I have always heard and agreed with the statement that the preaching and hearing of a sermon is just as much an act of worship as times of singing or prayer, but I don’t think I had reasoned out why the sermon is worship as well as Charles Spurgeon does in the following passage:

If the observation be meant to imply that the hearing of sermons is not worshipping God, it is founded on a gross mistake indeed, for rightly to listen to the gospel is one of the noblest parts of the adoration of the Most High. It is a mental exercise, when rightly performed, in which all the faculties of the spiritual man are called into devotional action. Reverently hearing the word exercises our humility, instructs our faith, irradiates us with joy, inflames us with love, inspires us with zeal, and lifts us up towards heaven. Many a time a sermon has been a kind of Jacob’s ladder upon which we have seen the angels of God ascending and descending, and the covenant God himself at the top thereof. We have often felt when God has spoken through his servants into our souls, ‘This is none other than the house of God, and the very gate of heaven.’ We have magnified the name of the Lord and praised him with all our heart while he has spoken to us by his Spirit which he has given to men. Hence there is not the wide distinction to be drawn between preaching and prayer that some would have us admit; for the one part of the service softly blends into the other, and the sermon frequently inspires the prayer and the hymn. True preaching is an acceptable adoration of God by the manifestation of his gracious attributes: the testimony of his gospel, which pre-eminently glorifies him, and the obedient hearing of revealed truth, are an acceptable form of worship to the Most High, and perhaps one of the most spiritual in which the human mind can be engaged. (Lectures to My Students, “Our Public Prayer”, pg 53)

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