THE PRACTICAL UNDERSTANDING OF WORSHIP BY REV. DR CHRIS OYAKHILOME DSC. DSC. DD.
For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers (Romans 1:9).
In the New Testament, it may surprise you to know that the use of the term “worship” is hardly applied to Christians. Of course, you find the term used in the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), but in the gospels, Jesus dealt with Jews, not Christians. In the Book of Acts, “worship” is used about four times, and in none of those occasions was it really applied to the Church.
Then you find the word only used once in First Corinthians, and twice in Hebrews. However, when you go into the Book of Revelation, worship is used about 22 times! “How could such a thing that we say is so important be missing in the epistles?” you may wonder.
It’s because, in the epistles, the Lord is actually giving us a practical understanding of worship; He tells us exactly what worship is. Remember, in John 4:24, He had said, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship (Greek: proskuneō) him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” So, in the epistles, instead of the term “worship,” the Apostle Paul gives us a particular phrase in our theme verse which sufficiently corroborates the words of Jesus in John 4:24. It’s the phrase “Serve with my spirit.”
Serving God with your spirit includes worship, because worship in the New Testament is different from worship in the Old Testament. In the Old Testament, it was mostly outward in nature. But in the New Testament, it’s spiritual, even in the cases where we have outward demonstrations.
This is why it’s important to understand that what matters in the worship isn’t that we worshipped; it’s whether the One that we worshipped accepted it. There’s a conditioning of your spirit through the Word of God, through the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, that makes your spirit a worshipper. The Father seeks such to worship Him.
Dear Father, thank you for the privilege to express my love for you. I bless you for your greatness, kindness, love, mercies and grace! You’re the Governor among the nations, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. I offer to you today my sacrifice of praise, the fruit of my lips, giving you thanks for all you’ve done through your Church in these last days and even the greater works ahead! Be magnified continually, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
John 4:23-24 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.
Hebrews 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of [our] lips giving thanks to his name.
ADDITIONAL EXCERPTS FROM THE LOVEWORLD SPECIAL’ SERIES
There’s a clear difference between praise and worship. Praise requires no consciousness, but worship does. When you praise God, you thank Him and extol His majesty. However, in worship, much more than extolling Him, there’s a communion and relationship. It’s drinking together—a special kind of recognition between the “blesser” and the blessed, the greater and the lesser. The greater one receives the lesser one in His place. This is only possible with humans.
That’s why, for instance, we’re not permitted to worship angels. Though they’re great and powerful, God, in Christ Jesus, has raised us to the place of His Son, who’s higher than angels. We’re one with Christ, who’s greater than angels, and we’re therefore higher than angels. This is what the Bible teaches. As He (Jesus) is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17).
We’re joint heirs with Him: “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ…” (Romans 8:16-17). This doesn’t make us co-equal with Him, but it describes our inseparable union with Him (1 Corinthians 6:17). He’s the head, and we’re His body (Colossians 1:18). We’re in union with the Father. Glory to God!”