"What is the meaning of Christian worship?"

The meaning of the New Testament Greek word
most often translated
“worship” (proskuneo) is “to fall
down before” or “bow down
before.” Worship is a state (an
attitude) of spirit. Since it’s an internal, individual action, it
could/should be done most of
the time (or all the time) in our
lives, regardless of place or
situation (John 4:21). Therefore, Christians worship all the time,
seven days a week. When
Christians formally gather
together in worship, still the
emphasis should be on
individually worshiping the Lord. Even in a congregation,
participants need to be aware
that they are worshiping God
fully on an individual basis. The nature of Christian worship
is from the inside out and has
two equally important parts. We
must worship “in spirit and in
truth” (John 4:23-24). Worshiping in the spirit has
nothing to do with our physical
posture. It has to do with our
innermost being and requires
several things. First, we must be
born again. Without the Holy Spirit residing within us, we
cannot respond to God in
worship because we do not
know Him. “No one knows the
things of God except the Spirit of
God” (1 Corinthians 2:11b). The Holy Spirit within us is the one
who energizes worship because
He is in essence glorifying
Himself, and all true worship
glorifies God. Second, worshiping in spirit
requires a mind centered on God
and renewed by Truth. Paul
exhorts us 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” (Romans 12:1b, 2b). Only when our minds are changed from being centered on
worldly things to being centered
on God can we worship in spirit.
Distractions of many kinds can
flood our minds as we try to
praise and glorify God, hindering our true worship. Third, we can only worship in
spirit by having a pure heart,
open and repentant. When King
David’s heart was filled with
guilt over his sin with Bathsheba
(2 Samuel 11), he found it impossible to worship. He felt
that God was far from him, and
he “groaned all day long”
feeling God’s hand heavy upon
him (Psalm 32:3,4). But when he confessed, fellowship with God
was restored and worship and
praise poured forth from him. He
understood that “the sacrifices
of God are a broken spirit; a
broken and contrite heart” (Psalm 51:17). Praise and worship toward God cannot
come from hearts filled with
unconfessed sin. The second part of true worship
is worship “in truth.” All worship
is a response to truth, and that
which is truth is contained in the
Word of God. Jesus said to His
Father, “Thy word is truth” (John 17:17b). Psalm 119 says, “Thy law is truth” (v. 142b) and “Thy
word is true” (v. 160a). To truly
worship God, we must
understand who He is and what
He has done, and the only place
He has fully revealed Himself is in the Bible. Worship is an
expression of praise from the
depths of our hearts toward a
God who is understood through
His Word. If we do not have the
truth of the Bible, we do not know God and we cannot be
truly worshiping. Since external actions are
unimportant in Christian
worship, there is no rule
regarding whether we should
sit, stand, fall down, be quiet, or
sing praises loudly while in corporate worship. These things
should be decided based on the
nature of the congregation. The
most important thing is that we
worship God in spirit (in our
hearts) and in truth (in our minds.)

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