Why sing? Eph. 5:19 and Col. 3:16 inform us that singing was used by the first century Christians. We believe that singing is a requirement for acceptable worship of God. There's no argument there, but there's still the question, "Why sing?" Why would the Lord want man to sing? The following are some possible thoughts concerning why singing was specified.
1. Singing Unifies
Years ago, prisoners were used to maneuver great ships at sea. Often these men would sing to unify their effort. Soldiers have used songs to unify their marching efforts. In this country, people from all walks of life are united in mind and spirit by singing the national anthem. It's difficult, if not impossible, to sing from the heart with those we do not like. Singing unifies a group. The Lord's body must be unified!
2. Singing Excites The Heart
In the secular world, songs are used to bring about feelings of love, hate, happiness, remorse, etc. Singing about Christ's love for us brings peace to our minds. Singing about his death brings remorse and guilt. Some hymns remind us of the brevity of life and others of the amount of work to be done. Singing should excite our hearts and encourage us to go forward in living a Christ-centered life.
3. Singing Teaches
How did you learn your ABC's? How did you learn the books of the Bible? How did you learn the names of the twelve apostles? Some of us were taught by singing songs containing that information. Could someone visit our assembly and learn about Christ by listening to us sing? I would hope so. Could he learn about Christian living by singing the words to certain hymns? I believe so. What about the Lord's Supper, prayer, the gospel, or heaven? Could we teach others while singing songs about these subjects? Surely the answer is yes. Even though we have a time in our assembly for a preacher to teach, great lessons are taught during the time we spend singing together.
4. Singing Edifies
People in the advertising business use lyrics put to a jingle to persuade the listeners. Have you ever wanted to buy something because an advertisement enticed you with a catchy song? By the same token, many hymns strengthen us and encourage us to take action, both inwardly in our hearts and mind, and outwardly in our daily activities. We need to edify each other. Singing in our assembly is one way to do that.
Singing as a congregation benefits Christians today just as it did in the first century. Let's sing for unity. Let's sing to excite our hearts and the hearts of those that hear our singing. Let's sing to teach and edify. Let's be involved in the song service just as we are when we address God in prayer or commune together.
By Truman Smith Via Red Bank Harvester
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