5.3.2.3 Worship and the fear of God

Only God the Lord is worthy of worship. Only He is to be served.

The forms of worshipping God in the old covenant are various. The Psalms attest that praise and adoration come to expression in prayer. The sacrificial service in the temple was also a form of worship.

Over the course of time, the temple cult misled the people to practise an externalised and ritualised worship of God, which was already denounced by the prophets (Amos 5: 21-22, 24). Jesus also picked up on this prophetic tradition and taught: "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4: 23-24). Thus the proper worship of God is not a purely formal act, but rather consists of a human being's complete devotion to God.

Devotion to God is also defined by the fear of God, that is to say respect for God. The fear of God is not an expression of subservient fear, but rather of humbleness, love, and trust. It expresses itself in the worship of the Most High out of childlike love, and in unconditional acceptance of God's majesty. The fear of God is evidenced in the endeavour to keep the commandments, in other words, to avoid sin.

See also