Saturday, April 25, 2020

If Christ Had Not Been Raised From Death

Christopher Idle (b. 1938) wrote this text in May of 1984 while serving as minister at Limehouse, East London.  The text was conceived and written as a response to liberal voices of the late 20th century that had questioned the central doctrine of the Christian faith: Christ's bodily resurrection from the dead.  This is no new heresy.  St. Paul had addressed this same issue nearly 2,000 years earlier in 1 Corinthians 15, the great resurrection chapter penned by the apostle under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The tune UNION CITY was composed by Phillip Magness (b. 1963) who had attended his grandmother's funeral in Union City, Tennessee and the funeral sermon was on the passage of Scripture on which this hymn is based.

If Christ had not been raised from death
    Our faith would be in vain,
Our preaching but a waste of breath,
    Our sin and guilt remain.
But now the Lord is ris’n indeed;
    He rules in earth and heav’n:
His gospel meets a world of need—
    In Christ we are forgiv’n.
If Christ still lay within the tomb
    Then death would be the end,
And we should face our final doom
    With neither guide nor friend.
But now the Savior is raised up,
    So when a Christian dies
We mourn, yet look to God in hope—
    In Christ the saints arise!
If Christ had not been truly raised,
    His Church would live a lie;
His name should nevermore be praised,
    His words deserve to die.
But now our great Redeemer lives;
    Through this we are restored:
His Word endures, His Church revives
    In Christ, our risen Lord.

No comments: