Worshipping the Lord in Song

7 Purposes for Christian Music

The purpose of church music is to enable the congregation to corporately worship God in one voice of praise and adoration. The word worship means to, “Ascribe worth to something, to show God’s worth.” True worship should come from our hearts. Amos 5:23 says, “Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.” In this passage, God did not want to hear His people worship in song because their hearts were not right before Him.

When we worship God corporately, our goal as musicians should be to help others see God’s majesty and glory. We want to be invisible—to not distract—and to magnify the name of the Lord. 1 Chronicles 16:8–10 says, “Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.”

Music unifies the congregation, and we want God’s people to reach their fullest potential musically and spiritually as we lift Him up. 2 Chronicles 5:13 says, “The trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound.” Robert Shaw wrote, “The basic premise of music is communication: communication which can leap across centuries and oceans…expressible best by music or possibly even only by music.”

When we worship the Lord in song, we should follow these examples in Scripture:

1. Consecrate

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts.—Psalm 139:23

Praise ye the Lord. I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.—Psalm 111:1

2. Evangelize

And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.—Psalm 40:3

In Acts 16:23–25, Paul and Silas sang praises to God while in jail, and the jailer trusted Christ later that night.

3. Rejoice

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Sing unto the Lord with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm.—Psalm 98:4–5

4. Give Thanks

Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God.—Psalm 147:7

To be heard in praising and thanking the Lord.—2 Chronicles 5: 13

5. Edify Believers

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

6. Declare Faith

One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.—Psalm 145:4–5

7. Assist in Our Prayer

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, snging and making melody in your heart to the Lord.—Ephesians 5:19

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