The traits of true worship:
I will add descriptive meaning in parenthesis to certain words within this verse.
Romans 12:1 ESV I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present (a decisive dedication) your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy (that which is devoted and consecrated) and acceptable (that which is well pleasing) to God, which is your spiritual worship.
In offering “true worship” to the Father we have studied three requirements so far in the first 13 lessons.
1. With Adam and Eve we saw that “true worship” requires us to deal with sin correctly.
2. With Cain and Abel we saw that “true worship” requires that we worship God’s way because not all that we offer may be acceptable to the Father.
3. With Noah, Abraham and Isaac we saw that “true worship requires total obedience.
The fourth truth of “true worship” is that it comes forth from a grateful heart. In other words, worship is a logical, natural and spiritual response when we understand what the Father has done for us.
We see in Genesis the list of references to those who built altars to worship the Lord, or those who bowed the head, the knees, or the body before the Lord as an act of worship. These all came from a grateful heart for the great things done by the Father. I have listed some of these references for your own personal study later on.
Those who bowed the head, knees, or body in worship, or those who built an altar.
Gen.8:19:20; 12:7-8; 13:3-4; 13:14-18; 18:1-3; 19:1; 22:4-5; 22:8-9; 24:23-27; 24:48; 24:51-52; 26:24-25; 33:18-20; 35:1-7
A thankful heart is a strong motivator to worship. We don’t have to look very far to find things to be thankful for. If we have dealt with sin correctly, if we have worshipped God’s way and not our way, and if we walk in obedience in word, deed and thought, then out of a thankful heart “true worship” will flow. By the way, true worship has nothing to do with music. Music is an act of praise, among 20 other forms of praising God. The terms worship team, worship time, and worship songs are religious terms brought about to replace what true worship is. There is not one verse in the Bible where music is tied to worship other than when we rightly praise God it should lead us to worship. Don't we question as to how our Lord Jesus Christ worshipped so much. yet without having a music team following Him around? More on this later.
The Revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ:
In the study of the Book of Philippians we will use a lot of Paul's other writings to verify what he said. In doing so, we are letting the Bible translate the Bible.
One of the joys that Paul embraced is receiving revelation from the Holy Spirit concerning our Lord Jesus Christ and then imparting that revelation to us. That revelation brought about two major changes. The first was joy that came out as a song to sing. The second was a renewed mind and a renewed thought pattern.
According to the Apostle Paul everyone has a song, a hymn, and a spiritual song.
Ephesians 5:19-20 ESV addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, (20) giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Colossians 3:16-17 ESV Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (17) And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Paul brought forth a song or hymn concerning the revelation he received concerning our Lord Jesus Christ.
In the song, in the praise, and in the thanksgiving, we find the object of it all. It is not singing just to sing, or praising out of the zeal of happy emotions, or giving thanks when it is convenient, but doing all of these things from the revelation of who our Lord Jesus Christ is and what He has done for us.
Philippians 2:5-11 ESV Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, (6) who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, (7) but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. (8) And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (9) Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, (10) so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, (11) and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
We have been studying on the Biblical difference between true worship and true praise. So far we have established form the Hebrew and Greek that worship has nothing to do with music. There is no "worship song", "worship team" or "now we enter into the worship time". Carrying this mindset causes the church and the Christian individual to rob God of the true worship which He demands and is worthy of.
We showed from Scriptures that Biblical worship includes: The Hebrew words for worship means to...TO PROSTRATE BEFORE; TO REVERE; TO ADORE; AND TO MINISTER TO:
The Greek words for worship means to...TO REVERE; TO HONOR; TO ADORE; TO KISS AS A DOG LICKS HIS MASTER'S HAND.
PRAISE however encompasses many different aspects of expression.
Examples of ways to praise:
2. Lifting of your hands:
5. Playing an Instrument:
7. To make a show or boast:
Some of the key elements in worship is learning how to worship God in the Spirit and how to flow with the move of His Spirit. Practicing these things will help usher in the last great move of God’s Spirit resulting in a tremendous harvest of souls.
John 4:23-24 ESV But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. (24) God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."
Ephesians 5:18-21 ESV And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, (19) addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, (20) giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, (21) submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:2-5 ESV (2) For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (3) And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, (4) and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, (5) so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
1 Corinthians 2:12-13 ESV (12) Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. (13) And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
The main reason for this study in PRAISE versus WORSHIP is to...
1. Show the difference between worship, (which has nothing to do with music) and praise which is one form of Biblical praise.
2. Show the difference between the worship of God under the Old Covenant (which was in the flesh) and the worship of God under the New Covenant (which is in the spirit).
(Romans 2:28 ESV) For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical.
(Romans 2:29 ESV) But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.
(Philippians 3:3 ESV) For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh--
(Philippians 3:4 ESV) though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more:
(Philippians 3:5 ESV) circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee;
(Philippians 3:6 ESV) as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.
(Philippians 3:7 ESV) But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
(Philippians 3:8 ESV) Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ
(Philippians 3:9 ESV) and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith--
3. To explain the difference between man’s spirit, soul, and body so that our worship of God is in the Spirit.
(1 Thessalonians 5:23 ESV) Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
4. To teach us how to reverence God so that the Person of the Holy Spirit is not grieved and can manifest Himself as he desires.
Numbers 23:19-20 ESV God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? (20) Behold, I received a command to bless: he has blessed, and I cannot revoke it.
Ephesians 4:30 ESV And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Hebrews 12:28-29 ESV Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, (29) for our God is a consuming fire.
We said in Part 1 that praise is not worship, and that worship is not praise. Therefore to examine this I want to look at the word "worship" today.
The Hebrew words for worship means to...TO PROSTRATE BEFORE; TO REVERE; TO ADORE; AND TO MINISTER TO:
The Greek words for worship means to...TO REVERE; TO HONOR; TO ADORE; TO KISS AS A DOG LICKS HIS MASTER'S HAND.
2. TRUE WORSHIP IS AN EXPRESSION OF HUMILITY:
We can’t truly worship unless we humble ourselves. Being prostrate is good because we are as low as we can be to see how big God is. Fear the Lord God = awe, reverence, (who am I in comparison to God). Think of a speck of dust in air, a pebble at foot of the mountains, or one of our tears compared to the size of the ocean. In all of this comparison we are assured from the Word of God that God loves me and knows how many hairs are on my head.
I can praise God to someone but I can’t worship God to someone. Real worship is the most intimate time with God we can experience.
3. REASONS WHY WE SHOULD WORSHIP AND PRAISE GOD:
Revelation 4:11 ESV "Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created."
Why should we thank God, praise God and worship God?
He told us to do it: (rejoice, praise, exalt His name, and worship the Lord): (Romans 15:9-11)
Romans 15:9-11 ESV and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, "Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name." (10) And again it is said, "Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people." (11) And again, "Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples extol him."
He is God and He is worthy. Our creator, sustainer, made the heavens and earth, gives us our every breath, and every good gift.
Praise is an acceptable sacrifice to Him. If done properly with right attitude. I can give to the Creator praise, worship and honor because of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Person of the Holy Spirit:
Hebrews 13:15-16 ESV Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. (16) Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
Revelation 8:3-4 ESV And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, (4) and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel.
(1 Peter 2:5 ESV) you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
(1 Peter 2:6 ESV) For it stands in Scripture: "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame."
(1 Peter 2:7 ESV) So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, "The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,"
(1 Peter 2:8 ESV) and "A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense." They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
(1 Peter 2:9 ESV) But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
(Psalms 27:6 ESV) And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the LORD.
PRAISE VERSUS WORSHIP:
Worship is not praise...praise is not worship. There is no worship team, worship time, worship song.
Here are some of the Hebrew words for PRAISE:
#1 Towdah - See Strong's #8426
This word means "thanksgiving." In Hebrew texts such as the Psalms especially, it often appears in songs of thanksgiving and praise, which David offered in the midst of many of his trials. It can also sometimes denote an "offering or sacrifice of thanksgiving." It will be helpful to remember to offer this form of praise especially in the hard times. Thank God for his sovereignty, power, and might.
#2 Yadah - See Strongs #3034
The root word of this form of praise, which is "yad," is a word meaning "hand." Yadah is very literally the "lifting of hands in praise, reverence, and worship." The meaning conveyed is one of outward expression of love towards God, for others to see.
It also means "confession," but not necessarily in the general English sense that you and I are used. When used or translated as "confession," it means an "outward confession of praise or worthiness" to God.
Since Yadah involves the lifting of hands, one may understand it also with some connotations of "surrendering" or "confessing authority to" (as one under arrest puts up his hands to show submission to an officer).
#3 Baruch - See Strongs #1288
This is a word which very commonly is known to mean "to bless" or "blessed" (if you have ever heard the beginning of a Hebrew blessing, 'Baruch Atah Adonai…' which means “blessed are You, Lord.”
It also carries a secondary meaning, in some contexts, of "kneeling" or "bowing" as well. Baruch is usually the Hebrew word behind most blessings given in the Old Testament, either from God towards men (blessing), or men towards God (praising and bowing). Baruch is important to distinguish as strictly a verb (an action), not a noun (thing).
#4 Shabach - See Strong's #7623
Shabach is a simple Hebrew word which literally means "to shout." In the context of praise, it's giving a shout of praise for the Lord!
#5 Zamar - See Strong's #2167
Zamar is a cool word which means basically the playing of an instrument, or "making music" to glorify the Lord, accompanied with singing. Personally, this is one of my favorite ways to praise!
#6 Halal - See Strong's #1984
This is one of the most active words I came across as a form of praise. Halal means "to make a show, rave, or boast." When used in the Bible in reference to the praise of the Lord, it is said that the sun, moon, stars, heavens, waters, and all creation "boast" of the Lord most High, proclaiming His Name and His glory to all the earth. Likewise we too, as humans, are called to boast of the Lord and His mighty works. Isaiah the prophet referenced this form of praise as being called for during times of festivals to the Lord. This method of praise might also incorporate dancing, leaping, and twirling (making a show!) before the Lord too, because of the tremendous excitement of love to God that it conveys. It is the root of the expression "Hallelujah!"
#7 Tehillah - See Strong's #8416
In a short summary, the word "tehillah" is somewhat of a combination of all the previous words and meanings of praise! Depending on its usage grammatically in the Bible, it refers to all kinds of praise and worship activity. Strong's defines it as meaning "glory, praise, song of praise, or praiseworthy deeds."
Secondarily, it also can be a technical-musical term (as in, David's song of tehillah, Ps. 145) Strong's even notes that the actual Hebrew name for the book of Psalms, for example, is the word "Tehillim" (the plural form of Tehillah, meaning "praises") and probably more accurately reflects the contents of the book.
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.