Study 11 Objective:
What is worship, and how is it expressed in the life of the believer?
Back to Bible Study 11:
God is worthy of honour and praise
The English word “worship” refers to attributing worth, value and respect to someone.
The Hebrew and Greek words translated into English as worship are many, but the main ones contain a basic idea of service or duty, such as a slave displays towards a master.
They express the thought that God alone is Lord over every aspect of life, as is illustrated in Christ’s reply to Satan in Luke 4:8, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve” (Luke 4:8; Matthew 4:10; Deuteronomy 10:20).
Other concepts include sacrifice, bowing down, offering, confession, homage, devotion, etc. “The essence of divine worship is giving – our giving to God what is due Him” (Barackman 1981: 417).
Christ said that the hour is now “when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in
truth” (John 4:23-24).
The above passage suggests that worship is directed to the Father, and that it is an integral part of the believer’s life. Just as God is Spirit, so our worship will not solely be physical but also involve our very being and be founded on truth (note that Jesus, the Word, is truth – see John 1:1, 14; 14:6; 17:17).
“Worship is the total life of the church through which the community of faith says Amen (So be it!) through the power of the Holy Spirit to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jinkins 2001:229)
Thus whatever a believer does is an opportunity for grateful worship. “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Colossians 3:17; see also 1 Corinthians 10:31).
In what ways does your soul magnify the Lord?
Jesus Christ and worship The passage above notes that we give thanks
through Jesus Christ. As Jesus, the Lord who “is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:17), is our Mediator and Advocate, our worship flows to the Father through Him.
Worship does not require human intermediaries such as priests because
through Christ’s death humanity has been reconciled to God and through Him has “access by one Spirit to the Father” (Ephesians 2:14-18).
This teaching is the original context of Martin Luther’s notion of
“the priesthood of all believers”. “…the church worships God inasmuch as it participates in the perfect worship (leiturgia) that Christ offers God on our behalf” (Jinkins 2001:229).