“Only In Thee”

"Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Eph. 1.3)

     INTRO.: A song which exalts Christ as the only one in whom all spiritual blessings, including our hope, are found is "Only In Thee" (#119 in Hymns for Worship Revised and #245 in Sacred Selections for the Church). The text was written by Thomas Obadiah Chisholm (1866-1960). A native of Franklin, KY, who became a Methodist minister and then, due to health problems, an insurance agent, he produced many hymn poems which were set to music by a number of composers, such as "O To Be Like Thee."  The tune (Monos) was composed by Charles Hutchinson Gabriel (1856-1932).  A native of Wilton, IA, who became a professional musician, he provided tunes for texts by many different writers and also authored both words and melodies for many gospel songs, such as "O That Will Be Glory" that begins, "When all my labors and trials are o’er". Many of Gabriel’s songs came into use among churches of Christ because he helped T. B. Larimore in editing The New Christian Hymn Book for the Gospel Advocate in 1907.

     "Only In Thee" was first published in the 1905 collection Revival Hymns, compiled in Chicago, IL, by Daniel B. Towner and Charles M. Alexander. The copyright was renewed in 1933 by Homer A. Rodeheaver. Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, it appeared in the 1921 Great Songs of the Church (No. 1) and the 1937 Great Songs of the Church No. 2 both edited by E. L. Jorgenson; the 1948 Christian Hymns No. 2 and the 1966 Christian Hymns No. 3 both edited by L. O. Sanderson; the 1963 Abiding Hymns edited by Robert C. Welch; and the 1963 Christian Hymnal edited by J. Nelson Slater. Today it may be found in the 1971 Songs of the Church, the 1990 Songs of the Church 21st C. Ed., and the 1994 Songs of Faith and Praise all edited by Alton H. Howard; the 1978/1983 Church Gospel Songs and Hymns edited by V. E. Howard; the 1986 Great Songs Revised edited by Forrest M. McCann; and the 1992 Praise for the Lord edited by John P. Wiegand; in addition to Hymns for Worship, Sacred Selections, and the 2007 Sacred Songs of the Church edited by William D. Jeffcoat. It has been quite popular among brethren.

     The song mentions several of the blessings that are found only in Christ.

I. Stanza one says that we have peace
"Only in Thee, O Savior mine, Dwelleth my soul in peace divine,
Peace that the world, though all combine, Never can take from me.
Pleasures of earth, so seemingly sweet, Fail at the last my longings to meet,
Only in Thee my bliss is complete, Only, dear Lord, in Thee!"
 A. Jesus Christ is our Savior because He came into this world to save mankind from sin: Matt. 1.21, Lk. 19.10, 1 Tim. 1.15
 B. Because Jesus Christ offers salvation from sin, we can dwell in a peace divine that even though the whole world combine can never be taken from us: Phil. 4.6-7
 C. The pleasures of this world, so seemingly sweet, can never offer such a peace because they are but for a season: Heb. 11.24-26

II. Stanza two says that we have guidance through this world
"Only in Thee a radiance bright Shines like a beacon in the night,
Guiding my pilgrim bark aright, Over life’s trackless sea.
Only in Thee, when troubles molest, When with temptation I am oppressed,
There is a sweet pavilion of rest, Only, dear Lord, in Thee!"
 A. Jesus Christ is a radiance bright that shines like a beacon in the night because He is the light of the world: Jn. 8.12
 B. This light, shed through His revealed word, will guide our pilgrim barks aright over life’s trackless sea: Psa. 119.105
 C. Therefore, when troubles molest and with temptations we are oppressed, that light will guide us toward the sweet pavilion of rest
where we can anchor: Heb. 6.17-20

III. Stanza 3 says that we have help in time of trouble
"Only in Thee, when days are drear, When neither sun nor stars appear,
Still I can trust and feel no fear, Sing when I cannot see.
Only in Thee, whatever betide, All of my need is freely supplied;
There is no hope nor helper beside, Only, dear Lord, in Thee!"
 A. Jesus is a Helper because when days are drear, and neither sun or stars appear, we can go to the throne of grace through Him who is our High Priest that we may find grace to help in time of need: Heb. 4.14-16
 B. As a result of this help, we can trust and feel no fear as we face the trials and tribulations of this life: Heb. 13.5-6
 C. Therefore, whatever betide, we can be assured that all of our need is freely supplied and therefore cast all our cares upon Him: 1 Pet. 5.6-7

IV. Stanza 4 says that we have hope for a better future
"Only in Thee, dear Savior slain, Losing Thy life my own to gain,
Trusting, I’m cleansed from every stain, Thou art my only plea.
Only in Thee, my heart will delight, Till in that land where cometh no night,
Faith will be lost in heavenly sight, Only, dear Lord, in Thee!"
 A. Jesus Christ is our hope because He was slain that through losing His life we can gain life: Rom. 5.6-8
 B. Because He died for us, we can be cleansed from every stain: Eph. 1.7
 C. And we can look forward to that time when "in that land where cometh no night, Faith will be lost in glorious sight": Rev. 21.22-27

     CONCL.: There are many voices which call for my attention in this life. There are many things which offer all kinds of advantages, pleasures, and benefits. Some of these are sinful, while others are not wrong in and of themselves, but I need to be careful to put my priorities in the right place. Therefore, dear Lord, when it comes to my soul, help me to remember that everything which I need I will find "Only In Thee."


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