Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:18,19: “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” This is one way we are to speak to one another about the things of God. He, in His wisdom, commands us to do so and singing hymns should be a part of how we worship God, as it is one of the acts of worship as authorized by God (see post “One True Church” under category “Worship”). God declared that we should do so probably because it is one way we can enrich our lives with scriptural teachings and because He wants us to raise our voices to Him in praise.
Be sure that a chorus to sing hymns in a worship service is not authorized by scriptures. The early Christians did not organize a chorus to sing and practice to make more perfect, but every member of the church was told to sing and praise God no matter their ability. If we cannot even “carry a tune” and have trouble singing at all, we should still join in the congregational singing because it is what God would have us do. One can only improve over time.
God hears our hearts when we sing and if we put our heart and minds into the singing, paying close attention to the words, it is acceptable to God. Singing hymns has the power to raise our spirits and keep us focused on the things of God and has no real downside, only good coming from it. It is a simple and pure way to worship God that cannot be achieved by listening to a chorus or a musical instrument.
Paul wrote in Colossians 3:16: “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.” There is no better way, save bible study, to let the word of Christ dwell in us that through the singing of hymns.
If we sing each word from the heart, the hymns will strengthen the word of Christ (and consequently of God) in our hearts and help keep us on the path that leads to salvation at the last day. You can’t get that from having a chorus sing to you and that is as God intends it to be.
The ancient Jews sang hymns in their worship and in their daily lives. The book of psalms is full of the songs they used to sing throughout their history. Although God commanded them to use musical instruments in their worship under the Law of Moses (Psalms 81:1-4 and else where), we have no such command or example in the New testament under the Law of Christ. Instead we are told to sing as we looked at in the passages above. Mechanical instruments of music then should not be used in the worship.
We have looked at why we use singing as an act of worship and some of the reasons why , God wants us to do so. This is one of the areas where we do not go beyond the scriptures and try to substitute something for or do away completely with singing in our worship. The laws that the Old Testament tells us the Jews lived under have been fulfilled in Christ (Matthew 5:17) and what we find in the New Testament does this nicely, leaving out many of the laws that the ancient Jews lived under (see post “Old or New Testament” under category “Bible Study”.
We can even carry hymns with us as we go through each day and hum or sing them quietly, or just let them run through our minds. My Mom does this often and it is always pleasant to hear her humming or singing to herself the old hymns, though she may not be aware of doing so. We could all learn a lesson from her and do the same, keeping the things of God in our hearts and minds at all times.
May God bless and keep you until next time.