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by Micah Dalan

Worship is defined by Strong's Concordance

proskuneó: to do reverence to

Original Word: προσκυνέω

Part of Speech: Verb

Transliteration: proskuneó

Phonetic Spelling: (pros-koo-neh'-o)

Short Definition: I worship

Definition: I go down on my knees to, do obeisance to, worship.

4352 proskynéō (from 4314 /prós, "towards" and kyneo, "to kiss") – properly, to kiss the ground when prostrating before a superior; to worship, ready "to fall down/prostrate oneself to adore on one's knees"; to "do obeisance".



 A look at both the original language and the origin of the word in English will help us understand the meaning.

1. The primary Hebrew word for worship.

Shachah - "to depress, i.e. prostrate (in homage to royalty or God): bow (self) down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do (make) obeisance, do reverence, make to stoop, worship."

2. Three Greek words.

a. Proskuneo - "meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master's hand), to fawn or crouch to, homage (do reverence to, adore): worship." It occurs 59 times in the New Testament. It originally carried with it the idea of subjects falling down to kiss the ground before a king or kiss their feet.

b. Sebomai - "to reverence, hold in awe." Used 10 times in the New Testament.

c. Latreuo - "to render religious service of homage." Used 21 times in the New  Testament.

3. The word in the English language.

a. Literally means to ascribe worth to something.

4. True worship begins with a deep respect or reverence for God, a frame of heart, an attitude. This must be fixed in one's mind before we go further. An "act" of worship is an act proceeding from or the result of that attitude.

It is the attitude of the HEART. God does not look at the outward appearance, but He looks at motive and intents of the heart. I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. [Jeremiah 17:10; Revelation 2:23]


B. The Bible talks about several "kinds" of worship.

1. Ignorant Worship--Acts 17:22-31

a. Acts 17:23 - "for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you:

b. Paul perceived that they were very religious but he warned them that their religious service was not pleasing to God for it was done without knowledge of what God wanted or even who God was.

c. Ignorant worship is like throwing darts at a bulls eye while blindfolded--sure you might hit the mark but more than likely you will do a lot of damage

d. ignorant worship is not pleasing to God for He is not glorified by accident, but by a conscience praise of His name.

e. Such worship will never be pleasing to God, for His will has been revealed (John 4:24).

f. God does not wink (tolerate) ignorance - Acts 17:30.


2. Vain Worship

a. Matthew 15:7-9 "Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: 8 - 'These people draw near to Me with  their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. 9- And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'"

b. The Pharisees made their worship Vain (useless) because they had layered on the commandments of men to their practices.

c. This is the attitude which changes what God has said, does not respect what God has said, and not obey what He has  commanded. See Leviticus 10:1-11.


3. Will Worship

a. Colossians 2:23 - Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh. (KJV)

b. Colossians 2:23 - These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and  neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

c. This is worship that centers in satisfying self. This is the same type of worship that we often have today, that which calls for "audience centered" worship.


4. True Worship

a. John 4:23-24 "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 - "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."


But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a [special] people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies [the wonderful deeds and virtues and perfections] of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

1 Peter 2:9

O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker- The Lord created us in His own Image and in His own Likeness. He is the owner of everything that He has created. A Psalm of David declares: The earth is the LORD'S, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: All things were made by him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. [Psalm 95:6;Genesis 1:27; Psalm 24:1; Colossians 1:16; John1:3]


Our lives should always give GLORY to God. The way we conduct our attitudes toward other men, the way we relate with each other especially within the household of Faith, it should always be pleasing and acceptable and holy before God the Father. Jesus says this: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. [Matt 5:16] This is our act of worship that He might be glorified in us and through us.

Be Blessed

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