Are we supposed to use musical instruments in church?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
Musical instruments were definitely used in worship in the Old Testament (1 Chronicles 15:16; 16:42; 23:5; 2 Chronicles 7:6; 23:13; 29:26-27; 30:21; 34:12; Nehemiah 12:36; Isaiah 38:20; Amos 6:5; H...

July 01 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Closeup Jennifer Rothnie Supporter Housewife, Artist, Perpetually Curious
We do not "have" to use instruments, as far as it being a requirement or something we are 'supposed' to do to be a follower of Christ. If a group of believers makes the decision not to use instruments, or has no instruments to play, that is fine. However, we are welcome to use instruments in music, even encouraged! Scripture is abundant with reference to the use of instruments, as well as voice, in making music to the Lord.

Instruments were used in the praise of God in the temple, as well as for other ministries such as prophesying: (1 Chron 16:4-6, 1 Chron 23:5, I Chron 25:1-8, II Chron 7:6, i Sam 10:5, Isaiah 38:20, etc) While the instruments were often called 'David's instruments' (as David had had them made), their usage in the temple was commanded by the Lord through the prophets. (II Chron 29:25)

God's character is unchanging, and while we are now free from the obligations of the law, Jesus did not change any of the law (so as to overturn it; He simply fulfilled it), nor did God suddenly dislike things formerly approved. Jewish christians kept many former jewish practices until the temple was destroyed, including Paul and James. [It was when judiazers tried to make these practices binding on gentiles or necessary to salvation that there was trouble].

Instruments can be used for spontaneous songs of praise and thanksgiving: (Ex 15:20-21, Psalm 33:1-3, Psalm 98:1-6, Psalm 144:9-10, Psalm 149:1-5,)

Instruments can be used for songs written for corporate praise: (Psalms 4:1, Psalm 55:1, Psalm 57:1-11, Psalm 67:1)

Instruments can be used for national praise to God, for festive occasions, for commemoration, for teaching, and for other purposes: (Neh 12:27-47, Psalm 81:1-4, Psalm 92:1-3, Psalm 108:1-5, Psalm 49:1-4, I Sam 16:16, II Kings 3:13-20, Psalm 147:1-14)

At least some instruments are used in the praise of God in Heaven: (Rev 5:8-10 cf. Rev 19:1-5, Psalm 150:1-6, possibly Psalms 68:24-27 given it's messianic overtones throughout)

We also speak to one another in psalms (psalmos is 'a striking', such as to pluck at strings,) and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody (psallontes, as Michael covered above) in our hearts to the Lord (Eph 5:19, Col 3:16)

1 Cor 14:6-12 also brings instruments and the call of the trumpet in as analogies for the importance of intelligibility and purpose. Just as an instrument is unedifying for music if played randomly (and probably painful as well), so spiritual gifts are unedifying if used in a chaotic or directionless manner. 

Psalm 87:7 also looks forward to the time when the pipers and singers alike will celebrate the bringing in of the gentiles into the fold of God.


Praise the Lord.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with timbrel and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.

(Psalm 150:1-6)

My heart, O God, is steadfast;
I will sing and make music with all my soul.
Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.
(Psalm 108:1-2)

November 06 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

2013 09 15 08 57 49 546 Dorcas Sitali Miss Dorcas sitali
The bible in psalms 150 does mention to praise the Lord with instruments so yes they are to be used but doesn't mean that when you don't have them you can't worship God no.

November 06 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

My passport new Arun Kumar Engineer, Chennai, India
The Restoration movement condemns the use of musical instruments simply because the NT no where addresses it. Condemning music because the NT did not address it cannot be accepted. Whatever we do, we do it for the glory of Christ. But the music used in Churches should be supporting to the lyrics and should never lead the believers astray. If music surpasses, Christ disappears.

November 06 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Chuck Scarborough
Does God tell us to? No, He does not. He gives us clear instruction though, to sing and make melody in our heart - Ephesians 5:19
In 1 Corinthians 14:8, the use of the trumpet was to lead into battle, but that passage is in reference to the use of tongues, not of the use of instrumental worship.
Also remember that the command of the use of instruments in the O.T. (Psalms) was in regards to their use in the temple. The temple is no longer. We are the temple of God (1 Cor. 3:16) and our voice is our instrument.

February 20 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Internet image Ben Jones Retired Professional Photographer
If the criteria for what can be used in the worship of God is determined by whether it is found in the New Testament or not, then microphones cannot be used, electricity to illuminate the sanctuary or project music or images onto a screen cannot be used, padded pews cannot be used and the worshipers must walk to the building because automobiles are not mentioned either.

April 27 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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