Fifth – The Bible speaks of music in one form or another hundreds of times. This evening we are going to focus our attention on godly music in the Bible. I want us to identify its characteristics, identify its purpose, and identify a biblical response to the subject of music.
In this series on music, we have studied The Prerequisites to Choosing Godly Music; The Characteristics of Music’s Sound, Lyrics, and Delivery; Rock Music and the Christian, and What’s Wrong with CCM? This evening we are going to look briefly at Music in the Bible.f
The Bible speaks of music in one form or another hundreds of times. This evening we are going to focus our attention on godly music in the Bible. I want us to identify its characteristics, identify its purpose, and identify a biblical response to the subject of music.
1. Identify the Characteristics of Godly Music in the Bible
a. Specific characteristics of godly music
- Godly music is represented by a new song.
- Godly music cannot be patterned after the old songs of the godless world.
- (Ps 40:3) “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.”
- Godly music is unlike “the noise of war.” (Ex 32:17-18)
- Godly music is spiritual rather than carnal.
- (Eph 5:19) “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;”
- (Col 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.”
- What are spiritual songs?
- Songs that are the opposite to carnal (fleshly) songs. If the song appeals to the sensual flesh, it is not a spiritual song.
- Songs that relate to the human spirit. In context they relate in an edifying way.
- Songs that come from the Holy Spirit please or him. In the context they evidence his filling.?Spiritual songs are on a parallel with psalms and hymns.
b. General characteristics of godly music
- Godly music ought to be orderly.
- (1Co 14:40) “Let all things be done decently and in order.”
- This verse is in the context of spiritual gifts, but the principle applies as music is included in “all things.”
- Godly music ought to represent light not darkness. We have learned that rock, country, jazz, and similar worldly music are far from God’s light in sound and lyrics.
- (2Co 6:14) “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”
- (Eph 5:8) “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:”
- (Eph 5:11) “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”
2. Identify the Purpose of Godly Music in the Bible
a. The purpose of godly vocal music is praise to God.
- God is glorified through songs of praise. (Ps 149:1) “Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.”
- Godly music testifies of the change Christ made in our life. (Ps 40:3) “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.”
- (Ac 16:25) “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.”
b. The purpose of godly instrumental music is praise to God.
- (2Sa 6:5) “And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals.”
- (1Ch 23:5) “Moreover four thousand were porters; and four thousand praised the LORD with the instruments which I made, said David, to praise therewith.”
c. Another purpose of godly music is to edify humans.
- Godly music will calm a troubled soul. (1Sa 16:23) “And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.”
- Singing godly music in the heart to the Lord is evidence of the Holy Spirit’s filling,. (Eph 5:19 above)
- Singing godly music is a way to teach and admonish other Christians,. (Col 3:16 above) The words must be clear and doctrinally biblical.
d.The purpose of godly (nonreligious) music varies
- It was used for merriment and sometimes include dancing. (Lu 15:25) Good dancing in the Bible was not sensual jigging (like that of the daughter of Herodias) but twirling, clapping, leaping, swaying, all connected with rejoicing.
- It was used at funerals. (Mt 9:23)
- Patriotic songs may be included here too.
3. Identify a Biblical Response to the Subject of Music
a. We need to maintain a godly attitude
- Remember that you are accountable to God for the music to which you and those under you listen.
- Be patient with those who do not understand how to biblically discern music. Lovingly try to teach them.
- Recognize that some CCM singers are seeking fame and fortune while others are sincere but ignorant. Yet sincerity does not justify their music.
- Desire to choose only music that is edifying and not appealing to the flesh.
- Be willing to get rid of music that you like if you know it is not good music. If its questionable, don’t keep it.
- Replace bad music with good music. See our church web site for places to buy good music.
b. Prayerfully ask specific questions when evaluating music.
- Is the music free from unnatural backbeats, break-beats, and sensual sounds that appeal to my sinful flesh?
- Are the lyrics clear, clean, and biblical (even if nonreligious they should not violate any biblical principle)?
- Is the delivery free from breathiness, scooping, sliding, and showiness?
- Would our sinless holy God be pleased to listen to this music with me?
- Would I have any reason for shame if the rapture took place while I was listening to this music?
Conclusion: Choosing music is not just a matter of taste. Some music is pleasing to God, wholesome, and helpful and other music is not. I challenge you to apply what you have learned and make any changes that might be needed.