The word worship can be defined as Honour, reverence, homage, in thought, feeling or act, paid to men, angels, or other “Spiritual” beings, and figuratively to other entities, ideas, powers or qualities, but specifically and supremely to Deity. It is applied as reference to human superiors as well as supernatural. The idea is therefore the reverential attitude of mind or body or both. So activities that can make the body, mind or both achieve reverence towards God are thus classified as instruments of worship. Examples of these are fasting, obedience, studying of the word of God, praying ceremonial and religious washing as practiced in the Old Testament, keeping the mind from untoward issues and events, etc. so that the instinct of communion, praise, adoring gratitude are moving force for worship, Gen. 4:3-4, 8:20, 12:7. Abel sacrifice shows clearly that propitiation is key to worship.
What is Propitiation?
Rom. 3:23-31. What constitute the law of works and faith?
1 John 2:1-29
1 John 4: 1-21
Worship in the Old-Testament.
In Old Testament worship was mainly individualistic and private, Gen. 8:20, 12:7, 22:1-5, 24:26, Ex. 34:8. Deut 26:10, Ps. 42:4, though individualistic, blessings and help is obtained from the presence of others Worship was also sometime nationalistic or congregational. 1 Chr. 29:20.
Worship consisted in
* Sacrificial acts 2Chr. 7:5-6, or in regular morning and evening oblations or annually in the Day of Atonement.
* Ceremonial acts 2Chr. 7:6. The feasts and their ceremonies (Passover, Tabernacles. etc)
* Praises 2 Chr. 5:12-14, 1 Chr. 16-36
* Public Prayer Deut. 26, 2 Chr. 6, Ps. 79 and 80
Worship in the New – Testament
Three forms of worship are identified.
* Temple worship after the Old Testament lines
* Synagogue worship
* Christian worship
Synagogue worship was developed by the returning exiles which substituted the book for the symbols, and the thought for appeal to the congregation. It was popular, familiar and more appealing than the rigorous requirement of the priestly duties. a common practice is the reading from the law and the Prophets selected by the ruler of the synagogue, Neh. 8:1-10.
The Christian Church primarily evolved out of the Jewish Church. The synagogue is the centre of religious activities of the Jews, and the temple in Jerusalem was a symbol of national pride and heritage. Synagogue signifies first the congregation and then the building, about 10 men are enough to constitute a religious assemble, Acts 15:21. This Jesus reduced to 2 or 3 underlying the simplicity of the work of faith, Mat.18:20. The synagogue has well organized structure, with a president elders, readers, deacons and messengers (workers) each is independent but maintains correspondences with others Worship is simple and it included prayer, song, reading and exposition of the Scripture, the rite of circumcision, and ceremonial washings. Prayer and songs are mainly from the psalms. Outside Jerusalem there is no priest, thus any Jew of age and grace might get up to read the lessons, offer prayer, and address the congregation. Jesus and the apostles availed themselves of this democratic privilege to preach the gospel, as the fulfillment of the law and the prophets. Worshippers stand up turn to Jerusalem to worship, John 4:20-21
The Christian worship today probably developed along the lines of the synagogue and not the temple. Jesus held the temple in high esteem (Mark 1:21, Mark 1:39; Mark. 3:1; Mark 6:2; Luke. 6:6)
However reminding His followers that a greater than the temple is around Mat. 12:6. he made the disciples realize that the new order of worship is Hos. 6:6, John 4:20-24. Jesus emphasis to His disciples was on privacy and innerness, Mat. 6:1-18, Is. 42:1-2, Mar. 12:32-34. No record exists to suggest that the early Church supported synagogue style of worship.
What is Satan stake in seeking for worship? Mat. 4:10?
A general misunderstanding is to believe that worship is limited to praise and singing, Mat. 15:9, Acts 24:14, Phil 3:3.
Aspects of Christian Worship
* Preaching of the Gospel, which in simple terms is the presentation of the life of Jesus Christ, with practical exhortation to repentance and conversion. Crucifixion and resurrection is central with a resulting regeneration.
* Reading of the word of God, Acts 13:15, 1 Th. 5:27, Col. 4:16,
* Prayers offered in childlike confidence to a reconciled Father in the name of Jesus. On some occasions fasting is joined with prayers to help devotion. Mat. 9:15, Acts 13:3, Acts. 14:23. 1 Cor. 7:5. prayers were freely from the heart as they were moved by the Spirit.
* Singing (as a form of prayer) by inspiration, Mat. 26:30, Mark 14:26, Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:16.
* Confession of faith. “ Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God”
* Administration of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.