Tag Archives: singing

What Then Shall We Sing About?

One of the most powerful influences in creation is music. Music has the ability to impress the mind, provoke the emotions of the heart, and activate the deepest recesses of our memories. In a real sense, music can achieve what no other medium can – prose, poetry, or drama. That is why music has become a means of communicating, interpreting, and expressing those things for which no other language seems sufficient. Given the powerful influence that music has, it’s not surprising that it has a prominent place in the worshipful expression of the Christian faith. Martin Luther once wrote: “The good news of Christ’s great deliverance tunes the heart to sing.”

I think this is why God has united his message with music. The Apostle Paul wrote: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Colossians 3:16). You see, it’s in the singing of the church that heavenly wisdom, gentle warnings, and doctrinal truth are harmonized for the building up and edifying of one another. Not to go on a pessimistic tangent but there’s probably enough in those words to chastise much of what passes […]

Why We Sing

Of all the things we do in worship, singing is the most mysterious to me. That’s probably not a great statement about my theology, but it’s accurate. I understand the why of our singing less than the other elements of worship. Why do we sing? Why not just recite Scripture out loud? Or why do we sing together? Why not just let one person sing (this tempts me sometimes…)? 

Improving Congregational Singing

According to the forty-seventh Psalm, we are to sing the praise of the Lord “with skillfulness.”   I will leave the musical instruction side of that commandment, with its pitches, note reading, beat, proper breathing, harmonizing, etc., to those more gifted than I am in this area (which would be quite a number of people).   Yet a congregation can make vast improvements in its singing even without choral training.  How?  Simply by listening to and obeying the Word of God’s instruction on how we are to sing in the presence of God.  Consider applying in a purposeful way these short exhortations to your singing as you go to the house of the Lord the next time.

Sing to the Lord!  So many Scriptural exhortations tell us to sing to the Lord or just place the words in our mouth that we will do so, such as “I will sing to the LORD, because He has dealt bountifully with me” (Psalm 13:6).   How quickly we can forget that we are before the throne of the Lord who has redeemed us.  He is worthy of all honor and glory and praise.

Priceless words about the Psalms

An interlude in the blog series on Calvinism – here are wonderful, heart-felt and heart filling words regarding our Savior’s relationship to the Psalms –

“Here the language of the Bible comes to meet the very thoughts of our hearts before these can even clothe themselves in language and we recognize that we could not have expressed them better than the Spirit has expressed them for us . . . Our Lord himself, who had a perfect religious experience and lived and walked with God in absolute adjustment of his thoughts and desires to the Father’s mind and will, our Lord himself found his inner life portrayed in the Psalter and in some of the highest moments of his ministry borrowed from it the language in which his soul spoke to God, thus recognizing that a more perfect language for communion with God cannot be framed.”   

 – taken from “Songs from the Soul” preached by Geerhardus Vos in 1902.  The sermon can be found in Grace and Glory: Sermons Preached in the Chapel of Princeton Theological Seminary, The Banner of Truth Trust,Carlisle,PA:  1994.