“[Address] one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:19-21)
The verses above make up one of the most detailed passages we have in the Bible about why we sing and with what attitude we should sing. First of all, these verses remind us that we are commanded to sing. It is not an option. As Christians we should be so overcome by the glorious realities of the gospel that we can’t help but sing to the Lord.
However, these verses also remind us that we are not just called to sing to the Lord, although that is our primary purpose in singing, but we are also called to sing to one another. When we come together to worship God in the context of the local church we actually are teaching one another with our singing and melody making. Singing in the corporate context is not about “Jesus and me” and having a private emotional experience. No, it’s about worshipping God together and pointing one another to beauty of our risen Savior! Of course this is certainly a very personal thing, but it goes beyond ourselves and is meant to be a shared experience every single week! As we sing to the Lord and to one another we should be filled with thankfulness for all that he has done, and that begins and ends with the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Finally, the last verse reminds us that we are to come to worship God with an attitude of submission and of “counting others as more significant than [ourselves]” (Phil. 2:3). This means that we don’t come to our worship services asking what we can get out of it or how we can be pleased in our preferences. Instead, we come asking how we can “stir up one another to love and good works.” And why do we do this? Paul tells us that it is “out of reverence for Christ.” Notice that he doesn’t say “because they deserve it.” We submit to one another because of the infinite grace that is lavished upon us as undeserving sinners through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
Is this how you view the purpose of singing and music making in our church worship gatherings?
For this Sunday:
It is my hope that sharing links to hear recordings of the songs that we will sing on Sunday is a beneficial and effective way to enable you to follow the instruction of Ephesians 5:19-21.
This week we will be singing:
Crown Him with Many Crowns
Come Ye Sinners Poor and Needy
God Is Able
10,000 Reasons with Doxology
We will be continuing our series on Wisdom and Pastor Mark will be preaching on “Wisdom for Our Work.” As always, we ask that you would pray for the service and that we would all consider how to stir up one another to love and good works once again.
See you Sunday!