Christians sing together during corporate worship gatherings. Colossians 3:16-17 helps us understand why. Paul tells us that worshiping God together in song is meant to deepen the relationships we enjoy through the gospel. This happens in three ways (or three R’s):
1. Singing helps us remember God’s Word.
Paul says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in your richly…singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.” The “word of Christ” mostly likely means the word about Christ, or the gospel. Songs whose lyrics expound on the person, work, and glory of Christ tend to stay with us long after we’ve forgotten the main points of the sermon.
2. Singing helps us respond to God’s grace.
While no one is exactly sure what “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” refers to, we can at least infer some kind of variety in our singing. No singular musical style captures either the manifold glories of God or the appropriate responses from his people.
We’re also told to sing with “thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Singing is meant to be a whole-hearted activity. Emotionless singing is an oxymoron. God gave us singing to combine objective truth with thankfulness, doctrine with devotion, and intellect with emotion.
3. Singing helps us reflect God’s glory.
Doing “everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,” implies bringing God glory. Worshiping God together in song glorifies God for at least three reasons. First, it expresses the unity Christ died to bring us. Second, because all three persons of the Trinity sing (Zeph. 3:17; Heb. 2:12; Eph. 5:18-19). Finally, it anticipates the song of heaven when we’ll have unlimited time to sing, clearer minds to perceive God’s perfections, and glorified bodies that don’t grow weary.
Worshiping God in song isn’t simply a nice idea or only for musically gifted people. The question is not, “Has God given me a voice?” but “Has God given me a song?”
If you trust in the finished work of Christ, the answer is clear: Yes!
So remember His Word, respond to His grace, and reflect on His glory.
Bob Kauflin is a pastor, songwriter, worship leader, and author of Worship Matters. Bob serves as the Director of Worship Development for Sovereign Grace Ministries and blogs at www.worshipmatters.com. He and his wife, Julie, have 6 children and an ever growing number of grandchildren.