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.
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Posted by Scott Colvin
September 27, 2019
Singing is an important part of our worship to God. We want our singing to be pleasing to God, and we want it to be meaningful as worshippers. One important way of focusing on singing is simply to ask its purpose. Why sing?
Dr. Everett Ferguson provides a good list in his book, The Church of Christ:
- Singing is a way of preaching Christ. Several New Testament passages are thought to have been early Christian hymns (e.g., Philippians 2:6-11 and 1 Timothy 3:16).
- Singing is a confession of faith. “Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge (or confess) his name” (Hebrews 13:15, ESV).
- Singing expresses the indwelling Spirit and word of Christ. Ephesians 5:18-19 associates singing with being filled with the Holy Spirit. The parallel passage in Colossians 3:16 encourages us to have the word of Christ dwell in us richly. How many things do you remember because you have repeatedly sung them?
- Singing as praise is a spiritual sacrifice. See the quotation of Hebrews 13:15 above.
- Singing shares in the praise of heaven. In Revelation we are brought to the throne room of heaven and given a taste of its praise (Revelation 4:8, 10-11, 5:8-12, 14:2-3, and 15:2-3).
- Singing is for instructing and encouraging one another. When we sing, we teach and admonish one another (Colossians 3:16). We must sing with our minds (1 Corinthians 14:15). When we sing, we are speaking to one another (Ephesians 5:19).
- Singing expresses the unity of the church. “…that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 15:6, ESV — emphasis added).
- Singing involves the whole person. Scripture emphasizes that singing is to be with both spirit and mind (1 Corinthians 14:15). We are to sing with our hearts (Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16) as well as with our lips (Hebrews 13:15).
- Singing expresses deep religious emotion. “Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise” (James 5:13, ESV).*
Good singing has meaningful words that draw us closer to God. Let’s sing praise to God with our whole being.
*Everett Ferguson, The Church of Christ: A Biblical Ecclesiology for Today (Eerdmans, 1996), p. 271
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Posted by Russell Holden