Worship in the Spirit
A Sermon on Ephesians 5:19
addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, (ESV)
If you have been to church recently, you have probably witnessed the congregation singing praises together to God. What is the role that singing is supposed to play in the church? What are the Lord’s instructions for how we are to praise him through song? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones answers these questions and more in this sermon using Ephesians 5:19. In this passage, Paul is concerned with how the Holy Spirit is manifested when believers gather together for worship. But what is his intent in this section? Is it meant to prescribe the exact style of worship that every church should have? Dr. Lloyd-Jones uses Scripture to provide helpful commentary on why this is not the case. Paul here is calling for a unified expression of joy through singing, specifically through “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.” Though they might sound as if they are the same, Dr. Lloyd-Jones is careful to show the differences. A psalm is a sacred song intended to be sung with the accompaniment of a musical instrument. A hymn, he says, is a song of praise to God. Finally, a song is an ode or lyric, which is why Paul describes it additionally as needing to be “spiritual.” Dr. Lloyd-Jones ends with a note on the permanence and importance of singing in the lives of believers, drawing on thousands of years of church history to show why this should have such a vital place in the spiritual walks of Christians.