About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Kiss The King
W. E. Vine in his Expository Dictionary Of New Testament Words says this about worship. "The worship of God is nowhere defined in Scripture. A consideration of the above verbs show that it is not confined to praise; broadly it may be regarded as the direct acknowledgement of God, of His nature, attributes, ways and claims, whether by the outgoing of the heart in praise or thanksgiving or by deed done by such acknowledgement". At this point you might say, "I have enough trouble understanding the Bible, and now you throw Vine at me to figure out".
What I think Vine is saying is that the Bible gives no precise definition for the word worship. The Bible doesn't say, "worship means this or that". Vine suggests that there are two aspects of worship. They are deeds done in service to God, and words of praise and thanksgiving.
In my thinking we get our definition for the word worship from the Greek words that are translated as worship in our English Bibles, and from the context in which they are written. This is the way in which we learn the definition of any Biblical word. We first learn what the Greek (New Testament) word means. Each word usually has a range of possible related definitions. Then once we learn this, we see how it is used in the context we find it in. The two aspects work together to give the full meaning of a word. The contextual aspect of defining words is just as important as the range of meanings given to the specific Greek word.
In my first article I defined what I call the primary meaning of worship. I based this definition on the context of Rom. 12:1 and 2. Paul says that we should offer ourselves as "living sacrifices which is our spiritual worship", or service. Thus my primary definition of worship according to this verse is that it is a lifestyle that is sacrificial in nature, first towards God and then towards others. This is part of what Vine has said above. Yet Vine, as well as Scripture suggests that worship is also an act of praise, thanksgiving and adoration towards God expressed by words, songs, and certain physical postures. Words of praise can be considered worship and should come from a lifestyle of sacrificial service.
The reason why I say that praise and adoration towards our Lord is worship is based the most common Greek word that is translated as worship in the English New Testament. That word is "proskuneo". Vine says that this word means "to kiss towards" (Greek kuneo is kiss, Greek pros is towards). Remember the Scripture we discussed from John 4:21 to 24 where Jesus said that true worshipers must worship in spirit and truth. The word worship in this instance is the word "proskuneo". So what is Jesus saying here? He is saying that true worshipers will "kiss towards" God in spirit and truth. That sounds a little "intimate", doesn't it? I have already suggested what I thought spirit and truth meant. The idea I would like to point out here is that worship in this instance means to "kiss God" because of the use of "proskuneo". What could this possibly mean other than demonstrating our loving affection towards our Lord. Kissing is obviously an affectionate action, and is part of what worship is all about. Now we can't physically kiss our Lord, therefore we express our affections the best way we can, in words, songs, raising of hands, along with other such expressions of affection.
So along with the definition of worship as a lifestyle of service, there is evidence in Scripture that worship is also expressing our affection to our Lord. People may express this affection differently but no matter how one expresses it, it doesn't change the thought that worship can be an intimate and affectionate kiss towards our God. Don't feel that I am humanizing worship, or bringing it down to an earthy level by using the word kiss. I am only using the word kiss because of the meaning of the Greek word "proskeneo" that Jesus Himself used.
The writer of the book of Hebrews quotes from Psa. 22:22 which says, "I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises" (Heb. 2:12) The pronoun "I" in this verse is referring to Jesus. So look at the picture this verse paints for us. It says that Jesus, at some point in time, will sing praises along with you and I to our God who sits on the throne. In my mind's eye I see this picture of Jesus Himself being our worship leader. He will lead us in one awesome worship service, as we, along with Him bow our hearts in affectionate and intimate praise to God. Can you possibly imagine this event? You, I and Jesus, along with millions of others, both human and angelic worshipping the Almighty God.
While in Washington D.C. in 1981, which is a long way from Heaven, I found myself just outside of heaven's gates when the Phil Keaggy Band led a couple thousand of us in loud vibrant worship. This was one great experience. My ears were still ringing the next morning, not really from the worship but from the loudness of the music. Yet that experience is nothing compared to our Lord Jesus Christ leading us in worship. I'd probably be way too nervous to play my guitar on His worship team. Maybe Phil Keaggy will be on Jesus' worship team playing electric lead guitar. I can see it now, Phil Keaggy wailing away with all of his might on his Les Paul guitar, with his distortion peddle set to the limit. I can hear the sharp shrills of his electric guitar screaming across the universe, while Jesus leads us all in exhilarating worship. Can you visualize this? I hear the guitars, the drums, the keyboards, and the voices of all of us echoing off the planets as the sound of worship resonates into eternity.
Look also at Rev. 5:11 to 14. It says, "I looked and heard the voices of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousand, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures, and the elders. In a loud voice they sang, worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom, and strength and honour and glory and praise! Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing; to Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honour and glory, and power for ever and ever! The four living creatures said, 'Amen', and the elders fell down and worshipped". Wow, what a worship service that will be. Everyone in the universe seems to be entering into worshipping the one who sits on the throne and the Lamb of God. Picture the millions of people and angelic beings lost in affectionate and intimate worship. "And the elders fell down and worshipped" Falling in humility before the throne of God in awesome reverence is ultimate worship. What else could we possibly do in God's immediate presence.
This Scripture in Revelation speaks of a future event, or possibly a present event in the heavenlies, depending on how you view Revelation. Whatever the case, I am absolutely convinced that we can have a taste of such worship today. Paul says that we have the Holy Spirit as a down payment of better things to come. (Eph. 1:14) If we have His Spirit as a down payment, or a taste of the future, then we can experience some of the future today. That's only logical. Some of the future is this affectionate and intimate worship that we see in the Book of Revelation.
"Lord Jesus, Lamb of God, you are worthy of everyone's affectionate and intimate worship. We offer our lives to you in sacrificial worship. May we have a taste of this heavenly worship here on earth as we gather together as your people, the church ".