Glory Be to God Alone

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A hymn in anticipation of the celebration of Reformation Sunday, a day when the protestant church celebrates the great doctrines clarified and recovered during the 16th century Reformation. Originally three, but later augmented to five, the great "solas" (Latin for alone or only) have stood throughout the centuries as cherished truths that we hold dear and central to our faith. The order that they are presented varies, but they are:

Sola Scriptura - By scripture alone
Sola Gratia - By grace alone
Sola Fide - By Faith alone
Sola Christus - By Christ alone
Soli Deo Gloria - For the glory of God alone

This hymn text has been set to the tune AUSTRIAN HYMN by Haydn (often associated with "Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken") in an effort to connect it with a grand and even German musical heritage.


Only Scripture leads and binds us,
Not traditions, creeds, or man,
Tells of wrath yet loving-kindness
Joined in God's redemption plan.
Knowledge, wisdom without measure,
Comfort and delights unknown,
Perfect, all-surpassing treasure,
Found in this, God's Word alone.

Only grace can save the sinner,
Not the righteousness of man.
All our efforts only hinder
From the favor we demand.
Free and sovereign, in defiance
Of the wrath we should have known,
Not in merit, nor through penance-
We are saved by grace alone.

Only faith in God's provision
Of a perfect substitute
Can repair the grave condition
Of a sinner destitute.
Christ has come to bear our burdens,
For transgressions to atone,
And to make us clean and righteous
By the gift of faith alone.

Only Christ has paid our ransom,
He alone can mediate,
God and man in perfect union,
Holy blood to expiate.
Suffered, died, in triumph risen,
Interceding for his own,
At his word we are forgiven,
So we look to Christ alone.

Only glory to the Father-
Not to creatures he has made;
Honor, blessing, strength, and power
Fully in the Son displayed.
By the Spirit's work we see Him,
Seated on his mighty throne.
This our hope and firm foundation -
Glory be to God alone.

By David L. Ward
© 2015, admin by Thousand Tongues


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Great song. Thank you!

While the Spirit relates to all five Solas, it seems He and His work are worthy of a sixth sola – Sola Spiritus – as the third person of the Trinity whose ministry from creation, through redemption, and on into the consummation of the new creation is so essential and described in terms of great power throughout Scripture, especially in the New Testament as the hallmark of the New Covenant, wherein the believer in Christ is brought by the Spirit into union with Christ and thus into fellowship with God.
» Rick Owen on December 2nd, 2015

Love it, David! Planning to do it to the tune of Come Thou Fount. It would be difficult for the worship band to pull off the Austrian hymn. Thanks man! Good work!
» West Breedlove on June 25th, 2021
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