5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Scripture contains many songs of praise to God. This particular passage comes from Paul. He branched off from his common letter style and wrote in song form of the humility and centrality of Christ.
He did this again in Colossians 1:15-20. There he proclaimed:
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.
17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.
19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him,
20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.
Paul exhibited in these two passages that a right understanding of the truth about Christ naturally leads to worship. We can turn to these passages as reminders of the truth of the gospel, when we are seeking to stir our affections for Jesus. These two passages held together, remind us of the humility of Christ in coming to earth and the magnificence of this reality. Though Christ is worthy of all honor and praise, He came humbly so that His people could be restored to the Father. These truths led Paul into song.
Songs that are found in Scripture (such as the Psalms) and modern songs that proclaim the truth about God are great ways to stir one’s affections for Jesus. If you find yourself in a moment where you can’t seem to remember the truth about God, turning to passages like this in Scripture or listening to songs that tell the truth of Scripture is a good way to be reminded. Singing together as God’s people is also a great way to actively remind others of the truth about God.
• How can you use songs in the Scriptures or modern worship music to stir your affections for Christ?
• How is singing connected to joy? How does singing to God express understanding of the good news of the gospel?
• Thank God for the gift of song as an expression of praise to Him. Ask Him to stir your affections and lead you to sing in praise to Him.