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Question #177

In response to not using musical instruments in worship, what about these verses?

In response to not using musical instruments in worship, I would like to remind you about these scriptures: 2 Samuel 6:5, 1 Chronicles 13:8, 15:16, 15:28, Psalms 33:2, 81:2 and 150:3 for examples. After all, all scripture is God breathed and that is what we make our decisions by.

The Answer:

As with several of the questions received, this submission is not a question but a “reminder” that the Old Testament refers to instruments. not only does not need to be reminded that such passages exist, it has admitted that they do and discussed their (mis)application to the church today. See, Class: Questions, Lesson 8 on this website. While the “reminder” would do well to read the entire lesson, as well as the answers to Questions 7, 35, 55, 98, and 140. The answer to Question 131 relating to the use of the Old Testament and its application in the Christian dispensation is also relevant.

The relevant portion of Lesson 8 from Class:Questions is reproduced here. Musical Instruments were used in the Old Testament.

  1. This attempted justification for instruments of music in the worship of the church is just the opposite of the justification based on Heaven -- one looks forward and the other looks backward. "Cafeteria" Old Testament selection (picking only that which appeals to you) is no justification at all. On what basis is the use of instruments pulled forward while animal sacrifice, burning of incense, and going to Jerusalem are left behind?

  2. Additionally, the Prophet Amos tells what God thought of such even in the Old Testament. Amos pronounces woe upon those who are at ease in Zion, and in the list of those guilty he includes those “That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of music, like David.” Amos 6:5. As in divorce, God suffered some things among those who did not have the Light of Christ.

  3. The issue is not what was done in the Old Testament or what will be done in heaven. The issue is what may be done now in the worship assembly of the church of Christ on earth. The answer to that question leaves mechanical instruments outside the door. Adam Clark, well-known Methodist commentator, summed it up will in his comments on Amos 6:5 ( Commentary, Vol. IV, p. 686), “I am an old man, and an old minister; and I here declare that I never knew them [mechanical instruments] productive of any good in the worship of God; and have had reason to believe that they were productive of much evil. Music, as a science, I esteem and admire: but instruments of music in the house of God I abominate and abhor.”

Those who send in questions seeking to dispute that which is taught at should at least address the arguments made instead of simply making unsupported statements. Such statements are either an admission that they have no answer or that they will choose their own way without being able to justify it from the Scripture. Either alternative is a sad condition for anyone who declares a love for God and Christ. “If ye love me keep MY commandments,” Christ said. John 14:15.

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)