"... speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,"
"... teaching and admonishing one another
in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord" Colossians 3'16.
"I will sing with the spirit
and I will also sing with the understanding,"
1 Corinthians 14'15.
"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice," Philippians 4'4. For those who believe Jesus there is indeed much to rejoice about.
Saved, redeemed, immersed, filled and more. Rejoicing usually includes singing.
Believers sing! Especially so when they are gathered together. But who would sing in prison?
Well, Paul and Silas did. When these two travelling preachers found themselves imprisoned they prayed and sang to God. Who would not pray, but sing?
However, their fervent prayers and hymns sounded out in the dark prison. Everyone heard them. And so did their heavenly Father!
He shook the earth so much that the prison doors came adrift, resulting in havoc which shook the Keeper of the prison in more serious ways than one. Consequently, he and his family believed and were saved (Acts 16'16-34).
Joyous thanksgiving arises from the hearts of those who repent and receive the Lord. Being redeemed, justified, reconciled to God they harmonise with the Holy Spirit in worship.
"... because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts crying out, 'Abba, Father!'," Galatians 4'6.
"... you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, 'Abba, Father'," Romans 8'15.
SING! JESUS DID
The Lord sang with His Disciples:
"... when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives," Mark 14'26.
The Lord's People sing:
"... at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them," Acts 16'25-26.
"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.
Believers worship the Father in various ways. Singing is one of them.
Just being part of a Gathering is an act of worship. However, Paul's participation goes further:
"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".
But Believers can lift their voices:
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.
The motive for every activity in the Body of Christ must be love, especially love toward the God .
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails" (1 Corinthians 13'1-8).
"And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love," 1 Corinthians 13'13.
The greatest motivation is love and it's the most precious way to serve.
"LET" AND "BE FILLED"
A significant aspect of worship, Kingdom singing conveys ministry. It is intended to be a way of exhorting, comforting or building up others. Not to mention ourselves as well.
Singing the word of Christ in thanksgiving, praise, worship or prayer has power.
In separate letters to Believers in Colossae and Ephesus, the Lord refers to singing. It is important to note that the references come at the end of exhortations about good character.
In Colossians 3'12-16 He says:
"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 He says:
"'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".
The singing of psalms, hymns and spiritual songs "speak" in many areas of "teaching and admonishing one another" and "speaking to one another".
For these ministries to happen two things are necessary. Believers having the word of Christ dwelling in them and being filled with the Holy Spirit.
Also, in a Whole Gathering, there would also be the ministry of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Jude 1'20 says:
"... you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith".
"Singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord".
Clearly, our Father wants all Believers to minister in song as part of His building up the Body of Christ.
Believers be pleasing to God, "let the word of Christ dwell in you ...", "be filled with the Spirit ..." and minister to His People.
It may be, that someone makes a contribution in a Gathering, whether sung, spoken or prayed, that is not right.
Such things could be certain words taken from a psalm, a hymn or a song.
Some are because of a Believer's ...
being unsure of assured salvation and position in Christ,
Old Testament thinking over the New Covenant truth,
earlier adverse experiences or background,
mis-taken Old Covenant scriptures,
unbiblical church traditions over New Testament teachings,
having confused teachings from preachers, etc.
Usually the contributors are sincere. If unchecked, other Believers may take up these errors, misapplied doctrines and OT typology as truth.
Things like these call for correction. A corrected person will be grateful that there is a caring oversight to help them grow.
Let us remember that the Father is seeking those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth.
Prayer: Heavenly, Father, thank you for the wonderful ministry and work of the Holy Spirit and the power of the word of Christ.
Lord, restore this wonderful ministry of ministering to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs (and the manifestation of the Spirit's gifts too!).
In Jesus' name. Amen.