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Instruments in Worship, Part 2

(First part is here)

Throughout the NT it’s explained that we’ll know a good tree by it’s fruit. Jesus even said “You will know them by their fruits” (Mt. 7:15-18).

Listening to worship music this morning reminded me of something. While it’s not universal across all instrumental services (for various reasons that take too long to address here), I’ve been in many instrumental services where the Holy Spirit comes in power.

How do we know God is there? First, there’s always fruits of the Spirit manifested. There’s also a conviction of the heart – Godly sorrow that produces repentance. People turn to God for salvation, believers and unbelievers repent, people obey. The Kingdom is furthered. Sometimes there are gifts manifested. Yes there are still miraculous healings, prophecies, tongues, etc. taking place. (The argument that they don’t is something I may write about later. But they still occur, so….)

The posture of the worshipers is also telling – flat on their faces, on their knees, bowed down, hands raised, etc. As I mentioned in the first part, one of the words for worship means “bowed down.”

I don’t see how anyone can say they’ve worshiped in the presence of the King yet just sit in a pew… Just my opinion.

Some would say it’s a guise of Satan. They would say this is Satan masquerading as an angel of light. But a thorough searching of the Scripture would reveal otherwise. Why would the Enemy work against himself? (Mt. 12:16-27) He doesn’t. Because he’s not causing such an event.

I have been in some very worshipful a cappella services. The Spirit comes there too. I’m not saying He won’t or doesn’t. This is my main point: If God so despised instrumental worship as some would think, then why would the Holy Spirit grace an instrumental service with His presence?

How are instruments in worship authorized?

There are NT verses that speak of worshiping with a song that uses stringed instruments (1Cor 14:15, Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:16). By taking a look at the whole Bible, we see it’s commanded in Psalms 150. God commanded and preferred instruments in the OT, our previous examples in the NT, and in Heaven (Rev. 5:8; 8).  Since He doesn’t change (Mal. 3:6, Heb 6:17, ), neither do his preferences.  That’s the book-chapter-verse answer.
When you remove all the erroneous arguments against instruments, it only supports the truth in these passages.

Summary:

The only hard fast command, in the NT, came from Jesus himself – that worship is to be done in spirit and in truth.

The specific use of the word ‘psallo’ denotes a song intended to be accompanied with an instrument.

Worship must come from the heart and express the gratitude of the believer, not an external action so that one may check off their “good work” for the week.

Instruments, across the Scripture, are authorized, including in the NT. Only through interpretive gymnastics can we come up with them being prohibited.

The Holy Spirit is present in instrumental worship services, as evidenced by His fruit and giftings, which wouldn’t occur if they were so “unauthorized.”

Finally, and most important: We’re not dependent on obeying laws and rules for our salvation. Romans 4-8, and Galatians 3-5 attest to this fact.

Truth takeaway:

Worship isn’t limited to a regulative view. It doesn’t prohibit a normative view either. Same deal with instruments, clapping, raising hands, bowing, kneeling, etc. Worship is, first and foremost supposed to be from the heart. If it’s just a rote action and not with all our heart, it’s not worship anyway.

An excerpt from a previous post that I think bears repeating:

The New Testament isn’t a rule book. You cannot possibly keep all the commands, examples, or inferences. God’s standard is perfection. The men who first established the doctrine that would lead to that sect didn’t have a full understanding of what the Bible was saying. But you can have a full understanding of Scripture.

I’m not against the people who think music is required to be a cappella only. I am against the Enemy who lies and deceives (“deceive” means you genuinely think you’re right when you’re not). A person who’s spends their whole life in a prison cell doesn’t know what freedom on the outside looks like. My desire is that people worship God with their hearts more than following some tradition’s rule. That they worship God out of gratitude for the grace He’s saved us by, not because they’re afraid He’ll “smiteth” them if they don’t. I don’t write this to argue, pick a fight, or try to be right. I write this that those would be set free from the Pharisee’s burden of man-made laws, and in turn, praise and glorify God.

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Instruments in Worship, Part 2

  1. Pingback: Yes, You Can Biblically Worship with Instruments! | Freedom. Truth. Marriage.

  2. Hi Alan. I’ve been singing a capella for many years and agree completely, utterly with your statements. I, too, wish all to worship as they want. To judge whether a person has salvation based on instruments/non-instruments is missing the point of Jesus’ favorite quote. Jesus quoted Hosea 6:6 more than any other scripture. “He desires mercy not sacrifice.” Because, as you said, with Christ’s resurrection, the NT was no longer a rule book, but a book of how to relate to God and our fellow man. Love the Lord, and your neighbor as yourself. In taking the Bible as a whole, it’s a book on how to relate and love. Don’t value the technicalities of the law over the people. In order to worship in spirit and truth, I think we need to have lots of spiritual connections here on earth with people who need us and are hurting. If my true act of worship is to be a living sacrifice, my sacrifice is in service to the widows and the orphans and keeping myself from being polluted by the world. Therefore, loving others. (I’m a progressive in that sect *wink* and have always taken the admonition to study the scriptures for myself very seriously.). Nice post!

    • Thanks for your input. It’s sad that with all going on in the world there are some church groups that still beat down this issue. Articles abound condemning the use of instruments. I felt it was time to counter that with the truth.

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