Thursday, January 29, 2009

What is Worship Part 3 - As proclamation

The more astute of you of course realized that I hadn’t covered all the Greek words used for worship. And so I will turn our attention quickly to the word leitourgos.
Paul used the word leitourgos for his being a minister of the Gospel message in Romans 15:16. There he speaks of preaching to the Gentiles. Worship is then also to be seen as proclamation, proclamation of the message of the Gospel so people may come to know Christ.

No doubt many have heard a sermon or two speaking about Worship and referring back to the root of the English word which literally means worth-ship, and so means attributing worth to something. As Paul Plew in ‘Think Biblically’ ed John MacArthur pg 188 says “[it] denotes the ascription of reverence to someone or something of superlative worth.” I do so much like that word superlative for indeed our Lord God is Superlative worth! Doesn’t that make nonsense of when we use the word worship in relation to football stars, or movie stars, or musicians or a football team? They don’t even deserve such a word as worship do they? Yet that’s how it’s used in our common parlance of our culture. We must ask unbelievers by what standard they declare something worthy? Apart from the God of the bible as the Standard, there is no value in saying something is worthy of worship. Without the Christian Worldview of the bible their standard of things or people worthy of worship are just arbitrary. Are the things or people they choose to worship or glorify worthy?

Listen to how the Scripture speak of making this decision, indeed it’s a forgone conclusion because it can really be seen as a command, but for the unbelievers situation just read it and think about the things and people they worship.

Psalm 96, says that we are to “ascribe to the Lord the glory due to His name.” Psalm 96:8-9.

We are to give to the Lord the glory due to his name, that is, according to His character. And the Scriptures leave us in no doubt about what His character is like, Merciful, full of Grace, Patient, Just and Righteous and so on. You can then see in new light the utter foolishness of setting up stone or wooden idols that do not speak, that do not Love, that do not care!

Is it not surprising then to find that Paul is then speaking of worship, indeed the failure of worship by rebellious mankind, when he speaks of them “neither giving their Creator thanks and praise” Romans 1. If I could express it in another way, they failed to give Him the Glory He so rightly deserves.

What I have been speaking about is the Gospel message isn’t it? Who could not proclaim such a message? Who Could not in gratitude proclaim, and by doing so worship the Lord?

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