By: T.R. Kelley
BIBLE LESSON: ELEMENTS OF WORSHIP
JOHN 4:24 – “GOD IS A SPIRIT: AND THEY THAT WORSHIP HIM MUST WORSHIP HIM IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH.”
I. WHAT IS WORSHIP?
A. WORSHIP DEFINED:
Worship is one person responding in his or her spirit to the one true God, but very often this experience of worship occurs when individuals are gathered together in a collective expression to God. Actually, worship is the prime purpose for going to church.
1. Worship means to pay great honor of reverence to;
2. Consider extremely precious; hold very dear; adore;
Perform or take part in any act, rite, or service of worship.
B. WORSHIP EXPLAINED:
1. To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God; to feed the mind with the truth of God; to purge the imagination by the beauty of God; to open the heart to the love of God; to devote the will to the purpose of God.
2. Worship is our responding to the overtures of love from the heart of God. Forms and rituals do not produce worship. We can use all the right techniques and methods; we can have the best possible liturgy (prescribed forms for worship), but we have not worshipped the Lord until it touches spirit. Worship comes from the spirit (or heart) of man.
3. To worship is to know, to feel, to experience the resurrected Christ in the midst of the gathered community. It is breaking into the shekinah of God; or, better yet, being invaded by the shekinah of God.
II. WHY WE WORSHIP
A. FOR WHO HE IS:
PSALMS 96:8 – “GIVE UNTO THE LORD THE GLORY DUE INTO HIS NAME:”
WHO IS GOD?
1. Jehovah Jireh – THE LORD WILL PROVIDE
2. Jehovah Nissi – THE LORD MY BANNER
3. Jehovah Shalom – THE LORD SEND PEACE
4. Jehovah Shammah – THE LORD IS THERE
5. JEHOVAH TSIDKENU – THE LORD IS RIGHTEOUSNESS
B. FOR WHAT HE HAS DONE
1. He spoke the universe into existence
2. With the span of His hand, He placed all the stars in the heavens.
3. He spoke, and there were animals created.
4. He took some dirt, formed an image of himself, and breathed the breath of life into its’ nostrils. Thus He created man.
* THESE ARE REASONS ENOUGH TO WORSHIP GOD, BUT THERE ARE MANY MORE REASONS WE, YOU & I, CAN THINK OF TO WORSHIP HIM.
WHAT HAS HE DONE FOR YOU?
* has He healed you?
* has He protected you?
* has He provided for you?
* has He given you peace?
* has He ever left you to fight your own battles?
DAVID SAID: “ONE THING HAVE I DESIRED OF THE LORD, THAT WILL I SEED AFTER; THAT I MAY DWELL IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE, TO
BEHOLD THE BEAUTY OF THE LORD, AND TO ENQUIRE IN HIS TEMPLE.” (PS 27:4)
III. HOW TO WORSHIP GOD:
A. IN LIFESTYLE
1. “Be ye holy, for I am holy, sayeth God.”
2. “Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” (PS 29:2)
** WE ARE TO WORSHIP GOD IN ALL MANNER OF CONVERSATION (LIFESTYLE), IN APPEARANCE, AND IN ATTITUDE.
B. IN (OR WITH) ACTIONS
1. David danced before the Lord with all his might.
2. PSALMS 150 (read).
REMEMBER – WORSHIP IS SOMETHING WE DO; NOT SOMETHING WE TALK ABOUT.
BIBLE LESSON: WORSHIP IS INSEPARPBLE FROM LIFE
PSALMS 66:4 – “ALL THE EARTH SHALL WORSHIP THEE, AND SHALL SING UNTO THEE; THEY SHALL SING TO THY NAME. SELAH, [pause, and calmly think of that!]
ISAIAH 66:23 – “AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS, THAT FROM ONE NEW MOON TO ANOTHER, AND FROM ONE SABBATH To ANOTHER, SHALL ALL FLESH COME TO WORSHIP
BEFORE ME, SAITH THE LORD.”
*** A PLACE OF WORSHIP SHOULD BE OF SUCH CHARACTER THAT IT WILL BE EASY FOR MEN TO FIND GOD AND DIFFICULT FOR THEM TO FORGET HIM.
WORSHIP – (HEBREW – SHACHAH)- to prostrate oneself before God out of honor; to do or pay homage, to submit oneself (see Ps. 45:11; 95:6).
WORSHIP – (GREEK – PROSKUNEO)- to make obeisance, do reverence to. It is used of an act of homage or reverence:
a) to God (Mt. 4:10; Jn. 4:21-24; 1 Cor. 14:25)
b) to Christ (Mt. 3:2,8,11; 8:2; 15:25: Jn. 9:38)
c) to a man (Mt. 18:26)
d) to the dragon (Satan), by men (Rev. 13:4)
** IN A BROAD SENSE, WORSHIP IS INSEPARABLE FROM LIFE AND IS AN EXPRESSION OF LIFE.
REMEMBER – EVERYONE WORSHIPS SOMETHING!
* THE ATHEIST WORSHIPS SELF
* THE HUMANIST WORSHIPS HUMANITY
* THE EASTERN RELIGIONS; HINDUS, BUDDISTS, KRISHNAS, MOSLEMS, CONFUSIONIST, SEKES, ANNINISTS, SHINTOISTS, ALL WORSHIP DEAD MEN AND FALSE gods OF THE
* THE ANCIENT AMERICAN INDIAN WORSHIPPED “THE GREAT SPIRIT,” AMONG MANY OTHER gods.
* THE JEWS WORSHIP JEHOVAH GOD
* CHRISTIANS WORSHIP JESUS CHRIST, WHO IS THE INCARNATION OF JEHOVAH GOD
– If the Word of God is to be taken literally, all of creation worships God, (SEE Ps. 148).
*** Since all of God’s creation exists for “THE PRAISE OF HIS GLORY” (EPH 1:12), the true issue in life is not WHO will worship, but WHEN and WHAT they will worship!
WORSHIP IS ABSOLUTELY INSEPARABLE FROM LIFE!
I. WORSHIP IS UNIVERSAL
The Bible does not record a single society that did not worship, nor does the Bible deal with Atheism, except for the single verse of PSALM 14:1, “THE FOOL HATH SAID IN HIS HEART, ‘THERE IS NO GOD.'” Thus it is safe to rationalize that, aside from this occasional fool, the Bible assumes and accepts that worship is inherent in all people.
Both PSALM 66:4 and ISAIAH 66:23 imply that every living creature, or at least every facet of the earth, shall worship God. PHILIPPIANS 2:9-11 lets us know that every knee in heaven, in earth, and under the earth shall BOW (honor, pay homage, revere.)
II. WORSHIP IS VENERATION
VENERATION – DEEP RESPECT AND REVERENCE; AN ACT SHOWING THIS FEELING OF DEEP RESPECT.
NOTE – The objects of man’s veneration are varied, but the adoration, love, inner reachings, and dedication of lives to them come from the same inner force — THE DESIRE TO WORSHIP!!!
III. WORSHIP IS LEARNABLE
TO GOD, DAVID CRIED, “TEACH ME YOUR WAY, O LORD; I WILL WALK IN YOUR TRUTH; UNITE MY HEART TO FEAR YOUR NAME” (PS 86:11).
TO HIS PEOPLE, DAVID SAID, “COME, YOU CHILDREN, LISTEN TO ME; I WILL TEACH YOU THE FEAR (RESPECT; VENERATION) OF THE LORD” (PS 34:11).
NOTE – The basic purpose of the scriptures is to reveal to us the ONE WHO must be the object of our worship, and to instruct us in how to direct and use our inherent capacity to worship.
REMEMBER – IF WE ARE GOING TO FIGHT FOR THE LIBERTY TO WORSHIP, WE OUGHT TO MAKE USE OF THAT LIBERTY!!!
BIBLE LESSON: WORSHIP FLOWS OUT OF REDEMPTION
REVELATION 5:9 – “AND THEY SUNG A NEW SONG, SAYING, ‘THOU ART WORTHY TO TAKE THE BOOK, AND TO OPEN THE SEALS THEREOF: FOR THOU WAST SLAIN, AND HAST
REDEEMED US TO GOD BY THY BLOOD OUT OF EVERY KINDRED, AND TONGUE, AND PEOPLE, AND NATION’.”
REDEMPTION – The action/of liberating or rescuing as from bondage, by paying ransom; a deliverance.
NOTE – When Christ redeemed us, He liberated us from the bondage of sin, by paying the only acceptable ransom – His life. He made atonement for our
sins, offsetting the penalty of the law.
*** BY LAW – Sin brought (death) into existence. Every sinner must die- BY LAW.
*** BY REDEMPTION – Jesus offset the penalty of death by redeeming, or making good, our mistake.
NOTE – READ ROMANS 5:17 and I Cor. 15:51,52.
I. REDEMPTION IS FAR – REACHING
** At the mention of redemption many redeemed persons think of the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus. However, redemption, as revealed in the Bible, is much more far-reaching than that. It covers past, present, and future.
REMEMBER – WHAT WE HAVE ALREADY RECEIVED IS NOT THE END; IT IS BUT A MEANS TO THE END GOD HAS PURPOSED FOR US IN HIS GREAT REDEMPTION.
** Everything on earth owes its continued existence to the generous plan of redemption, which was designed, paid for, and made available by God.
** All persons, even the ungodly, owe whatever blessings they enjoy in life to the blood and redemptive work of Jesus Christ!
** In a sense, redemption is a living force that sustains the world in its grasp, preserves it from destruction, and blesses all the varied and successive generations on its surface.
NOTE – These mediatorial mercies are nothing compared with what is to come!
— Redemption has its roots and foundations in the past, but its full realization is connected directly with the future, as found in Revelation 5.
II. JEWISH LAWS OF REDEMPTION
** For an agrarian culture, land was the ultimate inheritance to be passed from generation to generation. There were, however, hard times in which the present owner of land had to sell the land to pay debts. For this, there were two laws, or regulations, which gave the Jews a strong concept of redemption:
1. There was an automatic redemption. Their property rights would be returned to them automatically in the year of Jubilee, which occurred every 50 years.
2. There was an intermediary redemption. A kinsman redeemer could buy back their lost estates at any time there was a combination of willingness and ability.
NOTE – The transaction of land being sold was done with two scrolls. One was open; the other was sealed.
The open or unsealed scroll – stated the right of possession to the purchaser; basically, it was the public record of the transaction.
The closed or sealed scroll – contained both the details of the sale, and the terms of redemption. (Read Jeremiah 32:6-15)
REMEMBER – The sealed scroll is indicative of a forfeited or an alienated inheritance, which could only be recovered at Jubilee or through a goel, or kinsman-redeemer, according to the terms specified inside the sealed copy.
NOTE: As long as the scroll is sealed it will be the church’s grief, but as soon as it opens it will be the church’s joy and glory. (see Romans 8:22-23)
** It is this opened scroll that provoked, invoked, and inspired worship from heaven’s inhabitants.
– Men and angels alike worshipped the lamb when the seals were broken, and the terms of the contract were met.
III. THE OPENED SCROLL INSPIRED WORSHIP
** The sealed scroll of Revelation 5 is concerned with a forfeited inheritance. Inside the sealed scroll were the specifications of the forfeiture and terms of redemption. Adam forfeited the inheritance – He sold the farm. The sealed scroll, with all the terms and details, has been waiting for a kinsman-redeemer worthy to meet the terms of redemption. In Jesus, that redeemer has been found!
NOTICE – What follows the breaking of the seals, in Revelation 5, is not the revelation of new truths imparting hidden knowledge, Instead, what follows immediately are shouts of praise that a worthy redeemer has been found, and a squatter is evicted!
WORSHIP FLOWS OUT OF REDEMPTION!
BIBLE LESSON: WORSHIP RECOGNIZES CHRIST’S WORTHINESS
Revelation 4:11 – “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: For thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
Revelation 5: 11,12 – “And I beheld, and heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, worthy is the lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.”
*** It is not by accident that among the songs and choruses that we sing together are many that eulogize and extol the worthiness of the Lord Jesus.
*** Recognizing His worthiness is essential in worship.
NOTE – The Bible records that the residents of heaven acclaim His worthiness again and again.
Remember – They are not establishing that worthiness; they are simply extolling it as part of their expression of worship.
Worthy – (Greek – AXIOS) – of weight, worth, worthy, is said of persons and their deeds: (See Mt. 10:10,11,13,37,38; 22:8; Lk. 7:4; 10:7; 15:19,21; Jn. 1:27; Acts 13:25 I Tim. 5:18; 6:1; Heb. 11:38; Rev. 3:4; 4:11; 5:2,4,9,12)
*** Whether we fully understand what is meant by Christ being worthy, or whether we say it because it is a scriptural expression, the Spirit within us responds in a most positive way, reinforcing whatever inner attitude we may have concerning His worthiness.
I. CHRIST IS WORTHY TO BE WORSHIPPED
Philippians 2:9-11- “Wherefore God also hath highly exhalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father.” (see also: Rev. 5:12.)
NOTE – In heaven the four beasts worship Jesus, the twenty-four elders worship Jesus, the angels worship Jesus, and all creation gives worship to Him. We, also, are enjoined to worship Jesus. He is, indeed, worthy to be worshipped!
II. CHRIST’S WORTHINESS INSPIRES WORSHIP
NOTE – Each of the four times the word “worthy” is used of the Lord Jesus Christ in Revelation 5, Asion is used. It is closely related to the word “Hikanos” which means “capable or qualified.” Thus, it is established that Jesus is worthy of worship by virtue of His rank, character, ability and actions. None is more qualified to receive worship than our Lord Jesus Christ!
A. Christ is worthy of worship by virtue of His:
1. RANK – John listed 5 separate positions held by Jesus Christ.
THE CONQUEROR – “The lion of the tribe of Judah” (verse 5).
THE KING – “The root of David” (verse 5)
THE SAVIOUR – “the Lamb of God” (vs. 6,8,12)
THE KINGSMAN – REDEEMER: “Redeemer” (v. 9)
THE LORD; “the One who sits on the throne.”
NOTE – If there were no other reason to inspire our worship of Jesus, this five-fold rank should make us worshippers, much as five stars on the shoulders of a man in an army uniform will bring immediate salutes from enlisted men, even if they know nothing about him.
As the “lion of the tribe of Judah,” He is strong, forceful, powerful and unconquerable. He exercises His power on behalf of His people and not Himself.
As the “Lamb of God,” Jesus is the Vicarious sacrifice, meek, lowly, unthreatening, available, and loveable to His saints. (see also Is. 53:7).
As the “Kinsman-Redeemer,” He is willing to empty Himself of all His divine prerogatives and take on our humanity so that He would be the nearest relative to each of us.
Although He became man, He never ceased being God, so HE was sufficiently wealthy or able to pay the required price to redeem everything for us.
As the “one who sits on the throne,” Jesus is seen as the eternal God, our Lord, having all power and authority in heaven and on earth.
He has all authority (Mt. 28:18)
He created all things (Jn. 1:3, Rev. 4:11)
III. TWO ESSENTIALS OF WORSHIP
A. All things come from God. “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive Glory and honor and power; for you created all things.” (Rev. 4:11)
B. All things must return to God. “The Lord ha made all things for Himself” (Pro. 16:4)
REMEMBER – Every worshipper must learn to sing from deep within:
“I’m yours Lord, everything I’ve got; everything I am, everything I’m not; I’m yours Lord, try me now and see, see if I can be completely yours.”
BIBLE LESSON: WORSHIP INVOLVES PRAYER
REVELATION 5:8 – “AND WHEN HE HAD TAKEN THE BOOK, THE FOUR BEASTS AND FOUR AND TWENTY ELDERS FELL DOWN BEFORE THE LAME, HAVING EVERYONE OF THEM HARPS, AND GOLDEN VIALS FULL OF ODOURS, WHICH ARE THE PRAYER OF THE SAINTS.”
LUKE 11:1 – “…LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY, AS JOHN ALSO TAUGHT HIS DISCIPLES.”
NOTE: All communication is a learnable art, and prayer is no exception!
** Worship in heaven includes prayer; and, since we lack totally pure worship here on this earth, so we must look to the heavens to find the pure pattern.
REMEMBER – Much of our praying is selfish, need-oriented, and lacking in faith. Therefore, we must adopt the pattern of Heaven’s prayers – using, namely, the Lord’s Prayer (see Mt. 6; Lk. 11)
I. THREE FORMS OF HEAVENLY PRAYER
1. PETITION – This form of prayer is the most common form. We see it used by the waiting martyrs as “they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until you judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” (Rev.6:10)
2. COMMUNICATION – The prayer song of the saints who had gained victory over the beast asked for nothing; it was merely a joyful communication with God. (see Revelation 15:2-4).
3. COMMUNION – The four beasts and the twenty-four elders, in the midst of a worship experience, cried out, “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for you created all things, and by your will they exist and were created” (Revelation 4:11).
NOTE: This has no petition in it at all, and it goes beyond the borders of mere communication. This is an expression of deep inner feelings about God-it is an act of communion.
REMEMBER – Prayer is more than a desire or thought – it is the expression of that desire and that thought.
** Prayer (vocal) is for yourself, as well as others. Only God can read your mind or “thought prayers”. To vocalize that prayer is to help and encourage others; and it is also for the angels.
PRAYER AS PETITION
* Prayer as petition releases God to action. Note: this form of prayer would also include supplication and intercession. (James 4:2 – “You have not because you ask not.”)
PRAYER AS COMMUNICATION
**** Communicative prayer informs God of our attitude as well as of our desires.
It includes thanksgiving and praise, for these are very positive expressions of our communication to God.
– informs God of our nature
– reveals our concepts of God
– unveils our inner attitudes towards God
– shows whose glory is foremost in our thought
PRAYER AS COMMUNION
** Prayer as communion with God includes submission and adoration, and it FELLOWSHIPS WITH GOD IN ALL OF HIS ACTIONS!
– It induces a blending of our spirit with God’s Spirit.
– It so submits to God that there is an automatic volunteering to do His will. (Is.6:8 – “Here I am, Lord, send me!”)
II. WHAT IS PRAYER?
Prayer is the ENTRANCE to our worship, the ENERGY of our worship, the EXPRESSION of our worship, and the ENHANCER of our worship.
Prayer ESTABLISHES worship, EMBRACES worship, ENLARGES worship, and ENLIGHTENS our worship.
REMEMBER – The praying saint cannot keep from worshipping; the prayerless saint cannot rise to worship!
IIII. IN SUMMARY
* The PREMISE of prayer is relationship, fellowship, and partnership.
* The PATTERN of our prayer is PETITION, COMMUNICATION, and COMMUNION.
* The PURPOSE of prayer is CHANGE, change in us, in circumstances, and in our union with God.
REMEMBER – The Praying Person Will Not Remain The Same; He Will Either Change Or Cease To Truly Pray!
(The above material was published by Calvary Tabernacle.)
Christian Information Network
ELEMENTS OF WORSHIP
(Taught as a series from the book “Elements of Worship” by Judson Cornwall)