Sermons

Summary: This is a tour-de-force of the changes in music styles down through the ages that helps the congregation embrace musical changes in worship.

THE POWER OF MUSIC IN WORSHIP

BTCC 10/15/06

Prelude

Welcome to our August series on Life-Change!

• Two weeks ago: “Life-changing Words”

o Last week: “Life-changing Events”

• Today: “Life-changing Music”

IMAG: MUSIC TESTIMONIES VIDEO

Prayer

• Thank You for the gift of music!

o Please help us fall in love with Your gift of music in all its forms!

Please turn to the 150th Psalm

• [p. 449…Zchurch virtual Bible]

o Let’s stand and read it aloud together!

Before you’re seated…

• Please take a moment to MEET and GREET one another!

Today, we’re going to take a whirlwind tour of some of the music God has used through the centuries –

• —to TRANSFORM the lives of His people…

o …and to help us become everything Jesus created us to be!

In particular, I hope you’ll allow yourself to just simply MARVEL at the incredible VARIETY of music God has given us–

• — just like the flowers and animals and people God has created!

o It’s His very NATURE – he does virtually NOTHING the same way every time!

 No 2 fingerprints alike!

 No 2 snowflakes identical!

• God gushes forth an absolute cornucopia of lavish variety in EVERYTHING – including music!

Just as scientists continue to make new discoveries about God’s creation in the universe, in the sea, on the earth and in the human body…

• So musicians continue to discover new forms of God’s creation in acoustics, tempo, vocalization…instrumentation

o Each generation falls in love with its own musical discoveries…

 Which means that if we present God’s truth to them in the form they love – they’ll give the Gospel a HEARING!

• In 1 Corinthians 9:22, the Apostle Paul opens our eyes to this exciting principle:

o “To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become ALL things to ALL men so that by ALL POSSIBLE MEANS I might save some.”

So let me encourage you --

• As we take this musical journey today – no matter WHAT the style –

o Don’t just listen and analyze!

• Lose yourself in worship!

o Worship GOD – the Creator of music – with all your heart!

Let’s go back to the beginning: Adam and Eve were the first 2 people God created

• In Genesis chapter 4, God tells us that Adam’s great-great-great-great-great grandson Jubal was “the father of all who play the harp and flute”

o Early Hebrew music mostly spontaneous outburst of praise –

 Miriam’s song after God parted Red Sea

• Then a boy named “David” became the “sweet singer of Israel” and everything changed

o His psalms – often sung accompanied by musical instruments – were the primary songbook of the Jews – and the Church! – for many years

SPEAKING of the Church…what was going on musically in ITS earliest days of worship?

Colossians 3:16 gives a vivid snapshot: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing PSALMS, HYMNS and SPIRITUAL SONGS with gratitude in your hearts to God.”

o Let’s take a quick look at these three forms:

 Strictly speaking, a PSALM is any of the songs found in the Book of Psalms

Romans 15:9’s explanation of Psalms 18:49 provides the only definition in the Bible for what a HYMN is:

• Biblically speaking – a HYMN is ANY song – no matter WHAT the style – that praises God!

 A SPIRITUAL SONG is a song of any style, on any subject whose words convey Scriptural truth

Now…as you would expect…during the first several hundred years of the Church, Christians were true to this wide variety of music

• There were NO musical rules

o So long as it was Scriptural and glorified God, it was “anything goes”

• They worshiped God with whatever music happened to be popular in their towns or villages

Then, in 312 A.D. the Roman Emperor Constantine became a Christian

• Christianity became the “official” religion

o Now more fashionable to become a Christian

• Many educators and officials began rising to power in the church

o Began organizing and formalizing the dynamic, loose knit structure of the church

• In particular, many of them were very uncomfortable with the cultural DIVERSITY and SPONTANEITY of the music of the early Church

This led to a fateful decision…

• They began to create musical RULES – called “codification”

o They began to legislate what kind of music was suitable and proper in the church…and what wasn’t!

o For example, they began to discourage congregational singing –much too hard to control

o In time, they replaced it with singing only by the clergy and specially appointed singers

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