“I Know That My Redeemer Liveth”

"For I know that my Redeemer liveth…" (Job 19:25)

     INTRO.: A song which helps us to remember that our Redeemer lives is "I Know that My Redeemer Liveth" (#401 in Hymns for Worship Revised, and #249 in Sacred Selections for the Church). The text was written by Jessie H. Brown Pounds (1861-1921). A prolific author of hymn poems, she also produced "Am I Nearer to Heaven Today?", "Anywhere With Jesus," "Are You Coming to Jesus Tonight?", "Beautiful Isle of Somewhere," "Soul, a Savior Thou Art Needing," "The Way of the Cross Leads Home," and "Will You Not Tell It Today?" The tune (Hannah) for "I Know That My Redeemer Liveth" was composed by James Henry Fillmore (1849-1936). The song, possibly based on an earlier hymn by Charles Wesley, first appeared as part of a cantata Hope’s Messenger, published in 1893 by the Fillmore Brothers Music House. Its first hymnbook inclusion was in The Praise Hymnal of 1896 compiled by Fillmore and Gilbert J. Ellis.

     This is the hymn that Elmer L. Jorgenson recast and joined to a tune and chorus by James Holmes Rosecrans to make the hymn "O ‘Twas Wonderful Love" for the 1937 Great Songs of the Church No. 2 that is also found in many of our books. Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, "I Know That My Redeemer Liveth" appeared in the 1917 Selected Revival Songs published by F. L. Rowe; the 1921 Great Songs of the Church (No. 1) edited by E. L. Jorgenson; and the 1938/1944 New Wonderful Songs edited by Thomas S. Cobb. Today it may be found in the 1971 Songs of the Church, the 1990 Songs of the Church 21st C. Ed., and the 1994 Songs of Faith and Praise all edited by Alton H. Howard; and the 1992 Praise for the Lord edited by John P. Wiegand; in addition to Hymns for Worship and Sacred Selections.

     The song encourages us to look to Jesus Christ as our Redeemer.

I. Stanza 1 teaches that our Redeemer lives and reigns
"I know that my Redeemer liveth, And that His throne shall ever stand;
I Know eternal life He giveth, That grace and power are in His hand."
 A. Jesus rose from the dead and ever lives to make intercession for us: Heb. 7:25
 B. The original second line, based on Job 19:25 read "And on the earth again shall stand." Of course, Job was speaking from the standpoint of one who lived before the cross, and so he was looking forward to that time when his Redeemer (God) would become flesh and dwell among men on earth, or the Incarnation. The song seeks to apply this idea to the fact that we today are looking for Christ to return for us, and Christians certainly expect the Lord to come back, but nowhere does the Bible ever teach that when He does He ever "on the earth again shall stand." Therefore, most of our books have changed the line to read, "And that His throne shall ever stand" to emphasize that because our Redeemer ever lives, He ever reigns upon His throne in heaven: Acts 2:20, Rev. 3:21
 C. As our Redeemer who ever lives and reigns, He gives eternal life: Jn. 11:27-28

II. Stanza 2 teaches that our Redeemer’s promise never fail
"I know His promise never faileth, The word He speaks, it cannot die;
Though cruel death my flesh assaileth, Yet I shall see Him by and by."
 A. God through Christ has made many exceedingly great and precious promises to us: 2 Pet. 1:3-4
 B. These promises never fail because when Christ speaks a word it cannot die and will never pass away: Matt. 24:35
 C. One of those promises is that when He returns, we shall se Him as He is: 1 Jn. 3:1-2

III. Stanza 3 teaches that our Redeemer is preparing a mansion for us and will come for us
"I know my mansion He prepareth, That where He is, there I may be;
O wondrous thought, for me He careth, And He at last will come for me."
 A. Jesus also promised that He would go and prepare a mansion or dwelling place for His people: Jn. 14:1-3
 B. Because He loves us enough to do this, we can certainly be assured that He cares for us: 1 Pet. 5:7
 C. Also, we can be assured that just as He promised He will come again for us so that we can be with Him: 1 Thess. 4:16-17

     CONCL.: The chorus repeats the truth taught in the first stanza.
"I know, I know that Jesus liveth, And that His throne shall ever stand;
I know, I know that life He giveth, That grace and power are in His hand."
I was not alive when Jesus walked the earth, was crucified, and rose again. However, I have irrefutable testimony give by those who were there and did see Him alive after His death. Based upon their word and the general evidence showing that the Bible is God’s revelation to us, "I Know That My Redeemer Liveth."


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