IS THERE BIBLICAL AUTHORITY TO CELEBRATE
THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST?
Colossians 3:17 clearly states that all we do must be by the
authority of Jesus. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed,
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the
Father by him. Where is the authority to set aside a day
to celebrate the resurrection of Christ?
A couple of years ago, I received a church bulletin from
the Chisholm Hills church of Christ, located in Florence,
Alabama. After having received several bulletins from them, I could
clearly see that this congregation was indeed a liberal
congregation. In this particular bulletin of March 10, 2002, this
advertisement was made:
Sat., March 23rd (2 pm) -- Resurrection Celebration (for
all youth). Come celebrate Spring and the resurrection
of Christ. There will be food, crafts, games, learning
and more. Parents -- sign the list on the bulletin board
if you can help with this event.
Although this event has since passed, it reflects what many
congregations are now doing -- celebrating the resurrection of
Christ. And, since the Easter season is now upon us, many
will indeed celebrate the resurrection of Christ in some
fashion or another. It is clear from the above announcement that
this congregation celebrated the resurrection of Christ.
The word celebrate is defined as: ֿ) to
observe (a day or event) with ceremonies of respect of festivity.
2) To perform (a religious ceremony). 3) To extol; praise.
I wonder exactly how they celebrated the resurrection of
Christ, because there is not a shred of information in the New
Testament about celebrating it. I would assume, from what the
announcement said, that since there would be food, crafts,
games, learning and more, that this is the way they celebrated
the resurrection of Christ. All of this would take place on a
Saturday. Now, even if there was authority to celebrate the
resurrection of Christ, what a mockery to do it with food,
crafts, and games. Certainly, there is nothing wrong with
food, crafts, and games, in their proper place, but
sadly, this is all some congregations think about.
Is there any Bible authority to celebrate the
resurrection of Christ? Does the New Testament specify a DAY in
which this is to be done. Does it specify WHAT is to be done or HOW
it is to be done? This congregation did it on Saturday. Do we read
anywhere in the New Testament where we are to celebrate the
resurrection of Christ on Saturday? If so, where is the passage?
Someone might ask, Dont we celebrate the
resurrection of Christ when we partake of the Lords
supper? The answer is, No. Sometimes, however, it is
the case that a misinformed brother (when praying at the Lords
table on the first day of the week) will pray that we partake of
the Supper to remember (celebrate) the death, burial, and
resurrection of Jesus. However, partaking of the Lords supper
is to remember the death of Jesus, not to celebrate his burial and
In Luke 22:19, the record states, And he
(Christ) took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave
unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do
in remembrance of me. Notice that Jesus stated that His
body was given for us. What did he mean? It is an obvious reference
to His death on the cross. When we partake of the Lords
supper, we are remembering the Lords death. Paul made this
clear in I Cor. 11:26. He said, For as often as ye eat
this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lords death
till he come. According to Paul, what are we showing? He
said, The Lords death. Focus on the word
show. It comes from a word meaning, to announce,
declare, promulgate, make known; to proclaim publicly, publish
(J.H. Thayer, #2605, p.330). Many times in the New Testament, the
word refers to preaching. Albert Barnes stated, You set forth,
or exhibit in an impressive manner, the fact that he was put to
death; you exhibit the emblems of his broken body (actually his
body was not broken, John 19:36 -- BJ) and shed blood, and your
belief of the fact that he died (Barnes Notes, I Cor. pg 216).
In the next verse, verse 27, Paul said, Wherefore
whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord,
unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
Where does Paul place the emphasis in partaking the
Lords supper? It is upon what Christ accomplished in His
death. There is not a word said about partaking the Lords
supper to show (proclaim) the Lords resurrection!
Colossians 3:17 clearly states that all we do must be by
the authority of Jesus. So, where is the authority for man to set
aside a day to celebrate the resurrection of Christ?
Theres not one!
Now, let me clarify and make something clear. The
Lords resurrection is certainly important, yea essential to
our salvation (Rom. 1:3-4; I Cor. 15:12-20) and were not
minimizing it, but it is not the focus or a part of the communion
on the Lords day. Jesus arose from the dead on the first day
of the week (Mark 16:1-6) and the first century church (by the
order of the Holy Spirit) worshipped on the first day of the week
(Acts 20:7; I Cor. 16:2). But the Lords supper was given by
the Holy Spirit to be observed on the first day of the week to
remember the Lords death, not his resurrection (I Cor. 11:26).
Also, please understand there is a difference in preaching on the
resurrection of Jesus and setting aside a day (whatever
day it is) to celebrate it. The preaching of the resurrection is
authorized (cf. I Cor. 15); setting aside a special occasion or day
to celebrate it is unauthorized.
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THE PURPOSE OF PREACHING
Millions of people hear sermons, yet multitudes do not know
the purpose of sermons. But more surprisingly, there are many
preachers who do not know the purpose of preaching. Merely quoting
or reading scripture is not preaching. Just talking
without scriptures is not preaching. Having to say
something is not preaching; however, having something to
say is part of preaching. The preaching of the Gospel of Christ is
not outdated and never will be! It does not matter what some may
say about it. The truth of God will prevail and remain. God has
designed that preaching be the means of causing people to know the
truth and thereby, be saved (1 Cor. 1:18-23). Yes, the public
proclamation of Gods Word is where the Lord has placed the
emphasis. But what is the purpose of preaching? Many people in the
world do not know. Many people in the church have forgotten. The
Bible explains the purpose of preaching.
TO DECLARE GOOD NEWS
Speaking of the process of salvation, Paul wrote that men
preached ...glad tidings of good things...
(Rom. 10:15). It was good news when the Lord was born
into this world (John 1:14; Matt. 2:10; Luke 2:10-11). It was
good news when John, Gods prophet and Jesus
forerunner, declared that Jesus was and is ...the Lamb of
God that taketh away the sins of the world (John 1:29).
It was good news that Jesus fulfilled the Fathers
Will and was baptized, not for His sins (Heb. 4:15), but to obey
the Father (Matt. 3:13-17; Heb. 5:8-9). It was good news
that Jesus promised His apostles: 1) the Comforter (John 16:13), 2)
a prepared abode (John 14:1-3), and 3) a crown of life (2 Tim.
4:8). But the real good news upon which all other
good news is based concerns Jesus death, burial and
resurrection (1 Cor. 15:1-4; Rom. 5:6-11). Without His resurrection
from the dead, the promises of Christ are worthless. However,
because He did arise from the tomb, men have hope and eternal life.
TO PRESENT THE TRUTH
God has loosed the method of preaching. One may
preach through the media (newspapers, periodicals, television,
radio, etc.). One may preach various types of sermons (topical,
textual, expository). Sermons may be presented by use of sheet
charts, slides, or other visual aids through an overhead projector.
TO INFORM THE LISTENER OF SALVATION
God has bound the message -- TRUTH. Jesus said,
If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples
indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you
free (John 8:31-32). Jesus identified Gods Word as
Truth (John 17:17). He also said, I am the way, the
truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me
(John 14:6). Yet, is it not true, that the major thrust of
preaching in most places in not the truth of God? Men
preach philosophy, theories, ideas, messages of self-esteem, etc.,
but not the TRUTH!
The Gospel preacher has the obligation to preach the Truth
and people have the obligation to listen. The salvation for some
lost soul is the end that is sought every time that a preacher
stands to preach. In James 1, the writer gives the process of
salvation: 1) The word of Truth must be preached, 2) the word of
Truth must be heard, 3) and the Truth must be heeded (James
1:18-25). A preacher may instruct his listeners (Acts 2:40; 16:32),
but unless the hearer acts, salvation will slip away (Acts 2:41;
16:33). It is not only important what we hear, but
how we hear (Luke 8:18).
TO SHOW THE CONSEQUENCES OF SIN
If there is one ingredient that is noticeably missing in
public preaching in this generation, this is it! Yes, other
ingredients are missing, such as, the scriptures, sincerity,
honesty, etc., but man must be convicted of his sins (Acts 2:37;
4:2; 7:54). Sin separates man from God (Isa. 59:1-2). No amount of
human rationalization will change this truth (Ezek. 18:4; Rom.
6:23). Yet, people deceive themselves into thinking that sin will
go unnoticed and unpunished by God. And there shall in no
wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever
worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in
the Lambs book of life (Rev. 21:27). Paul warns all
men of the destructive power of God (Heb. 10:31; 2 Cor. 5:11).
Since all men have sinned (Rom. 3:23), all men are separated from
God unless they are reconciled to Him by the body of Christ (Eph.
2:14-17). Gospel preaching must instruct hearers about the
consequences of sin.
TO PRODUCE FAITH
The purpose of miracles in the first century was to produce
faith (John 20:30-31). Likewise, man needs the Word of God
(evidence, testimony of God) to produce faith in this century.
Peter proclaimed, ...Men and brethren, ye know how that
a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my
mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe
(Acts 15:7). Jesus said, No man can come to me, except
the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at
the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all
taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath
learned of the Father, cometh unto me (John 6:44-45).
Without preaching or teaching of Gods Word, there can be no
faith (Rom. 10:13-17).
TO CONDEMN ERROR AND REBUKE THE ERRING
There is no place of tolerance when it comes to sin (Gal.
2:5). A distinctive plea and message must be preached and heard.
One can not and should not feel secure in his sins after hearing a
Gospel sermon (Acts 2:37). Unless ones heart is hardened, he
will not feel secure in his sins (Heb. 3:12). Instead, one will
come to a full understanding of his souls condition (Ezek.
18:20; Eph. 2:12). It is a mistaken notion that the erring will
repent without the rebuke of Gods Word (1 Tim. 5:20; Titus
2:15; Eph. 5:10-11).
Other points of sound preaching could be listed, such as,
restoring the erring and edifying the saved, but these suffice in
demonstrating to us that God knew what He was doing when He
designed preaching to save souls!
Are YOU heeding Gods Word?
1001 Albany St.
Indianapolis, IN 46203
Table of Contents
WHY THE DENOMINATIONAL WAY TO HEAVEN IS WRONG!
In Proverbs 14:6-12, we have the words of the wise man,
Solomon, who is giving the antithesis between wisdom and
folly and is giving the effects of both. If we will
profit by what he has to say, it will be well with us here and most
In this present age, there are many who object to even a
suggestion of the possibility that honest persons may be wrong
religiously. This attitude is growing, and where it may lead no one
is able at this time to tell. But we are told of God that there is
a way that seemeth right and yet leads to disaster.
There are several things we want to notice in why the
denominational way to heaven is wrong.
1. The denominational way to heaven is the most
popular way. There is not a shadow of doubt that there are
some people who are religious, but are following the way that is
most popular. But surely no sane person would follow a way that he
himself did not believe in. No doubt, it must seem right
to him. However, in Matt. 7:13, Jesus contrasts the broad and
popular way with the narrow and difficult way and assures us that
the most popular way leads to destruction while the narrow and
unpopular way leads to eternal life.
2. The denominational way to heaven is the human way.
This way that seemeth right is the way most people
are following because of their opinion. Cain followed his
opinion but his way was not the way of the Lord and hence
incurred the wrath of God upon him (Gen. 4:3-8). The modern
Canaanite asks, If a man does the best he knows how, is that
not good enough? We should always remember that human opinion
is never as good as Gods way.
3. The denominational way to heaven is the deceitful
way. It seemeth right. There are many ways that
seem right but are contrary to the truth of God. For
instance, the doctrine that states, faith only is a more
wholesome doctrine and very full of comfort seems right to
many but is not right in the sight of God. The faith that avails is
a faith that works through love (Gal. 5:6). Hence, salvation is not
by faith only (James 2:24,26). Thus we know that the
doctrine of faith only is not a wholesome
doctrine and is contradictory to the way of God and is
4. The denominational way to heaven is a way of
ignorance. Most people refuse to consider that they are
sinners in the sight of God. Cain did this. People have their
Bibles and also listen to many religious programs but they continue
to remain wilfully ignorant of the way of God (cf. II
Peter 3:5). How many in the present age remain wilfully
ignorant of Gods way and are continuing in their OWN WAY
or their DENOMINATIONAL WAYS?
5. The denominational way to heaven is a way of hopeless
despair. It seemeth right to remain in their
own way but this way is the way of hopeless despair.
Cains way was a way that seemed right but caused the
cruse of God to rest upon him all the days of his life. In like
manner, God will pass sentence in that great day and that
sentence will endure forever. It is far better to take
the Lord at His word, believe all He says (John 8:24), obey all His
commands (Heb. 5:8-9; John 14:15; 15:14; I John 5:2-3) and look in
hope to the enjoyment of all that He has promised to the faithful.
The denominational way is a way of hopeless despair.
Let us all seek after the way that is right and cannot be
wrong -- the Way of God.
29511 Bock St.
Garden City, MI 48135
Table of Contents
A KINGDOM WHICH SHALL NEVER BE DESTROYED
Roger D. Campbell
About 600 years before the birth of Jesus, God prophesied
through the prophet Daniel that He would set up a kingdom
which shall never be destroyed (Daniel 2:44). How great that
eternal kingdom is! Even before Mary conceived Jesus, the angel
Gabriel came to her and foretold that she would bear a son,
promising, And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for
ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end (Luke
Before the kingdom was established, what were Gods
servants saying about it? John the Baptist preached,
Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matt.
3:2). Jesus also preached the Gospel of the kingdom of God, saying,
The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at
hand (Mark 1:14,15). Later, Jesus sent the apostles to
preach to the house of Israel with this message: The
kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matt. 10:7). After that,
Jesus again sent 70 disciples and they preached, The
kingdom of God is come nigh to you (Luke 10:9).
Approximately one year before His death, Jesus made two
very important statements about the kingdom. He promised His
apostles that He would build His church, then immediately told
Peter that He would give him the keys of the kingdom of
heaven (Matt. 16:18-19). This passage helps us see that the
kingdom and church are the same. Shortly after that, Jesus made
this prediction: Verily I say unto you, that there be
some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, til
they have seen the kingdom of God come with power (Mark
9:1). Thus, Jesus promised that some of those who heard Him
teaching would not die until the kingdom of God came with power.
When Jesus said that, the beginning of the kingdom was drawing
On the day that Jesus died, just after His death, Joseph
of Arimathaea came to Pilate and asked if he might have the body of
Jesus. Joseph is described as a man who waited for the kingdom
of God (Mark 15:43). Thus, the kingdom had not yet come when
Jesus died. When the Holy Spirit came, the apostles received power
from on high and the kingdom came (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:4).
The kingdoms establishment is recorded in Acts chapter two and
took place in the city of Jerusalem in the year A.D. 30.
Over thirty years later the apostle Paul wrote to the
saints at Colosse and declared that God hath delivered us
from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom
of His dear son (Col. 1:13). Therefore, those Christians
were in the kingdom of Christ, and it existed in the first century.
The Holy Spirit also says, Wherefore we receiving a
kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace whereby we may
serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear (Heb.
12:28). Thus, the kingdom had been received in the first century,
and it is immovable, it cannot be destroyed, and it is eternal!
How grateful we ought to be to God for the kingdom He
established. How thankful we ought to be that we can be citizens in
that kingdom, the church! Think for a moment about some of the
privileges and blessings which we have as citizens of the kingdom
1) In the kingdom, we have security. The Bible says,
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in
Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the
Spirit (Rom. 8:1).
2) In the kingdom, we have victory over our foes. We have
victory over the world (1 John 5:4), victory over Satan (James
4:7), victory over death (1 Cor. 15:23-25, 55-56), and our victory
comes through our King, Jesus. But thanks be to God,
which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ
(1 Cor. 15:57).
3) In the kingdom, we have all spiritual blessings (Eph.
1:3). This includes the remission of sins, hope of eternal life,
the privilege of prayer, and many others.
4) In the kingdom, we have the wonderful blessing of
fellowship with the greatest people on earth! The citizens of
Christs kingdom are the best people in the world. We should
thank God for the opportunity to work, live and serve with them. As
we walk in the light as He is in the light, We have
fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His son
cleanseth us from all sin (1 John 1:7).
The kingdom of God and kingdom of
Christ are the same (Eph. 5:5). It is the greatest kingdom in
the history of man. Let us be thankful for it, live faithfully in
it, and tell others about it!
4865 Bates Pike SE
Cleveland, TN 37323
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ANOTHER STEP IN THE DIRECTION OF COMPLETE APOSTASY
Since the powers that be at Lipscomb University saw
fit to invite a preacher from the Disciples of Christ denomination
last year to their Hazelip Preaching Seminar (Fred Craddock), I
wondered who they would have on their program this year. Their
advertisement shows that Steve Joiner (chair of the
Department of Biblical Studies at Lubbock Christian
University), Earl Lavender (director of missions and associate
professor in the College of Bible and Ministry at Lipscomb
University), Jack Reese (professor of preaching and dean of
the College of Biblical Studies at Abilene Christian
University), David Fleer (professor of religion and
communication at Rochester College) and Robert Webber
(Myers professor of ministry, Northern Seminary) is
on the program.
Why did they not just let it be know that Northern
Seminary is Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in
Lombard, Illinois? Are they ashamed?
Brethren, does anybody care enough to do something about
such tomfoolery? The information is straight from their web site,
www.lipscomb.edu (May 17, 2004, Hazelip Preaching Seminar). Could
some one please enlighten me as to the propriety of such decisions
and fellowship extensions as these?
378 Hill Circle
Dunlap, TN 37327
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UNFAITHFUL AND UNCONCERNED WATCHMEN
Marvin L. Weir
The words Isaiah spoke some 750 years before the birth of the
Savior are as true today as they were then. The prophet boldly
stated, His watchmen are blind, they are all without
knowledge; they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; dreaming,
lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, the dogs are greedy, they can
never have enough; and these are shepherds that cannot understand:
they have all turned to their own way, each one to his gain, from
every quarter. Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will
fill ourselves with strong drink; and to-morrow shall be as this
day, a day great beyond measure (Isa. 56:10-12). A loyal
watchman is quick to alert his people of the dangers of the enemy.
Gods faithful prophets of old did not hesitate to distinctly
identify threats from without and indifference from within.
Faithful elders and preachers today will do likewise. May we profit
from the lesson to be learned from Isaiahs inspired statement!
What will be the eternal fate of the congregation whose
preacher and elders are charged by the Lord with BLINDNESS
(v.10)? Can you imagine building a fortified city upon a hill and
then deliberately choosing blind men to serve as watchmen
for the enemy? How is one who is physically blind capable of
warning folks of the approaching enemy? Likewise, how are the
spiritually blind capable of warning brethren of spiritual
Ezekiel warned, When I say unto the wicked, Thou
shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to
warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same
wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require
at thy hand (Ezek. 3:18). It is no laughing matter to be
blind to Gods Word. Elders and Gospel preachers will give an
account in the Day of Judgment for not having their
senses exercised to discern good and evil (Heb. 5:14).
What will be the eternal fate of the congregation whose
preacher and elders are charged by the Lord with IGNORANCE
(v.10)? Matthew Henry comments that these so-called watchmen
had no sense or knowledge of their business. They were
wretchedly ignorant of their work, and very unfit to teach, being
so ill-taught themselves (Commentary on Isaiah). Can not the
same thing be said today about so many who profess to be elders and
Gods watchmen do not subscribe to the thinking that
declares, what one does not know will not hurt him. One
who does not recognize the enemy cannot warn of the presence of the
enemy. One who does not recognize the enemys tactics will
eventually become ensnared in his foes traps. Thus, Peter
sounds forth the warning , Be sober, be watchful: your
adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom
he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).
Many who call themselves elders and preachers are not
students of the Bible. One cannot teach what he does not know!
Neither can he warn of that which he is not aware! So many today
imbibe from false teachers at our so-called Christian universities
and are as Paul says, ever learning, and never able to
come to the knowledge of the truth (2 Tim. 3:7). The
reason they do not possess a knowledge of the truth is because they
have denied that which is godly and right (2 Tim. 3:5). One is a
failure and a stumbling block who is ignorant of Gods will
(Matt. 15:14). True watchmen can say as did the Psalmist,
Thy word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin
against thee (Psalm 119:11).
What will be the eternal fate of the congregation whose
preacher and elders are charged by the Lord with COWARDLINESS
(dumb dogs who will not bark, v.10)? A cowardly dog will not
growl or bark! Instead of barking, such an animal quietly hunkers
down while the damage is done. Who would choose such a dog to guard
a flock of sheep? Who would want a cowardly preacher or elder that
refused to reprove those guilty of sin and consistently failed to
warm the flock of wolves (false teachers) and destructive doctrine?
What will be the eternal fate of the congregation whose
preacher and elders are charged by the Lord with being DREAMERS
(v.10)? Some folks are not content to have the entire
Word of God regarding doctrinal matters (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter
1:3; Jude 6). They dream dreams and speak of visions
received from the Lord. They speak of their dreams for
the Lords church while ignoring the pattern the Lord gave
regarding His body. Such visions and dreams do not come from the
mind of God but the mind of men!
Godly elders and preachers will reject and loudly warn
against anything and everything that does not befit the
sound doctrine (Titus 2:1). May it never be said of
Gods watchmen that they are unfaithful and
5810 Liberty Grove Rd.
Rowlett, TX 75089
Table of Contents
ARE CHURCH CHOIRS AND SOLOS SCRIPTURAL?
Many are using choirs and solos in their attempts to worship
God. Are choirs and solos authorized by God as a part of Christian
worship? To find the answer to this question, we must turn to the
Bible. The Bible is Gods Word (2 Tim. 3:16,17; John 12:48;
Gal. 1:6-9; 2 Peter 1:3; Jude 3). Man does not have the right to
add to, nor to take away from, the teaching of the Word of God
(Rev. 22:18,19; Deut. 4:2; Prov. 30:6). The New Testament portion
of Gods Word is the standard of authority for what we do in
the work and worship of God today (Col. 2:14; Heb. 8:6-13).
In His Word, God has authorized five acts of worship for
His church. These five acts are: singing (Eph. 5:19;
Col. 3:16), giving (1 Cor. 16:1,2; 2 Cor. 9:6,7),
prayer (1 Thess. 5:17; 1 Tim. 2:8), eating the
Lords supper (1 Cor. 11:23-29; Acts 20:7), and the
preaching of the Word of God (Acts 2:42; 20:7; 2 Tim. 4:1-4).
These acts of worship are authorized by direct statements,
commands, implications, and approved examples.
Singing in worship is commanded by God. The New Testament
contains many examples of Christians singing in worship to God
(Acts 16:25; Rom. 15:9; 1 Cor. 14:15; Eph. 5:18,19; Heb. 2:12;
James 5:13). These passages describe the kind of music God has
authorized so that His people can worship Him in spirit and in
truth (John 4:24). The kind of music God authorized is
singing. This singing is congregational singing. It is done by
every Christian in the assembly! It must be done with
understanding. The purpose of the singing is for Christians to
glorify God and to teach and admonish one another.
Does Ephesians 5:19 teach congregational singing? The word
in the original Greek language in which the New Testament was
written, which is translated as speaking, means to
utter speech, to convey speech, to use the tongue or faculty of
speech, to utter articulate sounds, to talk, to tell, to use words
to declare ones mind and thoughts. The New Testament word
translated yourselves is a reflexive pronoun of
the third person. It shows that the person who acts and the person
who receives the action is the same. In other words, while one is
speaking to others in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, others are
also speaking to him in the same way. This is a clear reference to
congregational singing where all mutually teach one another as they
unite their voices in song. To obey this command, there must be an
interchange of action. When one group or person is active (a choir
or soloist) and another group is passive (the listening audience),
there is no interchange of action. Ephesians 5:19 can not be obeyed
by choirs or solos!
Does Colossians 3:16 teach congregational singing? The New
Testament word, which is translated teaching, means
to teach, instruct, by word of mouth. It requires that
the one who is taught understand the teaching given. The New
Testament word translated admonishing means to put
into the mind, instruct, warn. This teaching and admonishing
is to be done to one another. The phrase one
another is translated from the same New Testament word as
yourselves in Ephesians 5:19. Therefore, when the church
is worshipping God by the act of singing, there is teaching and
admonishing one another taking place. Colossians 3:16 clearly
teaches congregational singing! When one group or individual (the
choir or soloist) is active, and another group is passive (the
listening audience), there is no interchange of teaching and
Congregational singing (singing by every member of the
congregation) was the practice of the church in the first century.
But many today claim that choirs and solos in the worship are
permitted because the Bible is silent concerning them. When God
commanded Christians to sing and admonish one another, that
eliminated choirs and solos in worship. It was not necessary for
God to give a long list of Thou shalt nots concerning
singing. It was not necessary for God to say, Thou shalt not
use mechanical instruments of music in worship. It was not
necessary for God to say, Thou shalt not use choirs or solos
in worship. When God specified congregational singing, that
eliminated choirs, solos, and instrumental music.
Choirs, solos and mechanical instruments of music in New
Testament worship were never commanded by the Lord! No apostle of
Christ ever approved of choirs, solos or instrumental music in the
worship to God! No inspired New Testament writer ever taught or
approved of them. There is no command, implication or approved
example of the use of choirs, solos or instrumental music in New
Testament worship. Thus, they are completely without the authority
of the Lord! To use them in worship is sinful (Matt. 15:8,9-12;
John 9-11; Rev. 22:18,19).
Must worship be entertaining? Many seem to think so. Every
Christian must realize that God has commanded him to worship in
spirit and in truth (John 4:24). This means that every
Christian must worship with the correct attitude and the correct
actions. God is the One who is being worshipped. He is the
audience. Therefore, He is the One who must be pleased!
Some try to defend the use of choirs and solos by saying
that 1 Corinthians 14:26 teaches such. A close look at the verse
will reveal that it does not teach the use of either choirs or
solos. To say that every one of you hath a psalm does not
mean that every one sang a solo or that several sang solos. A psalm
can be read or quoted. In this context, Paul is dealing with the
misuse of a spiritual gift. The best explanation of what the verse
means is Acts 4:23-30. When the disciples heard what had happened
to Peter and John, they lifted up their voice to God with one
accord... (Acts 4:24).
Lyman Coleman, a church historian, wrote: The
prevailing mode of singing during the first three centuries was
congregational. The whole congregation united their voices in the
sacred song of praise, in strains suited to their ability ... the
most ancient and most common mode of singing was confessedly for
the whole assembly; men, women and children blend their voices in
their songs of praise in the great congregation (Ancient
Christianity Exemplified, pages 329, 330).
All worship, at all times, and in all places must be done
in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). If one does not worship in the
right acts and with the right attitudes, his worship is vain and he
is guilty of sin.
There is absolutely no authority in the New Testament for
the use of choirs and solos in worship. Therefore, those who
practice such are worshipping in vain and are guilty of sin.
Table of Contents
A STRANGE THING
I have written to him the great things of my law,
but they were counted as a strange thing (Hosea 8:12).
Israel was the apple of Gods eye (Deut. 32:10). He
reared, taught and trained them in the ways of righteousness.
Through his law, he sought to mold and shape their minds to walk in
the paths of things divine.
Gods law was an expression of Gods love and
concern for the nation. Every demand and prohibition was penned in
their best interest. Through his divine precepts, God sought to
insulate Israel from the idolatrous ways of the heathen nations and
all the sins that flowed therefrom. However, Israel had no appetite
for Gods decrees, thus viewing them as something foreign and
God loves the church. Hallowed blood is evidence of the
depth of that love. The great heart of God beats with fervent
concern for the welfare of spiritual Israel. The law of Christ is
designed to shield the church from error and sin and thus, promote
truth and righteousness. Every mandate therein was inscribed with
mans earthly happiness and eternal security in mind.
Sadly, there are many within the church who view the law
of God as a strange thing. They have developed a palate
for human philosophies that appease, soothe and satisfy as opposed
to divine truths that disturb, reprove and expose. They cry with
ancient Judah, speak unto us smooth things
The church is replete with people who want religion
without sacrifice, grace without law and Christ without a cross.
Thus, they view the restricting, demanding, prohibiting will of God
with disdain. Like the apostate heirs of Sinai, they
despise the law of the Lord (Amos 2:4).
There is a famine in the land, not a famine of
bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the
Lord (Amos 8:11). Human interest stories, philosophy and
personal experiences are serving as empty substitutes for a
thus saith God. Bible-centered preaching has become
a lost art in many pulpits. Tragically, the church has its own who
count the law of God as a strange thing.
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