Music is an enormous part of my life, my ministry, and generally anything I do. I have the pleasure of writing bible studies for Interlinc, a music themed youth bible study curriculum based out of Nashville, TN. I have been writing for Interlinc for about 8 years now. Basically, we take Christian songs and write a one night bible study that pairs well with the song. These are published in a magazine called Youth Leaders Only and distributed 4 times a year to youth ministries across the globe. When I get my assignment for each issue, the first thing I do is look up interviews with the singer/songwriter to find out the story behind them writing the song. I want to hear their heart first before I put my heart into the study. As we celebrate Good Friday, I wanted to share with you my heart behind one of the greatest songs ever written in my opinion. The song was written in 2001 by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend and has become my signature tag on every email & every blog I write. Here is my thoughts and my heart behind the song, In Christ Alone.
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.In Christ Alone- Verse 1
This first verse reminds me of the Sermon on the Mount when Jesus talks to the people listening about building on two different foundations (Matthew 7:24-27). We can build our foundation on sand- ever shifting, eroding away, and completely unreliable; or we can build our foundation on the rock that is Jesus Christ- firm, steady, unmoving. The key point in that passage that I think a lot of people miss is this- The storm comes for both houses. It was never about avoiding the storm or missing it all together, it was about being prepared to weather the storm. On one hand, the house built on the sand was ill-prepared and collapsed under the fierceness of the storm, but the other house built on the rock stood firm against the wind, the waves, and the surge. Christ is all we need. Our light in the dark, our strength that we can’t possess, and our hope for tomorrow.
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
Till 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.In Christ Alone- Verse 2
The second verse reminds me of the selfless act ofJesus in order to save the world. Jesus was at the right hand of God the Father almighty. Yet, he willingly came to Earth to pay a price and undo what took place in the Garden of Eden. He did so out of a love that was greater than any love we have witnessed before or since- and the people rejected Him. It is a sobering reminder of just how powerful sin’s hold can be on a life. Since the garden, we have been children of wrath. Yet we are reminded in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” The price of sin MUST BE PAID. It is paid either by Christ at the cross or by man in eternal punishment, separated from God in Hell. Jesus willingly drank from the cup of the wrath of God for all of us, and he drank it dry.
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 ChristIn Christ Alone- Verse 3
The third verse is all about redemption for me. All seemed lost. The disciples fled, His followers cried. They buried him. They doubted honestly and we do too, I think- far more than we want to admit. God’s plan was complete. Jesus took His father’s wrath. He died in our place and they buried him. There is a saying that you will see a lot of this time of year- a lot can happen in three days, and it certainly did. I can’t help but think that Satan was sweating bullets during that time. Surely he knew what was about to happen. Maybe, he thought he had a chance, that it wouldn’t happen, but no, this is God. God has never been wrong. Nothing could be more accurate. Satan had plenty of reason to fret, because on Sunday, Jesus emerged, victorious. Sin’s curse, Satan’s schemes were finally up. You see to forgive us of our sins, Jesus had to die; but to give us the victory over death and the grave- He had to rise! Rest assured, Jesus Has Risen!!
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
Till He returns or calls me home Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.In Christ Alone- Verse 4
Freedom!!! Simply put, for me, this verse is about freedom. So many think that Christianity ties you down to an unrealistic set of expectations; but that is an unfortunate misrepresentation by the world around us. Through faith in Christ, you no longer have to think you have to be good enough. You no longer have to think you have to do enough. You no longer have to rely on yourself as you struggle to keep it together. That is because Christ was good enough. Christ was strong enough. Christ did the work we couldn’t do. In John 19:30, Jesus cries out “It is finished” and he meant it. We have the freedom to stop trying to earn that which we can’t, and devote our time and energy to growing in our relationship with him. I’ve been on both sides of this fence and I will tell you this- it’s not any easier when we follow Christ, but it is so much more worth it than being on your own. You will struggle, you will suffer, but you will also love like you’ve never loved before. You will find joy where joy couldn’t be found. You will know peace like you never believed was possible. So, til he returns or calls me home, HERE in the power of Christ I will stand.
In Christ Alone,
Rev. Bro. Coach