The Word in Worship:
Read the Bible
Read the Bible
This article on “The Word in Worship” series focuses on the phrase “read the Bible.” Baptists have been known as “People of the Book” throughout the centuries. We have traditionally held the Scripture in high regard (and for good reason), and my desire is to continue fostering a fervent belief in the power of God's Word. This is partly why we now read through a portion (or portions) of Scripture during our worship gatherings on Sunday. Reading Scripture as an integral part of worship displays to the world that we, as Christians, have the Bible as the foundation for all of life.
While my desire is to reflect a strong belief in the Word of God, the most important reason that we have a time devoted just for reading through Scripture is due to the mandate of 1 Timothy 4:13, which tells us: “devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture” (ESV). Later in the passage, Paul mentions teaching as an additional element, which means that the Scripture reading is distinct and separate from the sermon (or “teaching”). Reading Scripture can be done in a variety of ways, and there's no manual on Scripture reading in the Bible. I think Paul's main point is that we should be reading Scripture together as a church, listening and sometimes reciting together these words of truth.
What are some practical reasons why God wants us to read Scripture in worship? Let me close with Bob Kauflin's answer
“When we listen to God's Word being read, we're acknowledging our dependence on and submission to God's revelation. Children learn to respect God's Word when it's read with genuine respect and enthusiasm. Visitors see that we value the Bible. When Scripture reading is well planned, the congregation gets a balanced diet of God's Word. And for those who don't read their Bibles, it may be the only time they hear it."11 From Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God, Bob Kauflin. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2008, 94.