The Truth about Worship
In the Old Testament, the word ˇ§worshipˇ¨ has the meaning ˇ§to bow downˇ¨. It appears 166 times, and indicates man lying prone and bowing before God. In Greek, the word proskuneo signifies kissing, respect, and prostration, and appears 54 times in the New Testament ˇV 26 times in the Gospels and 22 times in Revelations. Mostly it describes people prostrating and worshipping Christ or God. Worship is the proper attitude and implementation towards God in a church gathering.
Strictly speaking, the New Testament Bible has no details on worship services for the church. But from the conversation of Jesus with the Samaritan woman, we can find some principles for worshipping God ˇV 1. Only by believing that Jesus is the Christ established by God can there be true focus and meaning to worshipping God. ˇ§Believe me, woman...ˇ¨ (John 4:21, Acts 2:36) 2. Worshipping God is no longer confined to a particular spot. ˇ§You will worship the Father neither on this mountain or in Jerusalem.ˇ¨ (John 4:21) 3. Knowing the Truth of salvation is the reason for worshipping God. ˇ§You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.ˇ¨ (John 4:22) 4. Worshipping and glorifying God have to be timely. ˇ§Yet a time is coming and has now comeˇKˇ¨ (John 4:23) 5. True worship of God is an activity of manˇ¦s inner soul being guided and moved by the Holy Spirit. ˇ§True worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truthˇKHis worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth.ˇ¨ (John 4:23-24) 6. Worshiping God is conducted within the confines of the Truth and in accordance with the instructions of the Bible. ˇ§ˇKworship... inˇKtruth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeksˇKmust worship inˇKtruth.ˇ¨ (John 4:23-24) 7. The churchˇ¦s worship must focus on the needs of God, and not satisfy the needs of man. Worship must have God as its center and not man. Concentrate on the worshipperˇ¦s adoration from the inner spirit and guidance by the Truth, and not on the outward ambience of the service. ˇ§ˇKthey are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. God is spiritˇKˇ¨ (John 4:23-24)
As well, we can find some indications of the details of worship services from the gatherings of the early church ˇV 1. Besides a personal life of worship, worshipping God is a collective activity of the church. ˇ§All the believers were together.ˇ¨ (Acts 2:44) ˇ§So if the whole church comes togetherˇKˇ¨ (1 Corinthians 14:23) 2. Worship includes man coming before God, seeking to know Him, ardently learning the biblical Truth from listening to Godˇ¦s words through His servants, and submitting to God. ˇ§They devoted themselves to the apostleˇ¦s teaching.ˇ¨ (Acts 2:42, Hosea 6:3,6) 3. Worshipping God does not mean believers neglecting communion with each other and a life of fellowship within the church. ˇ¨ˇKdevotedˇKto the fellowship.ˇ¨ (John 2:42) 4. Part of the content of worshipping God is remembering Christ as He instructed, because He suffered and died for our sins and redeemed us. All who have been reborn and saved and have the life of God must always remember and worship the Lord in the ˇ§Breaking of Breadˇ¨ gathering. (Acts 2:42, Luke 22:19) 5. ˇ§Prayingˇ¨ (Acts 2:42, 1 Corinthians 14:15) is the whole churchˇ¦s expression of unity in spirit, and worshipping God in concordance.
Worshipping God is the ultimate duty of man towards the Lord. From the prostration and adoration of the 24 elders before the throne in heaven, we can understand the reason for their worship of God: ˇ§You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being." (Revelations 4:1) We worship God because that is the reason all things in heaven and earth and mankind were created. We (the church) were not only created for the glory of God (Isaiah 43:1, 7), we were chosen, saved and redeemed, and experience His great love. Therefore, we must exalt and worship God through our spirit. The summation of all Godˇ¦s revelations to man is the instruction of the angel to John: ˇ§I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep the words of this book. Worship God!" (Revelations 22:9)
By: Daniel To