Definition of worship

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by trainbrainmommy, Feb 18, 2007.

  1. trainbrainmommy

    trainbrainmommy
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    In SS, we have been working our way throught the church's doctrinal statement. Today, the question was posed, "What is worship?"

    There were many answers and I found them all very superficial and lacking understanding - even from the "mature" members. Of course, people mentioned coming to church, singing, praying, participating in the service, giving - offerings, time, etc. All these could be called part of worship, but I am not satisfied with that as a complete definition.

    Thoughts? Passages?

    Thanks.
     
  2. tinytim

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    Worship is giving to God.
    We come to church to give our time, talents, and treasure to God.
    It is not about what we get, but what we give.

    It is putting God first so much that He is the center of your life, and you realize everything you do, you do because of Him.

    It has been said here before: We should not come to church to worship, we should come to church worshipping.

    If you wait to worship til you service starts, you are doing it wrong.
    Every Christian should come to church Sunday morning already worshipping God. That way when we come together, it is that much more powerful.

    Worship is simply having the attitude of giving your all to God.
     
  3. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    Sorry Tim, but worship is not "giving to God". It is responding to God.

    Worship is ascribing worth to something. In the biblical sense, worship is ascribing worth to God.

    If you look at the places in scripture where people "worshipped" God, you will find that worship was a response to God revealing something about Himself.

    Ex:34:6 "Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, 'The LORD, the LORD GOD, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth.'" (v.8) "Moses made haste to bow low toward the earth and worship."

    John 9:35-38 "Jesus heard that they had put him out, and finding him, he said, 'Do you believe in the Son of Man?' (v.36) He answered, 'Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?' (v.37) Jesus said to him, 'You have both seen Him and He is the one who is talking with you' (v.38) And he said, 'Lord, I believe.' And he worshipped Him."

    So the principle is that we respond to God's revelation of Himself to us with worship. It can take many forms; prayer, praise, singing, making melody in our hearts, thoughtful meditation on God's word, attentive listening to the spoken and preached word of God.

    In worship, the focus is always upon God, and not upon ourselves.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  4. Helen

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    worship (n.)
    O.E. worðscip, wurðscip (Anglian), weorðscipe (W.Saxon) "condition of being worthy, honor, renown," from weorð "worthy" (see worth) + -scipe (see -ship). Sense of "reverence paid to a supernatural or divine being" is first recorded c.1300. The original sense is preserved in the title worshipful (c.1300). The verb is recorded from c.1200.

    From http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?l=i

    http://www.bibletexts.com/terms/worship.htm -- very interesting short page on the use of the word ‘worship’ in both Old and New Testaments

    another interesting etymology is here: http://homepage.mac.com/paulbeedle/worship.html
     
  5. Tom Butler

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    I heard what I think is a pretty good short definition, and it's sorta like yours.
    Worship is telling God the truth about Himself.

    Every part of the worship service should contain that element, whether it's a call to worship, the hymns, the reading of scripture, the praying, the preaching, even the offering.

    We have the wrong view of worship if we make it an effort to arouse some sort of emotional buzz. I'll repeat what I've said before. If Jesus were to walk into the middle of a worship service, the response would not likely be jumping up and down, clapping or waving our hands in the air. Most of us would be flat on our faces before him.
     
  6. annsni

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    Louie Giglio - a speaker to college students (he's really solid - DH is going to see him tonight at a concert with Matt Redman and Chris Tomlin) has some great things to say about worship. His book The Air I Breathe: Worship as a Way of Life is exellent on this subject.

    Some of what he says in his book:

    Worship is a response to what we value the most. It is what we are designed to do. We all worship something. "When you follow the trail of your time, energy, affection and money, you find a throne. And whatever or whomever is on that throne is the object of your worship."

    "Worship is our response, both personal and corporate, to God - for who He is and for what He has done. "

    "So often in the Psalms, we find expressions very similar to this one: "Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised". When you boil it all down, true worship is simply catching sight of the greatness, majesty, splendor, glory and grace of an infinate God.
    When God is not greatly praised, it's only because we don't think He's that great of a God. When our worship is small, it's because our concept of God is small. When we offer God itty-bitty sacrifices, it's because we've somehow reduced Him in our hearts to an itty-bitty God. Our vision has become clouded, our hearts distracted.
    As a result, our lives shrivel into insignificance and meaninglessness. We just bump along in this mass of humanity, having no real clue what life's all about. We fret. We get depressed. We worry and get bent out of shape. We go down all kinds of dead-end paths as we try to accomplish everything by ourselves.
    We lose sight of the reality of all realities: There's an infinate, limitless God high and exalted on His throne, ruling with all power and authority over the heavens and the earth. A God who's still running the show - running our lives and running the whole universe on His timetable.
    And at this very moment, while He holds entire galaxies in place by His power, He also invites us at any time of day or night to look up and behold Him as He is."
     
  7. ituttut

    ituttut
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    Can we worship someone if we don't love them? To me Worship is Love, and admiration, and thankfulness.

    In Christ we are in love with our God, for He first loved us. We are to worship Him every day of our life, and thank Him for forgiving us of our every sin.

    I do not put too much stock in going to church to worship and thank Him on a certain day, for He is Holy, which makes us Holy everyday. Church of course, as long as we keep the building, and the day in perspective. Our position is in Christ Jesus above, and down here we associate with each other in Him.
     
  8. amity

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    Helen, I will read your sources.

    I have heard that the root etymology of the word "worship" referred to the act of a dog sitting gazing steadfastly up at its master. So that is how I think of worship. Total focus on God to the exclusion of all else.
     
  9. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    "Giving to God" "Responding to God" there is absolutely no difference between those two terms. Tim could not be more right. We invite people to church based o what they will get from it. We oursleves go to church with the idea that we should get something from it. Churches have evolved into self worship rather than God worship.

    worship (n.)
    O.E. worðscip, wurðscip (Anglian), weorðscipe (W.Saxon) "condition of being worthy, honor, renown," from weorð "worthy" (see worth) + -scipe (see -ship). Sense of "reverence paid to a supernatural or divine being" is first recorded c.1300. The original sense is preserved in the title worshipful (c.1300). The verb is recorded from c.1200.

    True worship of God requires a forsaking of self to focus only on what we give God with no expectation of receiving anything in return. This is what makes seeker sensative churches so sinnful. They are about getting from God not about worshippiing God alone. And it is an either or situation. You cannot have both and expectation to recieve form God and worhip Him at the same time. It is the equivilent of serving two masters.

    Many of churches have stopped true worship in Spirit and in truth a long time ago.
     
  10. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    trainbrainmommy, I always go with linguistic definitions myself. In the original Greek of the New Testament, two words were used for worship. (The Hebrew of the OT is similar in meaning; see Deut 17:3 for an example.)

    First of all, the word proskuneo means literally to bow down before someone or something. You can see this many times in the NT, for example when the wise men tell Herod they want to worship Jesus in Matt. 2:2 and then in v. 11 when they did so. We see this meaning of worship often in Japan when Japanese people stop before an idol, clap their hands (to get the idol's attention) and then bow to it. It seems to me that the average American doesn't have a clear picture of this type of worship, judging from the answers you got in SS, since Americans don't bow to anyone except when they pray.

    The second meaning of worship in the NT comes from the Greek word latreuo, which means to worship in the sense of serving God. It is often translated as "serve" in the Bible, but Paul uses this word in Acts 24:14 where it is translated "worship" (See also Phil. 3:3, Heb. 10:2, etc.) The Japanese also understand this meaning as part of worship. I once tried to witness to a Shinto priest who was sprinkling holy water around his shrine. He was purifying it for his gods.

    So, to me worship means literally bowing down before God, and also proving our faith by serving Him. I hope this helps.

    God bless.

    John
     
  11. John of Japan

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    Excellent post, tinytim.

    Your view is borne out by Rom. 12:1-2, which of course speaks of our complete commitment to God. The word for "service" in v. 1 is latreia, the noun form of latreuo, the word for worship that I mentioned in my other post.

    I have a colleague who for years would use the Japanese word atsumari (meeting) instead of reihai (worship) for the services. His point was exactly what you just said: we ought to be worshipping every day all day. My colleague finally gave in when I pointed out that we do worship corporately in the Sunday morning service, but he has an excellent point in that the Bible never talks about the gathering of believers as "worship."
     
  12. John of Japan

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    You have some good points here, canadyjd, but you are pretty dogmatic. Why cannot giving be a part of worship? When you give in the offering, why is that not a part of worship? Please note my previous post where I mention Rom. 12:1-2.
     
  13. canadyjd

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    I am not trying to be dogmatic. Tim was wrong. Here is what he said:

    It may sound good, but it is fundamentally wrong in that the starting place for worship, according to this definition, is something WE DO for God. Scripture gives the starting place for worship as God's revelation to us, and we respond in worship. That response may be giving. It may be service. It may be any number of things. But worship is a response to God's revelation.

    Concerning Romans 12: 1-2, just back up a few verses to:

    Romans 11:35 "Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to Him again?"(v.36) For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever, Amen. (12:1) Therefore....." your logical service of worship is to present your bodies as a living sacrifice.

    What is the "therefore" refering to? The revelation that God needs no one to "give" Him anything, since He created all things for Himself and He receives all glory.

    Your logical service of worship, in response to that revelation, is to present your bodies to God as a living sacrifice, to not be conformed to the world but to be transformed by the renewing of your mind (which certainly includes an attitude of service to God), to live a life of humility, to be united with other believers in love, diligently serving God with a fervent spirit and so on.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  14. John of Japan

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    "Tim was wrong" and "worship is not giving" sounds pretty dogmatic!
    Worship is the response, right? So worship is action. It may be an action in response, but it is still action.

    A response must be action. Worship is an action. Simply saying "worship is a response" is insufficient. You must define what that response is. If I say, "A burglar came into my home and I responded," everyone will ask, "How did you respond?"

    This is all very fine, and I agree that worship is a response (but not that "response to God" is the definition). In this passage the word "worship" (latreia) does not appear until 12:1, and then it is in further explanation of what giving ourselves to God means. So the passage may teach that we respond to God in our worship, but worship in this passage is still giving.
     
    #14 John of Japan, Feb 19, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2007
  15. John of Japan

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    A further thought. If you define "worship" as "a response to God," then idol worship immediately becomes impossible, since the idol does nothing for its worshipper.
     
  16. annsni

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    Here's what I said earlier:

    "Worship is a response to what we value the most. It is what we are designed to do. We all worship something. "When you follow the trail of your time, energy, affection and money, you find a throne. And whatever or whomever is on that throne is the object of your worship."" (From Louie Giglio)

    Everyone will worship something but it's the receiver of our worship that differs. In worship with God, He is the only one (or thing) worthy of our affection. But if we don't worship God, we're worshipping something else.
     
  17. ituttut

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    Do we not worship in spirit? I see you are of the gospel on the foundation of Peter, and James. James says look at me and you will see my works, and this proves I am justified, for faith alone cannot save (James 2:24). This is "Kingdom church" talk.

    Today we are to be of the "Body Church", of that saving faith, for it is the law of faith. Are we to boast of the law of works? No, we are to be of the law of faith, Romans 3:27. Paul goes on in Romans 28-31 hoping we will be able to comprehend that today we are not as those like James, Peter, and John, justified by faith, but as Gentiles justified through faith. Why in the world would anyone wish to go through the "tribulation" of that "Kingdom Church", when they can be raptured in the "Body Church"?

    You give evidence of idol worship, and such as the Catholic does. This is an outward show of our piety it seems to me. We are warned against such shenanigans to attract the approval of man.
     
  18. John of Japan

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    Louie sounds great, but I'm not sure where he is coming from Scripturally. The Bible does teach that covetousness is idolatry (Col. 3:2), but I don't know that the Scripture teaches that if you value self (for example) over God you are worshipping self.

    At any rate, I still must say that it is one thing to say that worship is a response to what God has done, and another altogether to define worship as a response to God. Idol worshippers don't respond to their god because their god does absolutely nothing for them. Psalm 115 illustrates this graphically by talking about complete powerlessness of idols.
     
  19. John of Japan

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    Hi, ituttut.

    I think you misunderstand what I've been saying. I've simply been talking about the basic Biblical meaning of worship. I've not been talking about the applications or implications or theology of it.

    Let me ask you, do you bow your head when you pray? If you do, then that is physical worship by the linguistic definition of worship (the Greek word proskuneo, almost always translated as a physical act of "worship" in the NT).

    Here is the definition of proskuneo in Thayer's Greek Lexicon:
    1) to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence
    2) among the Orientals, especially the Persians, to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence
    3) in the NT by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication
    3a) used of homage shown to men and beings of superior rank
    3a1) to the Jewish high priests
    3a2) to God
    3a3) to Christ
    3a4) to heavenly beings
    3a5) to demons
    "
     
  20. annsni

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    Well, like I said, I think that we are created to worship something. As sinful people, we end up filling that need by throwing our efforts into other idols - seeking the true thing that will make our worship worthwhile. It's not that they do anything for us other than make us "feel" temporarily better. The problem is that it's a worship that is "empty" and we need to keep getting more and more to worship. But when we begin to comprehend what God has done for us - and just focus on who He is, it's a natural response for us to worship Him. Our understanding of God and our worship of Him has the opposite effect of what worshipping the idols has - it makes us want to worship God more and get more of HIM and not other things. When you've experienced being in the presence of the one true God, nothing else can compare.
     

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