Stuart Townend wrote a modern hymn that has become one of my favorites. It’s entitled “In Christ Alone.” Here is the first verse:

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.

This simple hymn expresses the difference between religion and the peace that Christ offers. With religion we have condemnation. With religion we’re always exhorted to try harder, do better, commit more, give more and serve more. Jesus is the Prince of Peace that puts us at rest. He calls out saying “Come to me all of you who are weary and worn out on religion and I will give you rest.” In Christ all our striving cease and we have peace with God. Whatever the circumstances we may find ourselves in, Jesus is enough. His grace is sufficient. How did Christianity become all about what I do for God instead of what God did for me? Religious people all around us try to drag us from the security we find in Christ to the unstable, fickle and fallible works of our hands and flesh. They only produce worry, fear and doubt!

The writer of Hebrews is addressing Christians who are being beguiled by religious people into focusing their attention on their own works and efforts rather than focusing on Christ alone. But he will have none of it and in Hebrews 10:23, he exhorts us all, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” Many of the sermons we hear about David, exhort us to be like him. We need to stand up to our giants. But in keeping with how the writer of Hebrews interprets the Old Testament, David was the anointed one who fought the battle for his people and delivered them from their enemy. The story of David is a prelude to the true anointed one who fought our battles for us and delivered us from our enemies. Girwood writes, “His victory is also ours. No threat of danger can cost us more or take away what we hope for—and already possess—in Christ Jesus.”[1] In Christ alone my hope is found! Jesus is my all in all!

[1] James Girdwood and Peter Verkruyse, Hebrews, The College Press NIV Commentary (Joplin, MO: College Press, 1997), Heb 10:23.