Tuesday, 22 June 2021
Title: Biblical Worship
By: Cecilia Tan 陈俊芳
John 4:23-24 “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. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Biblical worship is the act of giving God the adoration, reverence and homage that is due to Him. We are to worship the God of the Bible, the one true God who declares in Isaiah 45:5 “I am the Lord, and there is no other” as well as in Exodus 3:6 “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.”
Why do we worship God? Firstly, it is God’s command. God has made us for fellowship with Him and with others. We are wired for worship and if we do not worship Him we would be worshiping something else. Since the highest good can only come out of our worshiping Him, He has commanded us to do it. When our Lord Jesus was tempted by Satan to worship him, Jesus rebuked him, saying “Be gone, Satan! For it is written: ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.’” (Matthew 4:10)
Secondly, God is worthy of the highest honour and praise as stated in Revelation 4:11 “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honour and power.”
Thirdly, worship is good for us as mentioned in 2 Corinthians 3:18
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
When should we worship God? Any time is a good time as declared by the psalmist in Psalm 34:1 “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
Where should we worship God? God is spirit. The entire universe belongs to Him and He is present everywhere. Hence we can worship Him anywhere as He is not limited to one location. We can now appear before His throne of grace at any time or place because of the finished work of Christ on the cross.
How should we worship God? We are to worship in spirit and in truth as taught by Jesus in John 4:24 “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” Worship in spirit means not just worshiping God in outward motions, but worshiping Him from the heart by submitting one’s inner self to God. Worship in truth means worshiping the true God – the God revealed in the Bible through Jesus Christ.
We are also to worship God in our lifestyle as instructed by Apostle Paul 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.”
As true worshipers our over-riding desire should be to live a lifestyle of willing obedience to God’s commands. We use our bodies to serve and obey God. We use our minds to study God’s Word and be renewed and transformed to live a life pleasing to God.
Hence true worship is a much deeper concept than mere corporate singing and praise on Sundays. True worship is a matter of the heart expressed through a lifestyle of holiness, wholehearted commitment to God, thankfulness, good stewardship and sacrificial service. As true worshipers we desire to give God all that we are, loving and glorifying Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.
Where are we in the worship spectrum? Are we reluctant worshipers or dutiful worshipers or wholehearted worshipers?
( Adapted from the sermon “Biblical Worship” by Dr Tony Foo delivered in PBC on 6 June 2021.)
Our Heavenly Father, forgive us for using our Sunday worship service as the only time of the week that we worship You. Your Son, our Lord Jesus has taught us that true worship is not merely an external activity but an intimate and vital encounter with You, the only true and living God. Help us to be true worshipers, worshiping you in spirit and in truth, throughout the whole week, that our lives may reflect the glory of Your Son, our Lord Jesus, in whose name we pray. Amen.
合乎圣经的敬拜是献给上帝所应得的崇敬、尊崇和效忠的举动。我们要敬拜圣经中的上帝，祂是在以赛亚书45:5宣称 “我是耶和华，在我以外并没有别神。” 的唯一真正的上帝， 以及出埃及记3:6所说的 “我是你父亲的神，是亚伯拉罕的神，以撒的神，雅各的神。”
其次，上帝配得最高的尊贵和赞美，正如启示录4:11 所记 “我们的主，我们的神，祢是配得荣耀、尊贵、权柄的。”
我们应该如何敬拜上帝？我们要按照耶稣在约翰福音4:24 “神是灵，敬拜的人必须以灵以真理敬拜” 的教导以灵以真理敬拜上帝。以灵来敬拜不只是以外在的行动来敬拜上帝，而是通过将内在的自我交给上帝，从内心敬拜上帝。以真理来敬拜上帝的意思是敬拜真正的上帝，藉着耶稣基督在圣经所启示的上帝。
(改编自Dr Tony Foo 于2021年6月6日在班底浸信会的讲道信息。)