Devotions Praise and Worship Team Discussions

What are psalms, hymns and spiritual songs?

October 1, 2020

“Let the word of Christ live in your richly, flooding you with all wisdom. Apply the Scriptures as you teach and instruct one another with the Psalms, and with festive praises, and with prophetic songs given to you spontaneously by the Spirit, so sing to God with all your hearts!”  Colossians 3:16 Passion Translation

This scripture indicates that in order to sing a song from your heart, it must first be alive to your spirit. Merely singing songs without revealed truth would not be festive praise, but merely a dirge. We must think about what we are singing! There are 3 types of songs described in this scripture which we will examine today.

Psalms are accompanied by instruments.

The Greek word for psalm in this scripture indicates words with an accompaniment of harp or voice or instrument. A psalm is more than a poem which would be read. Psalms are accompanied by music. The Biblical book of psalms were frequently sung. These can be congregational songs or choral specials accompanied by instruments.

Hymns are declaring the attributes of God

Our current usage of the word “hymn” may differ from what this scripture describes. It is an ode so might be read and not sung. However, I think many of our hymns would fall in this category of declaring truth. Songs like “How Great Thou Art”, “There is a Fountain”, “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” teach and declare truth.

Spiritual songs come from truth that becomes revealed to us and fresh

When you become aware of the truth of salvation through the blood of Jesus, then the truth in the song “O the Blood of Jesus” is alive to you. When you have the assurance of that salvation, then singing “Blessed Assurance” means something to you. These songs reveal some portion of truth. These songs have a personal and important place in our worship services. “Impossible Things” declares the reality that nothing is too hard for God. For a worship leader, using a song that has a theme that declares the truth of the sermon topic for the day is a great way to help the congregation take home the truth and sing it all week long.

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