“You will make known to me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy.” Ps 16:11

A Cappella Singing, Part Two

Last time we saw that Charles Spurgeon taught the propriety of a cappella singing in worship. Now we look at the classic argument starting with 2 Chronicles 29:23-28.

Then they brought the male goats of the sin offering before the king and the assembly, and they laid their hands on them. The priests slaughtered them and purged the altar with their blood to atone for all Israel, for the king ordered the burnt offering and the sin offering for all Israel. He then stationed the Levites in the house of the LORD with cymbals, with harps and with lyres, according to the command of David and of Gad the king’s seer, and of Nathan the prophet; for the command was from the LORD through His prophets. The Levites stood with the musical instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. Then Hezekiah gave the order to offer the burnt offering on the altar. When the burnt offering began, the song to the LORD also began with the trumpets, accompanied by the instruments of David, king of Israel. While the whole assembly worshiped, the singers also sang and the trumpets sounded; all this continued until the burnt offering was finished.

God ordered the use of instruments in the Old Testament ceremonies and sacrifices. The word came from God through David, Nathan, and Gad. The use of instruments was part of the worship offered in conjunction with the sacrifices. When the offering began, singing with accompaniment also began. The offering and singing with instruments go together. When the offering was finished, the music ceased. The two were inextricably bound together. We therefore maintain the use of instrumental music in worship of Israel was part of the ceremonial worship.

We affirm with Charles Spurgeon, that all the ceremonial laws are now abrogated under the New Testament. Hebrews 10:5-9 argues the case for us.

Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, “Sacrifice and offering you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me; in whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come (in the scroll of the book it is written of me) to do your will, O God.'” After saying above, “Sacrifice and offering and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you have not desired nor have you taken no pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the Law), then He said, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second.

Christ takes away the sacrifices and ceremonies of the Old Testament Law. He establishes His own sacrifice as preeminent. The Old Testament Sacrifices foreshadowed Christ. “He takes away the first in order to establish the second.” The Old Testament sacrificial system is done away; this includes the use of instruments in worship.

We should learn and understand this classic, historic, and basic argument for a cappella singing in worship. We should also gain confidence in presenting it. Yes, objections are raised. The Lord willing, we will address some of these objections. However, let’s realize that if we do not understand the basics, we cannot move on to defend our position. Some of us hold to a cappella singing because it is the long-standing position of our church. This is not enough. A cappella singing is the biblical position. It is the Reformed position.

2014-01-16T19:29:33-04:00 December 9th, 2013|