The idea of worship means many different things to people today. Of course, extremes of experience and traditionalism have distorted and distracted people from genuine worship.
The word ‘worship’ is from the old English, “weorthscipe”, which means “a recognition of worth”. In the Scriptures, the concept of worship carries the idea of serving God by means of an attitude of fear and adoration. What is worship? Worship for the believer is the act of recognizing God’s worth and responding to that in service to Him. Worship is to be exclusively offered unto the Lord (Exodus 20:3; Deut. 5:7; 6:13; Matt. 4:10; Luke 4:8; Acts 10:26; 14:15; Col. 2:18; Rev. 19:10; 22:8). How do we worship God? If we are going to do this, we need to have a right recognition of three realities:
A Right Recognition of who God Is
Knowing who God is will inform and instruct us in worship. We are unable to comprehend God (Deut. 29:29, Psalm 145:3, Is. 55:8-9, Rom. 11:33); however, by his grace God is knowable (John 17:3). What does the Scripture say
concerning who God is? That question needs a long answer! Allow me to mention some things the Scriptures say. The Bible declares that God is eternal (Gen. 21:33; Ps. 90:1-2; Is. 40:28) and the Creator (Gen. 1:1). In His character He is holy (Is. 6:3) and just (Deut. 32:4; 2 Thess. 1:6). In His activities He is sovereign (Dan. 4:34-35) and gracious (Psalm 84:11).
A Right Recognition of what God Does
What has God done and continue to do? God has created the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1). He sustains and maintains creation (Col. 1:17) by upholding all things by the power of His word (Heb. 1:3). He graciously sent His Son to redeem His people from their sin (John 3:16; Gal. 1:3-4). He works all things together for good in the life of His people (Rom. 8:28).
A Right Recognition of what God Requires
The Lord requires of His people the following: to fear Him, to walk in all His ways, to love Him and to serve Him with all our heart and soul (Deut. 10:12). Such actions come as a result of being rightly acquainted with who the Lord is.
Worship is our response to these realities. What does it mean to worship God? It means to serve the Lord out of gratitude for who He is and what He has done for us. For the believer, worship is to be a duty and delight. In my next post, I will discuss the necessary components of genuine worship.