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Music and Song

Overview

Biblical music honors God, teaches and recalls Bible doctrine, and encourages people. Music has its source in God’s revelation—revelation of himself, of his works, of his plan, and of his will. Good music lifts the soul and human spirit (encourage, give confidence and hope, bring out thankfulness, and challenge to live right) and orders the soul and human spirit (remove or lessen confusion, put emotions in proper perspective with truth, and give peace).

 

  • Biblical music honors God, teaches and recalls Bible doctrine, and encourages people. Biblical music expresses the thinking, free will, emotion, conscience, and self consciousness, though it especially joins the learned doctrine in the soul and human spirit with the emotion of the soul and human spirit. In church assembly, the ministry of music prepares the congregation for the ministry of God’s word.
    • Music has its source in God’s revelation of himself, his word, and his will.
    • Good music lifts the soul and human spirit (encourage, give confidence and hope, bring out thankfulness, and challenge to live right) and orders the soul and human spirit (remove or lessen confusion, put emotions in proper perspective with truth, and give peace).
    • Therefore make our ministry of music such that it will lift and order the soul and spirit and prepare the congregation for the ministry of the Word.
    • Times change, but God does not. Music must lift, calm, and order the soul and spirit—no matter what the style of music. Music, like all other service should be done whole heartedly.
    • Music prepares the believer for the ministry of the Word.
    • Be aware that there is a battle in the church about music—what kind and how much. The Bible is the only sure basis for keeping guiding a believer about music.
  • David, Paul, Martin Luther, and others had much to say about music.
    • David in Psalm 30:4, “Sing praise to the Lord, you his godly ones, and give thanks to his holy name,” and Psalm 7:17, “I will give thanks to the Lord according to his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of he Lord most high,” and Psalm 57:9, “I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations.”
    • Paul said about music, “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). “and for the Gentiles to glorify God for His mercy; as it is written, “Therefore I will give praise to Thee among the Gentiles, And I will sing to Thy name.” 10 And again he says, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people.” 11 And again, “Praise the Lord all you Gentiles, And let all the peoples praise Him.” (Romans 15:9-11).
    • Martin Luther said “I place music next to theology and give it the highest praise.”
    • John Wesley and Charles Wesley left their mark on music. Charles Wesley wrote many hymns, among them one we sing for Easter, “Christ the Lord is Risen Today,” and for Christmas, “Hark, the Herald Angels sing.”
  • Song and singing is used many times in the Bible. From this we learn that singing to the Lord is based on his revelation to us. This is especially clear in the New Testament.  Here are some examples.
    • Exodus 15:1, “Then Moses and he sons of Israel sang this song to the Lord , and said, I will sing to the Lord.”
    • Deuteronomy 31:22, “Moses wrote the words of this song the same day, and taught it to the sons of Israel.”
    • 1 Chronicles 25:7, “were trained in singing to the Lord.”
    • Nehemiah 12:46, “leaders of the singers, songs of praise and hymns of thanksgiving to God.”
    • 1 Chronicles 13:8, “David and all Israel were celebrating before God with all their might, even with songs and with lyres, harps,…”
    • Psalm 100:2, “come before him with joyful singing.”
    • 1 Corinthians 14:15, “sing in the spirit.”
    • Colossians 3:16, “singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
    • Hebrews 2:12, “I will sing your praise.”
    • James 5:13, “Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praise.”
    • Romans 15:9, “and I will sing to your name.”
    • Ephesians 5:19, “singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord.”
    • Acts 16:25, “were praying and singing hymns of praise to God.”
    • Mark 14:26, “after singing a hymn.”
  • Psalm 33 is an encouragement to express the knowledge in our soul and human spirit combined with faith to the Lord in music and song (Psalm 33.1-5). Principle: Music is based upon the Word of God, the Work of God, and the Person of God—character, attributes, and essence.
  • Music and song is then a reflection and demonstration of the health of the soul and human spirit. Music and song is a product and a reflection to the Lord, to self, and to other believers about the result God’s word in a believer’s soul and human spirit. Psalm 71.23, “My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.” James 5:13 affirms this.
  • Music and song join the emotion of the soul with the other aspects of the soul and human spirit. Review aspects of the soul and human spirit. 1 Corinthians 14.15 says, “What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.” This teaches that thinking and understanding is vital in the spiritual life. Our spiritual life should be intelligible and edifying. Communication should be intelligible and edifying. Spiritual gifts should work in and intelligible and edifying way. Music and song are of course, spiritual life and communication, and should be intelligible and edifying.
  • There are three categories of songs found in the NT (Ephesians 5.19; Colossians 3.16). These categories include instrument and voice, joyfulness, thanksgiving, praise of God and his works, singing about God’s ways, and they are directed to the Lord, to people, and to self.
    • Psalms: thalmos, thallw, to sing Bible passages. Examples are "The Twenty-third Psalm"   Psalm 23, "Holy, Holy, Holy," Isaiah 6.3, "Ephesians."
    • Hymns: humnos, to sing doctrinal words to God. Examples are "How Great Thou Art," "Praise The Savior," "Revive Us Again."
    • Spiritual songs: hode pneumatike, to sing songs to yourself and others that witness about your faith. Examples are "O For A Thousand Tongues," "Onward Christian Soldiers," " He Lives," "Victory in Jesus," Christian Soldier."
  • Music and song have always been a part of a believer's response to God (Exodus 15.1,20; 1 Chronicles 15.16; 2 Chronicles 5.13; 33.1-5; Psalm 68.25; 98.1; 120-134; Isaiah 12.5;  Ephesians 5.19; Colossians 3.1; Revelation 5.9-10; 18.22).
  • Musical instruments were used in the dispensation of Israel (Exodus 15.20; 
    • 1 Chronicles 25.1; 2 Chronicles 5.13; Ezra 3.10; Nehemiah 12.36; Psalm 33.2; 71.22). There is no reason to exclude them in the church age.
  • Music and song were use for many reasons.
    • Direct praise of God (Exodus 15.21; Psalm 98; James 5.13; Ephesians 5.19; Colossians 3.16).
    • A part of the tabernacle-temple service (1 Chronicles 15.16; 25.1).
    • Joyful thanks to God after a great victory (Exodus 15.1-18).
    • To sooth or refresh a discouraged or troubled soul (1 Samuel 16.23).
    • To witness, and to encourage self and others (Acts 16.25; Ephesians 5.19; Colossians 3.16).
    • To express cheerfulness (James 5.13).
  • Music and song become spiritual service and worship only when the believer is in fellowship, walking by the Holy Spirit. Compare Galatians 5.16, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh,” and Ephesians 5.18-20 18, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
  • Joyful, thankful, and wholehearted singing reflects a believer's relationship and occupation with the Lord, while disinterested, mindless, or emotional singing indicates a different interest, motivation, and perspective (Psalm 68.4,25; 92.1-4; 100.1-3; 107.22; Colossians 3.16; James 5:13).
  • How then do we sing? What does this have to do with our music and song?
    • Biblical music honors God, teaches and recalls Bible doctrine, and encourages people.
    • Music and song are based on revelation from God about himself and his plan and his works. So, we are to get the Word of God into our soul and spirit so that music can reflect and honor God.
    • Music and song are a product of, reflection of, and appreciation of God’s word, works, and person inside a believer.
    • In reality, music involves thinking, free will, emotion, conscience, and self consciousness. Music and song are not meant to be only emotional experiences. Bible doctrine causes the person to respond to God. Our music is then our response to doctrine in our new man combined with the emotion in our new man.
    • Music and song are not human performance.
    • The music ought to lift the soul and human spirit and give order to the soul and spirit, not bring confusion, emotional revolt, or emotional confusion.
    • The words of music ought to be based upon Scripture, whether direct quotes, doctrines, or principles. Biblical music is truth that will inspire and order the soul and human spirit.
    • Sing while in fellowship and walking by the Spirit.
    • Sing occupied with Christ.
    • Sing to the Lord, to others, to self.
    • Sing with the song first in your heart.
    • Pay attention to the words.
    • Sing with a purpose—praise or thanks, request, remind and encourage, dispel doubts, witness, respond to God or others with great feeling.
    • Sing out, do not mumble. If it is worth singing, then sing. If the music is worth playing then play well.
  • Music, main points.
    • Biblical music honors God, teaches and recalls Bible doctrine, and encourages people.
    • Music has its source in God’s revelation—revelation of himself, of his works, of his plan, and of his will.
    • Good music lifts the soul and human spirit (encourage, give confidence and hope, bring out thankfulness, and challenge to live right) and orders the soul and human spirit (remove or lessen confusion, put emotions in proper perspective with truth, and give peace).

Last Update

Sunday, April 1, 2007