Why do we come to church each Sunday? The answer is fairly simple when you stop to think about it. We are there to worship God Almighty and get to know Him better. There are multiple ways we accomplish these two things: Fellowship and Bible teaching through Sunday School, singing together, praying, giving, and preaching. All are vitally important to the church. We are commanded in Scripture to do and apply these things both individually and corporately. What any given local body must decide is how they will go about these things. Today I want to talk a little bit about our singing together, a command from Scripture about singing, and what I believe it means for us here at Central.
I want to start by commending you as a congregation. It is a privilege to look out on Sunday morning and see the smiles and the joy of those that are singing praise to God. We are a singing church, and I believe we should continue to be a singing church. How do we do that? Well it starts in passages of Scripture like Colossians 3.
My desire as we meet each week to worship is to emulate Paul’s instruction to the Colossian church: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:16-17, ESV)
In the first part of Ch. 3, Paul tells the reader to “put to death what is earthly in you…”, and to “put away all anger, wrath, malice, and obscene talk from your mouth…” In contrast, after we put AWAY the things of this world, we are to put ON these characteristics of Christ: “compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience…and above all these we are to put on LOVE”. I believe doing vv. 16-17 helps us as Christians live out both the put AWAYs and the put ONs! As we sing together, we not only learn to worship God with music, but also with our whole lives!
How do we accomplish this? It can only be done in the power of the Holy Spirit as we seek to gain knowledge of God through His Word. We must study it and memorize it as we have opportunity, and incorporate the Scriptures into our worship on a daily basis. With this in mind, I believe our musical worship at Central should be:
- Offered with lyrics grounded in Scripture and Right Doctrine (Teaching and Admonishing one another)
- Offered in a variety (blend) of musical styles (Psalms, Hymns, Spiritual Songs)
- Offered in Wisdom and Thanksgiving, and
- Offered with Excellence in the Name of Jesus our Lord.
My hope and prayer is that we do these things with God’s help, and that I will be able to serve you well with the “Put ONs” of Colossians 3!
P.S. Stay tuned for a new Hymn of the Month feature starting in August!