching Bible classes to children and ladies.