We love our options—for better or worse. Whether you go to the grocery store or shop online there are so many choices to pick from that it can be dizzying. This flows over into our spiritual life today. Throughout the world there are so many choices… what should I believe? Whom should I believe? There are so many options, but only one truth will fulfill… Christ. Christ alone. Not a little bit of Christ and a mixture of every other man-made religion. Not a little bit of Christ and a mixture of the best I have done and the worst I have left undone, but Christ—all Christ and nothing else.
The Keith Getty and Stuart Townend hymn, “In Christ Alone,” (lyrics and audio available here) echoes that scriptural clarity. It cuts through the fog of choices clamoring for our attention and shines the spotlight on Christ. At the end of the day, after all the things we try to put our hope in have failed us, after all the things we turn to for strength let us down, Christ alone remains reliable and faithful. His love reaches higher than my towering sins. He alone gives me peace with God when I am in the depths of despair. His love, his death, his blood, his power are what save and sustain a Christian throughout this life and into eternity.
(See the lyrics for stanza 1 of the hymn)
There are so many opinions of who Christ is, too. The world scoffs at the idea that he was anything more than a great teacher. The world puts him on par with Gandhi, Mohammed, or any other prophet… someone who just happened to get a lot of enduring press. But this hymn begs to differ. He was and is different: True man and true God and, therefore, the only one who could succeed in giving sinners God’s righteousness in exchange for our sin. Because of his death, we stand before God, “not guilty.”
(See the lyrics for stanza 2 of the hymn)
So many things seem too good to be true. There are so many options. How can I be sure about Christ? What made his death more powerful than the martyrdom of any other man in this world? What made him different? This is the pinnacle of the hymn. You can hear it in the way people sing this stanza. It’s not unusual for the volume to increase on this stanza, whether it’s written that way in a particular arrangement or being sung a cappella… that’s because the faith it describes makes the hearts of the Christians who sing it soar. He’s alive! He rose! He made my redemption iron clad! Now because of his victory over the grave, I no longer need to be afraid of death or hell.
(See the lyrics for stanza 3 of the hymn)
What are the practical implications of this confession of faith in Christ alone? The final stanza beautifully sums up the impact this confession of faith has on our daily lives and our eternity. Satan’s accusations are silenced, death is now a passage to eternal life, Christ has promised to be faithful to us all of our days. No matter what might happen to us in this life, no matter what trials or hardships come to us for trusting in his promises, our hearts wait with a peace and confidence in our Savior’s return.
(See the lyrics for stanza 4 of the hymn)