Acts 8 records the account Philip had with Ethiopian Eunuch, it is in this account that Philip approaches the Eunuch’s carriage and ask the Eunuch if he understood what he was reading in Scripture. The Eunuch answered by saying “How can I, except some man should guide me?” (Acts 8:31). After realizing he didn’t understand what he read, Philip sat down with the man and taught him the Gospel. Imagine if Philip said to the Eunuch “Well you may not understand, but at least you are reading the Scripture!” and proceeded to walk away. That wouldn’t have helped the Eunuch at all! Instead Philip taught him the Gospel, but why? While reading the Word of God is a good thing to do, Philip knew that understanding was crutial to the purpose of Scripture. In the same manner, we need to understand why we do the things we do as Christians. Today I want to ask the question “Why do we worship?” We all know that Worshiping God is a good thing, but why? Let’s study by asking a few questions about worship:
- Who is the worshiper and who is the worshiped? God is the one we worship, right? While that is true, if you took a look around at the religious world you would see a very different picture. Many people claim to worship God on a weekly basis yet they are actually only serving themselves. Paul recorded in (Philippians 3:18) that some people serve themselves making their own belly their God. “Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)” When Paul says their God is their belly, he means they have stopped serving God and started serving their own desires. Some people only want to attend services if they “get something out of it.” We should avoid this attitude and instead ask “how much can I put into worship?” Like anything in life, you get out of worship what you put into worship.
- Is there a specific way to worship? Since God is the epicenter of our worship, we must then ask “is there a specific way in which God wants us to worship?” The answer is yes! All throughout history God has been very clear when giving instructions, and those who have challenged God’s instructions have been condemned. That is why we must pay close attention to the examples given to us in scripture concerning worship. A few examples include: Singing (Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16), Giving (1 Corinthians 16:2, 2 Corinthians 9:7), Partaking in the Lord’s Supper (Acts 20:7, 1 Corinthians 10:16), Preaching and teaching Acts (2:42) and Praying (Acts 2:42, 12:15). These are just a few verses of many which instruct our worship. Some other verses to consider include (John 4:24) “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” And (1 Corinthians 14:40) “Let all things be done decently and in order.”
- Why should we worship? Finally we can ask the question, why should I worship? There are several reasons why we should worship, but the most important reason is the glory and honor brought to God through our worship. Other secondary benefits of worship include the edification of our brothers and sisters (Hebrews 10:24-25) and our own personal edification (Psalm 122:1). While those are great benefits, never forget that the main purpose of worship is bringing glory to God. It is the least we can do for all that he has done for us. (Psalm 116:12) “What shall I render unto Jehovah For all his benefits toward me?”