7 Biblical Purposes for Music

California – original source here.

The music program in the local church is vital, and it’s impact—for good or bad—on a church service is immeasurable. While some may view music as simply a form of entertainment and emotional conditioning, godly music plays a much larger role in a church.

Scripture gives at least seven purposes for Christ-honoring music. Use these principles as a gauge to evaluate the biblical soundness of your music ministry:

1. The Purpose of Worship—“And all the congregation worshipped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded: and all this continued until the burnt offering was finished” (2 Chronicles 29:28).

2. The Purpose of Thanks — “Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God” (Psalm 147:7).

3. The Purpose of Rejoicing — “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. The Purpose of Consecration — “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts” (Psalm 139:23). (Spoken in song!) “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).

5. The Purpose of Edification — “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. The Purpose of Evangelism — “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).

7. The Purpose of Preservation of 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).

May the music of our churches bring glory to the Lord and lift our hearts in His praise.

Music Style

music-notesPastor Dan Phillips: True story: a large family left our church simply and solely because an electric guitar was added to the accompanying instruments. An acoustic guitar with a microphone attached would have been okay, but an electric guitar = instant deal-killer.

I will go to my grave not understanding an atom of that.

***

Pastor Dan Phillips: I’d be happy if people would give the issue of music style as much emphasis as the Bible does.

Respondent: But the Bible doesn’t say anything about music style.

Pastor Dan Phillips: EXACTLY!

Selah! (Stop, pause, think and meditate)

Is Music Worship?

Dr. John MacArthur on the theme of music and the role that it plays in the church:

Quotes:

“The first misconception is that music is worship. That is not true. Music is not worship. They’re not synonymous. Music is music, and and worship is worship. But, typically, you hear people today say, ‘We’re going to worship,’ and then immediately that is essentially defined by music. Music is not worship. Music is a means to express worship, but it is not worship. Worship is the heart going up toward God in gratitude and thanksgiving for all that God has done: that’s worship. Worship is acknowledging God to be who He is revealed to be in Scripture. It is acknowledging what God has done; and in particular, that He has saved us, redeemed us, given us eternal life; and it is expressing gratitude to God. There are many ways to do that; music is one of them. But music is not worship. Music is a means by which a worshiping person expresses his thanks.”

Secondly, a misconception is that music motivates worship, music induces worship. That’s not true either. That is not true. It gives expression to love; it gives expression to adoration. But the motivation for that has to come from somewhere else, not from music. Music enhances and enriches. But the motive for all of our songs is not a sound, it’s a truth.

Another misconception is that when people have trouble worshiping, music will create worship, music will create the mood for worship. Worship is not a mood experience. That needs to be said loudly and clearly. You go to many ‘churches’ and you’ll be in the dark, and there will be sensual kind of music that appeals to the flesh at one level or another; and there will be lights flashing in all kind of directions. That has nothing to do with worship; and, frankly, does the opposite of inducing worship. It simply induces a fickle feeling. It’s a false substitute for true worship. See, true worship is a permanent attitude. John 4, ‘We worship in spirit and truth.’ That’s who we are. God seeks true worshipers. We are true worshipers. Philippians 3, ‘We worship in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.’ That’s a way of life. Our way of life is gratitude to God for who He is, what He’s done, and for our salvation and all of its blessing. We don’t need a mood created by some form of music that basically shifts – in many cases shifts the mind into neutral and generates a kind of neutral, empty, vacuous feeling. That’s not creating worship. It is true, there is something that creates worship – this will shock people – it’s preaching the Word, or reading the Word, so that when you know the truth, your heart reaches forward to God to express praise and gratitude.

Another misconception is this, that non-Christians aren’t going to come to church unless we import their music. Music so dominates our culture. It is so ubiquitous that if we’re going to appeal to nonbelievers, we’ve got to change our music. We’ve got to do the kind of music that they like and somehow baptize it if we’re going to reach out evangelistically. That’s not true. Never, never in Scripture is music ever, ever stated to be used as an evangelistic technique in some direct sense. In an indirect sense, it is because we’re singing of our Savior, right, we’re singing of salvation. But we’re singing to God, not the world, and not the unbeliever. There’s no mandate for the church to make its music appeal to the sons of Satan. So music is not worship. Music does not induce or motivate worship. Music does not somehow enhance worship by certain style and mood, nor is music ever intended for the satisfaction of nonbelievers as if that’s some entry into understanding the gospel. Continue reading

Though You Slay Me

Though You Slay Me by Shane and Shane (featuring John Piper)

Lyrics:

I come, God, I come
I return to the Lord
The one who’s broken
The one who’s torn me apart
You struck down to bind me up
You say You do it all in love
That I might know You in Your suffering

Though You slay me
Yet I will praise You
Though You take from me
I will bless Your name
Though You ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the one who’s all I need

My heart and flesh may fail
The earth below give way
But with my eyes, with my eyes I’ll see the Lord
Lifted high on that day
Behold, the Lamb that was slain
And I’ll know every tear was worth it all

Though You slay me
Yet I will praise You
Though You take from me
I will bless Your name
Though You ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the one who’s all I need

Though tonight I’m crying out
Let this cup pass from me now
You’re still all that I need
You’re enough for me
You’re enough for me

Though You slay me
Yet I will praise You
Though You take from me
I will bless Your name
Though You ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the one who’s all I need
Sing a song to the one who’s all I need

Love that will not let me go

Love that will not let me go
Steve Camp

In this weary world chasing after dreams
Just led me back where I started
I couldn’t see my way
Or find a hiding place
For the broken-hearted
You spoke softly to my soul
And with one touch I was made whole

Chorus:
(Now I know that) there is a love that will not let me go
I can face tomorrow because You hold me forever
Stronger than the mighty winds that blow
I’m safe within Your arms
Love that will not let me go

Lord You always knew the road that I would take
Ah, then You saved me just in time
And what I owe to You I could not repay
So I pledge You my whole life
Never trusted love before
But I won’t be afraid anymore

Now I know that there is a love that will not let me go
I can face tomorrow because You hold me forever
Stronger than the mighty winds that blow
I’m safe within Your arms
Love that will not let me go

There’s a love that will not let me go
I can face tomorrow because You hold me forever
Stronger than the mighty winds that blow
I’m safe within Your arms
Love that will not let… me go

All we can do

Song by Ian White:

Lord we need to hear You speak to us this day
Though our hearts may tremble at what You might say
Fill us with a new desire to turn away
From everything that is untrue
And to pledge ourselves again to You

Lord this land is cold without Your burning flame
Eyes on works of man and not on Jesus’ name
But we have seen Your fire where men have turned in shame
And cried to You on eastern shores
Oh Lord bring us to our knees once more

For it is all we can do
To wait for You to pour Your Spirit down
It is all we can pray
That You would have Your way
Come Lord, come
Come Lord, come

Lord how may we ask and know that we’ll receive?
What unrepentant past still makes Your Spirit grieve?
For You know every heart though many mouths deceive
Lord open me before all men
And fill me with Your love again

Lord this land is empty with a rich disgrace
Scenery of plenty but no Spirit’s place
But we have seen Your power to fill a desert space
Where men in Christ have died to sin
And surrendered all their lives to Him

For it is all we can do
To wait for You to pour Your Spirit down
It is all we can pray
That You would have Your way
Come Lord, come
Come Lord, come

Lord when will we learn to trust Your faithful hand
Too soon we run in fear when we don’t understand
And all the time You simply show us Your commands
And call each servant to obey
Oh Lord let that be me today

Your faithful word is near me for You are the Lord
My mouth and heart may speak it, my unearned reward
Send me that Your waiting Church may be restored
And may the cost seem joyful pain
To see the lost return again

For it is all we can do
To wait for You to pour Your Spirit down
It is all we can pray
That You would have Your way
Come Lord, come
Come Lord, come

The Story of Jonah (in song)

I remember Ian White’s ministry so well as he visited our Bible College in England in the mid 1980’s. Its great to see him on video now, all these years later, singing a song he sang back then. The story of Jonah… enjoy!

Psalm 94

I wish the person who put this together had better spelling but this song by Sons of Korah is amazing, especially in the light of current events. Christians are being martyred throughout the Middle East and Africa; babies are murdered by the thousands every day in the womb of their mothers, and last week, Christians were actually martyred on American soil in Roseburg, Oregon. Rise up O Lord:

True Story

PennylaneproperI once preached in Liverpool (around 21 miles from Chester, where I grew up in England). After the service a man approached me and we got talking. During the conversation, I asked him which part of the city he lived in.

He said, “I’ve lived on Penny Lane my entire life.”

I said, “Really? Penny Lane? You must be a huge Beatles fan.”

He said, “No, I actually went to school with Ringo. Didn’t like him then. Don’t like him now.”

To which I replied, “So you’ve witnessed an entire revolution literally right outside your front door.”

“Yep” he said, “and I’ve been against it the whole time.”

That’s a funny and true story… and I have to say, “I do understand him.”

However, there’s no doubting talent. Here’s Tommy Emmanuel with some amazing guitar playing: