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 (NKJV)
A while ago I was discussing music styles with a friend, and the friend asked how hymns got the label of being a "hymn." That conversation led us to the passage in Colossians that teaches us how we worship God corporately through music.
You and I know that part of the worship we offer God is through song. Paul reminds the Church that the Word of Christ should dwell in us, through both teaching and singing. He clearly shows us that a balanced model of worship through song should include psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Each of these terms has a depth of meaning for us. Psalms are songs of scripture, most notably passages from the book of Psalms. Hymns are songs of celebration. They include but are not limited to songs such as "Amazing Grace," (after all, "Amazing Grace" had not been written when this verse of admonition was given). And spiritual songs suggest more powerful and intimate songs of reverence and awe.
These categories may overlap, but each area contains a unique quality of worship. This threefold approach is designed to reveal His Word dwelling in us through both the truth of the Word and the work of the Spirit. Singing songs of scripture, songs of celebration, and songs of the spirit is a healthy and balanced way to honor God in our worship.
While we may prefer one of the three types over the others, we ought to view that preference as an opportunity to submit our desires and will to the authority of scripture. Consider today how this area of your worship can grow to reflect the truth of His Word and the leading of the Spirit.
Worship Leader, Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale
Think about it…
What does this passage reveal to me about God?
What does this passage reveal to me about myself?
Based on this, what changes do I need to make?
What is my prayer for today?