The following is a brief excerpt from my book, Practicing the Power: Welcoming the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Your Life (Zondervan). Its focus is Paul’s instruction in Ephesians 5:18-21, where he writes: Continue reading . . .
The following is a brief excerpt from my book, Practicing the Power: Welcoming the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Your Life (Zondervan). Its focus is Paul’s instruction in Ephesians 5:18-21, where he writes:
“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Eph. 5:18-21).
A close look at this passage indicates that Paul envisions believers communicating truth and knowledge and instruction by means of psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. But what’s the difference, if any, between these expressions of worship? Some insist there is no difference between these items. But if he meant only one thing, what is the point of employing three different words? More likely Paul had a distinction in mind that’s important for us to note.
“Psalms” most likely refers to those inspired compositions in the OT book of that name. Luke uses the word in this way in his writings (Luke 20:42; 24:44; Acts 1:20; 13:33) and Paul encouraged Christians to come to corporate worship with a “psalm” to offer (1 Cor. 14:26). The word literally meant “to pluck” or “to strike or twitch the fingers on a string” and thus could possibly refer to singing with instrumental ac