The Theological Basis of Music

By | June 11, 2022

Below is a brief statement providing the theological basis for music. I have begun to place it in concert programs and read it before concerts, even children’s recitals. It is never too early to educate children about God’s gift of music. It gives them a purpose and a reason for practicing and learning their instrument. Music ministries in Christian churches may also find it useful. The statement may be used as a rationale for establishing music schools, expanding music programs, or making large musical expenditures such as the purchase of musical instruments.

If you would like to use it, please write to [email protected] for permission. We would love to hear from and learn about your situation and your music programs.

The Theological Basis of Music

Music is a special gift of God. Scripture tells us that immediately after God created the world, His angels were so filled with wonder at the beauty and majesty of God’s creation that “the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy.” (Job 38:7) In other words, the angels formed the first choir and sang the first song of praise and thanksgiving to God. The angels have been singing ever since (Isaiah 6:1-3; Revelation 4:8).

Throughout Scripture, God and His children use music to celebrate His wonderful works and proclaim His great redeeming love. In the last book of the Bible, Jesus reveals to the Apostle John that at the end of time the Heavenly Choir of Saints and angels will sing eternally. They will sing the “new song,” that is songs that proclaim God’s greatest act of love, the redemption of mankind through the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ. The Heavenly Choir will include all believers who have died believing in our Lord Jesus Christ, for they are counted among the Saints (Revelation 7:9-17). For all eternity the Whole Company of Heaven will sing songs such as this one regarding Jesus Christ: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” (Revelation 5:12) As such, music is central to the Divine Service and can be of great benefit to a Christian’s personal and home devotional life. When we sing the songs God gave to us in the Bible, the songs He gave to the faithful Christians past and present, and the songs of the Saints and angels, God is able to write His Word upon our hearts and minds (Jeremiah 31:33) and we are able to meditate upon it “day and night” (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1; Colossians 3:16).

It is important to remember that music is a part of God’s creation and was made by Him to delight His creatures and bring them joy and happiness. Beautiful music therefore not only stands as a witness to the magnificence of God’s creative powers. Music also exists simply for our enjoyment. Martin Luther (1483-1546) spoke often of this and notes how joyful music drives Satan away.

May your life be filled with the joy and wonder of God’s gift of music and with His mercy and grace.

© 2022 Martin P. Dicke. All rights reserved.

Please write to [email protected] for permission to use.

You may also consider using this wonderful quote from Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). He wrote it in his Bible next to 2 Chronicles 5:11-14.

“Where there is devotional music, God is always present with His mercy and grace.”

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)1

May your life be filled with the joy and wonder of God’s gift of music and may you give that joy to many.

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  1. Bach wrote this comment into his Bible next to 2 Chronicles 5:11-14. The story tells of the dedication of Solomon’s Temple and how, as the musicians sang their songs of “praise and thanksgiving to the Lord,” the glory of God filled the Temple. Through a very fascinating series of events, Bach’s Bible is now in the library of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri (see