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What Does the Bible Say About.. the Purpose of Singing?

What is the purpose of singing praise and worship in church and how does it influence the people to come before the lord?


Be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. (Ephesians 5:18-21)
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:16)

The purpose of singing in the assembly of the saints is twofold: teaching and correcting ourselves and praising and worshiping God in our hearts. The second can be done any time. The first can only be done where there are two or more people involved. Thus, the singing in the assembly is primarily for teaching each other and for warning each other. I think this is effectively done in song because songs are more readily remembered than the spoken word. Also it is effective for teaching because sometimes another has put an idea in song more effectively than we could express it ourselves.

Our singing in the assembly—in fact all we do in the assembly—is not in order to influence those not of the body to come before the Lord. It is for those who are already in the body of Christ. We influence people to “come before the Lord” (in the sense of coming to follow God) by what we do and say outside the assembly of believers. Few people have ever been influenced to become a Christian by “going to church.” So our songs are to bring believers before God by focusing them on that to which they have already committed themselves. They are not primarily to influence those who are not already in Christ.