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Lesson 23

God's Authorized Music In Worship


1. Jesus spoke to the apostles with all authority, saying, "... teaching them to observe ______ ________ whatsoever I have commanded you..." (Mat. 28:20). Since the apostles never did mention instrumental music in worship, we must not use it in worship.

2. Though the Old Testament mentions instrumental music in worship, we cannot use the Old Testament to approve instrumental music in New Testament worship. The Old Law ended at the cross (Col. 2:14). Christians today are under the law of Christ (1 Cor. 9:21). "Wherefore the ______ was our schoolmaster to bring us unto _________, that we might be justified by faith. But _______ that faith is come, we are ____ __________ under a schoolmaster (the law of Moses)" (Gal. 3:24-25).

3. We must not add to nor subtract from God's word. Since God does not authorize instrumental music, but specifies vocal music (Eph. 5:19), we must sing only with our lips and heart unto God in worship. "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall _____ unto these things, God shall _____ unto him the ________ that are written in this book ..." (Rev.22:18-19).

4. Elisha commanded Naaman to dip himself in Jordan seven times so that his leprosy might be cleansed (2 King 5:10). "Then he (Naaman) went down, and dipped himself _________ times in _________ ___________, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was _________" (2 King 5:14). When Elisha specified the Jordan River, it excluded all other rivers. Naaman could not receive his cleansing if he washed himself in other rivers. Even so, when the New Testament says "singing and making melody in your heart unto God" (Eph. 5:19), it has excluded instrumental music in worship.

5. "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do _______ in the name (authority) of the Lord Jesus ..." (Col. 3:17). We do not find any instruction of using instrumental music in Christ's word, it is therefore sinful to use it to worship God (2 John 9-11). "By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise unto God continually, that is, the fruit of our _______ giving thanks to his name" (Heb. 13:15).

Conclusion: Paul commands, "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord" (Eph. 5:19). This commandment specifies only vocal music and scriptural singing in worship. It therefore excludes the use of instrumental music and unscriptural songs in worship.


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Author: Howard Cheung

Updated July 1, 1999