What is Worship in the Bible?

Worship is different from praise or prayer.

Praise means to give thanks: when we sing a song for God or say thank you Lord for saving my soul.

Prayer means to commute with a superior being.

The definition of Worship is giving reverence to a superior being, to show great and deep respect.

When we praise the Lord or pray, that could be used as worship, giving deep respect but worship does not mean praise or prayer.

This is a great example showing true worshipers.

In the following passage, Job’s heart is with God. All his mind is focusing on God alone, not thanking God because he felt grateful for his blessings, not because he has a certain need and is begging God for it.

Job 1:20-22 “Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.”

The first mention of the word ‘worship’ in the Old Testament is here, and it is connected to the death of Jesus Christ.

Genesis 22:5 “And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.”
Genesis 22:8 “And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.”

The first mention of ‘worship’ in the New Testament is connected to the birth of Christ.

Matthew 2:2 “Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.”
Matthew 2:11 “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”

The first mention of worship in the Old Testament and New Testament is all connected to the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s why any other worship outside the Lord Jesus Christ is not true worship.

Why is it Important to Worship God?

  1. It’s the first commandment from God.

    Exodus 20:1-3 “And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

  2. Worship is so important that Solomon spent billions and billions of dollars building a temple. Children of Israel gave up all their gold and valuables to build a tabernacle and the ark of the covenant.

    Psalms 132:7 “We will go into his tabernacles: we will worship at his footstool.”

  3. The only reason why God created us is for His pleasure.

    Revelation 4:10-11 “The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”

Object Of Worship is God the Father and Jesus Christ

God the Father

John 4:23 “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.”

God the Son, Christ Jesus

John 9:37-38 “And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.”

God the Holy Spirit must exalt Jesus for worship. Nowhere in the Bible does it command us to worship God the Holy Spirit.

John 16:13-14 “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”

Idols must not be worshipped.

Exodus 20:3-5 “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;”

Idols of pleasure, education, business, possession, money, power, or any lustful affection of this world is idolatry.

Colossians 3:5 “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:”

People are not to be worshipped.

Acts 10:25-26 “And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.”

Angels are not to be worshipped.

Revelation 22:8-9 “And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.”

Nature should not be worshipped.

Deutronomy 4:14-20 “And the LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it. Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven. But the LORD hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day.”

Basis For Worship

We are not even worthy to worship God because He is such a holy God.

Joshua 24:19 “And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.”

That’s why there has to be a basis for worship, we have to meet certain qualifications so that we can worship God the right way wholeheartedly and fully with freedom.

Here, a person is a true worshiper because he offered bloody sacrifices so that the sins could be covered.

Hebrews 10:1-2 “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.”

We can now serve God, worship God because of the blood of Christ.

Hebrews 9:14 “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

Because God bought us with His blood, we cannot do what we want to do with our bodies. Our entire body is completely dedicated as a worship vessel, worshiping God.

Acts 20:28 “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”
1 Corinthians 6:20 “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Spirit Of Worship

When we got saved in the Lord Jesus Christ, we’re already in the spirit.

Romans 8:8 “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”

We’re supposed to worship God in spirit. Now it makes sense why no matter how sincere lost people are in their worship, they cannot worship God. They’ll never understand true worship because they are not in the spirit, they are lost.

John 4:24 “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

A lost man does not understand the things of the spirit nor spiritual worship.

1 Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

If we are lost, then we cannot worship God the right way in the spirit according to God’s word.

Romans 8:8-9 “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”

The Holy Spirit will guide us into true worship and it will all be about Lord Jesus Christ, not the Holy Spirit.

John 4:23 “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.”
John 16:13-14 “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”

If we want to have true full worship in the spirit, we should not grieve the spirit. If we have certain sins that we’re messing up or thinking in our mind during church service, when we allow those sins to take a hold of us, we grieve the spirit and hinder full worship in the spirit.

V31 shows how we can grieve the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 4:30-31 “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:”

Manners Of Worship

The Bible says worship should never be fleshy, it should be spiritual. No drumbeat or swaying to the music. This is why CCM (Contemporary Christian music) today is not glorifying God and Bible believers do not have such music in church services.

Philippians 3:3 “For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”

If our worship service was not sincere in the church today, we just wasted our time, it was an abomination to God.

Proverbs 15:8 “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.”

It doesn’t matter if our heart is sincere in worship service, but if it’s not according to the knowledge of the Bible and God’s word, and not the right biblical way then it’s just wrong.

Romans 10:2 “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.”

That’s why these 3 keys are important:

  1. Worship has to be spiritual, not fleshy
  2. Worship must be sincere
  3. Worship must be intelligent. Biblical worship must be done the right way according to the knowledge of the scriptures.

Hindrances To Worship


When we confide in our own abilities, it hinders the service.

Philippians 3:3 “For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”


Someone who pursues after the world, we’d hardly see them worship God.
In v5, why was God glorified and worshipped? Because these people were out of the world.

John 17:4-6 “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.”

A critical spirit/mind.

God the Father is worshiped and glorified because people have one mind.

Romans 15:5-6 “Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”


When we are not slothful, we are serving and worshiping God.

Romans 12:11 “Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;”


When we stop and calm down (from the busy-ness of the world), we can take time and worship God.

Psalms 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”

If we’re just going by the routines of the church, legalism, or formalism that’s just our own will worshiping God. It’s not the Holy Spirit in us worshiping God.

Colossians 2:20-23 “Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,(Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.”


When a person visits the church in worship services and he sees people speaking in tongues, he’ll think that they’re mad. But if that person stops speaking in tongues and does something edifying instead, that visitor will drop on his knees and truly worship God instead.

1 Corinthians 14:23-25 “If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.”

When we have the wrong doctrine then we are worshipping God in vain. It is false worship.

Mark 7:7 “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”


Worship comes from humility.

Daniel 4:30-34 “The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws. And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:”

Results Of Worship

If we worship God the right way then everyone ought to see that God was clearly glorified.

Psalms 86:9 “All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name.”

The believer will be blessed with joy.

Luke 24:52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:”