As disciples of Christ sing and make melody in their hearts to their Lord, worship, which is focused upon and directed to the Lord, serves also to edify the assembly of disciples in Christ. The spiritual communication that transpires in the sacrifice of praise of the One who called us out of darkness into light exhorts and encourages the worshippers. The divine instruction to the churches to sing in their hearts to the Lord includes “speaking to one another” (Ephesians 5:19) and “teaching and admonishing one another” (Colossians 3:16). God is to be reverenced, honored and exalted, but proper spiritual exaltations also steer the worshipper’s heart and mind to be set on things above.
Christians are reminded that when they come together as a church all activities are to “be done for edification” (1 Corinthians 14:26). Edification literally denotes “the act of building,” which in the New Testament refers to “the promotion of spiritual growth.” Nourishment is a necessity to healthy growth. The spiritual food that truly edifies is the inspired word of God. “I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up” (Acts 20:32). “Desire the pure milk of the word that you may grow” (1 Peter 2:2). Speak the truth in love that you “may grow up in all things” in Christ (Ephesians 4:15). When members of the body of Christ are effectively doing their share to cause growth, the body edifies itself in love (4:16).
Spiritual edification is done when Christians admonish one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Admonition is “a putting in mind” through instruction and warning. The singing of psalms and hymns uniquely achieves this divinely prescribed purpose. Mechanical instruments of music do not speak, teach nor admonish. Therefore, Christians are commanded to sing. By singing spiritual songs, they are speaking and teaching one another. But every member must supply and do his part by singing himself. True worship is not a spectator’s event. In reverence to God and with love for brethren, Christians lift up their voices together to admonish one another while praising the Almighty.