Is musical worship necessary to us as Christians?
According to Scripture, worship is not just singing/musical, but should be your whole life:
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:1-2 English Standard Version (ESV)
However, I’ve heard some say based on this verse:
- “Music has nothing to do with worship.”
- “Music is not necessary to worship God.”
- “Not everyone worships musically.”
- “Musical worship isn’t necessary to the church”
I’ll fully admit, just because you’re singing a worship song does not mean you are worshiping. Have you ever looked around a Sunday morning service at sad, empty, apathetic faces all singing words they don’t mean? If you haven’t, I pray you never experience such a soul-crushing experience. You can bet that the Lord is saddened by this, too:
And the Lord said:
“Because this people draw near with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
while their hearts are far from me,
and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men…
Isaiah 29:13 English Standard Version (ESV)
But I’d like to push back a little and say that I believe MUSICAL worship IS a pillar of the Church’s worship.
Just a few verses I’ve looked at:
And David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before the Lord, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals.
2 Samuel 6:5 (ESV)
But now bring me a musician.” And when the musician played, the hand of the Lord came upon him.
2 Kings 3:15 (ESV)
when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Job 38:7 (ESV)
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you.
Psalm 5:11 (ESV)
I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
Psalm 9:2 (ESV)
Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
Psalm 33:3 (ESV)
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
O God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
Psalm 51:14 (ESV)
But I will sing of your strength;
I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.
For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.
Psalm 59:16 (ESV)
My lips will shout for joy,
when I sing praises to you;
my soul also, which you have redeemed.
Psalm 71:12 (ESV)
Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Psalm 95:1 (ESV)
Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!
Psalm 105:1-2 (ESV)
And when they [Jesus and the disciples] had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Matthew 26:30 (ESV)
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them,
Acts 16:25 (ESV)
and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,
“Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.”
Romans 15:9 (ESV)
What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also.
1 Corinthians 14:15 (ESV)
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Colossians 3:16 (ESV)
addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,
Ephesians 5:19 (ESV)
“I will tell of your name to my brothers;
in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.”
Hebrews 2:12 (ESV)
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.
James 5:13 (ESV)
There is a mystery to why God has music exist but I believe based on these verses that it is to be a habit of the Church to regularly worship musically.