One aspect of Christianity involves worshipping
God. Here we will note what worship is as well as
the importance of both public and private worship.
What is worship? The word is defined by Thayer
as, "1) to kiss the hand to (toward) one, in token of
reverence... 3) in the New Testament by kneeling or prostration
to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether in order to
express respect or to make supplication;..." Thus it
indicates to show reverence, or hallowed respect to someone.
Note the positions mentioned in this definition: kissing the
hand, kneeling to do homage. These actions indicate special
effort being made merely because of the worth of the one being
addressed. It should also be noted that to be worthwhile it is
done voluntarily, rather than being forced to do it. Then and
only then, will it have true meaning in oneís life. In this
article we are dealing with such an attitude toward God.
A key aspect of our worship is that it pleases
God. In order to do this we must worship Him following the
directions He has given us. From the beginning of manís
existence upon this earth, God has expected us to worship in the
manner He prescribes. Genesis 4 records the story of Cain and
Abel. Both were making an offering to God. Cain brought offering
of the fruit of the ground (4:3) while Abel brought of the
firstborn of his flock and of their fat (4:4). God accepted
Abelís sacrifice and rejected Cainís (4:4-5). From this we
can infer that God had given specific instructions on how to
worship and sacrifice to Him. Abel obeyed and Cain did not. The
books of Exodus and Leviticus deal extensively and in great
detail with the manner of worship the Israelites were to
participate in. And we find in Leviticus 10:1-2, that Nadab and
Abihu, sons of Aaron and priests, were burned to death by God
because they offered "profane fire". This tells us
that they did not follow Godís instructions to worship Him on
this occasion and God viewed the offense seriously. From these
examples and others we learn that if our worship is to be
acceptable to God it must be according to His pattern. And does
that not make sense? If you wanted to please someone, you would
do what they ask of you and do it the way they ask you to do it.
How do we worship God? Worship is something we
are to do both publicly and privately. By publicly, I mean that
we assemble together with other Christians (as a church-more on
this in another article) and worship God by praying to Him (Acts
2:42, 12:5,12; 1 Corinthians 14:12-15), singing songs together
(Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16), studying His word (Acts 20:7,
2 Timothy 4:2, Romans 1:15, and on the first day of the week,
partaking of the Lordís supper (Acts 20:7) and giving of our
prosperity to Him (1 Corinthians 16:1-2, 2 Corinthians 9:7-8).
These will be discussed in detail in a future lesson. By
privately, I mean worship done as an individual in addition to
that of the church. Examples of this type of worship include
studying Godís word and prayer as mentioned in the previous
lessons. It can also include singing songs to God from your
heart while in private. Another way to worship God privately is
to set some time aside as a family to worship God together.
Perhaps there are other things you could incorporate in your
private worship such as fasting (Matthew 6:16-18) and in some
ways, even charitable giving can be worshipping God (Matthew
One final thing to note, that is equally
important to properly worship God is our attitude. Jesus
discussed worship with a Samaritan woman. John 4 records Jesus
saying, "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must
worship in spirit and truth." (4:24). The truth here
has reference to the manner of our worship as discussed above.
The spirit here deals with our attitude. Jesus was explaining
that proper worship must be as He commands, but it must also
come from the heart. This point is further seen in Jesusí
condemnation of arrogant and pretentious worship. In the
"Sermon on the Mount", Jesus taught about prayer, "And
when you pray you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they
love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of
the streets, that they may be seen of men. Assuredly, I say to
you, they have their reward." (Matthew 6:5). He then
proceeds to explain HOW to properly pray (6:6-15). On another
occasion, He gave an example of this very thing (Luke 18:9-14).
A Pharisee and a tax collector both went to the temple to pray.
The Pharisee bragged about everything he did and that he was not
like other men, "even as this tax collector" (v.11).
But the tax collector, would not even lift his eyes to heaven
and simply prayed, "God, be merciful to me, a sinner!"
(v. 13). Jesus then explains that it was the tax collector who
went down to his house justified. Why? Because his attitude was
as it ought to be. In every act of worship we participate in,
this attitude must be there. When we pray, it must be with the
spirit and the understanding (1 Corinthians 14:15). When we
sing, we must make melody in our hearts and let the word of
Christ dwell in us in all wisdom and understanding (Ephesians
5:19; Colossians 3:16). Our study must be with the intent to
understand (Ephesians 5:17) and apply it (James 1:22). Even the
Lordís Supper is to be taken commemorating the Lordís death
(1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
Thus we can see the importance of worship as
Christians both publicly and privately. One thing that is worthy
of noting is the fact that the amount of time we spend
worshipping God will correlate directly with how strong we
become as Christians. It is another one of the "spiritual
indicators" as I call them. What about you? Do you worship
God as you ought to? Before you can properly worship God, you
must first become a Christian. Remember, it is important that we
worship Him the way he instructs us to and one thing He commands
of us is that we obey the gospel. Is there any way that we can
assist you? If so, please let us know. In the mean time, we
invite you to come check us out.