Congregational Singing | Victor Tey


What should be the purpose of singing in the church?

Ephesians 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

  1. Praise God – “to the Lord”
    1. God likes it
    2. Hebrews 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
    3. Not just with the church but daily in our personal lives.
    4. Why do we only sing old songs? – copyright issues
  2. Edify – “teaching and admonishing”
    1. Both teaching what is right and exhorting you to do right
    2. Both teaching yourself and teaching others
      1. You should sing to be heard by others – motive to edify not glorify self (matter of the heart)
      2. Need to be understood – no opera or pop-style singing
      3. Learn the songs if you don’t know them – download them and listen to them (YouTube)
      4. Sing them to and with your children
    3. Songs with wrong doctrine should be changed or not sung.
  3. Congregational – “speaking to yourselves”
    1. Be on time when coming to the church gathering to obey this command
    2. Simpler rhythms
    3. No rap songs

Subjective factors when judging music

  1. The age of the song
  2. Types of instruments used
  3. Its effect on the emotions
  4. The depth of the lyrics
  5. The style of the music, eg. beat or genre
  6. Association – the original composer or artists that perform the song

Don’t underestimate the power of music.

  1. Throughout the bible music is used to teach doctrine.
    1. The largest book in the bible is the book of Psalms, a song book. Rich with stories, doctrine, exhortation.
  2. Don’t be naive – it will be used by Satan to influence you and your family
    1. Ezekiel 28:13 insight into Satan’s musical ability
    2. Music is like a drug, the feelings that it invokes can be addictive
    3. Get away from bad music with ungodly and worldly lyrics – what are you filling your heart and the hearts of your children with?
    4. Many famous musicians attest to being supernaturally gifted by demonic forces
    5. You wouldn’t go to the satanic church and sit your family through the sermon, yet you’ll listen to their songs?
    6. Same with movies teaching themes of fornication, pornography, sorcery, dysfunctional families, anti-biblical themes, etc.
  3. Be vigilant about the music you and your family listen to
    1. YouTube music on videos
    2. Advertising jingles on television or online
    3. Radio in the car
    4. Hangout places like cafes that play radio, the world’s songs
    5. Parties and work functions
    6. It’s like toxins in the world. You can’t avoid it but you can reduce your intake.
  4. Replacements for music
    1. Sermons, Bible, Podcasts, Hymns, Educational talks,

5 Reasons to Not Use Musical Instruments in the NT Church

  1. NT gospels and letters only have examples of Jesus and the disciples singing
    1. Examples in the gospels and epistles
      1. Matthew 26:30 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.
      2. Mark 14:26 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.
      3. Acts 16:25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
      4. 1 Corinthians 14:15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
      5. James 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
    2. We see breaking of bread, baptism, soulwinning, preaching, prayer, fasting, even singing.
    3. In churches today the music is such a huge part of the gathering. Why would it be mentioned so little and every example doesn’t even mention an instrument once if God expected it to be an orchestra?
  2. Musical instruments cannot fulfil any of the commandments about singing in the New Testament scriptures (Eph 5:19, Col 3:16).
    1. sing
    2. teach
    3. admonish
    4. speak
    5. make melody in your heart
  3. The Psalms have passages that seem to support the use of musical instruments for church singing but cannot be consistently applied to the New Testament church.
    1. eg. Psalm 33:1-3, Psalm 92:1-3, Psalm 147:7
    2. “How can you be commanded to sing the psalms about instruments without instruments?”
      1. We are not commanded to sing “the” Psalms, just to sing “in” psalms which are poetic, spiritual songs.
      2. I’m all for singing the bible for the purposes of memorization and edification.
    3. The position is usually not followed consistently (dance).
      1. Psalm 150 – sanctuary, dance?
      2. Psalm 149 – two-edged sword?
      3. Need to be understood in light of NT teaching.
  4. God never instructed musical instruments for the tabernacle. Instruments were an addition to temple worship, set in order by the will of King David.
    1. Moses was not commanded to create musical instruments as part of the tabernacle equipment.
      1. Exodus 36-39 – the building of the tabernacle by Bezaleel and Co.
    2. The temple was a desire of David’s heart
      1. 1 Chronicles 17:1-15 – David’s desire to build the temple not God’s commandment. In fact God commanded him not to build it but that God would build the house.
      2. 1 Chronicles 28:17 – David incorrectly understood God’s word
      3. 1 Kings 8:18-20 – Solomon was following the words of David
    3. Musical instruments were introduced when David had the Levites praise God with them when bringing the ark back
      1. 1 Chronicles 6:31  And these are they whom David set over the service of song in the house of the LORD, after that the ark had rest.
        1. All are levites because it was part of the levitical services.
        2. Asaph was a levite
      2. Can read more about the story – 2 Samuel 6 / 1 Chronicles 13,15
      3. 1 Chronicles 23:5  Moreover four thousand were porters; and four thousand praised the LORD with the instruments which I made, said David, to praise therewith.
      4. 2 Chronicles 7:6  And the priests waited on their offices: the Levites also with instruments of musick of the LORD, which David the king had made to praise the LORD, because his mercy endureth for ever, when David praised by their ministry; and the priests sounded trumpets before them, and all Israel stood.
      5. Nehemiah 12:36  And his brethren, Shemaiah, and Azarael, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethaneel, and Judah, Hanani, with the musical instruments of David the man of God, and Ezra the scribe before them.
      6. Amos 6:5 – …invent to themselves instruments of musick, like David;
    4. Even though God did not intend a temple, God still blessed David’s works and used it as a shadow of the heavenly temple.
      1. 1 Kings 8:11, 2 Chronicles 5:14 – glory of the Lord filled the house of God.
      2. 2 Chronicles 29:20-36 – Hezekiah repairs the temple
        1. v25 – commandment of the Lord by his prophets
        2. v35 – So the service of the house of the LORD was set in order.
      3. God did not intend a king but still uses the picture to describe the Lord.
  5. The temple was a shadow of heavenly and spiritual things and is no longer in effect
    1. Hebrews 9:1-14 – divine service, worldly sanctuary
    2. Revelation 14:2-3  And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
      1. Instruments are used for worship in the real temple of God in heaven as revealed in the book of Revelation.
      1. Revelation 8:1-6 – There’s also an altar, fire, incense, cherubims.
      2. Hebrews 8:5 – It’s the real temple that the tabernacle symbolized.
      3. 1 Corinthians 6:19 – Spiritual temple = body
      4. Spiritual Instruments = making melody in your heart

The Pros & Cons

  1. Cons
    1. If unskilled can be awkward – instruments can act as an aid but should not aim to replace voices
    2. Silence after songs or during communion – church is not meant to be a show or party
    3. The dumb cannot participate – an exception, being blind doesn’t negate having to “read” the bible.
    4. less entertaining if you come to church just to listen and not sing
  2. Pros
    1. No logistics
    2. No music practice
    3. Less space
    4. Cheaper
    5. Everyone singing – if a large group was singing, it would drown out the instruments were it not for amplification.
    6. Words emphasized over melody – since an instrument is pure melody.
    7. Easier to hear others singing – not drowned out by instruments
  3. Not sinful – musical instruments have a place in entertainment or celebrations
    1. Music played when prodigal son returned

Interesting quotes from history and religious leaders



“All our sources deal amply with vocal music of the church, but they are chary with mention of any other manifestations of musical art… The development of Western music was decisively influenced by the exclusion of musical instruments from the early Christian Church.” – Paul Henry Lang, MUSIC IN WESTERN CIVILIZATION, pp. 53,54

4. “We have no real knowledge of the exact character of the music which formed a part of the religious devotion of the first Christian congregations. It was, however, purely vocal.” – Dr. Frederick Louis Ritter, HISTORY OF MUSIC FROM THE CHRISTIAN ERA TO THE PRESENT TIME, p. 28

“Both the Jews in their temple service, and the Greeks in their idol worship, were accustomed to sing with the accompaniment of instrumental music. The converts to Christianity accordingly must have been familiar with this mode of singing…But it is generally admitted, that the primitive Christians employed no instrumental music in their worship.” — Lyman Coleman (Presbyterian), THE APOSTOLIC AND PRIMITIVE CHURCH, pp. 368-369


3. PRESBYTERIAN – “Musical instruments in celebrating the praises of God would be no more suitable than the burning of incense, the lighting up of lamps, the restoration of the other shadows of the law.  The Papists, therefore, have foolishly borrowed this, as well as many other things, from the Jews.  Men who are fond of outward pomp may delight in that noise; but the simplicity which God recommends to us by the apostle is far more pleasing to Him.” – JOHN CALVIN, Commentary on the Book of Psalms, Vol. I, p. 539

4. METHODIST – “I have no objection to instruments of music, in our chapels, provided they are neither heard nor seen.” – JOHN WESLEY (founder)

5. METHODIST – “Music as a science, I esteem and admire: but instruments of music in the house of God I abominate and abhor. This is the abuse of music; and here I register my protest against all such corruptions in the worship of the Author of Christianity.” – ADAM CLARKE (commentator)

7. BAPTIST – “I would as soon attempt to pray to God with machinery as to sing to Him with machinery.” – CHARLES H. SPURGEON

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David and Bathsheba | Victor Tey


Some practical lessons from the story of David when he sinned in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.

2 Samuel 11:1-12:15

  • 1 Kings 15:4-5
  • David puts himself in a dangerous position by being idle.
    • Everyone else was out fighting and he should have been fighting with them
    • Today it’s a spiritual fight, we ought to be working hard, involved in the spiritual fight of christianity but some people are tarrying in the flesh.
  • Application to pornography or fornication
    • When a man is not busy working he starts looking at things he ought not and keeping company with people he should not.
    • The equivalent to David’s situation is you ought to be working, studying, soulwinning, etc and you see a video or banner on the internet of pornography.
    • v3 This is why it’s so dangerous to even put yourself in the situation because even though it’s so blatantly wrong, it’s so tempting that all reason goes out the window in the moment and it’s difficult to stop yourself.
    • “Curiosity killed the cat”
    • 2 Timothy 2:22 – flee youthful lusts – you don’t face it, you run from it because it’s too dangerous
    • This is why I don’t believe in philosophies that deal with pornography by delving into it too deeply, the correct thing to do is follow after righteousness, not dwell on the sin to overcome it.
    • Books that just go into the struggles that others have and that just adds to your lustful imaginations.
    • Marriage helps, but it’s not a silver bullet to idleness. Married men still struggle with lust.
    • Not to look at the letter and to follow Joab’s commandments
    • What do you think Uriah thought when he awoke in heaven?
  • The trust that he had in David and Joab
    • The type of man that uriah was that he would not let his brothers in war down
    • Num 32:1-27
      • When you don’t go to war you discourage your brothers and sisters in christ
      • You are compare to the 10 spies that prevented Israel from entering the promised land and wander in the wilderness for 40 years
      • People may have reasons why they delay serving the Lord (eg. knowledge, business, projects, plans, study, etc) but when the time comes to fight and they don’t – be sure your sin will find you out.
    • There is no neutral ground – even fruitless trees take up resources
  • The godly character of Uriah
  • 2 Samuel 23:39 – one of David’s 37 mighty men
  • Why didn’t anyone confront David when he sent for Bathsheba?
    • Women are not immune to lust – same principles apply
  • Why did Joab go ahead with Uriah’s murder?
    • Too much at stake to do what is right?
    • Are you willing to lose all to make a stand for God?
    • Are you scared for people to find out what you believe?
  • Judges 9:50-54 – God made sure that the world knew that Abimelech was killed by a woman.
  • David had multiple wives, why was this sin so displeasing?
    • It seems that adultery with a married woman is a more serious sin that adultery with an unmarried woman.
  • If you try and cover your sin, it only makes things worse
    • Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
    • Nothing is hidden from the Lord
    • If you do something wrong and someone pulls you up on it, just accept the consequences and it will turn out better than justifying your wrong.
    • If you mess up, admitting it can lead to less problems than trying to cover it up.
  • Hebrews 12:6 – God loves and chastises his children, he will ensure you are punished
  • Applying God’s Word to ourselves
    • We don’t apply preaching to ourselves but always think of how it applies to others – when Nathan came to David he did not realise it was about him
    • Not all preaching has someone in mind
    • It’s hard as a preacher not to have people in mind, but it’s nothing personal.
    • We are harder on others than ourselves – we ought to put ourselves in their shoes and we will be merciful when we consider the consequences
    • Do unto others as you would have done unto you.
  • You can be forgiven for your sin, but that does not remove the consequences of sin.
    • Psa 51:1-13
    • We see the sincerity of David’s confession
    • Ultimately he was most grieved for sinning against God
    • Saved believers are capable of atrocious acts of sin
    • The joy of salvation is realising what you have been forgiven of and the severity of your actions that they deserved an eternity of hell.
  • When you sin you do damage to the kingdom of God – caused enemies to blaspheme
  • This is part of the spiritual fight, is your own holiness
    • Ephesians 6:14 breastplate of righteousness
    • Guards your heart from fleshly sins
  • You do damage to yourself – public shame (v12)
  • You do damage to the next generation – Psalm 73:15 – I should offend against the generation of thy children.
  • You do damage to those trying to fight the good fight of faith by giving more occasion to the enemy
    • Romans 2:21-25 – name of God blasphemed through you
    • Titus 2:1-10 – word of God be not blasphemed
    • Doctrine is important, but it’s the works that are seen by the world.

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Unity | Victor Tey


A church can achieve peace without love, but you can’t achieve unity without love.

  1. What is unity
    1. Romans 15:6 – one mind one mouth
    2. “uno” – one
    3. We are all different personalities but we can strive to be one mind
      1. Renew your mind
      2. Ephesians 4:22-24
      3. Romans 12:1-2
    4. 1 Corinthians 2:9-16 – But we have the mind of Christ
      1. through the spirit – John 16:13-15
      2. through the word – need to start with a source that is true (KJV)
    5. Psalm 133
      1. Unity is not only right, it is pleasant. Not all right things to do are pleasant but unity is.
      2. The annointing oil symbolises the Holy Spirit
      3. The dew that brings forth blessing and life
  2. We ought to strive for unity
    1. 2 Corinthians 13:11 – be of one mind
    2. Ephesians 4:1-13 – endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit
      1. Importance of church leadership’s role in the growth of believers and unity within the church
        1. Speaking the truth in love
        2. Not fearful to speak the truth
        3. Not only what you say but also how you say it.
        4. eg. churches with youth groups, children’s church on at the same time as the church preaching may not be in unity as they did not hear the same sermon.
      2. Unity leads to stability, safety, self-edifying
      3. Philippians 1:27 – unity not only in doctrine, but also work
  3. You can have peace with others without love, but you can’t achieve unity without love
    1. 1 Peter 3:8 – love as brethren
      1. Unity requires interaction with sinners
      2. Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
      3. Conflict is inevitable – need to have the spirituality to resolve conflict correctly
    2. Philippians 2 – love
      1. v3 strife and vainglory are self-centred symptoms
      2. v3 esteem others better
        1. 1 Corinthians 10:24 Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth.
      3. v5-8 Christ the ultimate example
        1. became a servant unto death
        2. Romans 12:16 – condescend to men of low estate
      4. v19 Timothy naturally cared for them
      5. Epaphroditus was sick yet he longed to encourage the philippians
      6. v30 shows Paul cared for the Philippians out of love, not out of obligation, because what they did for Paul was lacking
      7. Someone has to pick up the slack when others’ work is lacking
      8. No man likeminded – what a sad thought

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Free Children’s Bible Picture eBooks (KJV)

Free bible picture ebooks you can read with your children using only bible verses from the King James Version.

For iPhone users you just have to upload the PDFs to your iBooks app and then you can read them from all your devices. I’m sure there’s an equivalent Android program that can do the same thing.

Deuteronomy 6:7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

Click here to go to the Google drive folder where all these PDFs are stored

Credits: All bible verses are from the King James Version. Images courtesy of