Your Music Ministry

31 July 2022 PM – Colossians 3:16 – Music22 – Scott Childs
Introduction: Johann Sebastian Bach said, “All music should have no other end and aim than the glory of God and the soul’s refreshment; where this is not remembered there is no real music, but only a devilish hub-bub.” Yes, music is important in the Christian life.
God has not called every Christian to be a pastor, missionary or a full time worker in a local church ministry. However, God has given every Christian a music ministry. Read Colossians 3:16.
Transition: Here in Colossians 3:16, the Holy Spirit had Paul describe for you three aspects of your music ministry.
  1. Your Preparation for Music
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly
a.         The Word of Christ must inhabit us.
1)         The content of Colossians reveals that some believers in Colossi were confused about Christ.
a)         Paul was in great conflict because of their misunderstanding about Christ (2:1-2).
b)         He warned them to beware false philosophies (2:8).
2)         To help them, Paul exalted Christ as their Redeemer and Forgiver (1:14); the Image of God (1:15); Creator of all things, by him and for him (1:16); He is before all things (1:17); He is the head of the body, the church, the firstborn from the dead (1:18); God’s fullness dwells in Christ (1:19); He made peace through his blood and reconciled all things to himself (1:20).
3)         In Colossians 3:1, Paul urges believers who are risen with Christ, to seek things above. We are to set our affections on things above (3:2).
4)         Paul then lists many things that Christians are to kill or put off (3:5-10). Next, he charges believers to put on things that honour God (3:12-15).
5)         All this preps us for Paul’s challenge about Christ in our text (3:16).
a)         He commands us to let the word of Christ (i.e., all the things the Scripture says about Christ), dwell in us.
b)         To dwell is to inhabit. When we inhabit a house, we live in it. We sleep there, eat there, relax there, bathe there, and we are at home there.
c)         The word of Christ, the Gospel, the teachings of Christ, the doctrine of Christ, the entire Scriptures are to inhabit our daily lives.
b.         Christ’s Word must dwell in us richly.
1)         Here the Holy Spirit added the word “richly” as a qualifier for us. To do something “richly” is to do it abundantly.
a)         Those who cheer for a sports team, usually do it abundantly, with gusto.
b)         The idea of this phrase is to have a passionate heart for the Word of Christ. It is to pour your heart into learning and living what Christ said.
2)         If you do not enjoy and pour your heart into daily Bible study, you are not letting it dwell in you richly.
3)         Here the Holy Spirit tells us that a rich knowledge of Christ’s Word is what enables us to sing, as He desires. If our heart is not passionate for the Lord, we will have little desire to sing to the Lord.
2.        Your Purpose of Music
In all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs
a.         Your music is to teach and admonish one another
1)         Teaching refers to instructing someone. Music is an excellent tool for teaching. Children often learn the alphabet through a song. We learn doctrine through songs like, Great is Thy Faithfulness, 40 and Why?, 122. God said to Moses in Deuteronomy 31:19, “Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel.(cf., Deu 31:21). When we sing biblical songs, we teach biblical truth.
2)         Admonishing refers to warning or exhorting someone to do right. Our song, Stay Awake, is an example of a song that admonishes. Others include, The Fight is On, 404; Hold the Fort, 409; Stand Up for Jesus, 378, and Yield Not to Temptation, 364.
3)         I believe that the phrase “in all wisdom” modifies how we are to teach and admonish through music. We need God’s wisdom to know how to choose music that truly teaches and admonishes. Songs that just have a few religious words are not clearly conveying biblical doctrine.
a)         Many of today’s CCM songs are shallow or have unscriptural lyrics.
b)         Even CCM songs that have reasonable words are usually sung in a worldly, sensual, lustful, showy style to a rock backbeat and often to a sensual dance making a mockery of the words. (James 4:4) “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
4)         Our music must clearly teach and admonish!
b.         God recommends three kinds of music.
1)         Psalms: Psalms are Scripture Songs. (Ex., Cast your burden on the Lord, Be Care-filled for Nothing)
2)         Hymns: Hymns are Songs of Praise. (Ex., Since the Saviour Found Me, 493; Praise Him! Praise Him!, 442)
3)         Spiritual Songs: Spiritual Songs are Spiritual Poetic Songs. First, their words are spiritual as opposed to carnal. Their tune is not worldly. They are poetry put to song. (Ex., Showers of Blessings, 349; Trust and Obey, 261).
4)         Our hymnbook consists of many of these songs. Occasionally, there is a song or a verse of a song in our hymnal that is not doctrinally accurate. We intentionally do not to sing them. If you find anything doctrinally inaccurate in one of our hymns, please let me or Gerhard know.
5)         You might be wondering if it is wrong to sing Happy Birthday, or the national anthem. No, God does not forbid singing songs other than the three kinds listed in this verse; however, every song we sing must have wholesome words and a non-worldly, non-carnal, straight rhythm tune.
3.        Your Participation in Music
Singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord
a.         God commands you to sing.
1)         Singing is part of the command given in the first of the verse. In these three kinds of music, we are to sing to the Lord.
2)         You may not be a preacher or a teacher, but you can sing. You minister to the Lord in song every time you sing.
3)         Congregational singing is not an option; it is a Christian’s ministry. The scripture songs, songs of praise and spiritual poetic songs that we sing with and to each other are to teach Bible doctrine and to exhort to godly living.
b.         You are to sing with grace to the Lord.
1)         It does not matter whether you are a good singer or struggle to carry a tune; your contribution is to sing the best you can with God’s grace to glorify the Lord. You may feel limited in what you can do for the Lord, but you CAN sing! (1 Chronicles 16:9) “Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works.” (Psalms 30:4) “Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.” (Psalms 100:2) “Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.” (Psalms 149:1) “Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.
2)         Christians who do not sing or hold back for one reason or another are disobeying this command.
Conclusion: Prepare your heart to sing by letting His Word dwell richly in your soul every day. Fulfil your purpose in music by singing songs that teach and admonish your soul and others. Participate in congregational singing with your whole heart, giving glory to the Lord. God clearly commands us to sing Scriptural songs to each other. During congregational singing, focus on the words, sing them from your heart, and sing them to the Lord. That is YOUR music ministry to the Lord!
Song: When We All Get to Heaven, 498