What is the place of instrumental music in New Testament teaching?

What is the place of instrumental music in New Testament teaching?

During early Christian days, instrumental music in assembly gatherings was likely impractical, if not impossible, due to a combination of poverty, mobility, simplicity, and persecution. Its absence is not only practical, but also consistent with New Testament teaching. In this age, worship is in heaven, in the holiest (Hebrews 10:19), and rises from redeemed spirits. A capella singing testifies to this truth. Every aspect of worship and service in the assembly has priestly character. "The sacrifice of praise," "the fruit of our lips" (Hebrews 13:15), must include songs of praise. New Testament singing is "to the Lord" (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16). Gospel hymns have a clear message for unbelievers, but they include notes of praise to God. Songs touch cords of deep emotion in the heart of a believer and thus draw the spiritual response of worship.

This indicates an added reason for not amplifying the emotional impact of gospel singing by the use of instruments. To make songs a primary thrust of reaching those who are spiritually dead is to build on an emotional response, rather than reaching the mind and conscience with the gospel. This directs the Seed of the Word to stony ground that receives the Word "with joy," an emotional response (Luke 8:13), but is not fruitful. The Lord indicates that fruitful hearts are those who understand the truth (Matthew 13:23). Singing is only a supplement to preaching, the primary thrust of evangelism.

Therefore, there is scriptural reason in every assembly gathering to maintain the public testimony that worship is spiritual in character.

D. Oliver