Why do we worship?

If “worship” means singing songs of praise, as “worship” is very often used, then here are some goals of worship: We strive to build each other up (1 Cor. 14:26), be filled with God’s Word (Col. 3:16), be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18ff), be a testimony to an unbelieving world (1 Cor. 14:24-15), and gives thanks to God for all He is and has done for us (Eph. 5:20). It is our joy to sing but we are also commanded to sing (e.g. Ps. 100:1-2). Singing is serious.

We do not, however, want to worship God merely in song for if our worship is only in song it is not true worship. We show what we worship by what we give worth. Jesus said, where your treasure is your heart will be also. Jesus said that we cannot serve two masters, but we will serve one. So, worship is inevitable; it is not a matter of if but of what or who. We will serve one or the other. We will worship.

And the Bible calls us to worship the LORD God with all we are (Deut. 6:5; 1 Kings 8:61; Matt.8:22; 22:37-38; Mark 12:30 [heart, soul, mind and strength, i.e. total devotion], Luke 10:27; 14:25-33; 16:13, Rom. 14:7-8, 1 Cor. 7:35 [Paul wants to secure an “undivided devotion to the Lord”]). The Triune God deserves our worship! 

In Romans 12:1 we are told to present our bodies as a living sacrifice because that is our reasonable (logikēnworship. It is  logical, rational, or reasonable for Christians to give themselves as “living sacrifices.” Thomas R. Schreiner says, “Paul used the term [logikēn] with the meaning ‘rational’ or ‘reasonable,’ as was common in the Greek language. His purpose in doing so was to emphasize that yielding one’s whole self to God is eminently reasonable. Since God has been so merciful, failure to dedicate one’s life to him is the height of folly and irrationality.”[1] Also, Schreiner points out that “the word ‘bodies’ here refers to the whole person and stresses that consecration to God involves the whole person… Genuine commitment to God embraces every area of life.”[2] Our worship is not segregated to certain areas of our lives but encompasses the whole of who we are and all we do. 

Why do we worship (in song and in all of life)? Because we are commanded to and because the Lord is worthy of worship and worshiping the Triune God is our joy. 


[1] Thomas R. Schreiner, Romans (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1998), 645.

[2] Ibid., 644.

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About Paul O'Brien

I am a lot of things; saint and sinner. I struggle and I strive. I am a husband and father of three. I have been in pastoral ministry for 10 years. I went to school at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary but most of my schooling has been at the School of Hard Knocks. I have worked various jobs, including pheasant farmer, toilet maker, construction worker, and I served in the military. My wife and I enjoy reading at coffee shops, taking walks, hanging out with friends and family, and watching our three kid's antics. :)

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