Spiritual Songs


O sing to the Lord a new song , for he has done wonderful things (Ps. 98:1a, emphasis added).

There is nothing wrong with singing an old song, unless it becomes a ritual. Then we need a new song that comes from our hearts. In the New Testament, we learn that the Holy Spirit will help us compose new songs:

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God (Col. 3:16).

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father (Eph. 5:18-20).

Paul wrote that we should be singing to one another with “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs,” so there must be a difference between all three. A study of the original Greek words offers little help, but perhaps “psalms” meant an actual singing of psalms from the Bible accompanied by musical instruments. “Hymns,” on the other hand, may have been general songs of thanksgiving composed by various believers in the churches. “Spiritual songs” were probably spontaneous songs given by the Holy Spirit and similar to the simple gift of prophecy, except that the utterances would be sung.

Praise and worship should be a part of our everyday lives—not just something we do when the church gathers. Throughout every day we can minister to the Lord and experience close fellowship with Him.