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                 "MUSIC IN NEW TESTAMENT WORSHIP (II)"

                   Music In The New Testament Church

INTRODUCTION

1. In our last lesson, we noted various types of worship...
   a. VAIN worship - Mt 15:8-9
   b. IGNORANT worship - Ac 17:22-23
   c. WILL worship - Col 2:20-23
   d. TRUE worship - Jn 4:23-24
   -- The last one being the only one acceptable to God!

2. We then considered what was involved in "TRUE" worship, what Jesus
   meant when He said "worship in spirit and truth"...
   a. It is more than just worshipping with the right attitude and in
      the right way (for such was true with regards to OT worship)
   b. It is a SPIRITUAL worship which is in harmony with the TRUTH
      concerning God's nature (God is Spirit) and the location of the
      TRUE tabernacle (in heaven)
   c. Contrast this with OT worship with its FLESHLY ordinances which
      served only as a SHADOW until the TRUE came along

3. In this lesson, we shall consider the MUSIC God wants in the worship
   of the church; in doing so...
   a. We shall notice that it is indeed a TRUE, SPIRITUAL music unlike
      that found in the OT
   b. Also, that our understanding of the kind of music to be used in
      the worship of the church is supported by what many historians,
      reformers, and scholars have said on the subject

[Let's begin with a look at...]

I. THE MUSIC IN "TRUE" WORSHIP

   A. THE ONLY MUSIC COMMANDED IN THE NT WAS "VOCAL"...
      1. The example of Jesus and His disciples - Mt 26:30; Mk 14:26
         (they "sung a hymn")
      2. The example of Paul and Silas - Ac 16:25 ("singing hymns")
      3. Other references
         a. Ro 15:9 - "sing to Your name"
         b. 1Co 14:15 - "I will sing with the spirit, and I will also
            sing with the understanding"
         c. Ep 5:19 - "singing and making melody in your heart"
         d. Col 3:16 - "singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord"
         e. He 2:12 - "I will sing praise to You"
         f. Jm 5:13 - "Let him sing psalms"

   B. THE MUSIC IN THE NT EMPHASIZED THE "SPIRITUAL"...
      1. Ep 5:19 - "singing and making melody in your heart to the
         Lord"
         a. "making melody" (PSALLONTES) - In the OT this had reference
            to the playing of musical instruments
         b. But notice that now (in the NT) the "making melody" is to
            be done "in the heart", not with mechanical instruments!
         c. Notice the contrast: the heart (SPIRITUAL) vs. mechanical
            instruments (PHYSICAL)
         d. Since this music is to be offered "to the Lord", we had
            better regard Him as Holy and offer exactly what He
            specified (cf.  Nadab & Abihu)!
      2. Col 3:16 - "singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord"
          a. This passage is parallel to Ep 5:19
          b. Notice again that the emphasis is SPIRITUAL: "in your
             hearts to the Lord"

   C. REVIEW THE CONTRAST BETWEEN OT MUSIC AND NT MUSIC...
      1. OT music
         a. Performed by a professional choir
         b. Accompanied with various mechanical instruments
         c. EMPHASIS: How it sounds to the human ear (appealing to the
            PHYSICAL side of man)
      2. NT music
         a. Sung by all in the congregation ("speaking to one another
            in psalms...")
         b. The melody to be made in the HEART, not on the HARP
         c. EMPHASIS: How it affects the soul (the SPIRITUAL side of
            man)

[Music in NT worship, therefore, is to be SPIRITUAL in emphasis:

      1. Sung by all

      2. With emphasis not on how we sound, but that we are making true
         melody in our hearts to the Lord!

Lest people think that we are unusual in this view of using only vocal
music in NT worship, and choosing not to add mechanical instruments in
worship, consider some interesting references... ]

II. REFERENCES ON MUSIC IN THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH

   A. THE VOICE OF HISTORY...
      1. "All our sources deal amply with vocal music of the church,
         but they are chary with mention of any other manifestations of
         musical art... The development of Western music was decisively
         influenced by the exclusion of musical instruments from the
         early Christian Church." - Paul Henry Lang, MUSIC IN WESTERN
         CIVILIZATION, pp. 53,54
      2. "Only singing, however, and no playing of instruments, was
         permitted in the early Christian Church." - Hugo
         Leichtentritt, MUSIC, HISTORY AND IDEAS, p. 34
      3. "There can be no doubt that originally the music of the divine
         service was everywhere entirely of a vocal nature." - Emil
         Nauman, THE HISTORY OF MUSIC, Vol. 1, p. 177
      4. "We have no real knowledge of the exact character of the music
         which formed a part of the religious devotion of the first
         Christian congregations. It was, however, purely vocal." - Dr.
         Frederick Louis Ritter, HISTORY OF MUSIC FROM THE CHRISTIAN
         ERA TO THE PRESENT TIME, p. 28
      5. "Both the Jews in their temple service, and the Greeks in
         their idol worship, were accustomed to sing with the
         accompaniment of instrumental music. The converts to
         Christianity accordingly must have been familiar with this
         mode of singing...But it is generally admitted, that the
         primitive Christians employed no instrumental music in their
         worship." -- Lyman Coleman (Presbyterian), THE APOSTOLIC AND
         PRIMITIVE CHURCH, pp. 368-369

   [It may seem odd that music was entirely vocal in the early church,
   when instrumental music was quite common in the worship of the Jews
   and Gentiles.  But not when you recall that the worship in the NT
   was to be spiritual in its emphasis.]

   B. THE VOICE OF VARIOUS RELIGIOUS SOURCES...
      1. CATHOLIC - "... the first Christians were of too spiritual a
         fibre to substitute lifeless instruments for or to use them to
         accompany the human voice." -- CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA
      2. GREEK ORTHODOX - "The execution of Byzantine church music by
         instruments, or even the accompaniment of sacred chanting by
         instruments was ruled out by the Eastern Fathers as being
         incompatible with the pure, solemn, spiritual character of the
         religion of Christ." -- Constantine Cavarnos, BYSANTINE SACRED
         MUSIC
      3. PRESBYTERIAN - "Musical instruments in celebrating the praises
         of God would be no more suitable than the burning of incense,
         the lighting up of lamps, the restoration of the other shadows
         of the law.  The Papists, therefore, have foolishly borrowed
         this, as well as many other things, from the Jews.  Men who
         are fond of outward pomp may delight in that noise; but the
         simplicity which God recommends to us by the apostle is far
         more pleasing to Him." - JOHN CALVIN, Commentary on the Book
         of Psalms, Vol. I, p. 539
      4. METHODIST - "I have no objection to instruments of music, in
         our chapels, provided they are neither heard nor seen." - JOHN
         WESLEY (founder)
      5. METHODIST - "Music as a science, I esteem and admire: but
         instruments of music in the house of God I abominate and
         abhor. This is the abuse of music; and here I register my
         protest against all such corruptions in the worship of the
         Author of Christianity." - ADAM CLARKE (commentator)
      6. LUTHERAN - "Martin Luther called the organ an 'ensign of
         Baal'." - MCCLINTOCK & STRONG'S ENCYCLOPEDIA
      7. BAPTIST - "I would as soon attempt to pray to God with
         machinery as to sing to Him with machinery." - CHARLES H.
         SPURGEON

[Why did these men object so strongly to instrumental music in the
worship of the church?  Because they properly realized:

   1. That such was a carry-over from the Jewish worship

   2. That as such it was out of harmony with the SPIRITUAL nature of
      NT worship

   3. That it rightfully belonged to the Old Law with its "shadows" and
      not the TRUE worship of the NT

Finally, let's consider...]

III. JUSTIFICATION OFFERED FOR THE USE OF INSTRUMENTS

   A. "IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN A TRADITION IN OUR CHURCH"
      1. Not really, as history reveals the use of instruments to be an
         innovation introduced hundreds of years after the NT Church
         began
      2. In most cases, it has been used only during the last two
         centuries
      3. Even so, as "traditions of men" it qualifies as VAIN worship
         - Mt 15:9

   B. "I DON'T SEE ANYTHING WRONG WITH IT"
      1. Then your worship is IGNORANT worship - Ac 17:22-23
      2. For you are not aware of the kind of worship God commands of
         you

   C. "I LIKE IT IN MY WORSHIP TO GOD"
      1. Then it becomes WILL worship - Col 2:20-23
      2. And you begin worshipping like Nadab & Abihu
         a. Offering that which YOU like
         b. But offering that which is profane, for God did not command
            it

   D. "IT IS FOUND IN THE OLD TESTAMENT"
      1. So are a lot of other acts of worship which were "imposed
         until a time of reformation" - He 9:10
      2. That time is come and God expects His people to worship
         differently - Jn 4:23-24
      3. The fact that God may have commanded it in the past does not
         mean that He approves its use now (especially when He has
         revealed what He DOES want)
      4. Consider the sin of Moses
         a. God first told him to STRIKE the rock for water - Exo 17:
            5-6
         b. Later, God at another time told him to SPEAK to the rock
            - Num 20:7-8
         c. But Moses struck the rock as before, and in so doing sinned
            and lost his right to enter the promised land - Num 20:9-12
      5. His sin?  He did not treat God holy by doing ONLY what God had
         commanded at the PRESENT time!
         a. God may have commanded INSTRUMENTAL music in the past (OT)
         b. But He now commands VOCAL music (NT)

CONCLUSION

1. Let's not make the same mistakes as did Nadab and Abihu, Moses and
   Aaron, forfeiting our inheritance in the Promised Land offered
   to Christians (i.e., Heaven)

2. As we approach God in worship, let us treat Him as Holy by
   worshipping as He has commanded: "in spirit and in truth"

3. In regards to our music ...
   a. Let it be singing with melody in our hearts to the Lord
   b. And not with melody made with mechanical instruments

In doing so, we KNOW we are on safe ground, and that our worship is
well pleasing to Him!
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