I. What is worship?
A. Worship is “an active response to God whereby we declare His worth.”
B. In fact, the word “worship” is a modification of an older word, “worthship.” Worship means “to attribute worth” to something or someone.
1. When we say “he worships his money” or “she worships her grandchildren”, it is a loose usage of the word.
2. However, if the supreme object of worth for him is his money or for her, her grandchildren, then it is an accurate use of the word.
C. Psalms 95
II. Examining a few incidents of worship
A. The wise men worshiped Jesus - Matthew 2:11
B. Satan wanted Jesus to worship him - Matthew 4:8-9
C. A man worshiped Jesus when asking for his daughter to be healed - Matthew 9:18
D. The Samaritan woman wanted to know where people should worship - John 4:20
E. People were involved in worshiping demons and idols - Revelation 9:20
F. Notice that worship was a distinctive action. It was not a vague concept that permeated a person’s life.
G. Notice that while worship belongs only to God, other things and beings have been worshiped.
H. The word worship means “the honor and respect given to a divine being or supernatural power.”
III. Jesus’ definition of worship - John 4:21-24
A. Worship requires a worshiper.
1. Worship is an action taken by people
2. The existence of a rock is not worship. Animals do not worship.
B. It requires an object of worship – God
1. Mankind has often misdirected it’s worship - Isaiah 2:8
2. It was called futile (useless) worship because man cannot make God - Romans 1:21-23
3. As Jesus told Satan, only God is to be worshiped - Luke 4:8
a. One falsehood that is frequently circulated is that it really doesn’t matter who you worship.
b. The claim is that Allah and God are the same being, just call by different names. The God of the Muslims is not the God of the Christians. The God of the Muslims does not exist, he is a figment of Mohammed’s imagination. God of the Christians is the only true God.
c. The God of the new age movement, Gaia, is a falsehood and cannot be equated with the God of the Bible.
C. It must be done in the proper spirit
1. Matthew 22:37-38 - Love God with our whole being
2. Worship of the Creator is not a frivolous thing. Paul warned the Corinthians to make sure their partaking of the Lord’s Supper was done in a worthy manner (proper frame of mind) - I Corinthians 11:27-30
3. It cannot be done accidently.
4. Even when doing the proscribed actions of worship, the worship is in vain (useless) if the heart is not in it - Matthew 15:8
D. It must be done in truth (as God commands)
1. The Jews used their rules for serving God. Jesus declared them useless - Matthew 15:9
2. God is the object of our worship and He tells us how He wishes to be served. God doesn’t have to accept anything man may happen to send His way – God doesn’t need man’s worship. Man cannot tell his Master what God will accept. - Isaiah 29:16
E. So what is worship?
1. It something a man does that is giving praise and honor to God.
2. It is limited to things that God has told man to do to worship Him.
3. And it requires a proper attitude by man towards God while doing what God has directed
IV. Is everything we do worship?
A. Let us use Abraham as an example - Genesis 22:3-8
1. Was traveling three days authorized by God? Yes. Was it worship, no that came later.
2. Notice that Abraham did not consider everything he did worship.
3. He told his servants to stay while he and Isaac worship.
B. The idea that everything is worship actually takes away from the concept of worship.
1. If everything was worship, it becomes common, ordinary, and routine.
2. Worship is a distinctive action reserved for God alone.
3. The things we do in worship is to give God glory and honor by serving Him. It is not a time for us (though we do benefit). It is a time to worship our Lord.