In Luke 1:26-38, the birth of Jesus Christ is foretold. And in response to the angel's announcement, Mary sings a beautiful song (Luke 1:46-55). Mary's song contains an important message; it teaches us who God is and what God does:
1. God is Savior (v. 47).
2. God is always mindful of us (v. 48).
3. God is the Mighty One (v. 49).
4. God does great things for us (v. 49).
5. God performs mighty deeds (v. 51).
6. God lifts up the humble and opposes the proud (vv. 51, 52; cf. Ps. 147:6, James 4:10, 1 Pet. 5:6).
7. God enthrones and dethrones (v. 52; cf. Ps. 75:6-7).
8. God gives us good things (v. 53).
9. God helps us (v. 54).
10. God is merciful (v. 54).
11. God is faithful (vv. 54-55).
We see from the lyrics of Mary's song that the major feature of a gospel song is that it should teach us something about who God is and what He does, or teach us about God's word.
Unfortunately, as one writer observes, some Christian or gospel songs are far from this requirement:
"There was a time when the lyrics of gospel music could soothe the most bruised head, touch the most sinful hearts, and change the dirtiest soul. However, now it seems even gospel musicians are following a similar route to the other genres in the ... music industry."
Christians are marked by the word of God, and any song that is contrary to God's word or doesn't teach the word of God should not be called gospel or Christian.
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