What Is Worship?

Why should we worship God? Before we can answer this question, we first need to define what worship is. What is worship? A dictionary definition of worship would go something along the lines of “an expression of reverence and adoration for a deity.” In the New Testament the Greek word for worship (“proskuneo”) means “to bow or fall down before.”

The word “worship” comes from two Old English words: “weorth,” which means “worth” and “scipe,” which means “quality.” So just as the word friendship would mean “the quality of a friend,” worship in the same sense means “the quality of having worth” or being worthy.

Let’s turn to Genesis 1:1; 1 Chronicles 16:25-26; Revelation 14:7 and read together.

The Bible says God is worthy of worship because He is our Creator. God not only created us, He created the heavens and the earth! So, how should we worship God?

In the Bible, there is a famous story in the book of John where Jesus met a Samaritan woman at a well.  This encounter soon turned into a theological discussion about worship.

Let’s turn to John 4:23-24.

The Bible tells us that we must worship God in spirit and in truth. There are two implications in this statement.

Let’s turn to Leviticus 19:31; Mark 3:11; 1 Timothy 4:1; 1 John 4:1; Revelation 16:13-14.

The Bible tells us that it is possible to worship in spirit, but not in truth. There were times in the Bible where the Israelites engaged in earnest worship of false gods (2 Chronicles 7:19-20 and Isaiah 44:17), but God demands exclusivity in worship (Deuteronomy 6:13; Luke 4:6-8; Revelation 19:10). God declares that there are no other gods besides Him (Jeremiah 2:11-13; Isaiah 45:5-7).

What about the other implication of John 4:23-24?  Let’s turn to Isaiah 29:13; Matthew 15:8; Luke 11:24; Jame 2:18-20).

It is also possible to worship in truth, but not in spirit. The Pharisees in the time of Jesus had access to the truth in the teachings of the Law and Prophets, yet they worshiped in the wrong spirit (Isaiah 29:13). They had an outward form of godliness, but they were unconverted on the inside (Matthew 23:25-26; 2 Timothy 3:5).

So, how do we worship God in the right spirit and truth? Let’s turn to Matthew 13:11-13; John 8:42-43; 1 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 3:16).

The Holy Spirit can guide us and help us understand God’s revelation in the Bible. The Holy Spirit can lead us to worship God in spirit and in truth. We must avoid following the traditions of man, who may lead us astray from truly worshiping God (Matthew 15:9),

So, what are ways we can worship God according to the Bible? Here are some ways: 

  • Praying to God through Christ (Nehemiah 8:6) 
  • Teaching/learning the Scriptures (Nehemiah 9:3) 
  • Observing the Lord’s supper (Acts 20:7) 
  • Giving of their means (1 Corinthians 16:2) 
  • Singing/praising God (Exodus 15:1, 21; Judges 5:3; Psalms 138:2; Psalms 139:14; Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 13:15) 
  • Evangelistic/missionary efforts (Romans 15:16) 
  • Helping others (Philippians 4:18; Hebrews 13:16) 
  • How we live our lives and even in the little things we do (John 9:31; 1 Corinthians 10:31-32)

A pastor once said that the thing you esteem most in the world is what you worship. This means that everyone in this world, even the staunchest atheist, worships something, whether it is a material object, a person, knowledge, worldly pleasure, or power. Friend, will you agree that God alone is worthy of worship? Will you worship Him in spirit and truth?“

Happy Sabbath!

A Short Prayer