"Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts." - Colossians 3:16 (NIV)
A couple months ago I preached my first sermon from Colossians 3:16, focusing on the role that singing plays in the life of a local church. The main thought I wanted our congregation to leave with was this: singing together as a church is an act of spiritual formation meant to renew our hearts in the gospel and deepen our love for God.
The exhortations from verse 16 that I drew out specifically were
- Sing about Christ (v. 16a)
- Sing to instruct (v. 16b)
- Sing to each other (v. 16b)
- Sing diverse songs (v. 16c)
- Sing wholeheartedly (v. 16d)
- Sing to God (v. 16d)
This verse has played a large role in shaping my theology and philosophy of singing over the last several years and it was a joy to be able to share with the church family. If you want to read more on Colossians 3:16, here are some helpful resources (links go to Amazon):
- Douglas Moo's commentary
- Peter T. O'Brien's commentary
- Barry Joslin's paper "Raising the Worship Standard: The Translation and Meaning of Colossians 3:16 and Implications for Our Corporate Worship"
- Mike Cosper's "Rhythms of Grace", specifically chapter 9 "Sing, Sing, Sing"
- Barry Liesch's "The New Worship", specifically chapter 2 and appendix 1