New Horizons

Helps for Worship #1: What Is Worship?

William Shishko

"The first foundation of righteousness undoubtedly is the worship of God." (John Calvin)

The term worship comes from an old word that means "worth-ship." It is to ascribe honor to one who is worthy. The highest duty of those made in the image of God is to "ascribe worth" to the one in whom they live and move and have their very being (Acts 17:28).

Christian worship has been rightly defined as "the activity of the new life of a believer in which, recognizing the fullness of the Godhead as it is revealed in the person of Jesus Christ and his mighty redemptive acts, he seeks by the power of the Holy Spirit to render to the living God the glory, honor, and submission which are his due" (Robert Rayburn). "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!" (Rev. 5:12 NKJV). Our worship is to reflect the worship of heaven, in which all that is around the throne of God gives glory to him. "The Father is seeking such to worship Him" (John 4:23 NKJV).

Your worship personally, in your families, and especially when gathered together as a church ought to be the most wonderful experience of your lives. It ought to be a foretaste of an eternity of worship of the One who has saved us and who blesses us with good things beyond measure.

For Reflection

  1. Why is God worthy of your best efforts in giving him worship?
  2. What things hinder you from giving God the honor that is due to him in your worship?
  3. What are the best ways you can remove those hindrances, so that your worship is more pleasing to God and more satisfying to you?

The author is pastor of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Franklin Square, New York. Reprinted from New Horizons, October 2005. Next article in series. Index of articles.

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