The Manifold Wisdom Of God
"I will pray with the spirit and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit and I will also sing with the understanding," 1 Corinthians 14'15.
For Christ's People, singing is a spiritually-natural thing to do. The understanding that they are forgiven, redeemed, immersed, filled, free, and more, is why they sing.
Even in prison Paul and Silas sang, and prayed. As travelling preachers they found themselves imprisoned, so they prayed and sang to God. In such a position anyone would pray. But sing?
Their fervent prayers and hymns sounded out in the dark prison and they could be heard by everyone. And their heavenly Father!
He shook the prison foundations so much that all the doors were opened. That caused chaos among the prisoners. And it shook the Keeper of the Prison - in more ways than one. The result was that he and his family believed and were saved (Acts 16'16-34).
JESUS AND THE DISCIPLES
And Jesus, in spite of the immeasurable spiritual burden He was carrying and after leading His disciples through His last Passover meal:
"... when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives," Mark 14'26.
Singing is an element of God's creation. Right from Old Testament times the Lord's People have sung songs. Singing expresses thanksgiving, praise and worship and more. The Psalms testify to that.
The Lord's New Covenant Kingdom includes a lot to singing:
"... speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs," Ephesians 5'14-19.
"... teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs," Colossians 3'12-16.
"Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms," James 5'13.
"Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name," Hebrews 13'15.
"You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ," 1 Peter 2'5.
"They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: 'Great and marvelous are your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the saints!" Revelation 5'9, 14'3, 15'3.
"... fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: 'Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honour and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.'" Revelation 7'11-12.
"... the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him".
"God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth," John 4'23-24.
"I will pray with the spirit and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit and I will also sing with the understanding".
THE FATHER AND OTHERS
Songs are a significant aspect of worship and also ministry. As His children worship the Father their songs exhort, comfort and build up their brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ.
Singing the word of Christ in thanksgiving, praise, worship or prayer has power.
In his letters to Believers in Colossae and Ephesus, Paul says that, when singing comes from a background of love, it is powerful.
In Colossians 3'12-16:
"Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom,
teaching and admonishing one another
in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs".
In Ephesians 5'14-19:
"'Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light'.
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but
be filled with the Spirit,
speaking to one another
in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord".
These wonderful words highlight the vital elements of Christ's Kingdom message. The singing of psalms, hymns and spiritual songs benefit Believers in many areas.
Believers who live in harmony with them will have strong spiritual lives. And they will minister, "teaching and admonishing one another" and "speaking to one another".
Jude 1'20 says:
"... you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith".
Clearly, our Father wants all Believers to sing out, not only to Him but to each other minister taking part in the building up the Body of Christ.
The Holy Spirit says to Believers, be pleasing to the Father by letting the word of Christ dwell in you richly and being filled with the Spirit and ministering to each other:
Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God," Ephesians 5'19-21.
Being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God," Philippians 1'11.
It may be that, in a Gathering, someone makes a contribution whether sung, spoken or prayed, that does not harmonise with the word of Christ.
They may entertain but they will not benefit. They are likely to have arisen because of a number of factors, such as their:
uncertainty about assurance of salvation and position in Christ,
Old Testament thinking over New Covenant truth,
adverse experiences or background,
mistaking of Old Covenant scriptures,
unbiblical church traditions about New Testament teachings,
hearing of confused teachings from various preachers, etc.
The contributors may be sincere. But if they go unchecked, erroneous understandings, misapplied doctrines or OT typology, worldliness, etc, may be taken up by unguarded Believers as truth.
At the least they could confuse or distract. They call for correction from an Elder or a spiritual member. A corrected Believer will be grateful that there is caring oversight to help them grow.
Let us always remember that the Father is seeking those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth.