- True worship is always initiated by God.
Throughout history, God has consistently and continually saved his people through calling them out from the world into worship. In Genesis 12:9, “The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. “
God calls His people to be separate and set apart for His use and His blessing. In Exodus 3:12, God informs Moses that the purpose of delivering the nation of Israel is so that they may worship God.
- True worship requires unity—first with God then with other Christians.
The New Testament makes several references to the people of God as the “Body” of Christ. (Rom 12:4, 1 Cor. 12:12).
- True worship the Word of God is proclaimed.
Through God’s word comes revelation of God’s truth. When Truth is illuminated error is eliminated. In Neh. 8:9, God’s word so powerfully impacted the people that they wept as it was read. In Acts 2:42, the early Christians “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
- True worship demands personal commitment to a growing relationship with God, Jesus and Holy Spirit.
Worship is the response of a grateful and humble person to the living God where submission, sacrificial service, praise, profession, testimony and gratitude are freely expressed in innumerable ways.
- True worship is characterized by sacrifice.
The sacrifice symbolically ratifies or seals the covenant relationship with God. In the Old Testament, the system of sacrifice required that the God-Man Covenant be sealed with the blood sacrifice of an animal; in the New Testament, the Lord’s Supper became the symbolic act. Paul encourages us to ratify this covenant daily by presenting our “bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” (Rom 12:1)
“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14
Other definitions of worship –
“Worship is the believer’s response of all that they are – mind, emotions, will, body – to what God is and says and does. (Warren Wiersbe, Real Worship, p. 26)
“Worship of the living and true God is essentially an engagement with him on the terms that he proposes and in the way that he alone makes possible. (David Peterson Engaging with God, pg. 20)
The Greek word “worship” in John 4:23-24 is proskuneo, to throw a kiss toward someone in token of respect or homage, to adore, to show respect, or to kneel or fall prostrate before in reverence.
Paul says – I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God; (AMP – I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God,) bcz God has been sooo merciful — that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Rom 12:1-2)