Why Do These Things?
This question is found in Acts 14:15. Paul and Barnabas want to know why the people of the city are making sacrifice to them. It is explained that they are men just like them. They are not gods. The people of Lystra were wrong in what they were attempting to do. That is why Paul asked, “Sirs, why do ye these things?” Do we need to ask ourselves why we do some things? Many times we do something because that’s the way it’s been done before. We may do it out of honesty and sincerity. In religious matters we need to know why we do the things we do.
Why does the church of Christ practice immersion (baptism) in water for the forgiveness of sins? That is a good question.
Either the Bible teaches this or it does not. It cannot be both ways! First, baptism is revealed by the scriptures as a means to obtain salvation. “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21). Guilty Jews asked Peter and the others (Acts 2:37), “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” The response to their question is found in the next verse. Peter tells them to “Repent, and be baptized everyone of you for the remission of sins…” Yes, baptism is for the forgiveness of sins. Why do anything else? Second, this baptism for the forgiveness of sins is an immersion in water. The New Testament does not reveal any other mode. “They went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him” (Acts 8:38). Colossians 2:12 declares that one is “buried with him in baptism.” Why do anything else?
Why does the church of Christ wear that name? Again, that is a good question. Paul wrote to the Romans “the churches of Christ salute you” (Romans 16:16). The descriptive title “church of Christ” shows that the church belongs to Jesus. He is its builder (Matthew 16:18). He is the one who purchased it (Acts 20:28). He is its head (Colossians 1:18). With these things being true what else would you call it? Why do anything else?
Why does the church of Christ sing without the addition of mechanical instruments of music? Yes, it is true that we sing and that alone. Why do this? Worship is the outpouring of grateful hearts unto our Father in heaven. He, and He alone, has the right to determine what pleases Him! “Speaking to yourselves in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:19). There are only eight other references in the New Testament (Matthew 26:30; Acts 16:25; Romans 15:9; Colossians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 14:15; Hebrews 2:12; 13:15 and James 5:13). None of these mention a mechanical instrument. They do reveal that the instrument used is the heart. When God told Noah to build an ark of gopher wood (Genesis six) that ruled out any other kind of wood. Didn’t it? The same principle applies when God said sing. When He specified singing that ruled out other kinds of music. Why do anything else?
Other questions could be asked as to why we do the things we do. We ought to “be ready to give an answer…” (1 Peter 3:15) for the things we do. May it be our desire to do things that have God’s stamp of approval upon them.