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William Shishko: "What is Worship?"

Many misunderstandings surround Christian worship today. This series of posts is taken from a publication entitled, Helps for Worship, and was produced by our sister denomination, the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. It offers biblical guidance on the subject of worship, and is reprinted with permission. 

“The first foundation of righteousness undoubtedly is the worship of God.” —John Calvin

The term worship comes from an old word that means “worth-ship.” It is to ascribe honor to one who is worthy. The highest duty of those made in the image of God is to “ascribe worth” to the one in whom they live and move and have their very being (Acts 17:28).

Christian worship has been rightly defined as “the activity of the new life of a believer in which, recognizing the fullness of the Godhead as it is revealed in the person of Jesus Christ and his mighty redemptive acts, he seeks by the power of the Holy Spirit to render to the living God the glory, honor, and submission which are his due” (Robert Rayburn). “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!” (Rev. 5:12). Our worship is to reflect the worship of heaven, in which all that is around the throne of God gives glory to him. “The Father is seeking such to worship Him” (John 4:23).

Your worship personally, in your families, and especially when gathered together as a church, ought to be the most wonderful experience of your lives. It ought to be a foretaste of an eternity of worship of the One who has saved us and who blesses us with good things beyond measure.

For Reflection

1. Why is God worthy of your best efforts in giving him worship?

2. What things hinder you from giving God the honor that is due to him in your worship?

3. What are the best ways you can remove those hindrances, so that your worship is more pleasing to God and more satisfying to you?


Shishko, William. Helps for Worship. The Committee on Christian Education of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. 2008. Used with permission.