Glorifying God Together
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What is Worship?

Kyle Petersen Written by 
Friday, 18 October 2013 17:42

If you had to define it in one or two sentences and capture the biblical essence of the word, what would you say?

Here's my stab at it, taken from SCC's philosophy of Worship Ministry:

The most common term in the Old Testament for “worship” is sahah, which means “to prostrate oneself” or “bow down” in reverence to God. The New Testament however, gives a much broader picture of worship from proskuneo, which means “to do reverence to” (see John 4:21-24), to latreuo, which most naturally means “to serve”, but is also used to refer to “worship” (Philippians 3:3).

It is important to understand that there is no clearly defined, definition of “worship” in all of Scripture, but Scripture as a whole does give us a very full picture of what the worship of God involves. In general, worship could be defined as the expression of glad, humble, and wholehearted submission to God, in response to His greatness, His salvation, and His promises. Another way of saying this would be: Worship is always a response to the actions and attributes of God in spirit and truth.

Whoops, I cheated and used 2 definitions; I couldn't help it! The point in these definitions is that worship is not confined to one particular activity (singing, giving, prayer, service, etc.), but is at its very foundation an attitude of the heart that comes in response to God's glory. We worship when we submit ourselves wholly to God for His own pleasure. This is largely the point of Romans 12:1. “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God (in response to God’s mercy in salvation), to present your bodies as a living sacrifice (humbly submitting to God’s purposes), holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”

So, our very lives are intended to be offerings of worship to God in response to the Gospel.

Now, it's your turn. How would you boil down what worship is into one sentence and why? Comment below!

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