I Serve a Risen Savior

Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

In order to sing this song with greater depth, consider reading Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 17, Question and Answer 45, a reminder of the benefits of Christ’s resurrection: “…by his resurrection he has overcome death, so that he might make us share in the righteousness he obtained for us by his death…we too are already raised to a new life…”


This song speaks of a “risen Savior” and “I can face tomorrow” and “life is worth the living” because of the certainty of the resurrection of Christ. Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 25 testifies: “God raised him from the dead: he walked out of the grave, conqueror of sin and death—Lord of Life! We are set right with God, given new life, and called to walk with him in freedom from sin’s dominion.”


I Serve a Risen Savior

Tune Information

A♭ Major
Meter refrain



I Serve a Risen Savior

Hymn Story/Background

Written by Presbyterian minister Alfred H. Ackley, both text and tune were published in the Rodeheaver hymnal Triumphant Service Songs (1933). (Rodeheaver was a gospel song publisher.) As told by hymnal editor George Sanville, the following incident provided the spark for Ackley's inspiration: a young Jewish man asked evangelist/musician Ackley, "Why should I worship a dead Jew?" To which Ackle replied,
But Jesus lives! He lives! I tell you. He is not dead, but lives here and now. Jesus Christ is more alive today than ever before. I can prove it by my own experience, as well as by the testimony of countless thousands.
Sanville goes on to explain,
Mr. Ackley's forthright, emphatic answer, together with his subsequent triumphant effort to win the man for Christ, flowered forth into song and crystallized into a convincing sermon on "He lives!" . . . The scriptural evidence, his own heart, and the testimony of history matched the glorious experience of an innumerable cloud of witnesses that "He lives," so he sat down at the piano and voiced that conclusion in song.
-Forty Gospel Hymn Stories, 1943
Composed in gospel-song style, ACKLEY is supported by a simple harmonization intended for part singing. Some rubato may be observed in the refrain's final line. Observe two pulses per bar.
— Bert Polman

Author and Composer Information

Alfred H. Ackley (b. Spring Hill, PA, 1887; d. Whittier, CA, 1960) wrote the words and/or tunes to at least a thousand gospel songs and hymns in collaboration with his brother Bentley. Trained at the Royal Academy of Music in London, he was an accomplished cellist. Ackley graduated from Westminster Theological Seminary in Maryland and served Presbyterian churches in California and Pennsylvania. In addition to writing his own hymns, he edited hymnals and gospel song­books for the Rodeheaver Publishing Company.
— Bert Polman

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