Text: Colossians 3:16-17
I. In many congregations, singing is not consider a very important aspect of worship.
A. Think about it; when the Lord’s Supper is being served or a prayer is being given, few people would think about leaving the assembly to visit the restrooms, but it commonly happens during the singing.
B. If a prayer is being said when someone comes in late, they will respectfully wait in the foyer until the prayer is done, but they will walk right in during a song.
C. In part I can understand it.
1. A prayer is said by one person, so any sound disturbs those listening.
2. Songs are loud enough that we feel we can enter and leave without anyone noticing.
II. Worship is a solemn occasion
A. We mentioned in past lessons that worship is
1. The bowing down before the Almighty God
2. It is the sense of reverence, fear, and awe when we realize we are in the presence of God.
3. It is the service we give as servants to our Great Master.
B. Singing is not an option
1. It is commanded of all Christians - Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16
2. There are people who decline to sing for one excuse or another.
a. How then is that worship?
b. “Oh, I know God commanded it, but my voice isn’t that good.”
c. Reminds me of Moses - Exodus 4:10-11
d. What reverence and awe is being displayed by one who willfully disobeys a direct command?
3. Read and sing Come, We That Love the Lord (111)
C. If we are going to approach worshiping God properly, it requires that we spend time think about that worship.
1. Those who lead the worship need to spend time planning it.
a. Yes, I know there are times you are asked at the last minute to fill in, but most of the time we have the opportunity to plan.
b. Yet, how often do we see song leaders planning the message they are presenting to the congregation?
2. Ecclesiastes 5:1-2 - We often quote this verse in reference to making promises to God, but consider the broader meaning
a. Far too many come to worship focused on “me” instead of God
b. They don’t put forethought into what they are doing
c. They forget about who they are worshiping
3. Read and sing Take Time to be Holy (619, verses 1, 3, 4)
III. The essence of songs is communication
A. I Peter 2:9 - We were chosen to proclaim God’s excellencies.
B. Ephesians 5:19 - Speaking to one another in song
C. Hebrews 2:11-12 - The importance of singing praise in the assembly – to show we are not ashamed..
1. This is a quote of Psalm 22:22-31
a. Notice how the terms of worship, reverence, awe, fear, and serving God are intermixed in this passage.
b. Notice that the Hebrew writer speaks of singing where the psalmist speaks of praise.
(1) The word used in the Greek is one we get the word “hymn” from. It means to celebrate God in song.
(2) The Hebrew, while literally meaning “to shine” and generally translated “praise”, does contain the idea of singing in its root word.
2. Singing was an important part of Hebrew worship. We just don’t often notice because “singing” is a buried meaning in the idea of praising God. It is how praises were given.
3. It is important in our worship - Hebrews 13:15
D. It is not merely saying words, but meaning them.
1. God requires worship from the heart - Mark 12:30
2. When the Israelites failed to do this, they were justly condemned by God - Malachi 1:6-14
a. They offered second best
b. They approached worship as a burden
c. In reality their worship was a burden to God - Isaiah 1:13-14
3. Jesus condemned the Pharisees for the same - Matthew 15:9
4. Proper worship is expressed in Psalm 69:30-31
E. Our time together is to be encouraging - Hebrews 10:23-25
1. Singing is an important part of this encouragement.
2. The words are important. The melody helps us remember.
a. How many recall the books of the Bible by singing to yourself “Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; Acts and the letter to the Romans”?
b. Think about the impact of Angry Words (37)
IV. Our goal is to worship, not to ...
A. Entertain ourselves and others
B. Become a professional choir
C. Showcase our talents
V. Our goal in singing is ...
A. To obey God’s command to sing
B. To serve God by actively participating in worship
1. Remember we are all priests, and priests offer up worship before God.
C. To worship God from the heart
1. Psalm 103:1
2. Psalm 9:1-2
D. To offer a sacrifice of praise from our lips
E. To encourage each other