What is Worship?

Each year we spend the first three or four Sunday evenings in January preparing for the year ahead of us and as this year is the year of worship, we will spend the next few weeks looking at the worship of God in detail. For the next two days we will examine our Sunday evening text, in which we did our best to define worship, next week we will formulate a biblical theology of worship and on the week of January 22nd we will talk about essentials and idols in corporate worship. Get your Bible and look up the verses in the outline as an addition to your personal Bible study.


“Christian worship is the response of God’s covenant people to His self-revelation that exalts God’s glory in Christ in our minds, affections, and wills, in the power of the Holy Spirit.” Bob Kauflin

  1. Christian Worship is Trinitarian: When we think of the Trinity there are two elements we have to consider, difference and equality. (John 1:1)
    1. The Father is Supreme in the persons of the Trinity, The Son submits to the Father and exerts authority over the Spirit. The Spirit’s central purpose is to point to Christ.
    2. The Father is the Ultimate Recipient of Praise and Glory: Philippians 2:9-11; The Direct Object of Our Obedience and Worship is Jesus Christ: John 20:28-29; The Holy Spirit Empowers worship from beginning to end. Conclusion: “Christians worship Christ, in the power of the Spirit, to the ultimate praise and glory of the Father” (Bruce Ware).  Ephesians 2:18
  2. Christian Worship is Christian:
    1. Response: We respond in worship because God has come to us! Genesis 3:15; Genesis 12; John 1:14; Romans 12:1-2
    2. Covenant People: In the Old Testament, worship centered around the Exodus event and God’s covenant with his people following their deliverance (law). In the  New Testament, worship is centered around the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the redemption of all who believe: Exodus 12:21-27; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31
  3. Christian Worship is Word-Centered: “From the beginning of all records of worship, whether erecting altars or performing circumcision, always express a response of submission, obedience, and trust in God’s verbal statement of relationship, His Word.”
    1. Genesis 3: It was a lie about the Word of God that led to the fall.
    2. The Ten Commandments placed in the Ark of the Covenant were at the center of Israel, focusing their eyes, hearts, lives and entire nation upon the Word of God.
    3. When the nation returned from exile, they restored their relationship to God by focussing their attention upon the Word of God: Ezra 7:10
    4. Jesus came, called the Word of God: John 1:1,14; Hebrews 1:1-2
    5. The early church centered everything they did upon the Scriptures: 1 Timothy 4:13; 2 Timothy 3:15-4:2.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s