Why We Worship

This post will be the first of 3 posts that will looking at what the Bible says about the goal of our worship, how we should worship, and provide a foundation upon which we can build the rest of our theology of worship.

The first point for all of us to remember is:

Worship is a lifestyle, not a genre of music.

There are 2 passages that helpfully explain this idea: 1 Corinthians 10:31 and Romans 12:1.

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31

The point in 1 Corinthians is that our entire lives should be lived to bring God glory. That is the purpose of worship, ascribing worth, honor and glory to someone. So when we worship God is is supposed to be done with the entirety of our lives. Even eating and drinking are to be done as an act of worship to God! Does that change the way you approach eating? A number of years ago I was at a conference where Francis Chan was speaking and he was speaking on this verse and proceeded to demonstrate how to eat a Snickers bar to the glory of God. Even eating a candy bar is an opportunity to worship!

The thing is, as we go throughout our lives we are all actively worshipping something. Some of us when we eat a Snickers bar are worshipping the Snickers bar itself! By remembering that any and everything we do is an opportunity to worship, we are able to glorify and honor God, which is why worship is a lifestyle.

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” – Romans 12:1

In Romans, Paul reminds us that God already owns those of us who are believers, thus we are commanded to offer our bodies as a “living sacrifice.” Have you ever thought of the irony of that statement? How can a sacrifice – something that is killed to be offered up – be living? The living reminds us of the Christian state, where we who were once dead in our trespasses and sins are now alive together with Christ. Yet that’s not the only description Paul uses, because he also says we are to be “holy and acceptable to God.” Because of what Christ has accomplished on our behalf, we are covered by God’s mercy and grace, actually allowing us to be holy, just like God is holy (1 Peter 1:16) and thus acceptable to God. Tom Schreiner, in his recently released commentary on Romans, sums up this verse by saying:

“The worship described does not relate to public assemblies but to the yielding of one’s whole life to God in the concrete reality of everyday existence.” (Schreiner, 628)

Because God has saved us by sending his one and only son into the world to bear the penalty for our sins, we can now rightly respond by worshipping him through everything we do in our lives. However, there is something unique that happens when God’s people gather together, as we’re commanded to do throughout Scripture, so in the following weeks we’ll be looking at 2 other passages that flesh out what we’re called to do when we gather as God’s people.

Part 2.


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