Church of Christ
Mission USA

The Law of Exclusion or Silence of the Scriptures

(applied to music in worship) --continued

by Perry Sexton

      We have briefly looked at the law of exclusion or the law of silence in the case of Nadab and Abihu, Noah, Naaman, and concerning Jesus as an earthly priest.  We learned from faithful Noah that we should obey God in all things.  Noah used “gopher wood,” not a substitute wood, not an addition.  He did not have the attitude that so many today have about some religious things: “It really doesn’t matter.”  We learned from disobedient Nadab and Abihu that God means what He says.  From Naaman who was “thinking” when he should have been listening.  And from Hebrews 7:14 concerning Jesus: “... Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.”  We must respect the silence of the Scriptures, understand and apply the law of exclusion in all of our Bible studies.

      Now let us make proper application to ourselves.  In the New Testament we have general commands and specific commands, just as they had under the old law.  Here are a few examples: “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).  “Go” is a general command.  We are at liberty to choose how we go: boat, airplane, car, walk, etc.  We can see the wisdom of this general command.  But what we are to preach is a specific command.  “Preach the gospel.”  We are not at liberty to preach anything else.  We are not at liberty to substitute preaching with anything else: skits, plays, etc.

      In Matthew 26:26,27 we have the record of Jesus instituting His Supper.  In keeping with the law of exclusion or silence, Jesus did not have to name all the other millions of things we could not use for His Supper.  Jesus simply named the items we are to use, and that excludes everything else.  Jesus authorized un-fermented fruit of the vine [grape juice] and unleavened bread for His memorial supper.  Anything else would be “strange” before the Lord, i.e., unauthorized.  If we add to, or in any way change these elements we do so under condemnation.  To make the argument that God did not say not to use cake, pies, milk, etc., on the Lord’s Supper is foolishness.  It shows a great misunderstanding of biblical principles and even principles we use every day of our lives.

      Concerning the day in which we are to partake of the Lord’s Supper, we have the example of the disciples doing so on the first day of the week -- Sunday (Acts 20:7).  That is binding by example upon us.  No other day is authorized by the Lord.  To skip the Lord’s Supper on a Sunday is to disobey God!

      In the New Testament we have exactly what God wants concerning music: “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;” (Ephesians 5:19); “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16).  It is a specific command, not general.  Had God said “make music” that would have been a general command and we could use any kind of music -- even a mixture of music.  But God specified the kind of music and that eliminates all other kinds of music.  The specific command is to sing.  Not sing and play an instrument of music.  If the command was to sing and play an instrument of music, then every one of us would have to learn how to play some kind of an instrument of music.  Every New Testament example concerning the music is in harmony with the command to “sing.”  They sang.  They did not use a mechanical instrument of music in worship.  They knew and understood clearly God's will for this and they complied just like the faithful before them.

      A few reminders: “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).  We must worship according to God's Word.  “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” (Colossians 3:17).  We must have book, chapter, and verse for all that we do in religion.  “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you” (Deuteronomy 4:2 cp. Revelation 22:18,19).

      Remember the words of the Lord: “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3,4).  Will you humbly accept what the Bible teaches?  There is no way one can truthfully say that the New Testament teaches us that we may use mechanical instruments of music in worship to God.

      Are you worshiping God according to truth (cp. Matthew 15:9)?  Do you have authority for all things that you believe and practice in religion (Colossians 3:17)?  Are you guilty of changing the Word of God (cp. Revelation 22:18,19)?  Do you have the humble heart to obey God in all things

      We invite you to visit and study with us where New Testament worship is practiced.  ♥ 
See first part  2010, 10 WOL 

The TRUTH May Be:

  • Rejected and thus reject Jesus and salvation (John 12:48).
  • Not believed (2 Thess. 2:12).
  • Evil spoken of (2 Peter 2:2).
  • Turned from (Titus 1:14; James 5:19).
  • Not loved (2 Thess. 2:10).
  • Never known because of lack of love and desire (2 Tim. 3:7).
  • Not obeyed (Gal. 5:7).
Or the opposite of all the above could be true for you. 
                        The choice is yours!
  • “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).  Read verse 31.
  • “Teach me thy way…; I will walk in thy truth:” Psa. 86:11 “…his truth shall be thy shield and buckler” (Psa. 91:4). 
  • Please think about it.  –Perry Sexton