"In Christ Alone..." Devotion by Hannah & Antique Candle Co.®

Written by Antique Candle Co.®'s own Hannah Schwartz

"In Christ Alone...”

Growing up, I used to think the gospel was only for people who didn’t believe in Jesus. Like, somehow I’ve “been there and done that.” Or “I already know and believe this, so this is for people who don’t.” I would often tune out when the pastor would end his sermon with a call for salvation — to repent and believe in Jesus.  The good news was faithfully presented every Sunday morning and I tuned out thinking it wasn’t for me. The more I read the Bible and grew in my faith, the more I realized this kind of thinking is far from the truth. The reality is the gospel is for everyone, for people who have not yet put their faith in Jesus and for those that have. 

A few years back, I read a little devotional book called “A Gospel Primer” by Milton Vincent. In it, the book offers that we can experience the gospel more fully by preaching it to ourselves every day. This is in line with Scripture, similarly when the Apostle Paul says “...continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard” (Colossians 1:23). Think about this truth for a minute. Why would we need to preach the gospel to ourselves and why would the Apostle Paul call believers not to shift from the gospel?

I think if we are honest with ourselves, there are times in our life where we don’t believe God or we doubt His character (His power, faithfulness, goodness, mercy, etc.). There are also times when it may be harder to trust in His Word and His promises. Or times when we don’t think Jesus’ sacrifice was enough to completely make right all the wrongs we have done. In many ways, His grace sounds too good to be true. Our confidence can waver. To continue in the faith and remain steadfast, we need to believe the good news of Jesus is just as much for us today as it was the day we were saved. We need the gospel today and every day. 

When we are filled with anxiety and the stress of life is almost too much to bear, we can be comforted that Jesus intercedes for us as our high priest and will help us in our time of need.

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:15-16

When we keep falling into bad habits and temptation gets the better of us, we can be assured that Jesus has taken all of our guilt and our shame and completely removed sin’s power over us at the cross. 

“Present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.” (Romans 6:12-14)

When a chronic illness or cancer diagnosis is unexpectedly announced, we can believe that just as Christ has risen from the dead with a resurrected body, we too will be resurrected with a glorified body one day. 

“This light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18) 

When a loved one passes away, believers can have an eternal perspective and hope because Jesus made a way for us to live forever with Him. 

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” (John 11: 25-26) 

You see? The gospel has the power to change everything. We can have hope in every situation we face because Jesus died and rose again. But how do we keep this truth top of mind and close at heart? Practically speaking, this often looks like reading the Bible (God’s Word given to us), spending time in prayer, being in community with other believers, attending and serving in a local church, and worshiping God. To me, hymns are an easy way to be reminded of the gospel truths I desperately need to hear. On the days when my circumstances make it harder to sing aloud, I let the truth-filled lyrics wash over me. I listen, I’m reminded, and I’m encouraged in my faith. My favorite hymn does this well - In Christ Alone (written in 2001 by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend). Have you heard it before? 

“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

'Til 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, 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”

 

Isn’t it beautiful? The life, death and resurrection of Jesus melodiously displayed. Jesus alone satisfies and Jesus alone has made a way. I don’t know what circumstances you find yourself in today, but friend…there is hope in Christ and Christ alone. Do not shift from this hope but let this living hope renew you day by day. The gospel is for you! Do you believe this?  


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