We need to understand the meaning of the word ‘Gospel.’ Gospel is referred to as the good news, and in a deeper understanding; the revelation of Christ. The word ‘Gospel’ is derived from the Greek Word ‘Euangelion’ which means to bring good news. Concerning our faith, it is, therefore, the good news of Jesus’ victory over sin and death which is the message of Salvation and God’s love for all humanity. Music., on the other hand, is defined as vocal or instrumental sounds combined or used independently to produce harmony through the expression of emotion.
Combining the two terms forms ‘Gospel Music’, which is the production of vocal and instrumental sounds to produce music that spreads the message of God’s love for mankind and his plan for our salvation which leads to our devotion and praise towards him. I have been meditating on what the real purpose of Gospel music is. I stand to be corrected on this but I have noted that every portion that mentions music, more specifically refers to singing praises to God. In fact, the book of Psalm is rich in songs about singing praises to God with the lyre, harps, trumpets and their like.
Gospel or Christian music has some characteristics which remain constant and cut across any language, age or nationality. I mean, we serve the same God, and thus the standard of the music should continue to be the same. The first and most important aspect of Gospel music is the fact that the music should honour and glorify God above every other standard. All music should point or acknowledge that God reigns supreme and that everything begins and ends with Him. He is the Alpha and Omega, and this should be evident in any music meant to be Gospel music. It does not necessarily have to mention the name ‘God’, for we know that the Book of Esther in the Bible does not mention it either, yet we see how God is moving throughout. That’s how Gospel music should be, glorifying God!
We also need to understand that Gospel music should be spirit-filled. The Holy Spirit is a person, and he desires to minister to us through every capacity, and not just through music (topic for another day). I once heard someone say that the Spirit can move in any Gospel music, but that is not true. I pray that we understand that the Holy Spirit is neither a force nor power, he is a person. The Holy Spirit is gentle; he will not go anywhere he is not invited. He wants to speak to us through various ways and music is one of the avenues in which he does that. I could go on and on about the ministry of the Holy Spirit, but I shall wait to write about it when the time is right from my own experiences. Friends, there’s no shortcut! Gospel music should have the evidence of God’s presence. It’s either God’s presence or God’s presence.
Music is described as music for the soul. I believe that Gospel music is spirit food. Okay, maybe not entirely. If the Bible is the main course, then Gospel music is the dessert. Christian music is meant to edify and cause growth and spiritual nourishment in an individual. Christian music should give life, provide light and have meaning as we live in the world. People should be physically and emotionally healed just by listening to Gospel music. Lives should be transformed; people set free from addictions, prophecies spoken with such clarity which is the evidence of God’s manifest presence.
Most importantly, Gospel music should draw us closer to God. It should instill and establish a longing of our spirits for God’s love and presence and make us actively seek Him. It should serve as evidence to God’s word and, therefore, get you a step closer to knowing God in a deep and personal way.
I have attended praise and worship sessions where I have felt and experienced God’s presence in a very intimate way. In fact, I recently participated in a worship session where the sounds of people praying and worshipping faded in the background. The synchronized rhythm and melody of the drum and guitar became amplified. At that point, the Holy Spirit was reminding me that he was pleased with that worship, the kind that is pure and fully done in the spirit. I have also attended worship sessions that were very fleshy. Praise and worship that is dominated by human emotions, showing off and no room for the Holy Spirit to move. We need to be open to the Holy Spirit as we listen to, sing, compose and even dance to true Gospel music. Allow me to repeat; HE ONLY MOVES WHERE HE IS INVITED.
God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.
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