Singing That Glorifies God

Text: Colossians 3:16

Singing is a way for us to praise and glorify God. It is a regular practice in our assemblies. If we are going to glorify God through our singing, it is important that we do it in the right way. In this lesson, we will consider some things about singing so that we might sing in a way that glorifies God.

What the Songs Need to Do

  • First, what our songs should NOT do (at least primarily) – entertain us (we can enjoy singing, but this is secondary); stir our emotions (our emotions may be stirred, but this is a “side effect,” not the goal)
  • We can determine what our songs need to do by looking at the types of songs we are to sing (Colossians 3:16) – psalms (sacred songs directed to God); hymns (songs of praise to God); spiritual songs (songs about spiritual topics)
  • So what do our songs need to do? (Colossians 3:16) – express praise and gratitude to God; teach and admonish one another

What the Singers Need to Do

  • Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you” – heart is open to the word of the Lord (Psalm 40:8; Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 8:10)
  • Teaching and admonishing one another” – sing so that others can hear (not whispering/mumbling)
  • Singing” – simple point, but should not be overlooked; not sit silently, not humming, not playing musical instruments
  • With thankfulness in your hearts to God” – we must give thanks in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
  • Follow the direction of the song leader – principle of engaging in orderly worship without disruptive individual actions (1 Corinthians 14:30-33, 40); we should not add “confusion” to the worship

What the Song Leaders Need to Do

  • The NT does not specifically mention a “song leader” in the church, but it is implied – “Each one has a psalm” (1 Corinthians 14:26), not that one is performing a solo, but is leading the congregation in singing together; “All things must be done properly and in an orderly manner” (1 Corinthians 14:40) and a song leader is an expedient way for all to sing the same song together
  • The NT does not indicate that a song leader must be a formally trained choral director – he simply needs to be able to lead the congregation in such a way that they can sing together
  • Select songs that are “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Colossians 3:16)
  • Make sure the content of the songs are Scripturally accurate – principle of Acts 17:11; some songs may need to be avoided; some verses may need to be skipped
  • Select songs that are singable to the congregation – doesn’t mean we can’t learn new songs; but the music should not be a hindrance or distract us from praising God and teaching others


  • It is good for us to enjoy our singing – but the primary purpose is not our enjoyment
  • We need to be sure we’re singing in a way that glorifies God so our worship will be acceptable to Him

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