What is worship? 

wor·ship   /ˈwərSHəp/   verb

1. to show reverence and adoration
2. to ascribe worth

Please don’t confuse “ascribe” with “bestow.”
Our ascribing glory to Him does not make Him glorious.
We are not bestowing Him with glory, God is glorious already.

Don’t take the word “glorify” and treat it like the word “beautify.” To beautify means to take a plain room and make it beautiful. We don’t take a plain God and make him beautiful. That is not what glorifying God means. When God created the world he did not create out of any need or any weakness or any deficiency. He created out of fullness and strength and complete sufficiency...

We magnify his glory like a telescope, not a microscope. Microscopes make small things look bigger than they are. Telescopes make unimaginably big things look more like what they really are. Our lives are to be telescopes for the glory of God.

When you worship, you are saying, “This one is worth more.” At the same time, you are implying, “I am worth less.”  Worship is the magnification of God and the minimization of self. One of the most succinct expressions of a worshipper’s heart in all of the New Testament came from John the Baptist: “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

The highest duty and privilege, the most essential behavior, and the supreme responsibility for humanity is to worship God.

The Father seeks true worshipers. Believers in the gospel, in the Lord Jesus Christ, are those true worshipers. This is, then, our eternal duty, and privilege, and priority. In fact, any glimpse into heaven in the book of Revelation will reveal that all who are there, both saints and angels, are glorifying God, giving Him honor. The most serious activity anyone will ever do is worship.

And not only in heaven, but even on earth. When you come together and you say it is for the purpose of worshiping God, you have just pronounced upon yourself an urgency, and a severity, and a seriousness in the very activity in which you engage. Nothing is more serious than worship. We must never lose sight of the weight of this task lest our worship become frivolous, superficial, shallow or trivialized.

We are called to worship in spirit. That means with our emotions and with our human faculties. But we also are to worship in truth, and that is according to revealed Scripture. We are to worship with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. The whole being, everything we are, is to be wrapped up in loving worship of God according to His revealed truth.

The Apostle Paul described true worship perfectly in Romans 12:1-2

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

This passage contains all the elements of true worship.

  • First, there is the motivation to worship: “the mercies of God.” God’s mercies are everything He has given us that we don’t deserve: eternal love, eternal grace, the Holy Spirit, everlasting peace, eternal joy, saving faith, comfort, strength, wisdom, hope, patience, kindness, honor, glory, righteousness, security, eternal life, forgiveness, reconciliation, justification, sanctification, freedom, intercession and much more. The knowledge and understanding of these incredible gifts motivate us to pour forth praise and thanksgiving.
  • Next is a description of the manner of our worship: “present your bodies as a living sacrifice.” Presenting our bodies means giving to God all of ourselves. The reference to our bodies here means all our human faculties, all of our humanness—our hearts, minds, hands, thoughts, attitudes—are to be presented to God. In other words, we are to give up control of these things and turn them over to Him, just as a literal sacrifice was given totally to God on the altar. 
  • Lastly, the passage is clear that this occurs “by the renewal of your mind.” We renew our minds daily by cleansing them of the world’s “wisdom” and replacing it with true wisdom that comes from the Word of God.  To know the truth, to believe the truth, to hold convictions about the truth, and to love the truth will naturally result in true spiritual worship. It is conviction followed by affection that is a response to truth, ultimately a heart that is rapt by the mercies of God, obedient to His commands.

Worship is centered on God, reserved for and deserved by Him alone. It is the eternal occupation of every believer and is therefore a vital part of every service at New Hope Bible Church. We hope you join us in making much of the Lord this Sunday.

Source Credit: John MacArthur, John Piper, James MacDonald, Got Questions Ministries