This is a continuation of Reforming Worship. In that blog I gave three principles for worship in a congregational context. Reforming Worship 2 blog dealt with the first principle. This blog is about the second principle.
2) The Father calls us to worship through the Son in the singing of Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, which are based on the inspired revelation of Christ in Scripture, in the power of the Spirit. (Colossians 3:16-17)
Singing is a valid form of worship. Better stated, singing biblical songs is a valid form of worship. We are commanded in Scripture to speak to ourselves and one another in Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs. In this commandment we find three distinct categories of songs.
Psalms. Psalms are inspired songs. For some of these songs look in, you guessed it, the Book of Psalms. But Psalms are not unique to the Book of Psalms. Psalms include all inspired songs throughout Scripture. Moses’ song, Deborah’s song, and the songs in the Book of Revelation are all Psalms. These songs are particularly important because they are inspired along with the rest of Scripture. These are the songs which the Holy Spirit inspired, and as such contain no private interpretation, but reveal God to us in truth. When we sing Psalms, we sing back to God the very words He inspired for us to sing to Him. Sadly in our day the Psalms are out of vogue. Very few churches persist in the singing of Psalms. And yet it is a command of Scripture that we sing Psalms. When we do not sing the Psalms, we are disobeying that command.
Hymns. Hymns are God-centerd songs. They are songs that extol the riches of the Glory of God. These songs contain deep theological truths. Holy, Holy, Holy, A Mighty Fortress, O Sacred Head, and All Cratures of Our God and King are examples of old Hymns of the faith. Examples of newer Hymns are God and God Alone and El Shaddai. These songs focus our attention on the God who was, and is, and forevermore will be.
Spiritual Songs. Spiritual songs are songs that tell of God’s grace towards us. Amazing Grace is a great example of a Spiritual Song. God has given me sight, He found me, keeps me, and will take me to Glory. Usually, if there is a biblical song in many churches it is a Spiritual Song. This is in keeping with the theme of the worship, that I am the center. Spiritual Songs are good depending on the context of worship. If it is a man-centered worship then a Spiritual Song tells what God has done for ME. In a God-centered mode of worship, the Spiritual Song tells of what GOD has done for me. That is why it is necessary to sing not only Spiritual Songs, but also Psalms and Hymns.
The context of worship is to be set by Scripture (Psalms) which focuses on God (Hymns) and tells the story of grace (Spiritual Songs).