Cecil Hutson Sermon Archive
September 10, 2006 AM
"BUT IT DOESN'T SAY YOU CAN'T!"
EPH 5:19 & COL 3:16
INTRO: One hundred years ago this year the Lord's church in the United States was rent asunder by the introduction of instruments of music into the worship of congregations of the church. During the ensuing one hundred years, the controversy around the subject of the music God has authorized for the church in scripture has continued. There is a growing number of churches which had continued to use only a cappella singing now moving toward acceptance and use of instruments of music in worship. One of the arguments so often heard in support of this acceptance and use of musical instruments is this: "But the Bible doesn't say you can't use them." There is incredible danger in the use of such an argument to justify a departure from what the Bible does say.
I.THE KIND OF MUSIC ONE FINDS IN THE CHURCH IN THE N.T.
A. Texts for us to consider?
1. 1 Cor 14:15 - "...I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing..."
2. Eph 5:19 - "...singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord"
3. Col 3:16 - "...singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord"
4. translators have consistently translated the Gr. word in the text "singing"
B. There is no doubt of the kind of music scripture reveals for worship
1. even denominational scholars of years gone by recognized this fact
2. so, how is one who desires to have instrumental music to justify it?
3. one way often heard these days is "but it doesn't say you can't"
4.I want us to think about that argument for just a few minutes
II.BUT IT DOESN'T SAY YOU CAN'T...
A. Use orange juice in the Lord's supper
1. Mt 26:27-29 - here is what scripture does say
2. I know of no one who doubts that fruit of the vine was grape juice
3. since, however, there is no seeming prohibition against orange juice, should we not be able to use it instead of what scripture does authorize?
B. Sprinkle for baptism
1. Col 2:12 - here is what scripture does say
2. there is no doubt that Gr. for "baptize" is immersion
3. since, however, there is no seeming prohibition against sprinkling, should we not be able to use it instead of what scripture does authorize?
C. Appoint women to be elders
1. 1 Tim 3:1 & Titus 1:6 - here is what scripture does say
2. but we are in an age in which women are asking for broader "roles"
3. since there is not seeming prohibition against a woman's serving as an elder, should we not be able to have women beyond scriptural authorization?
D.Have the Lord's supper on days other that the first day of the week
1. Acts 20:7 & 1 Cor 11:17-21 - here is what scripture does say
2. historically & scripturally, evidence is that first day was observance day
3. since there is no seeming prohibition against another day or occasion, should we not be able to have the communion beyond scriptural pattern?
III. TWO CRITICAL MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION
A. The exclusiveness of "explicits"
1. the "it doesn't say you can't" viewpoint ignores this fact about "explicits"
2. we use this rule of language every day in ordinary life
3. "generics" have in them latitude - "explicits" have in them prohibitions
4. thus, what is explicit in scripture prohibits options!
5. classic Biblical example is that of Noah and the construction material of the ark ... there was no need for God to give all the prohibitions since He had give the "explicit"
6. so, in each of the earlier examples the prohibition is in the explicit
B. The silence of the scriptures
1. this is the basis of the "it doesn't say you can't" viewpoint
2. Heb 8:13,14 - the silence of Moses was not permissive!
3. Moses never said a person from the tribe of Judah could not be a priest - but all knew that this silence did not permit options
4. silence can only be permissive if there has been no word from God on a particular subject ... and if it does not contradict the pattern God has revealed
5. there are times when people refer to "silence" in spite of the fact that God has spoken positively on a particular issue or subject - personal desire can become very blind to what scripture does say
6. in fact, scripture does say you can't ... because it says what you can!
CLOSE: Listen to 1 Cor 11:2. Keeping the ordinances as they were delivered means we are not at liberty to substitute or add. Whether we are talking about the Lord's supper, baptism or singing, we have no authority for substitutions!
Cecil A. Hutson
10 September 2006
God's Plan of Salvation
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)