What Is Worship?

D. A. Carson admits that his definition of worship is “too long and too complex,” but in his defense he takes 36 pages to explain each element in his chapter “Worship under the Word,” in Worship by the Book, ed. Carson (Zondervan, 2002), p. 26.

Worship is the proper response of all moral, sentient beings to God, ascribing all honor and worth to their Creator-God precisely because he is worthy, delightfully so.

This side of the Fall, human worship of God properly responds to the redemptive provisions that God has graciously made.

While all true worship is God-centered, Christian worship is no less Christ-centered. Empowered by the Spirit and in line with the stipulations of the new covenant, it manifests itself in all our living, finding its impulse in the gospel, which restores our relationship with our Redeemer-God and therefore also with our fellow image-bearers, our co-worshipers.

Such worship therefore manifests itself both in adoration and in action, both in the individual believer and in corporate worship, which worship offered up in the context of the body of believers, who strive to align all the forms of their devout ascription of all worth to God with the panoply of new covenant mandates and examples that bring to fulfillment the glories of antecedent revelation and anticipate the consummation.

(HT: Justin Taylor)

Peter serves as a pastor-teacher, at home and abroad, resourcing gospel-centred communities.

One thought on “What Is Worship?

  1. And I thought it was just about loving God and living and speaking as if that were true. Oh well. I stand corrected.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s