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Blog #1 Who Do We Worship?

Updated: Nov 2, 2021

Psalm 95:6 - Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!

To worship is “to honor or revere as a divine being or supernatural power” and “to regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion.”[1] A.W. Tozer uses the ideas of awe, wonder, and humility in his definition of worship. Worship, he states, is “a humbling but delightful sense of admiring awe and astonished wonder.”[2] He continues, “man who has not been humbled in the presence of God will never be a worshiper of God at all.”[3] Harold Best, dean of the Conservatory of Music at Wheaton College, defines worship as “the continuous outpouring of all that I am, all that I do and all that I can ever become in light of a chosen or choosing God.”[4] If we are to understand the nature and dimensions of worship correctly, we first need to recognize the object of true worship. Additionally, to fully comprehend the significance of Who we worship, alternative worship systems should first be examined.[5]

Humans are instinctively worshiping creatures and have worshipped since the beginning of creation. Created to worship, we will innately worship something. Although the impulse to worship someone or something higher than ourselves seems intuitive, the objects of worship are diverse. Worship of illegitimate objects is known as idolatry, which is “false worship, involving reverential human acts of submission and homage before beings or objects in the place of the one true God.”[6] True Christian worship, rather, involves “reverential human acts of submission and homage before the divine Sovereign in response to His gracious revelation of Himself and in accord with His will.” [7]

Christian worship is intentionally monotheistic and trinitarian, acknowledging the Trinity as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In John 20:28, the New Testament declares that Jesus is God. Additionally, Paul, in Romans 14, declares that one day all will worship Jesus. The doxologies, however, never ascribe praise, honor, glory, dominion, or power to the Holy Spirit. Although in the Bible, the Spirit is never the object of worship, He does drive the worship of believers. According to John 14:26, the Holy Spirit functions as a helper sent by the Father in the name of Christ. He serves as the agent by which God’s will is carried out on earth. However, it seems that “the Holy Spirit is most honored when we accept his conviction of sin, his transforming and sanctifying work within us, and his guidance in life and ministry, and when in response to His leading, we prostrate ourselves before Jesus.”[8]

 The object, or subject of worship, is central to true worship and is what the first commandment is all about. We desire to worship the God of the Bible, God as He reveals Himself, “for we cannot worship him as we ought unless we know Him as He is—and we cannot know Him as He is except insofar as He has revealed Himself to us in His Word.”[9] Who, then, is this God as revealed to us in the Bible?  Tozer describes the passage in Song of Songs 5:8-16 as detailing a parable of our great relationship with “the Shepherd.” Our Lord is our Shepherd, he says, and the Redeemed Church is the fair Bride. We see in verses 8 and 9 that in an hour of distress, the Bride tells those among whom she lives, “If you find my beloved tell him that I am sick with love.” In return, they inquire, “How is your beloved better than others that you so charge us?” It is an honest question and one that the Church should rightfully answer. If we insist that the Lord is worthy, then the world has a right to ask why.[10]

Ultimately, the Lord is worthy simply because of who He is. Scripture abounds with the understanding that He is the Lord of all. Hymn writer Oliver Wendell Holmes captured this sentiment perfectly when he wrote in his famous hymn, “Lord of All Being, Throned Afar,”

“LORD of all being, throned afar,

Thy glory flames from sun and star;

Centre and soul of every sphere,

Yet to each loving heart how near!”

He is the Lord of all actual existence. He is the Lord of all kinds of beings, including all spiritual beings, natural beings, and physical beings. He is the Lord of angels, and He is the Lord of the cherubim and seraphim. He is Lord of all creation, including water, earth, and sky. The heavens are His Tabernacle, and the universe declares His majesty. He is Lord of all wisdom, and history is a slow development of His purpose. He is making all evil and all good work toward bringing forth His glory in the day when all shall be fulfilled in Him (Rom. 8:28). He is the Lord of all righteousness, mercy, power, and moral beauty. He is our Redeemer and King, coming into the world that He might save us “from the ugliness of sin to a beautiful heaven.”[11]

As the Church is His Bride, He is our Groom and, now, also our identity. We not only take on His identity but also His name. “This Groom Shepherd is worthy of our affection and is deserving of us leaving everything behind and embracing Him as our own.”[12] Who do we worship? We worship the One who is worthy of all worship; the One who is Lord of all.

[1] Inc Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003). [2] A.W. Tozer, Worship: The Missing Jewel of the Evangelical Church (Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications, 1961), 9. [3] Ibid., [4]H.M. Best, Unceasing Worship: Biblical Perspectives on Worship and the Arts (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2013), 18. [5] Daniel Block, For the Glory of God (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Publishing Group, 2014), Ch. 1, Kindle Edition. [6] Ibid., Ch. 2, Kindle Edition. [7] Ibid. [8] Ibid. [9] Ligon Duncan, Does God Care How We Worship (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2020), 72. [10] A.W. Tozer, The Purpose of Man (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Publishing Group, 2019), 148.

[11] Ibid., 156.

[12] Ibid.,

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1 commentaire

Membre inconnu
24 oct. 2021

Great post Angie. So helpful on Sunday mornings when the "cares of this world" battle for our attention and worship!

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