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How Should We Worship God?

By bro Lee Tian Seng

Some people think that we should not worship God every Sunday because a routine can result in a meaningless form of worship. A less regular worship does not necessarily mean more meaningful worship. We also need to know that it is not up to us to decide how often to worship God because God has commanded Christians to meet regularly on Sundays (the first day of the week) to worship.

In Acts 20:6-12, we read that the Apostle Paul in his missionary journey set sail from Philippi to Troas in Asia. He stayed there for seven days and before he left, he met with the disciples to “break bread”. We can learn three things from this passage:

1. The importance of observing the day of worship.

Acts 20:7 - And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

This is an authorised example of the disciples assembling on the first day of the week to worship God. How often did the disciples meet? If they assembled on the first day of the week and every week has a first day of the week, it means that disciples assembled every first day of the week. The first day of the week is referred to as “the Lord’s Day” (Rev 1:10). It is God’s authorised day of worship. Besides the scriptural record, Jewish historian Josephus records that Christians assembled on the first day of the week.

As Christians, we need to observe the gathering with the church to worship God on every Sunday and not to forsake it for any reason. In the epistle of Hebrews, it is mentioned that some Christians forsook the assembly and were warned of this neglect.

Hebrews 10:25 - Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

We need to put Sunday worship as our priority because it is commanded by God.

2. The importance of worshipping God in spirit and in truth.

Not only has God instructed us on how often we are to worship Him, He also instructed us on what to do in our worship. We note that the disciples listened to Paul’s preaching and ate the Lord’s Supper or “break bread” together (Acts 20:7, 11). This serves to show us 2 acts of worship but the others acts not mentioned are prayer (Acts 2:42), singing praises (Eph 5:19) and the giving of contribution (1 Cor 16:1-2). When we worship our true and living God in heaven, we need to know what God requires of us. All meaningless rituals and men’s inventions are not acceptable to God.

Matthew 15:9 - But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Each of the five acts of worship must also be done with understanding. When the Corinthian Christians ate the unleavened bread as a common meal and thus without the proper understanding and reverence, the apostle Paul corrected them in his epistle.

1 Cor 11:20-22

When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.

Thus it is clear that besides the regularity of worship on Sunday, we need to be worshipping in the scriptural way and with understanding.

John 4:24 - God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

3. The importance of preaching and listening to the Word of God.

The Apostle Paul preached the Word of God till midnight because he needed to leave the place in the morning (Acts 20:7). It seems like Paul had seized the opportunity to preach to them although he only had a short time with them and we observed that the disciples were keen to learn.

2 Timothy 3:15-16

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

This text tells us the reasons why Christians should pay attention to the teaching of the Scriptures:

a. The Scriptures are the inspired Word of God. 2 Pet 1:20-21.

b. The Scriptures have truth which is able to save one’s soul. Rom 1:16.

c. The Scriptures provide teachings to make one complete in all good works.

We also read that the Apostle Paul miraculously raised Eutychus. It is significant that this miracle is recorded because it confirms that Paul had authority from God. The words of the apostles are inspired of God, being confirmed by signs and wonders.

Heb 2:3-4

How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

We also learn from the example of the disciples who listened to the words till midnight. It shows that they were eager to learn from the preacher. How are we as listeners when the Word of God is taught in sermons on Sunday and in Bible classes? Are we paying attention or are thinking of something else? The Berean Christians also demonstrated good attitude towards God’s Word in Acts 17:11. We need to emulate the examples of these Christians.

Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

Let us be the kind of worshippers that God seeks.

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