THERE’S quite a sizable number of believers who are in quandary over what type of music to play at such events as birthday parties and weddings. Many hypocritically listen to “Christian” music in public but mimic or hum secular music privately while cooking, bathing or doing some chores. Some surreptitiously play their choices by ear/headphones. Does the Gospel of Christ, the Grace of God, the Good News of Jesus Christ or the Glad Tidings of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ free/liberate us or cage us or imprison us? I am building up and continuing on an inquiry I started last week. Based on various responses and feedback from last week, I ask you to be patient and conclude my take at the conclusion on the matter.
devotion column: Erasmus Makarimayi
I continue to give evidence of music in the Bible. Please remember I started from the Old Testament. Here’s an example from the book of Acts. Acts 16:25, Amplified, records, “But about midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the [other] prisoners were listening to them,” According to the original language they were singing psalms. Here the type and mode of music are not specified. Definitely no musical instruments were used. Let’s look at the epistles. 1 Corinthians 14:15, reads, “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.” Note here, singing in tongues; mode of music isn’t specified. 1 Corinthians 14:26 further states, “How is it then, brethren? When ye come together, everyone of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.” A psalm, as seen in Acts, need no instruments but could make do with it as was with David. However no genre of music was specified.
Ephesians 5:19 reads, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;” For more examples, Colossians 3:16, says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” James 5:13, records, “Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray. Is any merry? Let him sing psalms.” In all the above quoted texts, no genre of music is specified. Read the following statement correctly please. So we can readily submit that there is no such genre of music called Christian, heavenly or spiritual or Gospel. That said, what makes a song Christian/Gospel will be its lyrics. We shall immediately delve into this.
David’s psalms were majorly prophetic, speaking of Christ. The content of psalms spoken of in the epistles would speak of Him, Christ. Ephesians 5:20, notes, “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;” The Lord Jesus Christ is at the centre here. As quoted earlier, Colossians 3:16, reads, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” It’s all about Christ. Hebrews 13:15, puts it thus, “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.”
What makes music Gospel/Christian is the content. We have to check if its contents are the finished works of Jesus Christ, that is the Grace of God. Check if it speaks of Christ’s sacrifice, resurrection and ascension. Verify if it speaks of Him seated at the Father’s right hand. His intercession ministry has to be evident in His authority and power. If it does then, we have a Gospel song. It must never be merely sung to entertain! Singing Gospel music means prophesying and exalting Christ. If preaching the Gospel of Christ means the Grace of God it necessarily means Gospel music is the singing of the Grace of God. Apostle Paul hints on the Gospel of Christ which is Grace. He says in Galatians 1:6-7, “ I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:  Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.” Verse 16 makes it clear that it’s Grace. Anything else according to verse 17 is perversion. Perversion is instigated by troublemakers who want to keep you under fear and condemnation.
I will give you examples of songs that are erroneously classified as Gospel at the end of this series. Additionally I will also give you the opinion of Gospel musicians. Should space permit, I will give you my interviews with cult and religious singers. Gospel music is Christ’s music and Christ’s music is Grace. Consider Titus 2:11, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,” We must not be careless with what we listen to and sing. It’s worthy noting that songs have very strong impressions on the human heart. Grace and peace be multiplied to you through knowledge.
lAll Bible quotations are from the King James Version unless otherwise stated.
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