The Riches OF GRACE
“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11
Robert W. Reed
“O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.”
- The Christian’s Highest Occupation -
Worship is the highest function of the human soul as one writer has plainly put it. It is a big part of the Christian life, for man was made to worship his Creator. Worship is the occupation of the heart with God. It is a reverential attitude of mind and body. When the creature recognizes the greatness of God, he has no problem bowing himself before the creator in adoration.
“We are called to an everlasting preoccupation with God.”
- A. W. Tozer
This article is written for the purpose of helping the Christian to understand the importance of worshipping God in the proper manner. Worship has become a missing jewel in the church. If the Holy Spirit packed up and left most of our churches today, no one would notice.
The Definition of Worship
The word “worship” means to bow before, honor, reverence, prostrate, serve, or to adore (Revelation 15:4, Exodus 4:31, Genesis 24:52, Genesis 23:7, Genesis 27:29). Worship is the occupation of the heart with God. It is the act of giving oneself to God, to pay homage to a superior being. To worship is to attribute worth to someone or something.
The word “worship” is used often today, but seldom defined. We speak of public worship, worship services, private worship, but what is real worship? It is not a warm fuzzy feeling or an emotional high. There is much detail given to Israel about worship between Exodus chapter twenty-five through chapter forty as they built the Tabernacle for that very purpose.
The first time the word worship is used in the Bible (King James Version) is in Genesis 22:5. The law of first mention helps us understand the meaning of the word. Abraham is told to offer his son as a burnt offering in Genesis 22:2. He immediately responded to God’s command and in verse 5, Abraham said to his young men that he and Isaac would go and worship and come again. According to the text, Abraham simply did what God had commanded and of course, God provided a sacrifice. The word “worship” is associated with obedience, service, faithfulness, and dedication in the context. That is why Abraham is called a “friend of God” in James 2:23.
In John 4:19-26, Jesus told the Samaritan woman that our worship must be in Sprit and in Truth. Both the Spirit of God and the Word of God determines how to worship. God is a Spirit and we must come to Him in that realm. It is through the Holy Spirit (regeneration) that our spirit is enabled to truly worship the Lord. Also, if our worship is contrary to the Word of God (truth), it is not acceptable worship. If the content of our worship is not governed by God’s Word, it would be considered “will worship” according to Colossians 2:20-23. In Genesis 4, Cain’s worship was rejected by God based upon his disobedience to God’s Word. Nadab and Abihu were destroyed because they offered strange fire before the Lord which was a violation of revealed truth (Leviticus 10:1-2). In II Samuel 6:6-7, Uzzah died when he touched the Ark of God. God plainly said in Numbers 4:15, not to touch the ark. King Uzziah was smitten with leprosy because he worshipped God in an improper manner (II Chronicles 26:16-21). Remember, worship that is not sanctioned by God is forbidden.
“Worship is that which we give our interest, our enthusiasm and our devotion.”
- Clarance E. McCartney
The Duty of Worship
According to Matthew 4:8-10, when the Devil tempted the Messiah to bow before him, Jesus said in verse 10, “for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt Thou serve.” The first two of the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 deals with our worship to God. The Bible says in Exodus 34:14, “For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God”. Man has a responsibility and duty to worship his Creator. As Christians, may we understand that we were made for this purpose. As one writer put it, “what we worship determines what we become.” Amen. Man is religious, he will either worship the Creator or the creature.
“A man is not made to question, but adore.”
- Edward Young
The Demonstration of Worship
There are many examples of true worship in the Bible, but the greatest in my estimation is Mary of Bethany. She was the sister of Lazarus and Martha. Their home had become an oasis of fellowship for our Lord in the town of Bethany. Mary is mentioned in all four Gospels and at least three times she is seen sitting at the feet of her Lord (Matthew 26:6-16, Mark 14:3-9, Luke 10:38-42, John 12:1-8). She enjoyed Christ’s presence and was occupied with the things He had to say. According to John 12:3, Mary took a pound of ointment of spikenard, and anointed the feet of Jesus. Some say this ointment is the equivalent to a common worker’s yearly income. The verse says that it was “very costly.” She gave the most valuable thing that she possessed to the Lord. Perhaps this perfume was saved for her wedding day. Whatever the case, she gave all, and that fragrance filled the whole house. She also wiped the feet of Jesus with her hair. According to I Corinthians 11:14-15, the hair is a woman's glory and beauty. She humbly committed her glory and beauty to the Savior’s feet.
Mary’s worship was not cheap. She gave something that she really could use for herself. This is why the Lord commemorates her in Matthew 26:10-13. Jesus erected a “memorial” to her, who gave all she could. A memorial is anything that produces a remembrance. According to Matthew 26:13, the story of Mary’s worship was to be told throughout the entire world wherever the gospel was to be preached.
“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.” John 4:23
“True worship exalts God to His rightful place in our lives.”
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31
Victory Baptist Church
Pastor Robert W. Reed
14473 Bellingrath Road
P.O. Box 257
Coden, Alabama 36523