Do you sing psalms in your church? I guess that in most Bible-teaching churches today the answer is “no,” or “not very often,” or perhaps “sometimes in a metrical version,” or “some of our songs are based on or inspired by psalms.” Perhaps we associate psalm-singing with rather formal or old-fashioned churches, or with performances of choral evensong by a trained choir.
And yet, the Bible rather suggests that we ought to sing psalms as a regular part of our Christian meetings. In Ephesians 5:18–19 Paul says that one of the marks of a Spirit-filled church is addressing one another “in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart.” He says something similar in Colossians 3:16: the word of Christ will richly indwell the people of Christ as they sing “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.”
The words translated “psalms,” “hymns,” and “songs” all refer primarily to the biblical psalms. There isn’t space here to give the overwhelming evidence for this, but they are three ways of speaking of the same thing. If you want to be a church filled with the Holy Spirit and richly indwelt by the message of Christ you will sing psalms, and then more psalms, and then lots more psalms. How extraordinary that seems to us!
Christopher Ash, “Be Adventurous. Sing Psalms.”
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