Devote yourself to the Public Reading of Scripture

Stanton Petersen on Sep 09, 2019

Last Sunday, Pastor Kevin and I attempted something new with our church. We decided to read the whole “Sermon on the Mount” during our worship service. It was a wonderful time and I enjoyed it immensely. However, when Pastor Kevin shared the idea with me a few weeks ago, I was confused. You see, I was under the impression that the worship service should be given to preaching and teaching. It wasn’t until I dug deeper into the Bible that I found out that public reading of scripture was part of the history of the Jewish people and the church for centuries. I was shocked! How could I have missed this important part of scripture?! The most powerful argument for reading scripture in public worship is found in 1 Timothy 4:13. Paul charges his disciple Timothy to “devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching”. Public reading of scripture is found both in the Old and New Testament. But here Paul gives a clear directive to read scripture publicly. It was part of the church’s corporate worship. They believed the regular encounter of God’s Word through this practice was essential for the spiritual growth of God’s people. If we desire God’s people to fall in love with His Word, then it should also involve the effort of reading scripture in public.

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