Bible Lesson 198

SINGING SAINTS

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the people! Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works!” Psalms 105:1-2

“One sure mark of revival is, that it sets people singing. When showers of blessing fall, the congregation begins to sing. God is not only Salvation, He is our song and He puts a new song in our mouths, even praise unto Him. Saving grace is singing grace and if we are not singing, at least in our hearts, we had better check on our state. Beware of a Christian profession that is words without music, mandates without melody. Your salvation , standing and service should be accompanied by a song.”

Vance Havner

This month we want to look to God’s Word, the Bible and see how salvation brings songs to the hearts and minds of people. Salvation frees the condemned prisoner from his cold, damp and dark cell, and at the same time gives him a song and a tune that will buoy him/her toward that heavenly reward that awaits those who know Him, who is worthy of our songs of praise. Imagine how Lazarus must have felt when one moment he was dead and decaying in the grave, then Jesus Christ calls him out and restores him to life.

Jesus did not stop there, He called for those standing around to loose him (free him) from his grave clothes. I can just hear him now as he sings about God’s amazing Grace that had freed him from the grave. Just like Lazarus, everyone of us who knows Jesus Christ in the forgiveness of sin, have been born again.

We were born to the flesh at our birth, and we were already under the wrath of God because we were born with a nature that loved to sin (Ephesians 2: 1-3) and everyone proved it over and over. We loved to sin. God before the foundation of the world had a plan to save a people from every tongue, tribe and nation to be set apart for His Gift to His Son Jesus Christ. That give us something to sing about and it’s about time we added a ‘g’ to what we have been doing, and begin to sing rather than sin.

I might as well go ahead right here and get it out of the way. . .and that is that, I don’t really care for the music that has slowly slipped in the back-door of some of our churches who are interested in drawing people who want to ‘rewire’ the way that the church operates in order to draw a crowd. It tends to be pointed at people who are too simple to mouth the great and high praise of our living God. Sometimes it consists of words that cause us to believe that we are praising God. Certainly we do not pray in that fashion. In Fact St. Augustine had this to say about singing, He said “To sing is to pray twice.’ We should always approach God in worship in a thoroughly thought out and prayerful attitude. We do not sing to entertain God, we sing Hymns to glorify Him.

Words make us think, Music makes us feel, and a song makes us feel the thought of the song. “Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow, praise Him all creatures here below.’ Songs like that are not only worshipful, they are evangelistic, they are a form of witness. We sing because we want God to hear our praise and attend to our needs as expressed in our song. There is a Chinese Proverb that states, “A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.’ The same applies to us as Christians, we have a song that will not be denied and that is, that we are children of the King and we must worship him in spirit and in truth. Do you have a song to sing today’ Do you know God in the forgiveness of sin’ Then that is your song ‘sing it!

Perhaps we need to always remind ourselves that we do have a song and that we should at every opportunity recite the reasons for our song, and sing it loud! What can a saved person sing about’ Lots of things beginning with “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. . .I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see.” If you are a child of God, and not everyone is, only those who have been crucified with Christ, and live, yet it’s not you that is living it is Christ living in you. The life you now live in the flesh you live by the faith of Him who love you and gave His life for you. (Galatians 2:20). William Cowper wrote a hymn that all of us should sing daily, whether saved or lost. “There is a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Immanuel’s veins; And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, Lose all their guilty stains. The dying thief rejoiced to see, That fountain in his day; And there may I, though vile as he, Wash all my sins away. Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood Shall never lose its power, Till all the ransomed church of God, Be saved, to sin no more. E’er since by faith I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply, Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die: When this poor lisping stammering tongue Lies silent in the grave, Then in a nobler sweet song, I’ll sing Thy power to save.” There is a powerful message in writing or saying those words, but when sung they go to the heart of any person whether saved or lost.

All who are ever saved are saved by the death of the Sinless Son of God, Jesus Christ, who bled and died on that cross where you and I deserved to be nailed. The cross was a sign of love for men who would follow and obey Christ. (2nd Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 5:8-9). Jesus did not die for any sin He had ever committed (For He had no sin), but for the sins that you and I so arrogantly committed, without regard that we were offending the Almighty God. Have you known the Amazing Grace and Mercy of God, Are you still lost and undone, or has God found you and like a lost sheep, picked you up and laid you across his shoulder and brought you back to the fold’ Are you still blind or has God restored your sight, and placed you in the light. Have you been to that fountain that flows with the blood of Christ, and plunged beneath that flood’ If you have then you have a song to sing, a song of praise and thanksgiving. . ..so sing it!

We are told in the Bible, “So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father.” (Ephesians 5:17-20). What the Apostle is inspired to tell us here is that we are to sing in seriousness: Dissipation means some kind of amusement or silliness. We are not to act like we are drunk, but we should act like a creature honoring it’s Creator. The term ‘filled with the Spirit’ means, walk like a Christian ;because you are indwelled with the Spirit, and as we speak (sing) God’s words, psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, back to God in praise and worship, we are edified, and God is glorified. Words that have no biblical meaning are not the kind of songs that we should be singing. There are not many new words, our problem is that we construct some of our songs in such a way, the words have no connection to God. The Christian songs we sing must be pointed toward how we feel about our Creator, Sustainer and Savior.

The Song is not about us but about Him! Remember we are told in God’s word, the Bible, that when we are saved we are saved to walk in newness of life, we are told that we are now in Christ, and that the old things are passed away and all things are new. We have a new covenant, a new commandment because we are new creatures. God has given us a new name and in fact there is coming a time when everything will be made new. So we will sing a new song, a song that only those who have been obedient to follow in the footsteps of Christ we be able to sing.(Romans 6:4; 2nd Corinthians 5:17; Matthew 26:28;John 13:34; Ephesians 2:10; Revelation 2:17; Revelation 5:9; Revelation 21:5).The new song that all Christians know and sing, is not written in the latest song book, but in the heart, mind and soul, of the Children of God. You don’t need to belong to the church choir, or have the song written down in your book, and you don’t need the usual choir director. Your Song was published in eternity past and it flows from that new heart that God gives all of his people. The Songs that Christians know comes with the new nature that is created in the New birth, that birth from above.(2nd Peter 1:1-4).

You may be like me in that your voice is a bit raspy, or course, but the new song that God gives to His children comes with a new voice, a voice that will fit into that heavenly choir. The True Christian of our day is much like the nation of God (Israel) when they were slaves in Babylon. We live in a time when not only the songs of God are under attack by demonic forces, but they have decided to attack God and anything that eludes to God. Just think, the Babylonians required a people that had been captured and were strangers in their land to sing them a song of Zion. What we as Christians are called to do is to know the song of God, and be courageous enough to stand and sing it wherever we go, or are taken. There are a lot of people who don’t like to sing in public, for a lot of different reason, but I’ll wager you do sing in the shower. I was not aware of my ‘shower songs’ until my wife said something about it; but I really do have a song when the water is on. I don’t plan to sing, but when the water begins to flow, so does a song. That is something like our new song that God gives us . . …we are saved and we are thankful to God for it, and we have a ‘can’t help it song’! We love the Lord and regardless of who likes it or appreciates it we must sing it. We are commanded to sing it, for the Word of God prompts us when it says ‘Let the redeemed of the Lord say so’, (Psalms 107:2). What about it, are we saying so’

It seems some have decided to just be secret agents for Christ, but let me assure you that is not profitable, nor is it probable that God will accept our attempts to skirt his command to be publically open about Him and His Word and Will. If we have a song, we will sing it, and we have more than one song that we should be singing about the Grace and Mercy of our God. How can we be silent when people by the thousands are dying and going out into a Christ-less eternity, to spend eternity in torment and pain; when we simply were too timid to tell them about Jesus and the Cross. God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2nd Timothy 1:7). I’m afraid that we, like the people of Israel, have a reason that we do not sing in whatever situation that we find ourselves in. So many church-members of our day have compromised their song, by sin and rebellion against God , we may know the tune, but we have forgotten the words, or we remember the words but have forgotten the tune. We have not kept the main thing the main thing, and so our song does not encourage us or edify those who hear it. What can be done’ Well, God makes it simple, what is required is repentance, not in word but in word and deed. We must not simply say, “Lord, I have sinned against you and you alone, I am so sorry and grieved that I will never be guilty of this sin again.”

I don’t know about you but I am weary, and I believe that God may be also, of people who attempt to live and sin, and be called Christians. Tired of those who want to be Christians on the credit, they are not willing to do what God requires right now. . ..but later they plan to really do good. They know they are wrong and so does everyone who knows them, but we sit and allow them to run to the altar at most every invitation hymn, and we never try to get to their problem and get them back on line with God. We want to think, well, that’s between them and God, but God says it between them and you and God. We don’t sing our song and we don’t fret because they don’t have a song. Folks, do we really think that God does not know every sinful thing that we, and they do’ God knows it before they sin, and we need to take note of what happens to those who continue to commit sin, they end up in fulfilling prophesy. God has said “Be sure your sin will find you out.” (Numbers 32:23).

I guess we believe that God will deal with it, so I don’t have to, but they ‘sow the wind and they will reap the whirlwind’.(Hosea 8:7). Oh, I know that some of you as you read this will cry out “Vengeance is mine, says the Lord.”; and that is correct God does not call us to extract vengeance, but He does command us to love our brothers/sisters, enough to keep them from the danger of His having to judge them. (Matthew 18:15-17). This scripture tells us to love them enough to attempt to restore them, but not to allow them to remain in fellowship with Christians in their sin. We don’t discipline in order to get back or punish anyone, but we do it in order to show that we love them enough to desire their ultimate good. That should give everybody reason to sing.

Singing is to the Christian, as bathing is to those who desire to be clean and fresh. Singing cleanses our souls, stirs up our desire to please God, energizes us toward obedience to the commands of God, and is the drum-beat that makes our army move toward danger rather than run away. It seems that many who have made some sort of profession, some sort of statement of desiring to be different, are never taught how to sing. They are normally granted membership in our group but they never really blossom. They have no song and it is the job of everyone in that congregation to begin to love them enough to teach them to obey all that Christ has commanded us. (Matthew 28:19-20). I will close this lesson on Singing Saints, by giving you the Words to another great Hymn, and encouraging you to know how to sing to your Creator and Savior. The words are . . . “Jesus, lover of my soul, Let me to thy bosom fly. While the nearer waters roll, While the tempest still is high: Hide me, O my Savior, hide, Till the storm of life is past; Safe into the haven guide; O receive my soul at last.” Think on your song. . ..that one you sing when you draw nigh to Him!

Until next time,

may God bless and keep you

This is Bro. Bob