Why Should We Worship?

Clinton D. Hamilton
Tampa, Florida

In our materialistic society, which has elements of religion in it, true spirituality is often neglected. It is not generally popular to attend all the worship services. This is manifested by the great difference in attendance at the Sunday morning services and the others conducted during the week. Worship is to serve or do homage, to do reverence. Involved in it is a feeling of awe. Religion involves a personal relation between an individual and God wherein one does God's commandments in order to establish the proper relation with Him.

Numerous objections for not attending services are offered and to some of these attention will now be given. "One can find better things offered elsewhere" is one objection offered. This shows a misconception of worship. One should not go to services. for entertainment, but rather to praise God. Upon the first day of the week, disciples should meet to commemorate the death of Jesus (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 11 :20, 23). One goes to offer service and devotion to God with those of like mind. The church is God's creation and is His temple; the church is not a human creation. It is only with the saints that one is to assemble to worship. Such assembling should not be neglected (Heb. 10:25), but each Christian should exhort and encourage other saints to meet to worship and to provoke one another to love and good works. To feel that one can find better things offered elsewhere than at worship is to have a misconception of the purpose of assembling and of the church.

Some men think of the church solely in terms of a social institution of human origin. For this reason it is felt that the worship can be ignored. If this were the nature of the church, then one would have a point. Since the church is the body of God's chosen people and since He expects of them devotion and service, one should not feel that the worship can be ignored.

Some men object to attending services on the ground that there are hypocrites who attend. This ir erroneous because one is measuring the divine standard in terms of wayward men, and not wayward men in terms of the divine standard. Men may be wicked through hypocrisy, but that should be no reason for our becoming wicked too. Rather, our concern should be to please the Lord so as to avoid hell, where all hypocrites will eventually go.

Another objection offered for not attending services is that one does not get anything from the services. The preacher is not good, and often he may be compared or contrasted to worldly entertainers. It should not be what one gets, but what one gives. Worship is something one does, not gets. To look on service in terms of what one gets is to view it wrongly. One can never have the fruits of genuine religion until he does; the service must be given before the fruit is forthcoming.

Others may complain that those assembling are not friendly, their attitude is not right or the singing is not good. On and on we could go with criticisms sometimes offered. But, this attitude evidences a carnal mind. If we were spiritual such as the Lord desires, we would be more concerned about our pleasing the Lord, than for everything to please us. Our emphasis should be upon our own service to God. When we approach worship with this disposition, there will not be the constant complaining about others.

Some might cynically ask, "Why attend services?" This question evidently is an attempt to soothe one's own conscience by putting the other person under fire. A truly pious and devout child of God will not ask this question. He knows that he wants to express his praise and thanks to God. He also knows why he want to. But, since men will raise such a question, let us now deal with reasons why we should worship:

To Commune With God

The very nature of worship demands an expression in acts that involve a personal relation. God is a spirit and those who worship Him should worship in spirit and truth (John 4:24). One's heart is the source of his adoration and praise, and this is to be directed by the truth, which is the word of God (John 17:17). God's people are His children (2 Cor. 6:17-18, 1 John 3:1-3). It is most natural for a father and son to commune together. Worship is therefore an expression of personal affection and thanks to One Who has blessed. Christians should be thankful that God has provided us with the word of Christ which gives us assurance of what to do in order to please God in worship. Opportunities to offer this service should be eagerly grasped by all those who seek God's favor.

To Express The Feeling Of Our Souls

Many of the Psalms show the disposition of a devout person, and with profit we can examine some of them. "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go unto the house of Jehovah" (Psa. 122:1). Is our attitude one of gladness at the opportunity of meeting with the saints? "So will I compass thine altar, 0 Jehovah; That I may make the voice of thanksgiving to be heard, and tell of all thy wondrous works. Jehovah, I love the habitation of thy house, and place where thy glory dwelleth" (Psa. 25:6-8). Should not every child of God long for the occasion of saints' meeting together to give thanks and to praise God for all His wondrous works?

"Blessed is the man whom thou chooseth, and causeth to approach unto thee, That he may dwell in thy courts: We shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, thy holy temple" (Psa. 65:4). We are chosen in this age by the gospel (2 Thess. 2:13-14, 1 Cor. 5:15), and having been chosen, we can approach God as His sons and daughters. To mingle our voices, in praise and thanksgiving should be a great joy, never avoided.

"Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before Jehovah our Maker: for for he is our God, And we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand" (Psa. 95:6-7). Jesus is our Shepherd and we are the flock (I Pet. 5:1-5, Acts 20:28, John 10). God made us physically, and Christians are His spiritual creation (Eph. 2:1-10). As our Maker, God deserves our praise and adoration.

To Praise God

Whenever Christians meet to express their praise they are giving a sacrifice of their lips. "Through him then let us offer up a sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of lips which make confession to his, name" (Heb. 13:15). If one is cheerful, he can express this in praise and if he is suffering, he can pray (Jas. 5:13). With no anxious heart, Christians can in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let their requests be made known unto God (Phil. 4:6). Christians should praise God and sing unto His name with rejoicing (Rom. 15:8-13).

Because God Teaches Us To Worship

Jesus meets with those who assemble in His name (Matt. 18:20). No person interested in his right relation to God would want to absent himself from the assembly where Christ meets with men. When we assemble to eat the Lord's supper, it is around His table (Luke 22:29-30). The early disciples continued stedfastly in the breaking of bread, prayers, and teaching (Acts 2:42). This approved example shows us what we should do. Likewise we are instructed not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together (Heb. 10:25).

Why worship? We should worship to commune with God, to express the feelings of our souls, to praise God, and because God wants us to.

Truth Magazine, V:2, pp. 14-15
December 1960