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I Will Sing With Understanding

1 Corinthians 14:15

Praise and worship music has become very popular in the church world at large. Recently I heard this song sung at a Protestant Reformed gathering.

It’s About The Cross
It’s not just about the manger
Where the baby lay
It’s not all about the angels
Who sang for Him that day
It’s not just about the shepherds
Or the bright and shining star
It’s not all about the wise men
Who travelled from afar

It’s about the cross
It’s about my sin
It’s about how Jesus
Came to be born once
So that we could be born again
It’s about the stone
That was rolled away
So that you and I could
Have real life someday
It’s about the cross
It’s about the cross

It’s not all about the good things
In this life I’ve done
It’s not all about the treasures
Or the trophies that I’ve won

It’s not about the righteousness
That I find within
It’s about His precious blood
That saves me from my sin

The beginning of the story
Is wonderful and great
But it’s the ending that can save you
And that’s why we celebrate
It’s about the cross
It’s about my sin,
It’s about how
Jesus came to be born once
So that we could be born again
It’s about God’s love
Nailed to a tree
It’s about every
Drop of blood that flowed from
Him when it should have been me
It’s about the stone
That was rolled away
So that you and I could have real life someday
So that you and I could have real life someday
It’s about the cross
It’s about the cross.
The Object of Worship
The object of Reformed worship must be God, and God alone. “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Matt. 4:10). The focal point of our worship may not be the manger or the cross, but God alone.
The Purpose of Our Worship
The purpose of worship is to glorify God. “He is thy Lord; and worship thou him” (Ps. 45:11). This truth stands in direct opposition to the praise and worship movement. The humanistic philosophy of the praise and worship movement is that worship is about man. The goal of worship is not the glory of God, but what man and his senses can get out of worship. This whole song focuses on man and his experience. I ask you to compare this praise and worship song to Psalm 22 to emphasize this point. The focal point of Psalm 22 is not man, or even the cross, but Christ.
The Manner of Our Worship
We must not attempt to dethrone God in worship and bring him down to the level of our senses that we can touch, taste, and handle, as it were. This is will worship, and God abhors will worship. Worship is not “celebrating,” but kneeling and lying prostrate before the God of heaven and earth. “And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them (Nadab and Abihu)…the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified” (Lev. 10:2–3).
Worshiping God In Spirit and Truth (John 4:24)
Relativism
We as Reformed Christians are not ruled by relativism, the spirit of the age, but by the truth of the word of God. Praise and worship songs reflect the ambiguity and relativism of the age. This ambiguity and relativism are shown in words and phrases such as “real life.” What does “real life” mean? Does it mean anything at all? Can anyone interpret it as he or she would like? In contrast, the Bible talks concretely of eternal life as life with God. In sharp contrast to the ambiguity and relativism of the age, we must worship in truth. This includes singing.
Error
The lyrics of this song are not only ambiguous and relative, but promote the lie. To illustrate this, let me quote a few phrases:
“It’s not all about the good things in this life I’ve done.” This song is about the cross; this song is about our salvation. The implication of this statement is that even though our salvation is not all about the good works we have done, our good works do play some part in our salvation. This song teaches the false doctrine of works righteousness. The Bible is clear: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8–9).
“The beginning of the story is wonderful and great, but it’s the ending that can save you.” So that you and I could have real life someday.” This song is about the cross; this song is about our salvation. This song makes Jesus a powerless Savior who “can” or “could” save you. In the end, there is some condition that has not been met at the cross. The bottom line is this: salvation depends on man, either through the work of accepting Christ or performing good works. This song is about a cross that does not atone for sin. Then we are of all men most miserable (1 Cor. 15:19). In contrast, scripture clearly states that Christ fully atoned for our sins on the cross (Heb. 9:28) and that we have a powerful Savior who saves us to the uttermost (Heb. 7:25.) This is the comfort of the child of God.
Truth
The content of what we sing is so important because we worship God. The content of what we sing is also very important because it is a powerful means to teach one another (Col. 3:16). This is one of the main reasons for singing scripture, especially the psalms. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness…” (2 Tim. 3:16). We pray for the grace to sing with understanding.