1 How vast the benefits divine
which we in Christ possess!
We are redeemed from sin and shame,
and called to holiness.
'Tis not for works that we have done–
these all to him we owe;
but he of his electing love
salvation does bestow.
2 To you, O Christ, alone is due
all glory and renown;
no merit of our own we claim,
nor rob you of your crown.
You were our only surety
in God's redemption plan;
in you his grace was given us
before the world began.
3 Within the arms of sovereign love
we ever shall remain;
nor shall the rage of earth or hell
make God's sure counsel vain.
Each one of all the chosen race
shall surely heaven attain;
here they will share abounding grace,
and there with Jesus reign.
This teaching text presents in song the essential points of the doctrine of redemption (like 496 but more comprehensively): only in Christ are we saved, for we have no merit of our own. Our redemption was ordained "before the world began" (see election texts referred to in 496), and our salvation ultimately leads to ruling with Christ in his kingdom.
Bert Polman, Psalter Hymnal Handbook
The Catechism says that those who know Christ’s forgiveness are “to thank God for such deliverance” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1, Question and Answer 2). As a result, “With our whole lives we may show that we are thankful to God for his benefits, so that he may be praised through us, and that we may be assured of our faith by its fruits, and so that by our godly living our neighbors may be won over to Christ” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 32, Question and Answer 86).