“Christ, Thou Alone”

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus…thou shalt be saved” (Rom. 10:9)

     INTRO.:  A hymn which emphasizes the importance of acknowledging Jesus as Lord is “Christ, Thou Alone.”  The text is an anonymous poem from Sweden usually identified as a Swedish folk hymn translated by Elmer Leon Jorgenson (1886-1968).  The tune (New Sweden) is by an unknown composer, perhaps a Swedish folk melody and possibly arranged by Jorgenson.  The song first appeared in the 1921 Great Songs of the Church (No. 1) edited by Jorgenson but was dropped from the 1925 edition.  Among other hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, it appeared in the 1975 Supplement to the 1937 Great Songs of the Church No. 2 also originally edited by Jorgenson.  Today it may be found in the 1992 Praise for the Lord edited by John P. Wiegand.

     The song identifies a number of concepts that explain what Christ is to every Christian.

I. Stanza 1 calls Him Lord
“Christ, Thou alone art my Lord, and no other
Shall, on the throne of my heart, rival Thee;
Stronger Thy love than the love of a mother,
Deeper Thy peace than the depths of the sea.”
 A. We should sanctify Christ as Lord in our hearts: 1 Pet. 3:15
 B. As our Lord, He has a love for us that is stronger than the love of a mother: Eph. 5:2
 C. Also, He gives us a peace that is deeper than the depths of the sea: Jn. 14:27

II. Stanza 2 calls Him deliverer
“Christ, Thou alone dost from bondage deliver,
Bringing me freedom and blessed release;
Crushing the heart then restoring forever,
Pouring into it the balm of Thy peace.”
 A. Christ came to deliver us from bondage: Heb. 2:15
 B. Thus, He brings us freedom from sin: Rom. 6:17-18
 C. To do this, He must crush the heart that He might restore or reconcile us to God: 2 Cor. 5:18-21

III. Stanza 3 calls Him bridegroom
“Christ, Thou alone shalt be Master and Owner;
Thou art the bridegroom and we are the bride.
Faithful to Thee, to obey and to honor,
Robed as a queen we shall reign at Thy side.”
 A. Those who acknowledge Jesus as Lord are in effect accepting Him as their Master or teacher and Owner: Jn. 13:13
 B. They are also identifying Him as their bridegroom: Jn. 3:29, Eph. 5:22-27
 C. If they are faithful, to obey and to honor, they shall reign as a queen with Him: Rev. 22:3-5

IV. Stanza 4 calls Him guide
“Christ, Thou alone in to harbor shall guide me,
After the journey forever is o’er;
Safe in Thy glory, no shadow to hide Thee,
Sorrow and sighing shall end evermore.”
 A. Christ is our forerunner who guides us into that harbor which is within the veil: Heb. 6:19-20
 B. This will occur after the journey is over at death: Heb. 9:27
 C. Then we shall be safe in His glory with sorrow and sighing ended forevermore: Rev. 21:1-4

     CONCL.:  While this song has been around since at least 1921 it is probably relatively “new” to most of us.  But notice how it compares to a lot of “new” songs from the Contemporary Christian Music genre.  Someone recently wrote, "What I’ve found about much of the contemporary/popular ‘praise’ music is its ‘me’ focus — ‘I’ will worship you, ‘I’ love you. The lyrics are ‘I’ centered, not Christ centered. The hymns are to be teaching tools in worship, they should deepen our understanding of Christ and the Scriptures."  However, in this hymn, the focus is definitely Christ centered as we say to Him, “Christ, Thou Alone.”


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