NEW TESTAMENT WORSHIP CONCEPTS Lesson 1 of 3 A STUDY OF WORSHIP CONCEPTS AS THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH UNDERSTOOD THEM
Much of this material I learned from Lindsey Garmond through an
audio tape study. I really do not know how to separate his material from
mine... but I do know that God's people need to know this information.
Thank you Lindsey for all you do for Him. Gk
If you choose to teach this material, you should study it
VERY carefully and understand it before sharing it. This material should be
taught over an extended period of time, giving each student time to absorb
it and confront the difference in what they have always been taught. A
rush job can cause serious injury to both you and your students.
Remember: we often have to unlearn some things before we can learn
Our basic concept of "worship in the church" has been very narrow.
Usually viewed as 5 acts:
Preaching and teaching of the Bible
This view is CORRECT in and of itself, but is a NARROW concept.
It limits (in our thinking) to a time and place.
It is not wrong to speak of "worship services" or to speak of "coming or going to worship."
The problem is this: These terms leave the impression that worship is performed at
a "time" or a "place," which in turn breeds a much narrower view.
The purpose of the following discussion is NOT to condemn the present concepts, but
to BROADEN them as Jesus did.
A DISCUSSION OF JOHN 4:16-24.
The discussion is with a Samaritan woman.
Samaritans - See article in Smith's Bible Dictionary p. 332-333.
Jesus appeals with kindness, arousing her curiosity v. 7-15.
In the context the woman asked Jesus a question. The point is WHERE. Is it in THIS
mountain or in Jerusalem? Note that she is trying to locate the place of worship.
Miss this and you miss the whole point of the following discussion.
True worshipers - v. 23.
Spirit and in truth
God is spirit - cannot be localized.
Spirit - (Gr - PNEUMA) - primarily denotes the wind; akin to PNEO; to breathe,
to blow; also, breath.
Just like you cannot localize the wind - cannot localize God.
Truth - (Gr - ALETHEIA) - truth, objectively signifying the reality lying at the basis
of an appearance.
O.T. worship was only a "shadow" - Jesus broadens the concepts to show the "reality."
Heb. Chapters 8-10
Take special note of these verses in Hebrews - 8:2,5,13; 9:1, 8-9,11,23-24; 10:1,9
FIVE N.T. WORDS TRANSLATED WORSHIP AND THEIR MEANING Special Note: There are five Greek words used in the N.T. that are basic worship
words. As we seek to study these words, please open your Bible and your minds and consider
the truth as it was taught in the days of the Apostles and the early church. A proper
understanding of these words can help you achieve a rich, well rounded view of total life
worship to God. This study does not seek to discredit anyone, but to give deeper meaning
to our concept of Worship.
Define: Liturgy - form, ceremony or ritual used in a public worship -- usually said
by the priest.
Old Testament Use: Described the function of the priest in the temple worship.
(Sacrifice, incense, procedures) Exclusively used to speak of the function of
the priest in the temple or tabernacle.
Heb. 8:2,6 - used to describe Jesus' work as High Priest to make atonement for the
people of God.
Broadened Use: (John 4's reflection)
Rom. 15:16 - minister - perform priestly duty (ministry)
What is this worship in context? Winning the Gentiles to Jesus - soul winning.
Rom. 15:27 - minister - (to share - N.I.V.)
II Cor. 9:12 - ministration - (again - sharing)
Phil. 2:17 - service - (ministration) - help for others.
Phil. 2:30 - service - (ministration) - help, sharing
NOTE: THIS TERM IS NEVER ONCE USED IN REFERENCE TO THE CHRISTIAN ASSEMBLY.
Define: Greek background is used to describe the idea of honoring some god through
their rituals and acts performed in a pagan temple.
Example: Acts 17:23 - (ye worship) - this is the only time used in this manner in the N.T.
Broadened use: (Translated GODLINESS - the totality of your life)
I Tim. 4:7-8 - Godliness - worship
I Tim. 5:4 - to show piety towards their own family.
"to put their religion into practice" - (N.I.V.)
Worship includes the way children take care of their parents, family.
II Pet. 1:3 - Godliness - (speaks of your total life response to God.)
NOTE: THIS WORD IS NEVER USED IN REFERENCE TO THE CHRISTIAN ASSEMBLY.
Define: Refers to external ceremonies and rituals of religious activity. This word denotes
the ceremonial worship of religion involving a priest, Temple and Ritual.
Used only one time in the N.T. in the Greek sense. (Col. 2:18 - angel worship)
Used in the Jewish sense - (Acts 26:5)
(Vine) - "Signifies religion in its external aspect, religious worship, especially the
ceremonial service of religion."
Broadened use: (John 4's reflection)
James 1:26 - religion - worship involves the tongue and control of it.
James 1:27 - religion - worship is:
Keeping yourself unstained from the world
Helping the widows and orphans
Define: Used in the LXX (Greek OT). (PROS - towards, KUNEO - to kiss). Most often translated
worship. This was the most demanding of the OT worship words. It demanded the presence of the
worshiper and the presence of Deity. (Visible majesty) Because of this, it is limited. It is
mostly used in the Gospels -- because Jesus (Deity) is there.