Does Romans 4:15 Authorize The Use of Mechanical Instruments of Music And Any Day For The Lord's Supper?
Some brethren within the Lord's church have been taking Romans 4:15 out of its proper context and misapplying it to justify the unauthorized use of mechanical instruments of music in the worship and the partaking of the Lord's Supper on any day of the week.
First, let us consider the context of Romans 4:15. Paul is explaining in chapter four that Abraham was an example of faith and obedience prior to the circumcision requirement. The Jews would have recognized that he was not under the Law of Moses (which appeared about 500 years later after he lived). They would have also recognized that we ought to follow in Abraham's steps knowing that since we have all sinned (Romans 3:23), we cannot keep law perfectly (whether it be the Law of Moses for the Jews who thought they were still bound by it in the historical context of Romans or the Law of Christ for today), then we must look to Jesus as the Savior who can save us from our sins if we put our faith in Him and obey His will.
Paul then explains that the law brings about wrath. The Law of Moses was only able to condemn and point out sin. It could not justify an individual. God's wrath was revealed from heaven against those who broke His law. Paul wants us to see that the only satisfying solution is that we cannot be saved by keeping a law system perfectly, but we are saved by the grace of God through obedient faith.
Paul states that if there was no law, then there would be no transgression. Paul was explaining that if there had not been a Law of Moses, then there would not have been a law to break, and therefore there would be no transgression. Do you gather from this context, then, that the New Testament church is authorized to use the instrument in worship or partake of the Lord's Supper on Saturday? NO!
Second, our brethren's argumentation has a dangerously false implication. If it is the case that Romans 4:15 authorizes anything not specified, then gambling; social use of marijuana, tobacco or alcohol; using water as an element of the Lord's Supper; dancing in worship; immodesty; etc. would all be authorized (unending). Beware! This is the path down which our brethren are trying to take us (Romans 12:1-2; Matthew 7:13-14). Such is not abiding in the doctrine of Christ (2 John 1:9).
Third, the inspired apostle Paul specifies "singing" as the type of music authorized in New Testament church worship (1 Corinthians 14:15; Colossians 3:16). In Ephesians 5:18-21, we are told to be filled with the Spirit, which is in the imperative mood. The force of this command is applied to the following acts: (1) speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, (2) singing, (3) making melody in your heart to the Lord, (4) giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and (5) submitting to one another in the fear of Christ. Since the Lord specifically authorized vocal singing, then that would be the law, and to break the law, would therefore be transgression.
Even under the Old Testament system, when God specified an act (to Moses He said, "speak to the rock", Exodus 20:8) authorization and the law of exclusion was put in place to the point that His people were held accountable if they added to or subtracted from the specified act (Moses "struck the rock twice", Exodus 20:11). Consequence: Moses would not be able to enter Canaan (Numbers 20:12).
Let us love God and His law with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength by doing things His way (Hebrews 8:7-12; Matthew 22:38-40)!
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