A Singing Lesson From Paul

*Sermon Notes, January 15, 2012-Pastor Mike Berry
Cornerstone Fellowship Bible Church

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

Paul is a practiced worshiper of God. What can we discern from this text and how it applies to our singing and worship?

1. Why do we sing?
-We sing to enrich ourselves with the Gospel.
-“The word of Christ” here = Gospel.
-A command, let the Gospel dwell in you in a rich way.

2. What do we sing?
-There is a vertical and horizontal aspect to singing.
-We sing to God but also to ourselves and each other.
-We sing songs that teach and admonish.
-Songs that help us learn about God and His Gospel.
-Songs that admonish have a corrective element to them.
-The horizontal aspect of worship is that we build one another up.
-Even if a particular song is not our favorite, we still have the responsibility to sing in order to help a brother or sister for whom the song resonates.
-Give due consideration to the building up of one another while worshiping God.

Songs that teach:
-The early church responded to heresy by using hymns that taught correct doctrine.
-One way to be enriched by the Gospel is to sing right doctrine to myself and others.
Example of songs that teach:
-The words to an early teaching church hymn (taken from 1 Tim 3:16):
          He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.
-One of today’s teaching hymns, In Christ Alone:
          In Christ alone, who took on flesh
          Fulness of God in helpless babe.
          This gift of love and righteousness
          Scorned by the ones he came to save.
          Til on that cross as Jesus died
          The wrath of God was satisfied
          For every sin on Him was laid
          Here in the death of Christ I live.

Songs that admonish:
-These are songs that correct our course and the course of others and challenge us to repent.
Example of songs that admonish:
Be Thou My Vision
-The hymn, Mistaken Souls, by Isaac Watts

3. How do we sing?
-We sing to the Lord with the knowledge of His undeserved favor in the front of our minds. Grace!
-We sing with our hearts. Heart=Thinking process.
-Results in a passionate response to God in our singing.
-Christ sung hymns after Passover (Psalm 115-118).
-When we sing, are we aware of the effect our disposition has upon others?
-If God’s undeserved favor is in our minds when we sing, the gratitude in our worship will affect our brothers and sisters around us.

-Consider Wesley’s Directions for Singing (#4):
“Sing lustily and with good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength. Be no more afraid of your voice now, nor more ashamed of its being heard, then when you sung the songs of Satan.”

Note from Terrie: If you were not in church for this teaching, it would be worth your while to listen to Pastor Mike’s sermon online. There was really a lot more to it than I was able to get across in these notes. Great sermon!

*Running a little behind in my sermon notes. Will try to get Pastor Milton’s sermon from January 22 posted this week, too!

By His Grace and for the Gospel,
Terrie van Baarsel

About Terrie van Baarsel


2 responses to “A Singing Lesson From Paul

  • Mandy

    I’ve been going throught the Psalms and writing little musical notes next to the verses that I recognize as songs I have sung–so interesting how many “verses” I really have memorized due to the music I’ve learned over my lifetime… Music–so important. Mr. P at school gave me some books about Afghanistan to look through, and I was shocked to discover that for a long period of time, music in that country was banned–at first only songs that supported the “holy warriors” were allowed, and musicians had to get a government license to perform, so many of them left the country. Then when the Taliban came to power, all music except religious chants were banned. According to one book, you couldn’t play music at weddings/celebrations or have an instrument, and you could be fined, beaten, or jailed if found breaking these laws. Wow! Can you imagine? Whole generations growing up having no idea about the God-given, God-sanctioned benefits and beauty of music.

    • Terrie van Baarsel

      Hi Mandy,
      How true that singing helps put to memory the words to the Psalms and scripture. It’s interesting that Jaap told me that growing up in Holland (Dutch Reformed church) they sang only hymns from the Psalter. I’ve been thinking this week about Jesus and His disciples singing Psalm 115-118 after their Passover meal in the Upper Room. To think that Jesus sang just a few hours before He was to be crucified!

      Also interesting is your comment about the Taliban banning music. (Hmmm, I just realized that the word “ban” is incorporated into the word Tali”ban”. Why doesn’t that surprise me? =)

      Praying your week is filled with Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs that come from a thankful heart for what God has done for you in the Gospel!

      As always, thanks for adding your comments to the post.

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