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 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.
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.
This could be my favorite modern hymn. I love how it continually pulls us back to Christ as the center, and how it leads the singer through the whole story of the gospel (good news). My Sunday school teacher pointed out in class this past Sunday that Paul connects the gospel with the cross. The two are inseparable. 1 Corinthians 1:17 says, “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”
In Christ alone my hope is found. This gospel truth is so profound. Most people, even professing Christians (I call culture Christians), may not necessarily live in this truth. If you ask most people where they will go when they die, they will say heaven (if they believe in a heaven and hell even). If you ask them why, they will say because they are a mostly good person. They put their hope in their own righteousness, but this is directly in contradiction to the Scripture. On the one hand, the Old Testament tells us our best works of righteousness are “a polluted garment” (Isaiah 64:6), and on the other hand the New Testament tells us that if we break one part of the Law, we are guilty of breaking the entire Law (James 2:10). In Christ alone my hope is found. Not in myself do I have ground. Not even in part.
In Christ alone my hope is found. No other name is solid ground. No other god can save. They are either not gods at all (Isaiah 37:19) or they are demons (1 Corinthians 10:20). There is no salvation in the name of Buddha or Vishnu or Shiva or any other Name but Jesus. Over my hearth in my home is the Scripture, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). It does not say “can be saved” or “may be saved.” It says “must be saved.” There is no other name that can save. Jesus would not have died on the cross if there was any other way to save humanity. Jesus Himself pleaded with the Father the night He would be betrayed, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39). But it was not possible. God’s will was to save people, and the only way to do that was to have Jesus die for their sins. If you can be saved by believing in any other god, then it would have been possible for Jesus to abstain from the cup of suffering and death. And Jesus’ death would be in vain. Jesus also said, “I am the way, and the truth, an the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). That does not leave any room for alternate routes. The gospel is exclusive. The first commandment is, “You shall have no other gods before me,” (Exodus 20:3). A man cannot worship Allah or Vishnu or Shiva instead of God and keep the commandments and inherit eternal life. Isaiah 48:11 says God saves us for His own sake alone: “For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.” He will not give credit for salvation to Allah or Buddha or Zeus or any other name but His own. They don’t have the power to save. Only Jesus has the power to save. This is not popular but it is true. I know a woman who is Hindu and prays to Vishnu. She told me that Vishnu and Jesus are the same god. This is so far from the truth. She is a sweet woman who will recite a novel-length story to you when you ask her how she is doing, but she is completely wrong about who God is. I love her but she’s wrong.
In Christ alone my hope is found. What hope is that? Our hope is our salvation. Salvation from sin. Salvation from death. Salvation from hell and eternal torment. Salvation from the second death, which is eternal condemnation (Revelation 20:6), a lake of fire (20:10). Christ offers us eternal life, which is knowing God forever. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” So what must we do to have this hope? What must we do to have this salvation? Romans 10:9 says, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” It’s that easy. God has already paid the price for your salvation. The only thing He is waiting on is for you to pray to Him to receive it. You cannot have a gift without receiving it from the giver. If you do not already have this salvation, will you receive it today?
Maybe you think my words are crazy. I understand. But I’m not saying anything that Jesus hasn’t already said to us. Jesus said He is the door, and “If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:9), and the people in His day thought He was crazy too (John 10:20). This bring us full circle back to the cross as the heart of the gospel, and what Paul says right after He makes these two synonymous: “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.” (1 Corinthians 1:17). In the very next verse, He says, “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” If this is crazy talk to you, then you are perishing. If this truth is powerful to you, then you are being saved. Will you take hold of this power today? Jesus holds out to you “a strong hand and an outstretched arm, for his steadfast love endures forever” (Psalms 136:12). Take hold of His hand today, which He stretched out on the cross for you.
The Bible. English Standard Version, Crossway, 2001.