Ephesians 5 Series #3
TEXTS: Eph. 5:19; Ex. 32:15-20; 2 Chron. 20:2-3, 20-22
INTRO: Why do couples go to restaurants where they can have a table off to the side in candlelight and soft music playing?
Why do grocery stores play music throughout their entire store during all hours of the day and night when they are open?
How come many doctors and dentists have piped music throughout their waiting rooms and even examining rooms?
There is one answer to these questions ... music can dramatically alter the human emotions in very powerful ways, thus influencing behavior. Like everything else God has given man, it can be used in a beneficial way and in a harmful way.
ILLUS: Last November my choir director asked me if I would pick up the sheet music for "How Great Thou Art." I happened to be in a shopping center the next day, so I went in a record store and asked the clerk: "Do you carry any religious sheet music?" The clerk (she looked like a high school student) thought a moment and then said, "Some of the Christmas music might be religious." -- Lester Weeks, pastor, First Christian Church, Platte City, Missouri -- James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 83.
PROP SENT: Scripture teaches us that we are to be responsible for helping create an atmosphere that will be conducive to worship, both in our private life and in church life. Music is a great motivator and mover ... and should be used to create an atmosphere that helps us in our relationship to God.
I. POWER OF MUSIC Ex. 32:15-20; 2 Chron. 20:2-3,20-22
A. Corrosive! Ex. 32:15-20
1. The power of music can be either positive or negative!
a. While Moses was up in the
mountain the people of
b. Joshua had also gone part way up the mountain and when he rejoined Moses on the way down they could heard a great sound below by the people ... Joshua assumed that it was the sound of war!
c. Moses however recognized the sound as singing!
d. The people had started a music festival ... but the wrong kind!
2. As they approached the people they could see that the music had incited the people to have an atmosphere of "out of control" wickedness and wildness (see Ex. 32:25) ... the music had helped whip them into a kind of frenzy that led to great acts of sin!
a. There are obviously 3 sources for music:
b. The source for the music can determine to a great extent the kind of atmosphere that will influence those who listen.
c. In this sense, it is not so much the style of the music, it is the source that matters!
d. The source of
ILLUS: Music is the primary weapon used to make the perverse seem glamorous, exciting, and appealing. Music is used to ridicule religion, morality, patriotism, and productivity-while glorifying drugs, destruction, revolution, and sexual promiscuity. -- Gary Allen - Edythe Draper, Draper's Book of Quotations for the Christian World (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1992). Entry 7910.
3. The music moved them in a powerful way, driving their emotions passed the limits of their wills!
a. They were motivated to sin!
b. Music that draws on satanic sources can still produce a similar madness again; it is the source however, not the style!
B. Constructive! 2 Chron. 20:2-3,20-22
1. The positive use of music can be just as moving as the negative use of it, and so God's people later used music to create an invincible army in battle.
a. With God as a source to draw upon, Jehoshaphat in sending his army into battle ... he put in the front lines all the singers and musicians! 2 Chron. 20:21
b. Instead of weapons of war all they would have is a song ... but this would inspire the people of God to move against their enemy and would frighten the enemy to see such a people so motivated and united!
2. Music gave them courage and gave them confidence; it also gave them energy and a sense of being one. This gave them strength!
ILLUS: I should be sorry, my lord, if I have only succeeded in entertaining them; I wished to make them better. - To Lord Kinnoull, after the first London performance of Messiah, March 23, 1743 -- George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) - Edythe Draper, Draper's Book of Quotations for the Christian World (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1992). Entry 7896
3. Revivals and music are always found together!
a. Notice in our hymn books when many of our hymns were written and by what authors?
(1. Martin Luther
(2. Many of our great hymns came from the great "reformation" ... a powerful revival!
ILLUS: Next to theology I give to music the highest place and honor. Music is the art of the prophets, the only art that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us. -- Martin Luther (1483-1546) -Edythe Draper, Draper's Book of Quotations for the Christian World (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1992). Entry 7914
(3. During the most recent world-wide revival at the turn of the century when God's Spirit was outpoured there was a resurgence of new songs and hymns.
(4. Even today ... the great revivals today are the sources for many of the new and wonderful choruses that we have.
b. Ever notice too where God's Spirit is evident there is such powerful worship time in music!
c. A good song service can have a dramatic effect on the rest of the worship service and the Preaching of God's Word ... that is why it is first in the service!
4. God is always ready to meet with His people, but for us we need to participate in creating the atmosphere to meet Him!
a. Thus Psa 22:3 "But
thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of
b. Music helps remove the "blocks" we come with by relaxing us, putting us into a "GOD-CONSCIENCENESS," helps make us receptive to the message, up-lifts our spirit and moves our focus off of us and onto God Himself!
c. People that don't "ENTER-IN" may get very little out of a service while others who enter in are deeply touched!
5. Even King Saul who was
oppressed by a demon could be soothed by the godly music of David, the "sweet singer of
6. Playing good music around your home, to your children, can have a long lasting effect on their personalities ... think about it!
a. Interesting enough, not only
were the "singers" and "musicians" the first ranks of the soldiers in
b. In the last book of the Bible there are references to music in Heaven ... both now and in the future; apparently music is one of the few things from this life that will continue into eternity!
7. This is why grocery stores, doctor's offices, department stores, restaurants, movies, and even nations with their national anthems use music ... to effect change in those who hear ... to soothe them into a frame of mind that helps them, and makes them more loyal, proud, passionate, etc.
a. And you can believe that places like stores, restaurants, movies, etc. take very seriously the kind of music they choose for this reaction!
b. Same with nations, they are very careful in their chose of a national anthem to inspire, etc.
II. PURPOSE OF MUSIC Eph.
A. Church Eph. 5:19a
1. Paul here addresses the importance within the fellowship of believers to use music to minister to God and each other!
a. Paul recognizes the power factor of music within the church ... and alludes to the use of 3 basic kinds of music in church.
(1. Psalms - The kind of music that reflects man's relationship to God, our battles and struggles; victory's sweet taste and the emotions.
(2. Hymns - music that reflects the truths of God ... His relationship to man! These often contain the great theological truths about God and His character.
(3. Spiritual songs - any other type or style that has as a source the Holy Spirit; everything from spontaneous songs to those written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It is important to remember that style of the music is not even considered -- it is the content of the music and source.
2. Jesus at the last supper sang a hymn before sharing the first communion with them ... creating an atmosphere that helped them focus on the spiritual side of the event.
3. One of the reasons why we have an entire book in the Bible called "PSALMS" is to record the kind of songs that were used to build an atmosphere for the people of God to worship.
a. It is interesting however that only the words have been preserved for us and none of the tunes -- especially those in the book of Psalms -- there are references for some as to what tune they were set to ... but these "tunes" or styles of music were not preserved by God, just the words of the songs.
b. This may indicate what I said earlier. God allows freedom for style, but the source and the message are critical!
c. Each generation of believers have put new tunes to the Psalms thus demonstrating the above principles of freedom of style, but preserving the source and message.
d. It is absolutely wrong for a church or group within a church to blast a particular "style" of music unless they are clear that the message is either wrong; or the source is clearly demonic.
4. Paul's point here in the first half of this verse is the need to PARTICPATE in this expression of music!
a. Ever notice how motivated Christians are when they are singing Christians!
b. It isn't as critical how well they sing, but that they do sing!
c. It may be hard to sing when you are down, but you won't stay down if you do sing!
5. It's like that courtship time when you took your "HONEY" to a lovely restaurant that had soft lights and music ... the atmosphere could make or break the date with each other.
a. The right music can help create the right worship!
ILLUS: A young boy complained to his father that most of the church hymns were boring and old-fashioned, with tiresome words that meant little to his generation. His father challenged him with these words: "If you think you can write better hymns, why don't you?" The boy accepted the challenge, went to his room, and wrote his first hymn. The year was 1690, and the young man was Isaac Watts. Among his 350 hymns are "Joy to the World," "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross," "I Sing the Almighty Power of God," and many other classics. -- James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 154.
b. The musicians in
c. It can balance your emotions by bringing you up from being down.
d. it can enhance your receptivity to the Word and to other needs God would put on your heart.
e. It can help break down the barriers we put up.
B. Christian Eph. 5:19b
1. Notice Paul doesn't stop with music's influence in a church setting ... but admonishes the believers to also "sing and make music in your heart to the Lord."
a. Singing in the car on the way to church, work, or any place!
b. Around the house!
c. While alone a melody in your heart can ease the pressures!
2. We need to build that "atmosphere" in our hearts too for our personal times with God.
3. The purpose of music is to motivate us to higher ground spiritually ... to help focus our spirit on God's Holy Spirit and calling in our lives.
ILLUS: The only time that our blessed Lord ever is recorded as having sung is the night that he went out to his death. -- Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979) -- Edythe Draper, Draper's Book of Quotations for the Christian World (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1992). Entry 7923.
4. It will help frame an atmosphere in our spirits that allow us to worship anytime, anyplace, don't miss out on such an important part of God's presence, build that atmosphere that helps you reach out to God.
CONCLUSION: Our walk with God is deeply affected by the atmosphere we create; this is true in our own walk with God and in our church life. This is why some Christians thrive spiritually while others drag behind ... music is a powerful motivator, creating an atmosphere that will enhance our relationship with God.