The Church: Singing with Purpose

February 10, 2024   /   Beryl Baptist Church

1.      We Must Sing with (1 Corinthians 14:15)

 

  • As the Apostle Paul instructs, our singing should be accompanied by understanding.
  • One of the ways we can sing with understanding is to engage the mind in worship

 

A. Engage the Mind in Worship

  • 1 Corinthians 14:15 (NKJV): “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.”
  • In other words, we are not to be singing mindlessly, but with a clear comprehension of the words and their significance.
  • This verse underscores the idea that our worship, especially in song, should engage both heart and mind.
  • Singing with understanding implies a conscious awareness of the lyrics and their meaning, as well as a connection with the message conveyed.
  • The Corinthian church faced challenges with disorderly worship, and Paul sought to bring clarity to the purpose of their worship, and that includes singing.
  • Listen, mindless repetition or emotional expression alone is insufficient; true worship requires a thoughtful engagement with the words being sung.
  • When we sing with understanding, it deepens our spiritual connection, which fosters a more profound relationship with God.
  • So, the biblical perspective on singing encourages believers to actively reflect on the words they are proclaiming during worship.
  • Singing with understanding promotes a worship environment where every word uttered is intentional and holds significance.
  • It should encourage believers to be educated in the Word of God. Why? To ensure that our songs align with biblical truths.
  • Engaging our minds while singing guards against shallow or superficial expressions of worship.
  • As we sing with understanding, we participate in a form of worship that is edifying not only to ourselves but to the entire congregation.
  • We must approach worship with a thoughtful and discerning spirit.
  • Engaging your mind seeks a balance between a heartfelt expression and a mindful connection to the truth of God’s Word.
  • Ultimately, singing with understanding is a key aspect of worship that brings glory to God. How? By aligning our hearts and minds with the eternal truths of His Word.

 

  • John Calvin emphasizes the importance of engaging the mind in worship: “The mind of man must be persuaded that all things proceed from God, and must refer all things to him, and ascribe them to him.”
  1. Engage the Mind in Worship

B. Scriptural Foundation for Understanding

 

  • Psalm 47:7 (NKJV): “For God is the King of all the earth; Sing praises with understanding.”

 

  • Psalm 47:7 serves as a scriptural foundation for understanding the significance of having comprehension while singing in worship.
  • The verse emphasizes the command to sing praises to God with understanding, highlighting the importance of cognitive engagement during the singing element of worship.
  • God’s word is addiment that singing in worship isn’t solely about vocal expression but also about comprehending the meaning and significance of what is being sung.
  • Singing in worship should involve a deep understanding of the truths being proclaimed, allowing for a more meaningful and authentic expression of praise.
  • Believers should approach singing in worship with a mindset of comprehension, ensuring that their praise is not just melodious but also rooted in a genuine understanding of God’s character and deeds.

 

  • Colossians 3:16 (NKJV): “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.”
  • Colossians 3:16 also provides a scriptural foundation for the importance of understanding when singing in worship.
  • The verse instructs believers to let the message of Christ dwell among them as they teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.
  • Singing in worship is not merely about the melody but about conveying the message of Christ with clarity and comprehension.
  • We as believers are encouraged to approach singing in worship with a desire for understanding,
  • Allowing the Word of God to dwell richly in their hearts as they express gratitude and praise through song.

 

  • Jonathan Edwards encourages us to seek a deeper understanding: “It becomes us to be extremely cautious that we do not content ourselves with a superficial knowledge of religion.”
  1. We Must Sing with Understanding
    1. Engaging the Mind in Worship
    2. Obeying the Scriptural Foundation for Understanding when singing in worship

 

2.      We Must Sing with Gratitude (Psalm 100:4)

 

  • Specifically, we need to have a heart of Thankfulness when we sing

 

 A. A Heart of Thankfulness

 

  • Our singing should be an expression of gratitude for the grace and mercy bestowed upon us by our loving God.

 

  • Psalm 100:4 (NKJV): “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.”
  • The scripture emphasizes the importance of cultivating a heart of thankfulness, urging believers to enter into God’s presence with gratitude.
  • Teaching us that thankfulness is not merely an outward expression but a condition of the heart, encouraging believers to approach God with hearts filled with gratitude for His goodness and faithfulness.
  • A heart of thankfulness acknowledges God as the source of all blessings
  • A heart of thankfulness recognizes that every good and perfect gift comes from above, as mentioned in James 1:17.
  • Gratitude is seen as a response to God’s love and mercy.
  • As believers, we are to reflect on the countless blessings bestowed upon us despite our shortcomings.
  • Developing a heart of thankfulness fosters a deeper connection with God
  • It promotes a positive and appreciative attitude even in the midst of challenges.
  • This verse serves as a reminder that thankfulness is an integral aspect of worship, influencing the way believers approach God in prayer, praise, and adoration.
  • It challenges believers to go beyond asking for blessings and instead approach God with a heart that appreciates and acknowledges the blessings already received.
  • Thankfulness promotes humility, knowing that everything we have is a gift from God, and we are dependent on His grace and provision.
  • This biblical perspective on thankfulness encourages believers to maintain a continuous attitude of gratitude, not just during moments of abundance but in every season of life.
  • Ultimately, cultivating a heart of thankfulness aligns with the biblical call to give thanks in all circumstances, as mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”
  • Demonstrating trust in God’s sovereignty and His perfect plan for our lives.

 

So, not only should we have a heart of Thankfulness when singing but we should also be

 

B. Expressing Gratitude Through Song

 

  • Psalm 107:22 (NKJV): “Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, And declare His works with rejoicing.”
    • Psalm 107:22 emphasizes the importance of expressing gratitude to God through song, highlighting it as a biblical way to acknowledge His goodness and mercy.
    • Singing praises to God not only lifts the spirit but also serves as a tangible expression of thankfulness for His unfailing love and miraculous works.
    • Through song, believers can recount and celebrate the specific ways God has intervened in their lives, strengthening their faith and inspiring others to trust in His faithfulness.
    • Just as the psalmist in Psalm 107 recounts the deliverance of the Lord with thanksgiving, believers are encouraged to use music as a vehicle to proclaim God’s mighty deeds and give Him the honor He deserves.
    • Having a biblical expression of gratitude through song is not merely a tradition but a powerful spiritual practice that fosters intimacy with God and magnifies His glory in the midst of both trials and triumphs.

 

  • Ephesians 5:19-20 (NKJV): “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.”
    • Ephesians 5:19-20 exhorts believers to express gratitude to God through singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, making melody in their hearts to the Lord.
    • Singing is presented as a vital aspect of Christian worship, allowing believers to lift their voices in thanksgiving and praise, uniting hearts in adoration of God.
    • Through the act of singing, believers engage not only their voices but also their emotions, offering a holistic expression of gratitude to God.
    • Listen, singing in worship is not intended to reflect, what I call “Robotic Worship”
    • There should be a level of expression of gratitude within our singing!
    • An emotion that is illustrated within our vocal display.
    • Again, having a biblical expression of gratitude through song serves to glorify God and edify the body of Christ.
    • Deepening the spiritual connection between believers and their Creator.

 

  • John Owen reminds us: “A person who is not thankful has replaced the worship of God with idolatry.”

 

  1. We Must Sing with Understanding
  2. We Must Sing with Gratitude
  3. With A Heart of Thankfulness
  4. Having a Vocal Expression of Gratitude Through Song

3.      We Must Sing with Awe and Reverence (Psalm 33:8)

 

So, as we gather to worship a Holy God with our singing, we should be very aware on how we are approaching Him. We should approach the God of the universe with Awe and Reverence.

 

A. Approaching God with Awe and Reverence

 

  • Our singing should reflect the awe-inspiring nature of the One we worship.

 

  • Psalm 33:8 (NKJV): “Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.”
    • In Psalm 33:8, the scripture emphasizes the importance of approaching God with awe and reverence, acknowledging His divine majesty and authority.
    • As believers, we are encouraged to recognize the greatness of God, understanding that He is the Creator of the universe and deserving of our utmost respect.
    • Approaching God with awe means recognizing His holiness and sovereignty,
    • Humbling ourselves before Him in acknowledgment of His supreme power.
    • Reverence in our approach to God involves a deep and profound respect, understanding that He is not only our loving Father but also the Almighty Ruler of all creation.
    • Awe and reverence create a sacred atmosphere in our worship, reminding us that God is not to be taken lightly, but rather approached with a heart full of humility and adoration.
    • When we approach God with awe and reverence, it sets the foundation for a genuine and meaningful relationship with Him, built on a deep understanding of His character.
    • Psalm 33:8 teaches us that our approach to God should be marked by a sense of wonder and respect, recognizing His infinite wisdom and righteousness.
    • Awe and reverence cultivate a spirit of gratitude within us, as we come to God with a thankful heart for His grace, mercy, and the privilege of being in His presence.
    • Our worship becomes more than a routine or ritual when we approach God with awe; it becomes a heartfelt expression of love and devotion to the One who is worthy of all praise.
    • Ultimately, Psalm 33:8 guides us to approach God with a holy fear that deepens our connection with Him, fostering a relationship characterized by awe-inspired worship and reverent obedience.

 

  • John Piper encourages a heart of reverence in worship: “The essence of worship is to feel and to think and to speak and to act in a way that reflects the infinite worth of God.”

 

B. Scriptural Basis for Reverent Worship

 

  • Psalm 89:7 (NKJV): “God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, And to be held in reverence by all those around Him.”
    • Psalm 89:7 provides a scriptural foundation for understanding the significance of reverent worship, stating, “God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be held in reverence by all those around Him.”
    • This verse underscores the idea that when believers gather in worship, there is a divine expectation for a deep reverence and awe towards God, recognizing His holiness and majesty.
    • Here we see that the scriptures emphasize that the assembly of the saints, the community of believers, is a sacred space where God’s presence should be honored with profound respect and veneration.
    • Reverent worship, as highlighted in this verse, goes beyond mere rituals.
    • It involves a sincere acknowledgment of God’s greatness and a heart that is attuned to His glory.
    • By grounding our understanding of reverent worship in Psalm 89:7, believers are reminded that approaching God with awe is not just a personal matter but a communal expression of devotion, creating a collective atmosphere of holiness and divine reverence in the assembly of the saints.

 

  • Hebrews 12:28-29 (NKJV): “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.”
    • These verses serve as a powerful scriptural basis for understanding the essence of reverent worship, declaring, “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.”
    • This passage underscores the unshakable nature of the kingdom believers are inheriting,
    • That should inspire us with gratitude that should manifest in worship marked by reverence and awe.
    • These verses also teach us that our worship is acceptable when it flows from a heart that acknowledges the greatness of God
    • The scriptural foundation in Hebrews emphasizes that our worship is not a casual or nonchalant activity
    • But a response to the awe-inspiring reality of belonging to a kingdom established by the unchanging and sovereign God.
    • The scriptures are plainly spoken… We are to approach worship with a profound sense of reverence, recognizing that our God is a consuming fire, inviting us to engage in a worship that reflects the purity and awe of His divine presence.

 

  • W. Tozer stresses the importance of approaching God with reverence: “The heaviest obligation lying upon the Christian Church today is to purify and elevate her concept of God until it is once more worthy of Him.”

 

  • We Must Sing with Understanding
  • We Must Sing with Gratitude
  • We Must Sing with Awe and Reverence

4.      We Must Sing with Unity (Colossians 3:15-16)

 

A. Fostering Unity Through Song

 

  • Our singing should contribute to the unity of the body of Christ.

 

  • Colossians 3:15-16 (NKJV): “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 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.”
    • In Colossians 3:15-16, the apostle Paul emphasizes the importance of fostering unity among believers through song in worship.
    • He urges Christians to let the peace of Christ rule in their hearts, serving as a unifying force in their gatherings.
    • The act of singing together not only expresses individual praise but also creates a communal bond among worshippers.
    • Through harmonious melodies and shared lyrics, believers can cultivate a sense of belonging and unity within the body of Christ.
    • Paul encourages the singing of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, highlighting the diverse ways in which worship can manifest.
    • Christians can embrace the richness of their faith tradition and celebrate their shared beliefs.
    • Singing in worship serves as a powerful tool for edification, allowing believers to teach and admonish one another in wisdom.
    • As voices blend in unity, differences fade, and the focus shifts towards the exaltation of God Almighty and not ourselves or indifferences.
    • Through the collective lifting of voices, worshippers transcend individual concerns and unite in glorifying the Lord.
    • Ultimately, the practice of singing together in worship reflects the unity of the body of Christ, as believers join in one voice to honor and adore their Creator.

 

B. Scriptural Support for Unity in Worship

 

  • 1 Corinthians 1:10 (NKJV): “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”
    • In 1 Corinthians 1:10, the Apostle Paul addresses the Corinthian church, urging them to be united in mind and judgment, emphasizing the importance of harmony within the body of believers.
    • The scriptural support for unity in worship reflects Paul’s concern for the avoidance of divisions and factions, highlighting the need for believers to align their thoughts and decisions with the teachings of Scripture.
    • 1 Corinthians 1:10 underscores the idea that worship is not just a personal experience but a communal expression that should bring believers together in a shared understanding of God’s Word.
    • The phrase “by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” in this verse emphasizes the centrality of Christ as the unifying force, reminding believers that their worship should be directed toward a common purpose grounded in Christ’s teachings.
    • This verse reinforces the fact, that the body of Christ functions best when its members are bound together by a shared commitment to scriptural principles and the lordship of Jesus Christ.

 

  • Ephesians 4:3 (NKJV): “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
    • Again, Ephesians 4:3 emphasizes the importance of maintaining the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace within the body of Christ.
    • This verse underscores the divine origin of unity in worship, originating from the Holy Spirit’s work among believers.
    • It reminds Christians that unity is not merely a human effort but a spiritual reality to be preserved and nurtured.
    • Through the bond of peace, believers are called to strive for harmony and mutual understanding in their worship gatherings.
    • Ephesians 4:3 serves as a foundational scripture for fostering a spirit of unity and cooperation among worshippers, reflecting God’s desire for His people to worship Him in one accord.

 

  • Charles Spurgeon underscores the importance of unity in worship: “Harmony is the very soul of music; discord is an abomination. We have the sweetest fellowship with God when our spirits are in harmony with him and with each other.”

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