It’s been very frustrating for me to see the anti-Ephesians-4:11-16 Christians outright speaking against and abandoning the practice of worshiping God together in song; though, it’s not just a practice that we know from experience brings us closer to God and He closer to us, but worshiping together in song is absolutely biblical, according to the New Testament too — not just the Old.
Here are some scriptures just from the New Testament. Of course, the Psalms are loaded with worship-to-God songs!
Jesus prayed that we would be ONE with each other in Him, “that the world will know!” (John 17)
Jeff : )
This is actually the scripture that convinced me that Christianity was real, when I read the Bible on my own in high school. Paul and Silas sang songs to God in prison at midnight, after having been beaten.
“But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.”
Paul encouraged the Christians in Rome to glorify God with one accord and with one mouth, that the God of hope would fill them with all joy and peace, abounding in hope, in the power of the Holy Spirit.
5 Now the God of patience and of encouragement grant you to be of the SAME MIND ONE with another according to Christ Jesus, 6that with ONE ACCORD you may with ONE MOUTH glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7 Therefore accept one another, even as Christ also accepted you, to the glory of God.
8 Now I say that Christ has been made a servant of the circumcision for the truth of God, that he might confirm the promises given to the fathers,
9 and that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, “Therefore will I give praise to you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.”
10 Again he says, “Rejoice, you Gentiles, with his people.”
11 Again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles! Let all the peoples praise him.”
12 Again, Isaiah says, “There will be the root of Jesse, he who arises to rule over the Gentiles; in him the Gentiles will hope.”
13 Now may the God of hope fill you with ALL JOY and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Paul told the Corinthians that he personally sung in the Spirit (tongues) as well as in understanding (Greek), but in the assembly, where unfamiliar visitors could watch, they needed to cool it, and just sing and speak in Greek, to not freak the visitors out.
1 Corinthians 14:
1 Follow after love, and earnestly desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. 2 For he who speaks in another language speaks not to men, but to God; for no one understands; but in the Spirit he speaks mysteries. 3 But he who prophesies speaks to men for their edification, exhortation, and consolation. 4 He who speaks in another language edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the assembly. 5 Now I desire to have you all speak with other languages, but rather that you would prophesy. For he is greater who prophesies than he who speaks with other languages, unless he interprets, that the assembly may be built up. …
13 Therefore let him who speaks in another language pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in another language, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also. I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. 16 Otherwise if you bless with the spirit, how will he who fills the place of the unlearned say the “Amen” at your giving of thanks, seeing he doesn’t know what you say? 17 For you most certainly give thanks well, but the other person is not built up. 18 I thank my God, I speak with other languages more than you all. 19 However in the assembly I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I might instruct others also, than ten thousand words in another language. …
23 If therefore the whole assembly is assembled together and all speak with other languages, and unlearned or unbelieving people come in, won’t they say that you are crazy? 24 But if all prophesy, and someone unbelieving or unlearned comes in, he is reproved by all, and he is judged by all. 25 And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed. So he will fall down on his face and worship God, declaring that God is among you indeed.
God wants us to be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing spiritual songs to the Lord!
15 Therefore watch carefully how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise; 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore don’t be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 Don’t be drunken with wine, in which is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; singing, and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 giving thanks always concerning all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to God, even the Father; 21 subjecting yourselves one to another in the fear of Christ.
12 Put on therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, humility, and perseverance; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, if any man has a complaint against any; even as Christ forgave you, so you also do. 14 Above all these things, walk in love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in ONE body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your heart to the Lord. 17 Whatever you do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father, through him.
The writer to Hebrews, who wrote in 10:25 to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together had a profound understanding of worship. John Dickson and Chuck Pierce write in their book, Worship As It Is In Heaven describe this amazing Hebrews 2 text: “When we are together as a a congregation, Jesus…, in our midst He sings His praises to the Father. His testimony, that spirit of prophecy, that mantle, comes down on us in worship….” (source)
10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many children to glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one, for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brothers,
12 saying, “I will declare your name to my brothers. In the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.”
13 Again, “I will put my trust in him.” Again, “Behold, here I am with the children whom God has given me.”
Through him, then, let us offer up a sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of lips which proclaim allegiance to his name.
13 Is any among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing praises. 14 Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the assembly, and let them pray over him
Jesus and the disciples sang hymns [this is prior to the new covenant being implemented at Jesus death and then Pentecost; though, Jesus was in the new covenant, being led by the Holy Spirit, himself:
“When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” – Mt. 26:30 & Mk. 14:26