Raising The Worship Standard: The Translation And Meaning Of Colossians 3:16 And Implications For Our Corporate Worship -- By: Barry Joslin

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 17:3 (Fall 2013)
Article: Raising The Worship Standard: The Translation And Meaning Of Colossians 3:16 And Implications For Our Corporate Worship
Author: Barry Joslin


Raising The Worship Standard: The Translation And Meaning Of Colossians 3:16 And Implications For Our
Corporate Worship

Barry Joslin

Barry Joslin is currently Associate Professor of Christian Theology at Boyce College of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he also earned his Ph.D. degree.

In addition, he also serves as the Worship Pastor at Ninth and O Baptist Church, Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. Joslin is the author of Hebrews, Christ, and the Law (Paternoster, 2009) and numerous articles and book reviews which have been published in such journal as: Themelios, Southern Baptist Journal of Theology, Library of New Testament Studies, and Currents in Biblical Research. He is currently writing a commentary on Hebrews and has recently completed writing the Adult Sunday School Exploring the Bible quarterly on Hebrews for LifeWay (forthcoming, 2014).

Introduction

What is the role of musical worship in the local church? Why do we sing when we come together? Why was singing so important to God’s people in the Old Testament? Why is it so important to the New Testament people and the Church throughout its history? Why are we told by Matthew that just before Jesus went to the cross, he and the disciples sang together (Matt 26:30)? Why does Luke tell us that the early Church would sing together (Acts 16:25)? Why are we commanded to do so? In short, why is singing so important?

It is important because God loves music. The command to sing is the most frequently repeated command found in all of Scripture.1 Over one hundred years ago, F. M. Spencer wrote, “No command is more frequently and emphatically imposed on God’s people in the Old Testament than is the duty of singing praise to God. In the New Testament these commands are renewed and made emphatic.” In commenting on our verse from Colossians he stated, “Language in the form of a command could not insist more clearly and distinctly upon the duty of singing praise to God.”2

Indeed, Scripture teaches us important things about musical worship. As far as the role of musical worship, there is a key text that must be understood if we are to understand one of the main things the Church does. Colossians 3:16 (and its parallel Eph 5:19) is important for a biblical understanding concerning the role of music in the Church’s gathered, corporate worship. I want to raise the worship standard. God loves music. He is ...

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