Article - Music in New Testament Church Worship

The New Testament scriptures teach that we must do only what God has authorized us to do without adding to or subtracting from His word (Revelation 22:18-19; Galatians 1:6-10; 1 Corinthians 4:6). We must test the things we do and prove scriptural authority for them (1 Thessalonians 5:21; Romans 12:2; Ephesians 5:10). The reason why we do not offer incense or animal sacrifices to God today is because we are not under the Old Law. The New Testament is our authority in religious matters (Hebrews 8-10; Colossians 2:14; Galatians 3:19-25; Colossians 3:17; Matthew 28:18; John 12:48). In New Testament church worship, songs to God are always vocal (that is, voices only, Colossians 3:16; Ephesians 5:19; 1 Corinthians 14:15); and reciprocal (to “one to another” - Colossians 3:16; Ephesians 5:19). No authority is given in the New Testament that allows one to use a mechanical instrument or to simply listen to a worship song without singing. It is also interesting to note that the following early Christians understood its sinfulness and opposed it (Clement of Alexandria, A.D. 185; Augustine, A.D. 354; Chrysostom, A.D. 381). The Bible and secular history show that the church was not and is not authorized to use mechanical instruments. If we were playing a game of “Simon says” and Simon said to sing, we would understand that meant to sing - not to sing AND PLAY. God told us exactly what He wanted when it comes to singing. He even specifies the manner in which we are to sing: to one another! If we understand Simon, certainly we can understand God. 2 John 1:9 says that we can not transgress the teachings of Christ. Christ taught in John 4:24 that we must worship God in spirit and in truth. Are we following Christ’s teaching by singing to one another as we sing to the Lord?


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