Singing is a Verbal Action

Author Unknown

Language is defined by the rules that govern its use. In order to be understood, speakers of any language must obey the rules of that language. That is why “ebonics” never really got off to a good start. If one who is speaking or writing is to be properly understood, then he must adhere to rules of the language he is using.

That is also why God uses language to communicate with humanity. God knows all about the laws of every language and uses them to communicate His will in the clearest and most concise way. It is easy for people to understand what is meant, if they are told to “sing” a song and it is equally easy, if they are told to “play” a song. Easier still is when people are told to “sing and play” a song. In the Bible, Christians are commanded to “sing,” in the worship they offer the Lord (1 Cor. 14:15; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). Nowhere in the New Testament are Christians commanded to “play,” or to “sing and play.” The rules of language being what they are, there is only one correct interpretation of what the Bible says, in the matter of singing in the worship of the church.

But there are so many in the religious world who will not abide by what the Bible says, and who are determined to use mechanical instruments of music in the worship they offer; whether such things are authorized, or not. They argue that worshipping God with the addition of such devices sounds better than it does without them and that their use appeals to the masses. But these feeble arguments cannot stand up to the test of Scripture. The language of the text reveals the will of God.

In Ephesians 5:19, the Bible says, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs…” The language of the text clearly indicates that the singing we do in worship is intended to be a verbal action. The essence of true worship is the offering of a “sacrifice of praise to God,” which is described as “the fruit of our lips” (Heb. 13:15). Of course, our hearts and minds are to be focused on God, when we worship. Jesus indicated this in His criticism of the religious hypocrisy of His time: “This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me” (Mark 7:6). According to Ephesians 5:19, as we sing praise to the Lord, we are to make melody in our hearts to the Lord. That is why, in the churches of Christ, we simply obey the command to sing, in the worship we offer to God. Anything more or less than that would be sinful.