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Worthy of Worship
Terry R. Baughman
“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9–11 NKJ).
Only God is worthy of worship. “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve” (Matthew 4:10). While we are often tempted to idolize successful people in business, sports heroes, and movie or music stars, worship of others should be recognized as idolatry. The worship of anything or anyone that takes our focus off of God becomes an object of idolatry. While we may admire the successes of others or enjoy collections of material design, worship must be reserved for God alone.
While infants are precious and our hearts are warmed with the blessing of newborns, they are not typically worshipped as deity. However, the birth of Jesus was an exception. The writer of Hebrews said, “When God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, ‘Let all God’s angels worship him’” (Hebrews 1:6 NIV). This was one birth that was worthy of worship, even the angels of God declared His praise and expressed adoration to the newborn. Shepherds and wisemen from afar came to worship the newborn king of Israel. When the “Word became flesh” and was born in Bethlehem, this was an occasion for worship (John 1:14). Worship was not only allowed it was expected. Paul revealed, “God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow” (Philippians 2:9–10).
There is only one object of worship, that is the One true God in all the earth. We must reserve worship for Him alone. We are not to worship babies, other humans, or even angels (spirit beings). John received a vast array of revelations delivered by an angel of the Lord. He was so overcome with the magnitude of the visions and astounded by the majesty of God that he fell down to worship at the feet of the angelic messenger. The angel quickly rejected John’s worship and said, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God” (Revelation 22:9). The Angel did not allow John to worship him, but directed this adoration to the true source when he said, “Worship God.”
Worship is not just expected, it is commanded, “You shall worship the Lord your God” (Matthew 4:10). While some may act as though worship is an optional exercise of radical believers, there is clear expectation of all Christians to give their worship freely to the Lord Jesus Christ. Not only will Christ-followers confess His Lordship and give Him glory, the text reveals that eventually ALL will come to acknowledge Him, confess His authority and bow in submission to His Deity. Paul stated that “Every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:10–11).
The apparent truth is clearly stated. All will worship Him. Either now or in eternity all will bow in submission to the supreme Lord. Everyone will come to recognize God’s ultimate authority, either as a committed follower or a defeated foe who will bow before Him in the judgment.
When will you worship Him?
“I am covered by your covenant of mercy and love. So I come to your sanctuary with deepest awe to bow in worship and adore you” (Psalm 5:7 The Passion Translation).