This week, the subject of our reading revolved around the fact that the Scriptures clearly teach us that congregational singing is commanded by God. But, as the Gettys rightly point out, our obedience to this command is “not a clinical obedience, without warmth of conviction or joy of relationship.” Still, “it is a matter of obedience.”
There are more than four hundred references to singing in the Bible and at least fifty direct commands. We are not to disregard the command because we don’t like the music or the personnel or are not in the mood….the leadership of the church should be facilitating congregational singing so that we can all honor the Lord in this together
Sing God’s Word Together
One exhortation in the New Testament beautifully brings together God’s command, our songs’ message, and our heart’s response.
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.Colossians 3:16
Since this exhortation was first written to congregations of believers in the city of Colossae, it is proper for us to be sure we apply it beyond our personal, private worship. Clearly, this is about how the gathered church worships. Together, we are edified by singing biblical truth to one another, in a spirit of thankfulness, for the glory of God.
Joyful Singing Follows the Example of Christ
The root of true thankfulness is the gratitude in our hearts for the unmerited benefits of God’s goodness in our lives. This root blossoms into a good, positive, and loving attitude toward the call to sing from God and from the leaders He has given us in our churches.
Colossians 3:16 not only instructs us what we should sing; that is, biblical truth, but also how we should sing it. We are called to sing out of the wellspring of gratitude that should characterize those who know and love Christ. The more we remember the gracious work of our Savior on the cross of Calvary, which accomplished our salvation, the more we will want to erupt in joyful song. This singing, in turn, emboldens us to face the trials that will come. Between the time of our Lord’s last supper with His disciples, and His betrayal by one of them in the garden, Jesus sang.
Singing together as a congregation is one means of obeying the Lord. But this obedience should flow from hearts of love and gratitude toward our Savior. When we follow the Lord’s command we are strengthened in the inner person, in order face the difficulties that lie ahead.
*If you would like to join in with the reading, get yourself a copy of SING! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church.
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