March 7, 2023
Spirit-filled Christians will sing praises to the Lord. Listen to the connection between the Spirit and singing in these words: “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord…” (Ephesians 5:18-19 NAS95) Being filled with wine leads to dissipation (wastefulness, debauchery), but being filled by the Spirit leads to (among many other things) singing of praises.
Similarly, Christians who are filled with the word of Christ will sing praises. “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16 NAS95)
What kind of singing will those who are filled with the Spirit and the word offer? It is singing which speaks to, teaches, and admonishes those assembled. When we sing together, we are reminding one another of God’s word and what God expects of us as His children. Singing is a mutual teaching experience, and it should engage the minds of those gathered.
The Spirit-filled, word-filled believer will offer singing to God that not only engages the mind, but also the heart. Perhaps at times, we have been guilty of singing the words of hymns that we know well while our hearts are disengaged. But true worship is about offering our hearts to God in praise and thankfulness. Worship is to come from our innermost being. Many try to create a meaningful worship experience by focusing on external things—a great sound, great lighting, great visual effects, etc. But true worship doesn’t come from external things. It comes from the heart. I am convinced that the most meaningful songs in God’s eyes, and the most beneficial songs for us, are the simple songs of praise that come from a grateful and reverent heart.
One might look at our simple worship and think that there’s not much to see—and they’re right. But the question is, what is going on that you can’t see? What is going on in the hearts of those gathered? In the spiritual realm, there is meaningful, uplifting, powerful worship coming from thankful hearts that are filled with the Spirit and the word. Let us worship God with all our hearts this Lord’s Day.
Leave a Comment » | Colossians 3:16, Ephesians 5:19, Holy Spirit, sing, singing, Spirit, word of God, worship | Tagged: singing and making melody, worship in spirit | Permalink
Posted by Scott Colvin
August 3, 2018
It may be significant that Eutychus didn’t fall asleep during the singing (Acts 20:9). The song service for most of us is the easiest part in which to stay awake and involved. Occasionally, one will hear of singings until midnight, but when the preaching is continued until midnight (Acts 20:7), many of us would be like Eutychus.
This observation is not made to suggest that we do away with preaching, but rather to note that most of us enjoy singing. Music is powerful and brings us much joy. It has great appeal, but in worship we need to remind ourselves that it should be more than a melody.
In Your Hearts to God. Paul’s admonition in Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 reminds us that the singing is not just for enjoyment but is directed to God. It is possible for an atheist to come in and sing our songs, and quite possibly enjoy the aesthetic of the experience, but that would not be acceptable worship. Singing is worship directed to God.
With the Understanding. Paul has repeatedly made this point in 1 Corinthians 14 (see verse 15 for the one on singing), because apparently the Corinthians coming out of their pagan past thought they could worship acceptably with minds disengaged. Understanding is an essential ingredient for Christian worship. Do you understand what you sing (“beneath the cross of Jesus I fain would take my stand,” “here I raise my Ebenezer”*)?
In Truth. Jesus’ words “worship in spirit and in truth” apply to songs as well. Is the song true and contain what is pleasing to God? Erik Routley in Hymns Today and Tomorrow states:
A congregation’s disposition toward right belief or away from it is subtly influenced by the habitual use of hymns. No single influence in public worship can surely condition a congregation to self-deception, to fugitive follies, to religious perversities, as thoughtlessly chosen hymns. The singing congregation is uncritical, but it matters very much what it sings, for it comes to believe its hymns. Wrong doctrine in preaching would be noticed; in hymns, it may come to be believed.
Thank God we have this powerful and joyful means of worship — our singing. May it always be to the Lord with understanding and in truth.
*Fain=gladly, Ebenezer = stone of help and is an allusion to 1 Samuel 7:12.
Leave a Comment » | Colossians 3:16, Ephesians 5:19, singing, worship | Permalink
Posted by Russell Holden