Ephesians 5:18b, 19, 20 “be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,”
When the Jews sang in the synagogues, they tended to chant their songs. They used Psalms and other source material as their “song book.”
When the Hebrew religion ended by the death of Jesus upon the cross, a dramatic change was brought about in the way God wants to be worshiped.
When Jesus came and started His church, the music of worship also changed. The music of the early church was all vocal.
History: In Chapel Style
The word a-cappella is a very important word when we talk about the idea of history. Most of us have heard this word in our lives. Many of us understand it to mean “without instrumental accompaniment.” What most people don’t know is that a-cappella is an Italian expression that literally means “in chapel style.”
Over time the idea of “in chapel style” came to mean “without instrumental accompaniment.” That is because throughout most of Christian history the music heard in chapels, was without instrumental accompaniment; it was purely vocal.”
The Music of New Testament Worship
I refuse to worship God with musical instruments because my primary goal as God’s child, His slave and His worshiper is to please Him; and because He has not indicated that he would be pleased with a praise offering from a musical instrument. I will not make such an offering to Him.
Let’s Read our Bible a Minute
2 Corinthians 5:9-10; Ephesians 5:7-10;Colossians 1:9-10;Hebrews 13:15-16
See also I Thessalonians 4:1-2; I John 3:21-22 and I Timothy 2:1-3
And so we ask, who are we trying to please with our worship?
I want you to see that “pleasing God” must also be our bull’s eye in matters such as coming before God with our offering of praise.
Shouldn’t our first question be: “What can be done in worship to please God?”
God Has Told Us What Pleases Him
Ephesians 5:18-19; Colossians 3:16
Ephesians 5:19 “addressing one another”
Colossians 3:16 “teaching and admonishing one another”
The instrument of music never fulfills the desires of God and the intention of singing. It is an addition to the Word as revealed to us through the Holy Spirit.
Singing involves the mind. And with our mind and our voices we speak to one another, we teach one another and we encourage one another.
The idea of “making melody” or “with thankfulness in your hearts to God” lets us know that we are to engage our minds when we are singing. Singing is not just about notes and pretty singing, but it is worship to God. Our worship partakes of the essence of God. Worship is making melody in our hearts.
Christians should emphasize music and realize that the worship of God involves spirituality and sincerity from the depths of their hearts. Music becomes vital as we enter into our worship. It is our own human response to God Almighty, and we cannot help but become better people when we sing and participate.
The Sound of Praise
Read Hebrews 13:15-16 God wants “the fruit of our lips that acknowledge His name.” And we know, of course, that this phrase means heartfelt words of praise and thanks.
I Corinthians 14:15 Here Paul discusses how worship must come from both our spirit and our understanding.
Read also James 5:13 Also consider Colossians 3:16, Ephesians 5:18, 19 and Acts 16:25.
As we look at the expression in these verses we notice something. Expression like “singing…to God,” “singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord,” and “were praying and singing…to God.” Heartfelt singing and heartfelt praying are given “to God.” That’s an offering. That’s worship. And that obviously pleases God.
It hasn’t been specifically forbidden!
We can’t make assumptions about Worship and assume that we are pleasing to God. Can you read God’s mind? Are you a mind reader? Are you going to base your soul on what you feel?
We are under the New Covenant now, and under the New Covenant isn’t it true that God is only concerned with the worshiper’s heart?
Although pure motives and sincerity are without a doubt fundamental factors in how God responds to us, the Scriptures make it unambiguously clear that God is also concerned with our actions.
So please, do not try to have a relationship with God based on the false assumption that all God cares about is your heart—your motives and sincerity. He is also concerned about your actions.
People worshiped God with instruments in the O.T.
2 Chronicles 29:25 “for the command was from the LORD.”
Notice Romans 15:4 “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
Certainly in Tabernacle worship they used a trumpet to call everyone together. When David was getting people ready for Temple worship, he was commanded to make instruments and add a chorus to the mix.
Consider this: If the O.T. was binding on us today, then why don’t we have an alter of acacia wood to burn incense to the Lord as commanded in Exodus 30:1? Why didn’t you bring your grain offering today made of unleavened cakes of fine flour mixed with oil an a griddle to the Lord as commanded in Leviticus 2:4-9? Why didn’t you bring a bull or a sheep or a goat today to fulfill the required sacrifices as described in Leviticus 1:1ff.
Shouldn’t we be consistent with our arguments?
Because my ultimate desire in worship is to please God, I’ll keep opting for singing. The potential of displeasing God in worship is enough to keep me right where I am. As long as I continue to offer to God only those sacrifices of praise that He has specifically indicated are pleasing and acceptable to Him, I know that He will be pleased and that I will be pleasing.
Hebrews 13:15 “Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips that acknowledge His name.”