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Psalmic Worship - The Psalms, Jesus Christ and True Spiritual Worship

Discussion in 'Music Ministry' started by jdlongmire, Jun 7, 2008.

  1. jdlongmire

    jdlongmire New Member

    Oct 25, 2001
    Likes Received:
    This is not a fully baked sermon, but I thought I'd share the idea and get some feedback.

    Psalmic Worship - The Psalms, Jesus Christ and True Spiritual Worship

    Proposed Worship Service

    Psalms 100 - Enter His Gates

    Psalm 8 - Majestic

    Psalm 136 - Forever

    Psalm 95 - Come, Let Us Worship and Bow Down


    Sermon - The Psalms, Jesus Christ and True Spiritual Worship


    Today many churches have become torn up by what is coming to be called the "Worship Wars" - that is - the battle between Traditional vs Contemporary worship - mostly revolving around song styles

    As these divisions continue to deepen and divide, my thoughts have been directed to the appropriate elements of worship in the church and how we (the church) practice worshiping the Most High God in a way that pleases Him.

    As I have pondered these things, a verse from Scripture keeps coming to the forefront of my mind:

    Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. - Colossians 3:16 (NASB)

    When Paul says we should be taught and admonished by psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, what does that mean?

    I believe it means that we, at the very least, are to look to the 150 Psalms of the Old Testament as a guide to corporate (the church gathered) worship - among other things. (note: the Psalms are referenced ~55 times in the NT)

    So, I propose that we, as the NT Church of Jesus Christ, should practice Psalmic worship.

    When you look closely, the 150 Psalms are a perfect template and guide to the form, fit and function of worship through music and also express the range of the human experience.

    What does Psalmic worship look like?

    It is important to understand that frequency of the element helps determine and guide regularity of practice.

    singing (many many times)

    Jesus sang (Passover hymn - the hallel - Psalms 113-118)

    Matthew 26:30
    After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

    Mark 14:26
    After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

    Praying and prayer (many times)
    using instruments (many times)
    new songs (6 times)
    lifting hands (5 times)
    dancing (3 times)
    clapping (2 times)

    And for the NT church - new worship elements given by Jesus in the NT (Communion - replaced Passover - and Baptism - replaced circumcision)

    As we begin to dig a little deeper into Psalmic Worship - A little about the Psalms:

    Authorship and Origin:

    The Hebrews called this collection of 150 psalms the Tehilim or 'book of praises'. It is the second of three OT books known as poetic books (i.e. Job, Psalms, and Proverbs). These books were also called the 'books of truth'. The psalms were written over an extended period of time (around 1000 B.C. until 400 B.C.) by different authors. New psalms were added over time to the basic collection. Seventy-three psalms were written by David the king. Others were contributed by various Levitical singing clans including the clans of Asaph and Korah. Forty-nine of the psalms are anonymous.

    Overview and Significant sections:

    The 150 psalms are divided into five books or collections which were added at four times after the initial worship book was compiled. This first worship book was assembled before David's death and consist of his work. These are mostly personal psalms reflecting David's own experiences. Book two (Psalms 42-72) were probably written during Solomon's time. Books III (73-89) and IV (90-106) are from the days of Exile, and the final book (107-150), which contains the most liturgical of the psalms, were probably collected around the time of Ezra after the return from exile. There are many themes which run through the Psalms, including praise, history, relationships, calling on God to overthrow the wicked and destroy enemies (imprecatory)[JDL], repentance, and messianic psalms. (http://netministries.org/Bbasics/BBpsalms.htm)

    I would like to engage you on 2 of these types - the imprecatory, or enemy destruction, and messianic Psalms, then talk more about worship.

    The Imprecatory Psalms

    Point to ponder about the
    enemy destruction Psalms:

    Scholars ...widely agree that
    enemy destruction passages are never only about enemy destruction, but are contextualized within messages of hope or promised mercy and blessing. More so than anything, ... the intent is to provoke group or national repentance from evil acts and turn the hearers toward God. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psalms)

    So - how does this relate to the NT Christian?

    Should we pray for our enemies to be destroyed?

    Unless abrogated or replaced by NT teaching - OT practice stands. The OT has Jesus concealed - the NT has Jesus revealed!

    See Matthew 5, the Sermon on the Mount, as it relates to enemy destruction Psalms.

    The "You have heard it said..." section

    43"You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.'

    44"But I say to you, love your enemies and
    pray for those who persecute you,

    So, the enemy destruction Psalms are valid as we study the OT saints and their circumstance before Christ, but the NT saint is called to a new paradigm or way of reality - perfectly modeled by Our Saviour.

    The Messianic Psalms
    It is important to understand that Jesus was intimately familiar with the practice and usage of the Psalms and that he was the culmination and the fulfillment of the messianic Psalms.


    Jesus was also aware that the Psalms taught about Him and what he would do.

    There are a number of Messianic Psalms which refer directly to the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. These do not stand alone but are accepted and mentioned as such in the New Testament. The following Psalms are referred to in various places in the New Testament:

    Psalm 2, 8, 16, 22, 34, 35, 40, 41, 45, 68, 69, 89, 102, 109, 110, 118 (and others)

    Jesus even quoted 2 on the Cross (Psalm 22 and Psalm 31:5 Into Your hand I commit my spirit;You have ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth) and another to fulfill a messianic Psalm:

    Psalm 69:21
    21They also gave me gall for my food
    And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

    So, back to the question - who wrote the Psalms? Real answer: the Holy Spirit as he fulfills his role of testifier or witness of God.

    That is - the Holy Spirit testifies to the Anointed of God - in the Greek the word anointed is christos - Jesus is the "Christos" - the anointed one prophesied of in the Psalms. That is why the Psalms are so important to Christians. We are the little anointed ones!

    Worship in Spirit and Truth

    So - with all this stuff in mind - how should we as NT Christians worship?

    John 4:23-24
    "But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

    This is the key point - worship must be done in spirit and truth - that is - led by the Holy Spirit and aligned to the Word of God (Scripture).

    Ephesians 5:18-20
    18And do not get drunk with wine (or meth or dope in general, right?), for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;

    Romans 10:17
    So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

    Colossians 3:16
    Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

    John 17:17
    " Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth."

    Remember the other name for the Psalms? "These books were also called the 'books of truth'"

    Point to ponder: The Spirit will never lead anyone to do anything not of the Word.

    This is emphasized by 1 Corinthians 14:40 - But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner.

    Bottom line, our worship should not be Traditional or Contemporary, but Psalmic, characterized by NT spirit and truth worship - worship Jesus would have done and will accept for Eternity.


    Do you want to truly and spiritually worship?

    Have you come to know the spirit and truth? Jesus said that unless a man is born of water and spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven - have you been reborn? Have you answered the call of the anointed one? Do you want to be there at the end of time singing WORTHY IS THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN?

    Don't hesitate, don't fight - if the Lord is calling you to Him now, then today is the day of your salvation - come.

    Give Us Clean hands - Psalm 24
    Shout to the Lord - Psalm 98
    #1 jdlongmire, Jun 7, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2008
  2. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Aug 23, 2002
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    So many worshipers are used to hearing just bits a pieces of a psalm, the highlights;
    they miss out hearing the whole message of the psalm.

    I've made it my practice to turn to a Psalm this is done and read the whole thing (Ps 119 excepted :thumbs: )

    Quite regularly our worship team incorporates a full Psalm into their worship songs.

    Song, --> psalm passage, --> song, --> more of the psalm, --> another song...etc...

    The Psalms were so highly regarded among the Jews that they were called the Second Law.

    Jesus' upbringing must have been saturated with the Psalms.
    Their themes are interwoven throughout his teachings and ministry.

  3. Sopranette

    Sopranette New Member

    Aug 24, 2006
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    It's hard to go wrong with setting Psalms to music. And it's a great way to memorize a Psalm, too. The ones I've heard are very basic and sweet. I can play them over and over in my head anytime, anywhere.


  4. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Aug 23, 2002
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  5. jdlongmire

    jdlongmire New Member

    Oct 25, 2001
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    wow - excellent resource - thanks!
  6. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist Well-Known Member

    Aug 7, 2007
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    We sing from the Trinity Psalter in our church.
  7. Doubting Thomas

    Doubting Thomas Active Member

    Jan 22, 2003
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    The Book of Common Prayer has daily listed Psalms to be read (or sung) as part of Morning and Evening Prayer--whether done corporately or individually--along with such other sacred canticles such as the Te Deum, the Magnificat, the Nunc Dimittis, Benedicte, etc. I purchased St.Dunstan's Plainchant Psalter which puts the Psalms and the other canticles to Anglican plain chant, but I haven't gotten around to learning how quite yet. :smilewinkgrin: