Just One Verse – Jess Whitlock

Jess Whitlock

Many years ago, I met a Mr. Ballard in public debate on the need for baptism in relation to one’s salvation. I was in the affirmative, whereas Mr. Ballard denied that baptism had anything to do with one’s salvation. I pressed the point that both Galatians 3:27 and Romans 6:3 show that the only way to get “into Christ” is through the waters of baptism: “…all we who were baptized into Christ were baptized into His death…” (Rom. 6:3) and “…as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ…” (Gal. 3:27). The final night of that debate my opponent challenged that chart, by loudly stating, “Mistah Whitlock has given us two verses of Scripture and only two verses of Scripture to prove his proposition. Why has he not given us more? The fact is that he only has two Scriptures and no more!”

In my rebuttal I re-read the proposition that both of us had signed and challenged my opponent by saying, “Mr. Ballard we are still waiting for just one verse from you showing that baptism is not essential to one’s salvation.” The debate ended and he never produced “just one verse…”

The majority of the denominational and interdenominational world contends justification for the addition of mechanical instruments of music into worship given to God. Let us challenge them to produce just one verse that authorizes instrumental praise to God in New Testament worship—just one verse!

At Philippi Paul and Silas were beaten and put into prison. “…about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns unto God…” (Acts 16:25). They were praying, not playing, and singing hymns to the Lord God.

To the church at Rome, Paul admonished, “Therefore will I give praise unto Thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto Thy name.” (Rom. 15:9). Did Paul give instruction to the brethren at Rome to play on any mechanical instrument of music?

The church at Corinth was reminded by Paul the apostle, “I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also” (1 Cor. 14:15b). Did you note the word “sing” as used twice in that verse? How many times can we count the word “play” as to play on an instrument of music? I will wait while you count ‘em.

The Ephesian letter plainly declares, “…speaking one to another in psalms, and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your hearts to the Lord” (Eph. 5:19). At Ephesus the Christians were singing and not playing!

The Colossian brethren were instructed to engage in “…teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts unto God” (Col. 3:16). Mechanical instruments cannot teach. Mechanical instruments cannot admonish. Mechanical instruments cannot sing. And mechanical instruments of music do not have hearts!

James has a question worthy of our consideration: “Is any cheerful? Let him sing praise” (Jam. 5:13).

Other Scriptures can be cited. The Bible message is plain and authoritative! In order to justify the instruments of music in worship to the Lord God in New Testament worship, just one verse cannot be found! Is there a command in the pages of the New Testament? Is there a necessary inference for such in the New Testament? Is there an apostolic example in the pages of the New Testament? Is the addition of instruments of music Scriptural? No! If someone says “yes” then we have but one request. Will you please produce Just One Verse?

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Author: Editor

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