On several occasions I have seen advertisements for Christian concerts or worship recordings that made statements like:
“This worship music will send you into the presence of God,” or
“Buy this [insert name of Christian Artist] worship CD – it will connect you to God.”
Can music connect a Christian to God? The answer to that is no. Music is not a mediator between God and His people. There is only one mediator that can ever ‘connect’ us to God or ‘send us into the presence of God.” His name is Jesus Christ. I am reminded of a few Bible verses that make this truth very clear:
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1)
“And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” (Romans 5:11)
“For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.” (I Timothy 2:5)
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore, let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-16)
“How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant…” (Hebrews 9:14-15)
“For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.” (Hebrews 9:24)
It is clear from these Scripture passages (and many more that could be listed), that Jesus Christ is the one and only mediator for us before God, the Father. We have no approach to the throne of God above except through our Great High Priest, Jesus Christ. Why have we allowed people to get the idea that certain kinds of music can send us into God’s presence? If we know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we are already in God’s presence because of Christ’s redemptive work on the cross on our behalf.
Perhaps what we mean to say is that certain worship songs remind us of our position in Christ; therefore, we rejoice as we remember what Christ has done for us …or… Some songs cause us to become emotional when we are reminded that we draw near to the Father because of the work of His Son.
Worship leaders should strive to help those in their congregations understand that when we feel emotional with certain worship songs it should be because we are responding to the objective truth of the Gospel. If we think that it is the music that causes us to ‘feel close to God,’ then we as worship leaders are allowing our people to revel in subjective emotionalism without helping them to understand why they get those feelings.
Music is not the mediator for us before the throne of God. We do not need certain songs to magically usher us into God’s presence. Jesus has already done that for us. Music in worship is a sacrifice of praise to God and a great tool for teaching us Bible truths. Let us help our congregations not to seek a subjective emotional high through music, but seek to joyfully sing because of what Christ has done for us. Through Him let us draw near to God with a sincere heart. (Hebrews 10: 19-25)