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Blog #2 Why Do We Worship?

Updated: Nov 2, 2021

Why Do We Worship?

“To be human is to worship.”[1] This statement is supported in the Scriptures, it is declared in our creeds, and is evident throughout history. Worship, in fact, has been the primary purpose of all humanity as made clear from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation.[2] Above all, we worship God because God created us to worship Him. Worship is at the center of our existence and at the heart of our reason for being. “God created us to be His image—an image that would reflect His glory.”[3]

 Why we worship is fundamental and while there is more than one correct biblical answer, at the top of the list is “for His own glory” (1 Cor. 10:31; Ps. 29:1–2). “The glory of God is more important than anything else in all creation.”[4] According to Scripture, Christians exist to worship God and to “declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). Tozer adds that we are to “reflect back the glory of Him who shined down on us, even God, even Christ, even the Holy Ghost. All that Christ has done for us in the past and all that He is doing now leads to this one end.”[5] God is worthy of all praise and service because He is the Creator, the God of history, and the Judge of all. We worship Him because He deserves all the glory.[6]

In addition, we worship God because He has commanded it. Psalm 150 reminds us to

“Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! 2 Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness!

3 Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! 4 Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! 5 Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! 6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!”

God commands exclusive allegiance. “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments (Exodus 20:3-6).”

Not only does He have a right to our exclusive allegiance, but He also has the right to proper representation and loyal service. “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His name (Exodus 20: 7).” Finally, He wants our time and trust, “The seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it, you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days, the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy (Exodus 20:10).”

As understood throughout the commandments and later confirmed by Jesus, believers are to be covenantally committed to God and also to others.[7] "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:36-39).” God is glorified through the edification of the Church. He receives glory as we serve Him and as we serve others throughout the body of Christ. As we gather in corporate worship and exercise our spiritual gifts, God is present, building us up as individuals and local churches.[8]

That God desires our worship is made abundantly clear in Scripture. We worship because the failure to worship is the essence of sin. Scripture includes many exhortations to worship God, and not to do so is a failure to ourselves and to our God. [9] As A.W. Tozer so eloquently stated, “We are a holy people, a royal priesthood, a holy generation called out of darkness to show forth the glory of the One who called us out." As believers, we must take all necessary steps to fulfill our created purpose and the purpose of the New Testament church. To do less than this is to fail God and to fail our Lord Jesus Christ. To do less than we can is to fail ourselves and our children. It is to fail the Holy Spirit who comes from the heart of Jesus to do a mighty work in us. "This work is to be done to make us a holy people, a sanctified people that are mirrors of the Almighty to reflect the glory of the most high God.”[10]

 We were born to worship, and “if we are not worshiping God in the beauty of His holiness, we have missed the reason for being born. If you know that your heart is cold, then it is not yet a hard heart; God has not rejected it. Therefore, if there is a yearning within, God put that yearning there. He did not put it there to mock you; He put it there that you might rise to it. God puts the bait of yearning in your heart. He does not turn His back on you; He puts it there because He is there to meet you. Decide now that you are going to get ahead of a spiritually cold way of living.”[11]

[1] Block, For the Glory of God, Ch. 1. [2] R. Michael Allen, Reformed Theology (New York, NY: T&T Clark International, 2010), 116, Logos Edition. [3] Hughes Oliphant Old, Worship: Reformed According to Scripture (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002), 11, Logos Edition. [4] Duncan, Does God Care How We Worship, 72. [5] Tozer, The Purpose of Man, 167. [6] David Peterson, Engaging with God: A Biblical Theology of Worship (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1992), 283, Kindle Edition. [7] Ibid. [8] Bob Kaufin, True Worshipers: Seeking What Matters to God (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Publishers, 2015), 27 [9] Michael Walters, Can't Wait for Sunday: Leading Your Congregation in Authentic Worship (Indianapolis, IN: Wesleyan Publishing House, 2006), Ch. 2, Kindle Edition. [10] Tozer, The Purpose of Man, 169-170. [11] Ibid.,118.

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