Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
This hymn was published anonymously in Solomon Henkel’s 1816 Church Hymn Book for the German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Tennessee.
It would be preaching Christ in vain, Should not the dead be rais’d again; In vain, our exercise of faith, As Paul, the great Apostle saith.
In vain the Gospel we receive, If after death we should not live; With bodies rais’d and glorified: Is perfect happiness enjoy’d.
If Jesus be the Son of God: Then shall out bodies be renew’d; If we do own him as our Lord! Why should we not believe his word?
His promises to us are made: I will be sure to raise the dead– All faithful christians then shall be, Prepar’d to live and dwell with me.
That Jesus from the grave hath rose; In spite of all that did oppose; Sufficiently that fact was prov’d, Therefore our doubts are all remov’d.
We praise the Lord for that we have; Such living hope beyond the grave; True, here we bear the Saviour’s cross, But there he makes up all our loss.
I Corinthians 15:14
And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
The song “But He Did” could well be termed a hidden gem; few, even in its own genre (Southern Gospel), know of its existence. It was written by legendary songwriter Kyla Rowland and performed by her son’s group, Barry Rowland & Deliverance. The verses are excellent, but the chorus is directly from I Corinthians 15:14 and is simply magnificent:
I Corinthians 15:52
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
There are almost innumerable riches when it comes to songs based out of the last few verses of this chapter. This is especially the case for American hymns and Gospel songs written since the mid-1800s, and continuing through today in the Southern Gospel tradition. One of the finest modern-day examples is written by Bill and Gloria Gaither and performed by a number of artists, most notably The Collingsworth Family:
Another song from this passage that is regrettably an almost completely forgotten gem is The Perrys’ “We Will Be Changed”:
I Am What I Am (I Corinthians 15:10)
David Jenkins | Popularized by The Talleys YouTube | Amazon
It would be preaching Christ in vain (I Corinthians 15:12-20)
Popularized by Printed in Solomon Henkel’s Church Hymn Book (1816) for the German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Tennessee Lyrics | Sheet Music
But He Did (I Corinthians 15:14)
Kyla Rowland | Popularized by Barry Rowland and Deliverance YouTube | Amazon
Our glorious Lord is ris’n indeed! (I Corinthians 15:14)
James Relly Lyrics
Christ from the Dead is rais’d and made (I Corinthians 15:20-21) Lyrics