Generally, when we talk about new songs, we either mean an unknown song (could have been released yesterday or even a hymn written centuries ago) or a known song reworked musically in a fresh arrangement—sometimes with a new chorus/refrain/bridge added also.
In this article, let’s look at something deeper than that.
In John’s visions recorded in the book of revelation, we learn two profound aspects of the “new song” that we will be singing in Heaven:
1. The first is about song content: It’s all about Jesus and what He has done (Rev 5:9)
“And they sang a new song, saying: You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.”
2. The second is about who can sing the new song: the redeemed (Rev 14:3)
“And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.”
If worship on earth is to mirror that in Heaven, we need worship leaders and songwriters who focus on these two scripture verses.
1. The song
Christifying our worship and songwriting is a continual and everlasting worship goal.
The more our songs are centered on Christ and His works, the richer will be our worship. This consequently means lesser songs about us, what we feel, what want to do etc.
More of Jesus and less of us—that’s the basis of Christified worship and songwriting.
Clement of Alexandria, a theologian of the early church (150 to 215 AD) was probably the first Christian to preach this awesome truth—that Jesus is our New Song!
Here’s an excerpt from his exhortation:
“Behold the might of the new song! It has made men out of stones, men out of beasts. Those, moreover, that were as dead, not being partakers of the true life, have come to life again, simply by becoming listeners to this song. It also composed the universe into melodious order, and tuned the discord of the elements to harmonious arrangement, so that the whole world might become harmony…
What, then, does this instrument—the Word of God, the Lord, the New Song desire?
To open the eyes of the blind, and unstop the ears of the deaf, and to lead the lame or the erring to righteousness, to exhibit God to the foolish, to put a stop to corruption, to conquer death, to reconcile disobedient children to their father. The instrument of God loves mankind. The Lord pities, instructs, exhorts, admonishes, saves, shields, and of His bounty promises us the kingdom of heaven…”
If our worship and songwriting embrace this truth, imagine the quality of our worship!
2. The singer
Broadly speaking, there are only two kinds of worshipers.
- Those who’ve understood the utter hopelessness and gravity of our sin and therefore, the extravagant generosity of the salvific work of Christ for us.
- Those who’ve not really experienced this or they’ve experienced it and let it pass them by over the years.
And most of the time, you can tell by how they sing during worship.
But I bet you’ve already noticed this in your church, right?
It’s the responsibility of worship leaders to also form the people they lead into worship. This means to teach, cultivate and facilitate worship that enables people to meet with God authentically.
The songs that we use and/or write are powerful tools here—let’s choose words prudently to tell and retell that timeless story of the divine, selfless, forgiving and sacrificial love of God.
The church does not need cool; rather, the church is better served by Christ-centered songs that enable us to remember His works, repent of our sin, experience His presence and respond in praise and worship.
When we are diligent in song selection and writing, the Holy Spirit will give us the right words to choose or craft good new songs—the kind that will transform old sinners into redeemed singers.
So come, let us sing a new song to The New Song.