Think about this past Sunday morning. Think about your local body of
Christ coming together to corporately worship our holy God. Think about
the songs that were sung. Think about the lyrics that were lifted up to God. Now, consider this question: were the lyrics about Christ or about you? The songs we sing to our God on a weekly basis at our local assemblies are
more important than many music leaders tend to consider. The lyrics that we sing on Sundays do either two things: 1) Help us worship God. Do the lyrics resemble Holy Scripture in revealing aspects of God that cause true worship? Do the lyrics resemble Holy Scripture in revealing the work of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which fuel true worship? 2) Teach us about God. Do the lyrics resemble Holy Scripture in teaching biblical theology? These are important questions that we must ask ourselves, especially if you are the one who chooses the lyrics being sung at your church on a weekly basis. These questions have a biblical background that is found in many passages in Scripture, but today, I want to just mention two major passages…Revelation 4 and 5.
Revelation 4 and 5 are both beautiful pictures/examples of true worship of
a holy God. Chapter 4 is ALL focused on the throne and who is seated on the throne. In verse 8, those who are gathered around the glorious throne burst out in worship and say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” What does this teach us about true worship? Our God is “holy” and is “the Lord God Almighty.” This verse teaches us that our God is worthy of our worship just because of who He is. Verse 11, argues this point even further when those gathered around cast their crowns before the throne and say, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” Again, our holy God is worthy of our worship just because of who He is, the creator and sustainer of all things.
Chapter 4 teaches us that we are to worship our God simply for who He is. Chapter 5 teaches us that we are to worship our God simply because of what He has done. No one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was worthy to open the scroll and to look into it. As John began to weep, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, approached the throne appearing as a Lamb that was slain. Then in verses 9 and 10, the ones gathered around the throne broke out in worship singing a new song, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and
priest to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” Verse 12, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” Our God is worthy of our worship because of Christ’s atoning work on the cross. The Father planned it, the Son accomplished it, and the Spirit applies it. “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever (v. 13)!
As you look back on the songs that are being sung at your church, consider what Revelation 4 and 5 teach us. Our songs must help us worship our God, through having biblically sound lyrics that teach us more of who our God is and what He has done. That is what musical worship is all about.