This is part 2 of a blog series on why we sing. You can check on the other posts here.
WE SING BECAUSE IT MAKES THEOLOGY MEMORABLE.
Another reason we sing is because a worship song can make the complex memorable. In Col. 3:16, Paul wrote, “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another wish psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Did you catch that? God’s Word is to well up in our souls, and we are called to actually teach one another through singing. As we sing with hearts full of gratitude, our songs should teach. Songs have the potential to make theology portable.
[Tweet “Songs have the potential to make theology portable.”]
We teach a lot at this church. The Bible is a big book. Most people are not satisfied with their amount of biblical knowledge. As soon as you hear a sermon or a Bible study, you forget what the last one was (even if you remember in the first place). Let’s face it, when it comes to the things of God, there is a lot one can and should know.
Music can help make important doctrines of God stick with you. One example is the song written by Chris Tomlin that starts with these words, “Not to us, but to Your name be the glory.” If you have heard it, you probably remember it. The song is really catchy, but did you realize that you now have memorized Psalm 115:1? He put that truth to music. Psalm 115:1 was originally music, Tomlin just wrote it in a different style, but now we have a song that encapsulates that all of life is about God and not for our own glory.
In Exodus 15, Moses and the rest of Israel had just witnessed Pharaoh’s army drowning at the bottom of the Red Sea. They huddle up and begin to sing the song of their deliverance. They write it then and there and begin to worship with it. Why? Because if they can put God’s movement to music, they can remember it better. Scripture states to sing a new song unto the Lord (Psalm 40:3) because a new mercy deserved a new song. We sing these songs because they make the great truths of God memorable and portable for us.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Distinctive Discipleship. He is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. Travis graduated from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Christian Studies and earned his M.Div. and D.Min. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with his doctoral focus on family discipleship.