Have you ever desired to memorize an entire book of the Bible but felt that you did not have the time or capacity to do so? A great way to memorize the Word of God is by singing it.
The entire books of Ephesians and Colossians have been set to music, and these recordings are available for free download on our website. By singing along with these recordings, you will discover that the holy Word is being worked into your memory to become a source of long-term spiritual nourishment.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to God.”
It is probably true for most of us that we have memorized important information that we struggle to recall a short time later, yet we can easily remember the words from songs that we listened to years ago. There is something about putting words to music that causes the words to remain in our memory long after singing or hearing them.
When we sing the Word of God, we are enlightened, supplied, filled with joy; spontaneously we flow out our enjoyment to others and enjoy sweet fellowship with the Triune God. These surely must be some of the reasons why the apostle Paul charged the believers to sing and psalm with their hearts to the Lord (Eph. 5:19) and sing with grace in their hearts to God (Col. 3:16). He also must have encouraged such singing because he knew that the Word would lodge itself in the memory of the singers, dwelling in them richly and becoming an accumulation of truth in their being. As Paul must have experienced, to sing the Word of God brings in tremendous spiritual benefits.
When we take Paul’s admonition to sing the Word of God, our very living will be affected, as Brother Lee helped us to realize:
There is no better way to receive the Word into our being than by singing the Word. The more we sing and psalm the Word of God, the more it will sink into the depths of our being and saturate us. If we take even a little time to sing the Word, we shall sense that we are inwardly filled and saturated with it. Then spontaneously we shall live Christ. (Life-study of Philippians, p. 359)
Because he so highly valued the singing of the Word, Brother Lee encouraged the saints to put the Bible to music, in particular those books that he considered “the heart of the divine revelation”:
We need to write music that we may sing these chapters [Ephesians 1, 3, and 4] and other portions of the books which make up the heart of the divine revelation: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians…Let us learn to sing verses from these four books as well as from Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, and Hebrews. In our singing we need to be brought up to the standard of the New Testament economy. (Life-study of 1 Corinthians, p. 566)
Certain Christians, especially those in Pentecostalism, sing verses from the Bible. However, for the most part, they sing portions from the Old Testament. This is good, but it is not nearly as rich as singing from the New Testament. In particular, we should sing the four books which make up the heart of the divine revelation—Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians—to enjoy the unsearchable riches of Christ. (Life-study of Philippians, p. 366)
We recently reached out to saints who responded to Brother Lee’s burden over forty years ago to ask for their recollections of how the labor to put certain books of the Bible to music began. This is what they shared with us:
In the Ephesians life-study training, Brother Lee had a burden to bring the saints from singing about God’s mercies enduring forever, as in the Psalms, to the much higher praise of Ephesians 1:3 (see Life-study of Ephesians, message 2). A brother picked up this burden, and when a new sister came into the church, he asked her to sing this verse. She sat down with her guitar and, with simple chords, started to sing “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
This simple song was presented to the saints, who liked it and encouraged the sister to go on. A sister who had sung together with her for some time quickly learned the tunes and provided the harmony and musical advice.
That spring, when Brother Lee was speaking in Germany, he was presented with an audio cassette of the first chapters of Ephesians set to music. He looked at it and said, “Where’s the rest?”
The sisters continued singing, pray-reading the verses to catch the rhythm and sense, and fellowshipping about the presentation. It was not always easy. The project was not a series of songs but a serious, consecutive singing of the Word of God. Some meetings were filled with the saints just singing the Word the whole time. It was glorious.
In a later conference, Brother Lee said that the whole heart of the divine revelation would be available soon with music. He had a real burden for singing the Word, as is seen also in Life-study of Philippians [see, for example, messages 37, 40, 41, and 46].
When the music was recorded in Anaheim in 1981, the brothers expected the singers to have piles of musical notation to follow and were thoroughly surprised to see the sisters using old copies of the individual Epistles with only chords written in them and no musical notes.
Thank the Lord for a way to be constituted with the Word of God.
“Singing and psalming with your heart to the Lord” (Eph. 5:19).
We are grateful for the saints’ labor to put the Word of God to music, and we are delighted to offer the recordings of Ephesians and Colossians free of charge for widespread enjoyment. Let us get reconstituted with the Word of God by singing it today and for all the days of our lives.