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Unity Through Song

Game 3 of the 2018 World Series set a record of the longest game in series history at 18 innings. The only people who were on the field working for the entire game were the umpires. The home plate umpire squatted and made a judgment call on 561 pitches over seven and a half hours!

The apostle Paul urged the church at Colossae to allow the peace of Christ to “rule” in their hearts (v. 15). In any church, it can be easy for strife, tension, and division to rule. At times, it may seem that we need an official umpire to settle disagreements! Paul points us to a different way. He calls us to live in the peace that Christ achieved. Just as Jesus’ death and resurrection allowed us to have peace with God, we should also allow that kind of peace to rule among us.

The peace of Christ is a result of the “message of Christ” (v. 16). Paul paints a beautiful picture of what it looks like when the message of Christ, that is the gospel, takes up residence in us. The church should be a place where the gospel is right at home. One of the ways this happens is through music. Paul directs the church to “teach and admonish one another . . . through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit” (v. 16).

Reformation leader Martin Luther said, “After theology I give to music the highest place and the greatest honor.” As the author of many hymns, he understood the power of music to teach truth about God. This is why Paul encouraged a church striving for unity, peace, and right doctrine to carefully attend to what they were singing. What we sing often becomes what we believe. Paul instructs us that whatever we do, we should “do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (v. 17).

Apply the Word

How have songs or hymns influenced the way you think about or relate to God? In today’s passage, Paul shows us how powerful music can be to teach us truth about God. Musician Michael Card has recorded more than 37 albums, all with one goal, to teach the Bible. Take time to listen to God-inspired music today and be refreshed.

BY Ryan Cook

Dr. Ryan Cook has taught at Moody Bible Institute since 2012. He earned his bachelor of arts in Bible and Theology from Moody and his master of arts in Old Testament from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He has worked in Christian education and served as a pastor in Michigan for seven years. During his time as a professor at Moody, he earned his doctorate from Asbury Theological Seminary. He now lives with his wife, Ashley, and their three children in the Chicagoland area.

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