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  • Writer's pictureLa Vernia Church of Christ

God Supplies the Instrument

Most of us have never been beaten and forced to spend the night in prison with our feet fastened in stocks. If such things ever happen to you and you’re truly innocent of a crime, what do you suppose your attitude will be at midnight? When we read the book of Acts we find in Chap.16 that Paul and Silas were in this very predicament. What did they do? Did they feel sorry for themselves and blame God for the situation they were in? At midnight we find them praying and singing hymns to God. Singing is a way in which we can worship God anytime and anywhere, Jas 5:13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. He has created us with the ability to lift up our voice in worship at any time and with no need of a man made instrument. Not only has He created us with this ability but He desires for us to use it to worship and glorify Him. Eph 5:19 teaches us to sing to the Lord. Ephesians 5:18-19 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, (19) speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,. Under the New Testament, which is the New Covenant God has made with us today (Heb 8:6-8), we never find a command to play musical instruments. We never find an example of Christ or any of His followers playing musical instruments. In a Roman culture where musical instruments would have been available, we still only find Jesus singing with His followers, Matthew 26:30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Everyone that stood before Jesus on that occasion had a God-given instrument with them. The instrument was the human voice attached to the human heart. That is why we find the commandment in the New Testament to sing from the heart. Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2Ti 3:16) Paul gave this commandment to all who follow Christ. All followers of Christ should be using the instrument that God has blessed them with. Christians should be plucking the human heartstrings as we make a beautiful melody with our God-given voice to the Creator. 1Co 14:15 What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. God through His inspired word, the Bible, has made it very clear that we are under the New Covenant today. I want to follow that covenant and not add to or take away from it. If I add something to the worship service that I do not find taught in the New Testament, then I am guilty of adding to the words of Christ. John 12:48-50 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him--the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. (49) For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. (50) And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak." I know that it is very important to follow the inspired words found in all of the New Testament (1Pe 4:11, Col 3:17, 2Co 5:9,10). I could never, with a good conscience, use instruments of music in worship service to God. If we all follow the New Testament, we will all be doing the same thing in our worship to God, (1Cor 1:10). It is a serious matter to add to or take away from what God has spoken. It is so serious that He ended the entire Bible with these words, Revelation 22:18-21 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; (19) and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (20) He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming quickly." Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! (21) The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. Someone may say “I think I can use instrumental music in worship and still be pleasing to God” even though they do not find a passage that authorizes this practice in the New Testament. I say, “I know from scripture that I can use only the instrument that God has given me, which is the human voice attached to a Christian heart, in my worship to God and be pleasing to Him.” I have no doubt about that and I can prove that from the written word of God. 1 Corinthians 4:6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other. Thank you God for giving us the instrument of voice and the ability to lift it up and glorify Your Holy Name. Hebrews 2:12 saying: "I WILL DECLARE YOUR NAME TO MY BRETHREN; IN THE MIDST OF THE ASSEMBLY I WILL SING PRAISE TO YOU."

Written by Wayne Robbins

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