Why Should We Sing Psalms? - Cultivating Biblical Godliness Series (Beeke)

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Reformation Heritage Books
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Among evangelicals, singing psalms is largely a thing of the past. In this pamphlet, Joel R. Beeke gives nine reasons why churches ought to return to the ancient practice of psalm singing. Here you will find the biblical basis, the experiential benefits, and the sheer beauty and glory of singing psalms. Those hoping to recover biblical faith in our day will do well to take part in the Christ- exalting and soul-enriching worship found in the inspired Psalms.


The Biblical Basis for Singing the Psalms 

            - God Gave the Psalms for Israel and All Nations to Sing 

            - The Psalms Reveal Christ in His Sufferings and Glory

            - Christ and the New Testament Church Sang the Psalms

The Experiential Benefits of Singing the Psalms  

            - Singing the Psalms Causes the Word of Christ to Dwell in Us Richly

            - Singing the Psalms Helps Us to Be Filled with God’s Spirit 

            - Singing the Psalms Enables Us to Worship God in Every Experience

The Beauty and Glory of Singing the Psalms

            - The Psalms Unite Us with believers of All Times

            - The Psalms Lift Up Our Eyes to the Hope of Glory

            - The Psalms Keep God Supreme in Our Worship 



Joel R. Beeke (PhD, Westminster Seminary) is president and professor of systematic theology and homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary; a pastor of the Heritage Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan; editor of Banner of Sovereign Grace Truth; editorial director of Reformation Heritage Books; and a prolific author.



“’The Psalms are full of Christ’ is the foremost of many profound and compelling observations by Joel Beeke in his plea for the recovery of singing the Psalms of the Bible in the worship of God’s people. The tragic neglect of this, the only divinely inspired hymnbook ever published, is a reflection of the shallowness of much of what passes for praise in a culture where endless repetition of emotive mantras – ‘Jesus is the Rock and He rolls my blues away’ over and over again comes to mind. Beeke makes the case for the unique and incomparable depth and richness of the Psalms – for our singing in praise to their Author – showing how they reach into every corner of human experience, from painful to pleasurable, with the message of the Christ of the gospel and the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. This is a clarion call that recalls the church to the lost blessings of singing God’s songs to His praise and glory and our comfort and joy. Most warmly recommended.” – Gordon J. Keddie, Reformed Presbyterian pastor and author 


Cultivating Biblical Godliness Series   

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones once said, “The world today is looking for, and desperately needs, true Christians. I am never tired of saying that what the Church needs to do is not to organize evangelistic campaigns and attract outside people, but to begin herself to live the Christian life. If she did that, men and women would be crowding into our buildings. They would say, ‘What is the secret of this?’”

Many people who are new to the church need instruction in the most basic aspects of godly living. Even where churches are engaged heavily in discipleship, visitors and members often have gaps in their understanding and practice. One of the greatest needs of our time is for the Spirit of God to cultivate biblical godliness in us in order to put the glory of Christ on display through us, all to the glory of God the Father.

For these reasons, Joel Beeke and Ryan McGraw are coediting a series of booklets titled Cultivating Biblical Godliness. These booklets treat matters that are vital to Christian experience, and each contribution aims to address a wide variety of people and circumstances at a fundamental and introductory level. This includes teaching people what to believe in order to practice personal holiness as well as specific directions on how to cultivate biblical godliness in relation to issues that are common to God’s people.  

The distinctive feature of this series is its experiential tone. While some booklet series aim to enlighten the mind, these booklets aim to warm the affections as well. The goal is to promote communion with the triune God and to transform the entire person in thought, speech, and behavior. To this end, we intend to include a wide range of authors whom the Spirit has blessed to skillfully stir up the church to personal holiness and affection to Christ through their preaching and writing ministries.

We need a Christianity that puts the transformative power of God in the gospel on display through developing a communion with God that is visible to the world. Our prayer is that through this series, the Lord would revive His church by producing Christians who are full of love for Christ, who deny themselves in order to follow Him at great personal cost, and who know the joys of walking with the triune God. This is the kind of Christianity that we need. This is the kind of Christianity that the triune God has used to turn the world upside down. May He  be pleased to do so again. 



Joel R. Beeke is President and Professor of Systematic Theology and Homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, a pastor of Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and a prolific author.

Ryan M. Mcgraw is pastor of First OPC in Sunnyvale, CA. He is also author or The Day of Worship: Reassessing the Christian Life in Light of the Sabbath.