“One Day” was written by Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman, a well-known evangelist and Bible teacher during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was greatly influenced by the preaching of D. L. Moody, who encouraged him to enter full-time evangelism. (Chapman later had a great influence on evangelist Billy Sunday.) The text was written around 1908 while he held a Bible Conference in Stony Brook, Long Island. His young pianist, Charles Marsh, composed the tune, and the hymn was published in 1910.
This hymn recounts four events in the life of Christ. Christ is referred to as Example, Redeemer, Saviour, and Lord. The last stanza proclaims the glorious hope of Christ's return. The refrain includes God’s plan of redemption: Christ’s living among men, dying, being buried, rising, and His promised coming. The hymn is rich in doctrine and scriptural allusions. The hymn reminds one of how Paul summarized his preaching: For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: (1 Corinthians 15: 3-4).
“One Day” appears in many hymnals but is often overlooked. It’s a difficult challenge for editors to choose a specific category. So many different aspects of the life of Christ are included. It is such a clear and simple presentation of the Gospel.
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13).
One day when sin was as black as could be,
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin-
Dwelt amongst men, my example is he!
Living, he loved me; dying, he saved me;
Buried, he carried my sins far away;
Rising, he justified freely for ever:
One day he's coming- O glorious day.
One day they led him up Calvary's mountain,
One day they nailed him to die on the tree;
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected:
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is he!
One day they left him alone in the garden,
One day he rested from suffering free;
Angels came down o’er his tomb to keep vigil;
Hope of the hopeless, my Saviour is he!
One day the grave could conceal him no longer,
One day the stone rolled away from the door;
Then he arose, over death he had conquered;
Now is ascended, my Lord evermore!
One day the trumpet will sound for his coming,
One day the skies with his glory will shine;
Wonderful day, my beloved ones bringing;
Glorious Saviour, this Jesus is mine!
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