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Video Lessons
Worship:
In Truth
-- Walking by Faith
Brother M.C. Kurfees, in his classic tract – WALKING BY FAITH: ORIGIN OF
INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC IN CHRISTIAN WORSHIP --, says:

Christianity is pre-eminently a religion of faith. Let us get this fact well and
firmly fixed in our minds, for it will be seen that upon a proper understanding
and appreciation of this vital principle, all acceptable service to God depends.
Many skeptics attempt to throw discredit upon the Bible because its religion is
purely a religion of faith. They fell us we have never seen the joyous “summer
land,” nor heard the enchanting music of angels in sweet vibrations “beyond
the river,” but that it all rests on faith. But the same may be said of other
things founded on faith whose credibility, in the estimation of skeptics, is not
affected by this circumstance. The fact that in sowing and reaping, boarding a
railway car for transportation, or carrying on commercial intercourse with
each other, man can only believe success will crown their efforts as it has the
efforts of others in the past, is never urged as a reason for not acting. On the
contrary, it only shows that men act on the principle of faith, and that they act
in proportion as the evidence is strong and convincing. Hence, as a matter of
fact, it is not unreasonable to act where action rest exclusively on faith; and
hence, the objection has no force against the Bible.

But, not only is Christianity, as a system, purely a system of faith (Gal. iii.23),
but in order to its acceptableness, all service, which we render to God, must
be of faith. No proposition is more clearly established in the Word of God than
this. Not only is it plainly declared that “we walk by faith,” but in Heb. xi.16, is
the explicit statement that “without faith it is impossible to please God.” Any
act of religious worship, therefore, however great or small, must be of faith in
order to please God. This does not mean that every act of man outside of
religious service must be of faith.  Man may follow his own wisdom or reason
in the management of his own affairs, but in the service or worship of God,
the only legitimate use of man’s wisdom or reason is to acquiesce in whatever
divine wisdom has revealed, and to thus “walk by faith.” In the management of
all affairs exclusively his own, man has the unquestionable right to follow his
own judgment, provided he contravenes no principle of moral propriety or
righteousness. In other words, beyond the regulation of man’s conduct in all
spheres of action by principles of moral integrity and righteous dealing, God
has no where legislated for man, except in the service to be rendered
exclusively to Him. In this sphere, however, God has legislated. He has
ordained the worship to be rendered to Him, and human wisdom must neither
add to, take from, nor in any way modify what He has prescribed, otherwise
those who do so are walking by their own judgment, and not by faith. Hence,
that we may see the principle on which all acceptable service to God must be
rendered, let us now consider –

1.        FAITH DEFINED IN DISTINCTION FROM OPINION.

Two questions properly answered will present this distinction in its true light.

1.        What is it to walk by faith? In Rom. x17, Paul declares: “So then faith
comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” This settles it as to how
faith comes; it comes by hearing the Word of God. Accordingly, where there is
no Word of God there can be no faith; and if no faith, then no walking by faith.
This is not the opinion of any man or set of men; it is the unquestionable
teaching of God’s Word. Hence, if hearing the Word of God is the way faith
comes, then where the Word of God is, there can be faith, but none beyond
that. If, therefore, the Word of God says nothing concerning a given course,
there can be no faith in pursuing that course, for FAITH COMES BY HEARING
THE WORD OF GOD. And hence, since we are to “walk by faith,” and “without
faith it is impossible to please God,” it follows that in any matter whatsoever in
which we are not directed by the Word of God, we are neither walking by
faith, nor pleasing God. This prepares us for the second question:

2.        What is it to walk by opinion? In Jno. Iii.1,2, we have the words: “There
was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; that same
came to Jesus by night and said unto Him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a
teacher come from God; for no man can do these miracles that thou does,
except God be with him.” But, you are ready to ask, what has such a passage
to do with the question before us? Let us see. There are two questions in
connection with this famous conversation  to which I wish to call attention:
(1.) Did Nocodemus come to Jesus by night? The universal and unanimous
response from all believers in the Bible of every class and distinction is, that
he did. But what is the cause of this perfect unity of sentiment? Simply
because the Bible says he came by night, and there is always union where all
follow what the Bible says. (2.) Why did he come by night, and not by day? It
would be easy to find an answer to this question among the theologians. But
the trouble with this class of wise men is, that to attempt to follow their
guidance in such matters is like the attempt to ride two horses in opposite
directions at the same time. One class of them tells us Nicodemus acted in this
instance through fear of his colleagues in the Jewish Sanhedrin, choosing the
curtain of night behind which to converse unobserved with the Great
Teacher. Others tell us it was not through fear, but to avoid the crowds that
gathered about Jesus during the day, the eminent ruler of the Jews preferring
the stillness of the night that he might converse undisturbed with the Galilean
Reformer. Now, one or the other of these views may be correct; but, as the
Bible does not say one word about it, no mortal can know why he came by
night. And this is precisely what is true of all the learned theologians. They
only tell what they think about it; that is, they express their opinion. The word
opinion signifies what one thinks, and in religious matters, it means what men
think concerning matters on which the Bible is silent. The distinction,
therefore, between faith and opinion is perfectly clear. Faith comes by hearing
the Word of God; opinion is what men think where the Word of God does not
speak. Hence, when men introduce as worship to God, as service to be
rendered to Him, things on which His Word is silent, they walk by opinion and
not by faith.


What is Worship: In Truth -- What is Truth?
What is Worship: In Truth -- In the Name of Jesus
What is Worship: In Truth -- Two Attitudes
What is Worship: In Truth -- The Law of Exclusion (Silence)
What is Worship: In Truth -- Correctly Deriving Authority
What is Worship: In Truth -- Conclusion