Worship 04 - Singing - 1. Introduction:

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1 Worship 04 - Singing - 1 Introduction: 1. Imagine writing a song for the person you love. a. In that song, you might express your love and devotion to that person. b. In that song, you might praise the beauty and kindness of that person. c. When singing that song to the person about whom you wrote it, you would sing it with feeling, truly showing that you mean the words you are singing. d. Your first priority would be putting a lot of thought into what you sing to that person so they know how you truly feel. 2. Would you do the following with a song you wrote for the person you love? a. Would you sing it absent-mindedly without any feeling? b. Would you sing it without thinking about the words you are singing? c. Would you write it with lies about the person or words that contradict what that person has expressly said? d. Would you sing it in front of that person as if you were bored or had better things to do? 3. I hope you can see where we are going with today s lesson. a. When we sing to God, we should express our love and devotion to Him, praising Him for His kindness and mercy and other attributes. b. When we sing to God, we should sing it with feeling, showing we truly mean the words we are singing. c. When we sing to God, we should make sure the words we are singing are not contradicting what God clearly states in the Bible. 4. Today we are going to talk about singing as worship. a. Singing as worship must be directed towards God. b. Singing as worship must show devotion, submission, and service to God. c. Improper worship is rejected by the Father and will result in a person s soul being lost eternally. 5. Because we have previously discussed why instrumental accompaniment to our singing is sinful, we will not be dealing with that aspect of singing. I. Our singing must be done with understanding (I Corinthians 14:15). a. In the context of this verse, Paul is discussing praying in tongues, but the application is easily made. i. Paul said that if you pray in a different language, and no one is there to interpret it, then neither you nor the rest of the congregation is edified by it. ii. Why? Because if you have no clue what is being said, then how can you possibly be edified by it? iii. On a movie, a Catholic woman said I liked mass much better when it was in Latin, that way you couldn t understand what they were saying. b. If we do not understand what we are singing, how can it possibly edify us (build us up)? i. How many songs have parts in it that you sing, but don t understand? 1. Here I raise my Ebenezer 2. but take to arm you for the fight the panoply of God

2 Worship 04 - Singing Night with ebon pinion, brooded o er the vale ii. If a song does not make sense to you, you cannot be encouraged, instructed, or built up by it. iii. Perhaps that is something that song leaders should take into consideration before they lead certain songs. 1. I have been places where the song leaders will make sure to explain certain parts of songs so that they make sense before they sing it. 2. If the song leader does not know what it means, he should not lead the song. c. If we sing a song and do not understand what it means, then are we really worshipping God when we sing? i. It becomes just like a man who gets up and recites a prayer from memory talking about ready recollection, guide, guard, and direct us, and in Christ s name, amen because he s heard so many other people say the same thing. ii. How can you sing something from your heart (that means you sing it with feeling and meaning) if you don t know what you are singing? iii. If you don t understand what the song is saying, yet sing it anyway, you cannot possibly be offering acceptable worship to God. iv. True worshippers will worship God in spirit (correct attitude, from the heart) and in truth (according to His word). v. Can you sing words you don t understand from the heart? vi. Can you sing words you don t understand and know that you are singing something which lines up with God s word? d. In order to sing with understanding, we must be more proactive. i. If you do not understand what a song means, ask someone! ii. If you do not understand what a certain word or phrase means, ask someone or look it up in a dictionary! iii. Song leaders need to take these factors into account and help the congregation understand so that they can truly offer acceptable worship up to God. iv. For what it is worth 1. panoply (as in but take to arm you for the fight, the panoply of God ) means many (pan) layers (ply) and refers to the whole armor of God. 2. Ebenezer (here I raise my Ebenezer) is a reference to Samuel erecting a large stone after God gave them a great victory over the Philistines. He called the name of it Ebenezer, which means stone of help, to remind people of the help that God gave them (I Samuel 7:12). 3. Night with ebon pinion, brooded o er the vale means night, with a black wing, covering everything. Basically, it means everything was dark. It is describing the time when Jesus was praying in the garden (night time), but also figuratively, it describes the depression Jesus might have been facing (His human side) not wanting to go to the cross. e. When we sing with understanding, then we will not sing unscriptural songs.

3 Worship 04 - Singing - 3 i. We must work to understand what the songs mean, and if we discover that they teach something contrary to the Bible, then we MUST NOT sing them. ii. Some songs teach that Jesus second coming is about to happen (Jesus is coming soon). iii. Some songs teach that in order to be made whole with God, all you have to do is say the sinner s prayer (Have a little talk with Jesus). iv. Some songs have little or nothing to do with praising God or teaching eternal truths (Precious Memories). v. If we look at each song we sing and examine it, we might be surprised what is actually contained in the words. f. Let us strive to sing our songs of praise to God with understanding! II. Our singing must be done with teaching and admonishing in mind (Colossians 3:16). a. Scripture says be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to yourselves in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord (Ephesians 5:18-19). b. Scripture also says let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord (Colossians 3:16). c. Both Scriptures point out that one way we can be filled with the word of God (let the word of Christ dwell in you richly/be filled with the Spirit) is by our singing. i. We can learn more about the Bible as we sing. ii. We let these words that we sing fill our hearts and minds and learn more about God s word. d. Notice from both of those Scriptures that we are to speak to yourselves and teach and admonish one another by our singing. i. Just as taking the Lord s Supper includes an outward focus (showing the death of Christ to ourselves and others), and public prayer also has an outward focus (leading the congregation in prayer), so does our singing have an outward focus as well. ii. We need to realize that though we are singing with our hearts to God, part of the reason for our singing is to teach and edify others. iii. Some songs are written for that exact purpose. 1. Some songs are written specifically to encourage others not to sin (angry words, o let them never from the tongue unbridled slip). 2. Some songs are written specifically to encourage others to obey the gospel (are you coming to Jesus tonight?). 3. Some songs are written specifically to encourage Christians to repent (God is calling the prodigal). 4. Some songs are written specifically to encourage Christians to stand up and do the work God has set before them (To the work, to the work; soldiers of Christ arise).

4 Worship 04 - Singing - 4 iv. Some songs teach Bible truths, and by singing them, we are helping to teach them to others. 1. Up from the grave He arose. 2. He paid a debt He did not owe. 3. Jesus saves. v. Some songs express personal dedication to God, and when sung also encourage others to join in and be dedicated to God as well. 1. Each day I ll do a golden deed 2. I am Thine, O Lord 3. I want to be a worker for the Lord. e. Don t just think about how it affects others, because they (along with you) are singing for your own benefit as well. i. When the song is sung, are you coming to Jesus tonight? apply it to yourself: do you need to come to Jesus? ii. When the song is sung, angry words, o let them never from the tongue unbridled slip, apply it to yourself: do I have a problem letting angry words come out? iii. When the song is sung, Jesus saves, apply it to yourself: am I saved? Do I need to respond? iv. When the song is sung, God is calling the prodigal, apply it to yourself: have I wondered away from God? Am I subject to the call of God s invitation to come back to Him? III. Our singing must be done with the heart (Ephesians 5:19). a. Perhaps the biggest problem with regards to singing is that people simply sing the words without bothering to think about what they are singing. i. Ask any song leader who has paid attention to the congregation and he can tell you: 1. Some people just don t sing at all. 2. Some people sing, but their minds are not on it because they are busy playing with their cell phone, digging through their purse, playing with someone next to them. 3. As a song leader, you can tell that some members of the congregation (in some places it is the majority) are not paying a lick of attention to what they are singing. ii. When you listen to songs on the radio, do you sing with them? 1. How often do you really pay attention to the words which are being sung? 2. Many popular songs deal with drinking, drugs, or sex (that includes rap, rock, pop, country, classic rock, oldies, etc ) yet many Christians sing with them without bothering to think about the implication of what they are saying.

5 Worship 04 - Singing The same attitude is then brought into the church building where Christians sing the songs because they know the tune and the words by heart, but never bother to stop and consider the words they just sang. iii. Because the fruit of our lips, praise to God, is called a sacrifice, it means that we should be putting some work into it. 1. Going through the motions and just singing along with the words is not a sacrifice. 2. If it is, then it is a sacrifice every time you sing with the radio. iv. Do you contemplate the words you are singing to God? b. There is a COMMAND from the all-powerful God of heaven which says SING and make melody IN YOUR HEARTS. i. This means that our singing MUST be accompanied by our hearts. 1. If you do NOT sing with your heart (sincerely, with meaning and understanding), then you are SINNING when you sing! 2. God does not accept half-hearted worship! ii. If you sang a song you wrote to the person you love, would you put the same feeling and meaning into it as you do your singing to God? iii. When you sing songs about being happy (there is sunshine in my soul today), do you ever smile like you are happy? iv. When you sing hallelujah praise Jehovah do you really feel the devotion and awe towards God? c. If you don t mean it, don t sing it! i. Don t lie to God and the rest of your brethren when you sing! ii. Don t sing, I want to be a worker for the Lord if you have no intention of being busy every day doing the work of His kingdom. iii. Don t sing, Here am I, send me if you aren t willing to go do the work of the Lord. iv. Don t sing, I ll be somewhere listening for my name, if you are unwilling to answer God s constant call for you to do His work. v. Don t sing, I am coming, Lord if you are not willing to do what is necessary to be close to God. vi. If you sing songs like these and you don t mean it, the only thing you re doing is melodic lying. Conclusion: 1. Singing is not supposed to be an easy, go-through-the-motions, part of worship. a. It involves sacrifice. b. It involves work i. Learning meanings of words and phrases. ii. Focusing yourself on the words and the meanings of those words. iii. Making sure that your actions match what you are singing.

6 Worship 04 - Singing Do you make sure you understand what you are singing? 3. Do you make sure you apply the songs to your own life? 4. Do you make sure that you mean the words you say? 5. If the answer to any of these questions is no then you are sinning when you sing.

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