The Berean Expositor
Volume 54 - Page 191 of 210
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When we turn to the N.T., we find that the Greek word most frequently used is
proskuneo and it occurs 60 times. Young's Concordance gives the meaning "to kiss the
hand--to worship". 100: H. Welch gives "to kiss the hand (towards) one, in token of
reverence". In the O.T. examples may be found which associate kissing with worship. It
is helpful to analyze the way this word is used in the N.T.:
In the Gospels: Matthew (13x), Mark (twice), Luke (3x), John (11x) . . . . . =
In the Acts Period: Acts (4x), I Corinthians (once), Hebrews (twice) . . . . . =
In the book of the Revelation . . . . .
In the Prison Epistles . . . . .
Total . . . . .
The One Who receives worship in the O.T. is the Lord, sometimes referred to as "The
Lord Thy God". In the N.T. (The Revelation) worship is offered to "God", or to "Him
that made heaven and earth". But in John, when our Lord spoke to the woman at the
well, He says that the "Father" seeks worship.
It is in John 4: that we have at last some instruction about worship. We need to read
carefully verses 20-24.  The Samaritan woman queries whether worship should be
offered "in the mountain" or in Jerusalem. Christ replied that the time was coming when
the place and ceremonial worship would no longer be important. God is Spirit and we
should worship Him in spirit and in truth. The Father was seeking such to worship Him.
But when we come to the Prison Epistles, we cannot find the Greek word proskuneo.
We do find however, the word "worship" in Phil. 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."
The Greek word for worship here is latreuo and it occurs 21 times, being translated
worship 4 times but "to serve" 17 times. The word therefore could be translated "serve"
to agree with many other passages.  Phil. 1: 1 describes Paul as the servant of God.
Philippians 2: 17 refers to the "sacrifice and service of your faith". We continue to
worship God the Father, Who is worthy, but we no longer worship with outward show.
Our true worship is in spirit, and we commune with our Father in heart and mind. So let
us seek to do the Father's will and to serve Him faithfully.