Monday, June 16, 2014
“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 KJV).
Once we take in God’s Word, it will surely come out in song!
One of the primary texts Israel used in worship was the Book of Psalms. The Bible says that, just moments before His arrest, Jesus and His disciples sang a “hymn” (Matthew 26:30). Paul and Silas, albeit in prison, “sang praises unto God” (Acts 16:25). Moses and Israel sang “the Song of Moses” after they crossed the Red Sea (Exodus chapter 15); in Deuteronomy chapter 32, just before Moses died, he taught Israel another song.
Ephesians 5:19, the companion verse to today’s Scripture, exhorts: “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” (The Greek word rendered “psalms” is related to the word translated “making melody.”) Derived from the Greek, our English word “psalm” (meaning “a sacred song or hymn”) conveys the idea of “a song sung to harp music.” The English word “hymn” (meaning “a song or ode to God”) is derived from a Greek word that means, “to touch or beat, to sing” (“hymn” emphasizes the tune). A “spiritual song” is simply a poem or group of verses sang in order to communicate spiritual truths (information that involves the Holy Spirit).
Throughout history, the Lord Jesus Christ’s people have written and sung hymns to express their understanding of the Holy Scriptures. While some of these songs demonstrate a misunderstanding of Scripture, there are many that convey sound Bible doctrine in a very creative, beautiful manner. When memorized with supporting Bible verses, they are useful to occupy the mind when an actual Bible is not readily available. Sadly, many of the old-time hymns are often forgotten in favor of “contemporary worship songs” (which, in keeping with the deterioration of Christendom, can be quite “watered down” doctrinally).
Our goal is, in the future, to occasionally provide devotional arcs (series of studies) aimed at retaining the rich Bible doctrine that these hymns communicate.
Saints, let us begin our first installment of “The Songs of Sound Doctrine!” 🙂