Is Everything We Do Considered “Worship”?

Text: John 4:24

Jesus emphasized the need to worship God in spirit and truth (right attitude and right actions). However, while we might think of “worship” as a basic concept, some have attempted to redefine it. Some consider all of our lives as worship. If we are to worship God acceptably, we must understand what worship is.

Why This is a Question

  • Some have promoted the idea that everything we do as Christians is “worship” – they reject the idea that we assemble to worship because worship is not limited to the assembly
  • In one sense, they’re correct – worship is not limited to the assembly; we can worship in other places; however, that does not mean that everything we do is worship
  • It may be the case that those who promote this idea are sincere – they could be concerned that some may seem to attend worship services, then live like the world the rest of the week
  • There is certainly more to our lives as Christians than just assembling on the first day of the week – however, the way to emphasize that is with the truth, not with a contrived definition of worship
  • In this lesson, we don’t want to examine motives, we simply want to answer the question – Is everything we do considered “worship”?

The Difference Between Worship and Service

  • Difference in translations of Romans 12:1 – some translations just say service, others include the word worship; some argue that this makes the point that all of our service to God is worship
  • Difference in two Greek words – proskuneo and latreia
  • Worship (proskuneo) – to kiss the hand… a token of reverence… an expression of profound reverence… kneeling or prostration to do homage (Thayer); examples (Matthew 28:9; 1 Corinthians 14:24-25; Revelation 5:13-14)
  • Service (latreia) – service rendered for hire; any service or ministration…service of God (Thayer); example (John 16:2)
  • All worship is service, but not all service is worship – worship involves giving God praise; service involves giving God obedience
  • They are related, but different (Romans 1:25) – “worshiped and served

Examples Showing the Difference Between Worship and Service

  • Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 22:5) – a period of worship had a definite beginning and ending point
  • Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego (Daniel 1:19; 3:12) – they served the king, but did not worship his image
  • Those driven out of the temple (John 2:14-16) – engaging in business (even if it is legitimate) is not to be mixed with worship
  • Christians in the first century (Romans 13:1; Revelation 14:9-10) – could submit to rulers, but were not to worship them

Consequences of Failing to Make the Distinction

  • It expands the work of the church beyond what has been authorized – if everything is worship, then whatever is authorized outside of the assembly is authorized in it (instrumental music, common meals, etc.); we must respect Christ’s authority (Colossians 3:17); not everything is authorized at all times
  • It minimizes the importance of assembling with the local church to worship – if the worship assembly is not something special, why should one attend? … we are not to forsake the assembly (Hebrews 10:25); not just to encourage, but to worship together

Conclusion

  • Worship is a great privilege – but we must do it in the way God has said (John 4:24)
  • Serving God is our reasonable service (Romans 12:1) – word means rational/logical; God ought to expect it
  • Both worship and service are necessary and are related to one another – but they are different
  • We must not confuse the two or else both our worship and service to God may fall short of His standard

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