SINGING PRAISE IN THE MIDST OF THE CHURCH

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Hebrews 2:10-13
10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying:
“I will declare Your name to My brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.”
13 And again:
“I will put My trust in Him.”
And again:
“Here am I and the children whom God has given Me.”
NKJV

It was the purpose of the book of Hebrews to convince the Jewish people that the Christ had shared our human nature with all of its frailties. He affirmed that through his many sufferings and death, he was made the perfect sacrifice and able to bring many sons to glory:

Hebrews 2:10
“In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.” NIV

Jesus Christ was the divine Son of God who was made flesh and lived among the human family (John 1:1-4, 14). Yet as God’s Son he suffered, bled and died. Through this experience as the perfect human being, he was made the author of eternal salvation to all who obey him (Hebrews 5:8-9).

Therefore, Jesus and all of us who have been baptized into Christ are his spiritual body—congregation (Galatians 3:26-27; 1 Corinthians 12:13), and of the same family.

Hebrews 2:11
Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family.
NIV

The Hebrew writer quotes a portion of David’s second Psalm. In his ascent to being the king of Israel, David went through unbelievable stress and suffering at the hands of Saul. It is amazing that David wrote Psalms twenty two and then in the next breath wrote the twenty third Psalm. But remember that our own emotions can be depressed one day because things are going bad, and then the next day we can be elated because our faith has sustained us until things look better. The second Psalm is in the first place about David and then prophetically about David’s Son—Jesus Christ.

Since Christ and Christians are of the same family, Jesus is therefore not ashamed to call us “brothers.”

Hebrews 2:12-13
So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises.” And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again he says, “Here am I, and the children God has given me.”
NIV

Notice that Jesus would declare God the Father’s name to his brothers. He would declare God’s name to his brothers in the midst of the congregation (εκκληςια-church) by singing praises to God. In David’s case he regularly praised God’s name in the congregation of Israel at Jerusalem. But in the Hebrews context it is Christ who is declaring God’s name by singing his praises in the midst of the congregation.

In the worship of the New Testament congregation, singing without the use of the musical instrument, was the stated practice. In Hebrews 2:12 the phrase “I will sing your praises,” is a verb translated from (‘υμνεο-humneo), and means “to sing the praise of, sing hymns to; to sing a hymn, to sing.” Therefore “in the midst of the church” Jesus would sing praises to God, declaring God’s name to his brothers. And his brothers as taught in others places would sing praise to God’s name in true worship in spirit and truth (John 4:24).

This is because singing is a reciprocal action of the worshippers:

Ephesians 5:18-20
“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, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”
NKJV

According to these verses when we sing “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,” we are speaking to one another. When I sing I am singing not only to God, but to you also. And when you sing, you are doing the same. And when we sing with Christ who is in the midst of the congregation, for he dwells in his people (Colossians 1:27), we not only teach and admonish one another, but we also declare and praise God’s matchless name.

Every verse in the New Testament that pertains to the music of worship in the congregation, commands us to sing. Notice the following scriptures that bears this out:

Matthew 26:30-And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Acts 16:25-But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.

Romans 15:9-11-And that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written: “ For this reason I will confess to You among the Gentiles, And sing to Your name.” And again he says:” Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people!” And again: “Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles!
Laud Him, all you peoples!”

1 Corinthians 14:15-What is the conclusion then? 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.

Ephesians 5:19-speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,

Colossians 3:16-Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

James 5:13-Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.

Let all who would worship God in spirit and truth (John 4:24), do so by singing praise to his name in the midst of the congregation! This is pleasing to God who would have all men to be saved and come to an accurate knowledge (επιγνοσις-epignosis), of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4).

Copyright © 2018 Shelby G. Floyd All Rights Reserved

Shelby G. Floyd
Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West Main Street
Greenwood, Indiana 46142

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