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Sermon #4157

True Melody

A Sermon on Ephesians 5:19


Ephesians 5:19 ESV KJV
addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, (ESV)

Sermon Description

In this sermon on Ephesians 5:19 titled “True Melody,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones expounds what he calls the characteristics of Christian music based on this Scripture passage. He says that for Christians, worship music is not about sensory experiences, but Spirit-filled worship and praise of God the Savior. It is not done for human entertainment or for the sake of showmanship, but it is about exalting God and His great Name. For this reason, it is not to be done flippantly or in a crass manner, but the who is worshipped should inform how the church worships. True Christian worship in a church is to be done as a congregation and community of believers who have come together. It is not a time for individuals to demonstrate their musical prowess and ability, but it is time for all Christians to sing as a unified body. Because Christian worship takes place in a church, it is to always be subject to the preaching and teaching of God’s word. To do otherwise would be to commit the great error of the Roman Catholic Church and others and replace the proclamation of God’s word with something else, whether it be music or sacraments. True worship is always done in light of God’s revelation of Himself and of His will to His people.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul is exhorting Christians to express the joy of their salvation through singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.
  2. Paul contrasts the drunken orgies of pagans with the joyful singing of Christians.
  3. Paul says Christians should speak to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in their hearts to the Lord.
  4. "Making melody" means striking up a tune, playing a lyre. It refers to sweet music, tunefulness and beauty of musical sounds.
  5. Paul is defining the characteristic of Christian music as melodious, beautiful and harmonious. It leads to peace, rest and joy.
  6. Christian music is not clever, light, flippant or sentimental. It is thoughtful, intelligent and inspired by the Holy Spirit.
  7. "In your hearts" means Christians should sing thoughtfully, realizing they are in God's presence and praising Him. It includes both intellect and feeling.
  8. Christian singing should not be divorced from preaching the Word. The words are more important than the tune. We must be careful not to be carried away by the tune.
  9. Christian singing should not be light, flippant or sentimental. It should not be done to work up excitement or manipulate emotions.
  10. There should not be too much singing in a service. We can become "drunk" on singing.
  11. Hand-clapping and musical instruments should only be used if inspired by the Spirit, not to artificially work up excitement.
  12. We should sing to express the joy we already have in the Spirit, not to make ourselves happy.
  13. All Christians should sing together, not just choirs. Congregational singing should be harmonious, not displaying solo voices.
  14. Everything done in Christian worship should be done decently and in order, led by the Spirit with temperance, self-control, peace and harmony.

The Book of Ephesians

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.