Expository Songs from I Corinthians 15

I Corinthians 15:12-20

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”:

Expository Songs

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

He Will Come (I Corinthians 15:20-28) (1998)
Jamie Soles | Popularized by Jamie Soles
Lyrics | Sheet Music | YouTube | Amazon

We Shall All Be Changed (I Corinthians 15:50-58) (2016)
Greg de Blieck | Popularized by New Scottish Hymns
Amazon

I Shall See the King (I Corinthians 15:51-52) (1989)
Ron Hamilton | Popularized by Majesty Music
Sheet Music | Amazon

We Shall Be Changed (I Corinthians 15:51-52)
Popularized by Kitty Parham
YouTube | Amazon

We Will Be Changed (I Corinthians 15:51)
Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey | Popularized by The Perrys
YouTube | Amazon

Lord We Wait (I Corinthians 15:52-54) (2005)
Keith Getty, Stuart Townend | Popularized by Keith and Kristyn Getty
Lyrics

When the last trumpet’s awful voice (I Corinthians 15:52-58)
Isaac Watts
Lyrics | Sheet Music

Changed in A Moment (I Corinthians 15:52) (1987)
Popularized by Wayne Watson
Amazon

Christ Is Risen from the Dead (I Corinthians 15:55-56)
Margaret Bowdler
Lyrics | Sheet Music

O for an overcoming faith (I Corinthians 15:55) (1709)
Isaac Watts | Popularized by Hymns and Spir­it­u­al Songs (1707-09)
Lyrics | Sheet Music

O Grave, Where Is thy Victory? (I Corinthians 15:55)
Barney Warren
Lyrics | Sheet Music

Always Abounding (I Corinthians 15:58)
Edward Barnes
Lyrics | Sheet Music

Other References

According to the Scriptures (I Corinthians 15:3)
Rebecca Peck | Popularized by Mark Trammell Trio
YouTube | Amazon

He’s Alive (I Corinthians 15:5) (1977)
Don Francisco | Popularized by Don Francisco
YouTube | Amazon

A Trophy of Grace (I Corinthians 15:10)
Sheryl Farris | Popularized by The McKameys
YouTube | Amazon

Nothing But Grace (I Corinthians 15:10)
Sheryl Farris | Popularized by The McKameys
YouTube | Amazon

Hail the Day That Sees Him Rise (I Corinthians 15:23)
Charles Wesley
Lyrics | Sheet Music

O Church, Arise (I Corinthians 15:25) (2005)
Keith Getty, Stuart Townend | Popularized by Keith and Kristyn Getty
Lyrics | Sheet Music | YouTube | Amazon

When The King Comes To Claim His Throne (I Corinthians 15:25)
Dianne Wilkinson | Popularized by Mark Trammell Quartet
YouTube

You Are All In All (I Corinthians 15:28) (1991)
Popularized by 2nd Chapter of Acts
Amazon

You Are My All in All (I Corinthians 15:28) (1990)
Dennis Jernigan | Popularized by Dennis Jernigan
YouTube | Amazon

Creation Sings (I Corinthians 15:45) (2008)
Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, Stuart Townend | Popularized by Keith and Kristyn Getty
Lyrics | Sheet Music | YouTube | Amazon

Two Coats (I Corinthians 15:47)
Popularized by Ernie Haase and Signature Sound
Lyrics | YouTube | Amazon

All in the Twinkling (I Corinthians 15:52)
Squire Parsons | Popularized by Florida Boys
Amazon

Coming Back (I Corinthians 15:52) (2010)
Popularized by Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
Lyrics | YouTube | Amazon

He Will Rule (I Corinthians 15:52)
Annie Herring | Popularized by 2nd Chapter of Acts
Amazon

I Can Almost Hear the Trumpet (I Corinthians 15:52)
Popularized by The McKameys
YouTube | Amazon

In The Blink of an Eye (I Corinthians 15:52) (2004)
Popularized by MercyMe
YouTube | Amazon

In the Twinkle of an Eye (I Corinthians 15:52)
Sandy Knight | Popularized by The Inspirations
YouTube | Amazon

In the Twinkling of an Eye (I Corinthians 15:52)
Popularized by The Greenes
YouTube | Amazon

One Day (When We All Get to Heaven) (I Corinthians 15:52) (2017)
Popularized by Matt Redman
YouTube | Amazon

The Resurrection Morn (I Corinthians 15:52)
Daniel S. Warner
Lyrics | Sheet Music

The Resurrection Morn (I Corinthians 15:52)
William Gaither, Gloria Gaither | Popularized by The Collingsworth Family
YouTube | Amazon

Trumpet in the Ground (I Corinthians 15:52)
Larry Petree | Popularized by The Wilburns
Amazon

We Shall Behold Him (I Corinthians 15:52)
Dottie Rambo | Popularized by Sandi Patty
YouTube | Amazon

When the Great Trumpet Sounds (I Corinthians 15:52)
Hendricks | Popularized by Oak Ridge Boys
YouTube | Amazon

When the Trumpet Sounds (I Corinthians 15:52)
Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey | Popularized by Triumphant Quartet
YouTube | Amazon

In All Of His Glory (I Corinthians 15:55-56)
Babbie Mason, Donna Douglas | Popularized by Babbie Mason
YouTube | Amazon

There Blooms a Rose in Bethlehem (I Corinthians 15:55-56) (2014)
Neil DeGraide | Popularized by Sovereign Grace Music
Lyrics | Sheet Music | YouTube | Amazon

Christ the Lord Is Risen Today (I Corinthians 15:55-57)
Charles Wesley
Lyrics | Sheet Music | YouTube

Jesus lives, and so shall I (I Corinthians 15:55-57)
Christian F. Gellert, J. D. Lang
Lyrics | Sheet Music

Abide with Me (I Corinthians 15:55)
Henry Lyte
Lyrics | Sheet Music

Dying, rising, reigning (I Corinthians 15:55)
Isaac Watts, John Wesley
Lyrics | Sheet Music

Glory Be to God (I Corinthians 15:55) (2007)
Stuart Townend, Matt Maher, Kelly Minter | Popularized by Stuart Townend
Lyrics | YouTube | Amazon

Hymn In E Minor (I Corinthians 15:55) (2010)
Popularized by Matt Papa
YouTube | Amazon

Sweet Victory (I Corinthians 15:57)
Diana Blythe | Popularized by The McKameys
YouTube | Amazon

It’s Not in Vain (I Corinthians 15:58)
Niles Borop, Dwight Liles, Mike Speck | Popularized by Gold City
YouTube

Quotes

I know that my redeemer liveth (I Corinthians 15:20) (1741)
George Frederick Handel
Lyrics | Sheet Music | YouTube | Amazon

Since by man came death (I Corinthians 15:21-22) (1741)
George Frederick Handel
Lyrics | Sheet Music | YouTube | Amazon

Behold I tell you a mystery (I Corinthians 15:51-52) (1741)
George Frederick Handel
Lyrics | Sheet Music | YouTube | Amazon

The trumpet shall sound (I Corinthians 15:52-54) (1741)
George Frederick Handel
Lyrics | Sheet Music | YouTube | Amazon

Then shall be brought to pass (I Corinthians 15:54) (1741)
George Frederick Handel
Lyrics | Sheet Music | YouTube | Amazon

O death where is thy sting? (I Corinthians 15:55-56) (1741)
George Frederick Handel
Lyrics | Sheet Music | YouTube | Amazon

But Thanks be to God (I Corinthians 15:57) (1741)
George Frederick Handel
Lyrics | Sheet Music | YouTube | Amazon