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
March 30, 2018
The cross of Jesus refers to his crucifixion by the Romans, his burial in a rich man’s previously unused tomb, and his resurrection from the dead. Christians look back on this once for all event as permanently dealing with sins and gaining the victory over death. But Paul also uses the cross as a model for our lives as Christians.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20, ESV)
This daily crucifixion is a putting to death of myself so that Christ may live in me. The voluntary death to self is motivated by the great love that Christ and the Father have for us.
And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:24, ESV)
The above passage from Paul lets us know that this crucifixion of ourselves also has to do the flesh. Flesh in Paul is defined well by the descriptive phrase that follows “with its passions and desires.” In other words, it is a putting to death of sinful desires in our life. It is a life lived by faith (Gal. 2:16), “through the Spirit, by faith” (Gal 5:5), and involves faith working through love (Gal. 5:6). Although we may be engaged in an inner moral struggle for Christian maturity, it is love that motivates us and the Spirit who strengthens us (Romans 8:13, Ephesians 3:16). It is not an unaided struggle.
But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Galatians 6:14, ESV)
The model of the cross is also a model for putting to death the world on a daily basis. Paul’s use of “world” is not to evoke the beauty of creation around us. Rather it is the world system that is hostile to God. My death to self is to result in a new creation (Gal. 6:15). It will be because I’m walking by the Spirit which is the opposite of gratifying the desires of the flesh (i.e., worldly, sinful desires). I’m to be led by the Spirit (Gal. 5:18) which will produce the fruit of the Spirit, which is a very different lifestyle from the one lived by worldly values. And Paul offers a challenge to us: “let us also keep in step with the Spirit” (Gal. 5:25).We must pay attention to what it means to let Christ live in us. We must be vigilant that we are not slipping back into worldliness for the new creation is in Christ, it is not in the world.
As you ponder the cross of Christ, also consider your daily crucifixion of self. The cross of Christ is to be a transforming cross.
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Posted by Russell Holden