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Christian Worship

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Psalm 29:1-2

1A Psalm of David. Ascribe to the Lord,

O sons of the mighty, Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

2Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to His name;

Worship the Lord in holy array.

The English word “worship” comes from the Old English word “worthship,” a word that denotes the worthiness of the one receiving the special honor or devotion.[1]

Christian worship can be understood as the reverent homage paid to God and Christ in the context of a Christian assembly. Christians assembled for various reasons, and each type of assembly was a complex of several kinds of ritual behaviors and celebrations all combined into a unified whole. Thus while particular features of religious services may not in themselves constitute a ritual of worship, the context in which they are set means that they are part of the constellation of activities which constitutes Christian worship.[2]

Song: M. W. Smith - Ps 45:3 [Great Is the Lord]

(1)     Worship is relational

a.       Our worship should bring us into relationship with the Father

b.       Note that it brings us to Him, not Him to us

(2)    The ritual of worship expresses the superiority of the focus of worship to the worshipper

a.       Our worship is expressed on what we focus

b.       It will draw us unto Him if He is the focus of our worship

(3)   Worship performatively sustains or is part of the power of the focus of worship

a.       Our worship is not all-inclusive within itself, but should lead us to other forms of worship

b.       When we are draw to Him we are open to other ways of worshipping Him

                                                               i.      Singing

                                                              ii.      Praying

                                                            iii.      Giving

                                                            iv.      Studying

                                                              v.      Caring

1.         For the widow and orphan; the poor and needy

(4)    The experience worship expresses is that of the mystical or spiritual, for the object of worship inspires awe

a.       Our worship should humble us

b.       It cannot result in self-edification; but humility

(5)   The focus of worship is unseen and transcends particular manifestations

a.       Our worship in not focused on the physical manifestations present within the service

b.       When it occurs we experience the presence of God through the Holy Spirit

(6)   The superiority of the focus give it greater power than the worshipper

a.       Our worship is empowered by God, not by us

b.       In our flesh we cannot worship Him; it is only by the power of the Spirit within us

(7)    Worship involves praise directed to the focus of worship

a.       Our focus, is our Heavenly Father

b.       Note that it is God whom we worship; the Giver of gifts, and not the gifts themselves

Song: M. W. Smith - Rev. 4:2-4 [The Throne]

§  What does worship mean to you?

§  To whom are you offering your worship?

§  What is your expectation of worship?

§  Is it God-centered or self-centered?

§  Are you expecting to worship God through all eternity the way you are worshipping Him today?

Revelation 4:2-4 (NASB95)
2Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. 3And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance. 4Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads.[3]

Over the next few weeks, we are going to take a fresh look at worship. And, in the process, gain a new perspective on why we were created to worship, and to whom our worship is focused.


[1]Ronald F. Youngblood, F. F. Bruce, R. K. Harrison and Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Rev. Ed. of: Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary.; Includes Index. (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1995).

[2]David Noel Freedman, The Anchor Bible Dictionary (New York: Doubleday, 1996, c1992), 6:974.

[3]New American Standard Bible : 1995 Update. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995.

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