Shelby G. Floyd
The Scriptures teach that when the New Testament church comes together to worship, it is to speak reciprocally to one another, “…in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord…” (Ephesians 5:18-19 NKJV). Many of the songs that we sing are written to teach and admonish each other of our duties to live the Christian life and to serve God with all of our being.
Teach and Admonish in Singing
For example, the apostle Paul wrote a neighboring congregation of the Ephesian church concerning their worship in song:
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. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him (Colossians 3:16-17).
This is good lest we forget our duties to live the Christian life. We are to teach and admonish one another to do the very best that we can, but to do so in the name or by the authority of the Lord Jesus. In many churches what is going on in worship has no biblical authority of the Lord and his apostles.
Sing in Praise and Thanksgiving
But there is also another aspect to our worship in song and that is to praise Almighty God and exalt his son Jesus Christ. King David is our best example in the Old Testament of continually praising God for all his wonderful attributes. As an example, I have taken note of several Psalms in my daily Bible reading that verifies praise and thanksgiving in our worship singing service. God is good and worthy to be exalted with all of our voices!
Sing and Shout Joyfully
For example, in Psalms 95 David pleads for God’s people to come before the Lord with joy, thanksgiving and even shouting with joy because God is so great and worthy of all our praise:
Oh come, let us sing to the LORD!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
3 For the LORD is the great God,
And the great King above all gods. (Psalms 95:1-3).
Sing To the Lord a New Song!
And in the next Psalm, David continues to plead with the people to, “Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless his name; proclaim good tidings of his salvation from day to day, tell of his glory among the nations, his wonderful deeds among all the people.” (Psalms 96:1-3).
We do not want our singing to be despondent and discouraging to those who come to worship the God of heaven and earth. We want our singing to be uplifting and encouraging to every worshiper of the Lord Jesus Christ. Every old song was a new song when the people starting singing it after it was published. Everyone like some new things and both the Old and New Testaments encourages us to sing some new songs!
Oh, sing to the LORD a new song!
For He has done marvelous things;
His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory (Psalms 98:1).
We look forward in anticipation to singing with joy in the congregational worship each Lord’s day.
Copyright © 2022 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved
Shelby G. Floyd, Minister, Heartland Church of Christ, 1693 West Main Street, Greenwood, Indiana 46142