Wednesday, March 19, 2008

In Christ Alone

Hymnody or music written to aid Christians in corporate worship is one of the more accurate indicators of the church's theological and doctrinal health in a given era. In that light we live in an anemic time.

Most modern "worship" music is exceptionally man-centered (I, I,, me, me), tragically non-Trinitarian, doctrinally trite, based more on what it evokes emotionally than how it stimulates lofty thoughts of God (not that emotions and intellect are mutually exclusive, they're not), and very often is coupled with music that is geared toward a soloist and not helpful for congregational singing. I predict very few of the modern church's songs will make it to the next generation of the church's worship, as a whole we are not living in profound days doctrinally.

Above is a song that I believe stands against most of the modern tide. For this era, "In Christ Alone" is very good. While it suffers from the modern flaw of being written for a soloist first (hence it's a touch "me" heavy...but I'm not dissin'), it is of such quality that it can be sung congregationally as well. We sing it Sunday nights during a more informal time of worship. Maybe someday in morning worship? Better than Fanny Crosby, that's for sure....ha ha!

Most importantly the lyrics are profoundly biblical. There are more "rousing" versions of the song to be found however I picked the above version because it is sung very modestly by the wife of the song's writer, Kristyn Getty (to be fair, Keith Getty co-wrote the song with Stuart Townend). I like this simple version.

I have decided to take a line from the song for my sermon this Easter Sunday. The title of my "Easter" sermon will be "No Guilt in Life, No Fear in Death". These are biblical truths that have inspired this song and my upcoming sermon. Listen to the song while reading the lyrics. I trust it will bless you.

"In Christ Alone" Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend Copyright © 2001 Kingsway Thankyou Music

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, 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 ev'ry 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.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—This is the pow'r of Christ in me;From life's first cry to final breath,Jesus commands my destiny.No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,Can ever pluck me from His hand;Till He returns or calls me home—Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.


M. Jay Bennett said...

We sing this hymn often at PCPC. Because it exalts the truly wonderful One, it is truly wonderful.

grj said...

Once more I come to this page and am richly blessed and touched to the depths of my soul.

I thank God for the different members of the Body of Christ and I thank you for this song which I may not have otherwise heard.

Thank God the Father for the peace we have through Christ our Lord and the power of the Holy Spirit to make that peace so real and full in us.amen

Frontier Forest said...

With tears, I listened to this deeply moving song. Last evening Cheri and I sat aside time, to once again watch “The Passion of the Christ.” The line from this song that hit me the hardest was the reminder that my sins were, “Bought with the precious blood of Christ.” In the movie, just after our Lord was so horrible disfigured by his scourging, then dragged away for more of my punishment, Mother Mary sees the precious shed blood of her son, Jesus the Christ! Coming to the whipping post, she kneels to the blood soaked cobblestones. As she carefully touches and tries to remove that precious blood with spotless white linen, I believe she is suddenly awakened to the fact of her son was indeed the Messiah, Savior of all mankind! Now, in her own sinfulness, she too realizes she was, “Bought with the precious blood of Christ.”