Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment.
Friday Q & A #44
Why has the Church historically given significant time and energy to corporate worship of God through song?
Pastor Dan Holst, Lead Pastor, North Campus, offers a few reasons for why we sing:
- Old Testament precedent
- New Testament example
- New Testament call and command
Old Testament Precedent
- “When the song was raised, with trumpets and cymbals and other musical instruments, in praise to the Lord, ‘For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever,’ the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God” (2 Chronicles 5:12–14).
- [The sons of Korah singing] “These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival” (Psalm 42:4).
- “For long ago in the days of David and Asaph there were directors of the singers, and there were songs of praise and thanksgiving to God” (Nehemiah 12:46).
New Testament Example
- “And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives” (Matthew 26:30, Mark 14:26).
- “What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up” (1 Corinthians 14:26). Note: See set of instructions given by Paul beginning In 1 Corinthians 11:18, in “when you come together as a church,” and ending with 1 Corinthians 14:40, “all things should be done decently and in order.”
New Testament Call & Command
- “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:18–20).
- “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).