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What Is Worship?

Misers appear to worship money and material things. But is this really worship? No worship is expressed through trust, obedience and love in expressions and actions of honor and praise. It is not some repetitive practice, ritual.
  • The patriarchs worshiped God by offering animal sacrifices.
  • The Children of Israel worshipped by sacrificing animal without blemishes and offerings of finest grains and oil.
  • God so loved the world He gave His only Son.
  • Christ so loved that He offered to God His body as the only sacrifice to atone, remove or cleanse man of his sins.
  • God accepted Christ's offering thus giving man opportunity for forgiveness and reconciliation.
  • This gift of forgiveness is available to all who accept by putting their trust and obedience in Him.
  • Christians are to offer their bodies as "living sacrifices" after having died to sin being immersed [buried] into Christ's death. Their sacrifice must be from their inner being out of love and with thanksgiving for the removal of sin and hope of eternal life if they remain in Christ. "And you, being in time past alienated and enemies in your mind in your evil works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and without blemish and unreproveable before him: if so be that ye continue in the faith, grounded and stedfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel" (Col 1:22-23 - ASV).

Real or genuine worship to God originates from love, the giving of one's self over to serving, praising and daily Godly living. Paul stated it this way "offer your bodies as living sacrifices, dedicated to God and pleasing to him. This kind of worship is appropriate" (Romans 12:1 GWT).

Worship is a participatory activity, not a spectator event. It is action from within ones inner being whether alone or in a group. There are benefits derived when worshipping with others; e.g., one recognizes he is not alone in his devotion to God and others encourage faithfulness.

"Worship is "the direct acknowledgement of God, of His nature, attributes, ways and claims, whether by the outgoing of the heart in praise and thanksgiving or by deeds done in such acknowledgement." (Vine, IV 236 - Instrumental Music and New Testament Worship, J. D. Bales 1973 p175)

Who Is To Be Worshipped?
Paul stated to those in Christ "I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship" (Romans 12:1a). Obviously by becoming a living sacrifice, the object of such devotion very important.

When there is an attitude of love, peace and gratitude within one's inner being, there comes forth a desire to express it in various ways, words, thoughts and actions. These expressions when directed toward God will take various forms such as doing good as opportunity arises, singing praises, praying with thanksgiving, giving because of the joy of helping others, studying scripture to obtain a better understanding of what God desires and is pleasing to Him, remembering the atoning sacrifice made by Jesus and daily living to mirror or reflect God's image in offering "your bodies as living sacrifices, dedicated to God and pleasing to him. This kind of worship is appropriate" (Romans 12:1).

God is spirit and his worshipers must worship in spirit [not physical] and in truth [genuine not ritual]. "John 4:24 declares that 'God is a Spirit.' These words contain one of the most simple, yet most profound truths which ever fell upon mortal ear. Their truth is one of the great glories of revelation, and corrects the mistaken conclusion of human reason. They show that:
"1. God is absolutely free from all limitations of space and time, and is therefore not localized in temples (Acts 7:48).
2. God is not material, as idolaters contend.
3. He is not an abstract force, as [some (rd)] scientists think, but a Being.
4. He is lifted above all need of temples, sacrifices, etc., which are a benefit to man, but not to God (Acts 17:25). "
[p. 149, The fourfold Gospel, J.W. McGarvey and Philip Pendleton]

When Should One Worship?
By being a living sacrifice one will in everything gives thanks, glory and praise to God while looking for ways to:
a. Assist other children of God and others in need.
b. Encourage others to live sacrificial lives.
c. Spread the message - forgiveness and salvation is in Christ.
d. Proclaim and defend the life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension and return of Jesus, our Redeemer.

Christians will not abandon being with, edifying or fellowshipping others in Christ, regardless of when or where they assemble. They will be faithful to their Savior, to His Message, to His people and not be ashamed of their chosen way of life. Therefore, worshipping God by serving, teaching, singing, admonishing and meeting together is not limited to any specific day or place.

Where Is One To Worship? Jesus told the Samaritan woman "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain [Mt. Gerizim] nor in Jerusalem" (John 4:21). So going to some specific building or location to worship is not what God desires. One worships from within rather than some physical location. Assembling with others of common faith edifies by increasing the emotions of one's inner being.

How Is One To Worship? Understanding the what, who, when and where of worship should help in understanding the how of worshipping. The giving ourselves as a living sacrifice is a lifestyle of service motivated out of a desire to be more like Christ while giving Him glory, honor, praise and adoration.

Man is to worship in his spiritual inner being, his seat of emotion, and in genuineness not some routine done without feeling. Consequently, one incapable of performing a physical act can still worship and serve God.

Therefore, if one's thoughts and emotions are based upon a knowledge of God and he has an intimate relationship with Him, he has trained his whole being to love, adore and praise God with genuineness of heart and desire to please him. He is now prepared to be a living sacrifice serving God in spirit and truth.

Vain Worship
Since good works that benefit man while glorifying God and inner being, spiritual, activity, in the form of songs, prayers, expressions of adoration, praise is real and genuine worship, then worship activity not from ones heart is unacceptable worship, for instance:
  • Prayers offered to satisfy personal desires
  • Money given for personal recognition
  • Songs of praise to God sung to the listener with no thought of God.
  • Lessons taught for praise of man.
  • Lord's Supper may be partaken of without considering Christ's atoning sacrifice and without any thanksgiving for the forgiveness, redemption and reconciliation resulting thereof.
  • Good works done for self-satisfaction

If the Kingdom of God is truly within you, then your character will be one of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, goodness and self-control and your actions will reflect this character.

1. Who is to be worshipped?
     Jehovah God
     Hindu shrine

2. How often should one worship?
     Every Sunday
     Three times a week
     Daily living sacrifices

3. One must go to a church building or temple to worship?

4. Worship is
     Bowing down to an idol or shrine
     Rituals performed by a priest
     Inner being adoration and honor toward God

5. Worship activity cannot be in vain as any type of worship is acceptable to God.

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