Volume. XXIV, No. 5
Sunday, 02 August 2009


WORSHIP GOD IN RESPONSE TO WHO GOD IS - Part 1


Introduction

Arthur Pontier said, "We seem to have lost our sense of direction-and of purpose as well. The time for worship has become a time of confusion and of division." Today, the word \'worship\' has probably a wider diversity of definitions than any other theological or doctrinal terms. It is unfortunate to learn that many Christians today do not have clear and biblical understanding with regard to what worship is about. Most evangelical churches and sadly even some fundamental churches today regard worship as a mere programme that the worshipers attend and/or an exhilarating experience.

Well, if an exhilarating human experience is ‘worship’ then why did the wise men from the East (Matt 2:1-12) take their time, effort and energy to leave their ‘comfort zone’ to travel hundreds of miles across the wilderness to a foreign land to pay homage to the King of kings? And if ‘worship’ is mere a programme, then Abraham and Isaac (Gen 22:1-18) must have worshiped Jehovah God fundamentally amiss — for they did not have all the \'right\' elements of \'modern day\' worship, so to speak.

What does the Bible instruct us about true biblical worship? Firstly, there is a need to define the word \'worship\'. Webster Dictionary defines worship (as a verb) as: "To adore; to pay divine honors to; to reverence with supreme respect and veneration." Secondly, it is also important to understand the grammatical implications of the word \'worship\'. The word ‘worship’ is actually a verb in both original languages of the Bible (i.e. Hebrew and Greek) and not a noun, though it can be used both as a noun and a verb (i.e. both transitive and intransitive) in English. Despite of this, the word worship is only used as a transitive verb in the Scriptures with God as the direct object (e.g. Ex 34:14; Ps 29:2, 66:4; Isa 27:13; Jer 7:2; Zech 14:16; Matt 4:9; John 4:24; Acts 18:13; 1 Cor 14:25; Heb 1:6; Rev 19:10; 22:8,9). In other words, worship is not merely an ‘internal feeling’ experienced by the worshipers nor is it a \'programme\' catered for the worshippers but it is a response to the One who alone is worthy of our worship for who He is, as a Sovereign Creator, and what He has done for His creatures, as a Saviour and Redeemer! If this is so, what are some biblical implications of true biblical worship? Two passages (Matt 2:1-12 and Gen 22:1-18) in the Scriptures will give us some biblical insights as to what true biblical worship is.

The Worship of the Wise men (Matt 2:1-12): Worship as a Response to who God is, in Awe and Reverence.

Firstly, to the wise men, worship was not a mere exhilarating \'human experience\' but a response to who God is. The wise men had been informed that something important had taken place, possibly from their reading of Old Testament Scriptures in the form of Septuagint or in original Hebrew manuscripts. They knew that the King of kings would be born into the world, and they knew that the spiritual significance would affect not only a few or some of the Middle Eastern nations and regions, but all nations and kindred in the world! With this in mind, they responded in a way that they thought of as fitting, and indeed it was. They came all the way despite the long and arduous journey as a response to the birth of the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Saviour and Redeemer of mankind – what a wonderful response is this!

Therefore, true biblical worship should be a response and not some kind of exhilarating or invigorating human experience. God\'s people should worship Him solely based on who He is as a Sovereign Creator, but they should also all the more worship and praise Him for the redemptive Work that God accomplished for His people through His only begotten and beloved Son Jesus Christ! Should it not make us respond in heartfelt and sincere gratitude for the One who condescended Himself and came into this world in humble human form and died for the elect whom the Father has chosen before the foundation of the world? Does it not stagger you that He has chosen you, not because He foresaw anything good in you, out of billions of people into everlasting life but determined to pass some according to His good pleasure? Does it not move you to fall prostrate before Him in awe and reverence when you learn that when our Lord Jesus Christ said on the cross, "It is finished," not only did He make salvation \'possible\' or ‘available’ as some suggest, but actually and effectively accomplished the redemptive Work for His chosen people whom He knew before the foundation of the world and promised to save until the end so that none would be lost? The aforementioned salvific and redemptive truths should prompt you to respond in a manner as Webster defines worship as: "To adore; to pay divine honours to; to reverence with supreme respect and veneration" for who He is! So dear beloved, every Sunday when you come for worship, do not ever seek to indulge yourself with man-centred exhilarating human \'worshipful experience\' but worship God in response to who He is.

Secondly, when the men from the East arrived, the simple act of bowing down with their gifts in awe and reverence was their act of worship, and that was all they did and nothing more. Because they knew that worship of God is not like going for a concert, a cinema or a musical designed to appeal to human emotion, or cater to \'entertain\' the worshippers, but rather to render glory and honour to God during the worship. They dared not to include in their worship anything that may undermine their focus of worship — Jesus Christ, the King of kings! Neither were they interested to be entertained with magic shows or clown shows or theatrical sound effects. They would not have even complained if the ‘worship hall’ was not air-conditioned, lacked high-tech facilities or lacked cosy or comfortable seating. They simply prostrated before the King of kings and Lord of lords in awe and reverence with their gifts and worshiped Him (v.11) in a shabby little barn with no special presentations, impressive sound effects, dazzling neon lights or special presentations. In a nutshell, it was their response in awe and reverence before God Almighty and their simple but sincere act of prostrating before the King of kings that pleased God, not  a man-centred ‘worshipful’ experience or programme that is designed to entertain the worshippers.

Pastor Weng

(Part 2 - next Lord’s Day)


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

Announcements

Kitchen Rosters: Team Leader: Bro Daniel Volvricht

Sunday School Teachers’ Training Course begins this evening. If you are interested, please see Sis Josephine Wong after Worship Service.

Christmas Concert 2009 - All are encouraged to participate. If you can participate please see Sis Sally Teng.

Sis Aranka Rejtoe sends her love to all Hopefuls.

Greetings from Bro Winston & Sis Christabelle Selvanayagam (Waterloo, Canada).

 

Looking Ahead

Annual Congregational Meeting on Saturday, 29 Aug, 7:30 pm. (All members are expected to attend)

Christmas Concert: Sat, 5 Dec 2009

 

Praise & Thanksgiving

Journey mercies: Rev George van Buuren, Bro John & Sis Josephine Wong (Adl); Dn Edwin D’Mello (Brisb); Bros Jason Tan (Kapunda/Adl) & Jonathan Liaw; Sisters Joyce Chen & Wendy Liang (Adl); & all others who arrived safely at their destinations.

Church activities: BBK Class; Reformed H&A Class; AFG Share & Prayer; BSAG, Joy & Maranatha Prayer Meeting & Bible Study; Chinese Ministry; Ladies’ Share & Prayer; YAF Video & Bible Study

Daily mercies, protection, and guidance.

Rain over last few weeks.

 

Prayer Items

Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren; Rev John & Mrs Christine McKenzie; Rev Stephen Khoo, Dr S H Tow, Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Tommy Brooks, Colin Creaser, Makoto Kobayashi, Elton Law, Alan Marion, Len & Richard Pearson, Winston Selvanayagam, Fred Volvricht & Hans Ziegelmann; Mr Swee Liang Ng, Mr Yeom; Grandpa Ki (surgery in Korea); Auntie Oei; Sisters Mabella Booth, Nita Chong, Annie D’Mello, Myung Ki, Choon Fong Lee (KL); Fiona Paauwe; Margaret, Dianne, & Sarah Pearson; Aranka Rejtoe, Sally Teng, Susan Veradi, Irena Kurek-Braden; Mrs Win Hooper; & others in affliction.

Missions - Cambodia (Rev David Koo & ministry); Rev Srum Chivan; Life University in Sihanoukville; Hopefuls in S’pore; Teo family (Kuching).

Special Prayer: Bro Surish Dharmalingam - family & ministry in Vientiane (Laos) & Siem Pang (Cambodia).

Sketch n’ Tell Ministry - Pr H S Lim

Pastor & Sis Ki - ministry in New Life BPC, London.

IBPFM (USA) - For missionaries & funds

Journey mercies: Dn. Edwin D’Mello (Adl); Bro Raphael & Sis Bernadette Ng (Pt Augustus); Bro John &  Sis Josephine Wong (Brisb);  Bro Jason Tan (Kap/Adl); & others travelling.

Pastor Weng: family & ministry in Hope BPC.

Job - Bro Cong Pham; Sisters Marion Chan, Tabitha Heah, Judy Li & Corinne Teng.

God’s comfort, strength, guidance & care: Sisters Kathleen Creaser & Margaret Hooper.

Bro Max Opaskiatikul serving the Lord in MV Doulos.

Australian B-P Churches - for unity of doctrine & fellowship

Believers under persecution in Islamic countries

Bro Winston & Sis Christabelle Selvanayagam in Waterloo: For God’s guidance & protection.

Dn David Yeo - as he prepares for missions (Laos)

Street Evangelism - Salvation of souls

 

 

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PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063