In Christ alone was actually the first song Keith Getty and I wrote together. We had been introduced by a mutual friend at a worship conference, where we had a coffee together and talked about our backgrounds, musical influences, and motivations to write. Keith promised he would send me a CD with a bunch of melodies he'd been working on, and to be honest I thought no more about it.
Then a few days later the CD arrived. And the first melody on it really hit me - it was tuneful and memorable, and yet had gravitas and real emotion. And I began to feel the pressure to write lyrics that were of a comparable standard!
The only thing I could think was to base it on the eternal theme of the life, death and resurrection of Christ. The verses came in a fairly linear way, but as the third verse developed, I was getting pretty excited as I thought about the amazing implications of Christ's finished work on the cross. I wanted to write a fourth verse that was about us - but not just as an emotional response, but as a undeniable statement of the power of Christ to sustain us in this life.
Keith and I are overwhelmed with the response this song has had, and we are just grateful to God that He should use it to build up His church in this way.
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.