Tuesday, November 01, 2016

THE WORSHIP OF JESUS? by Dan Mayfield

C.S. Lewis wrote, "Among the Jews there suddenly turns up a man who goes about talking as if He were God. He claims to forgive sins. He says He has always existed. He says He is coming to judge the world at the end of time. Now let us get this clear. Among pantheists, like the Hindus of India, anyone might say that he is part of god or one with god. There would be nothing very odd about that. But this man, since He was a Jew, could not mean that kind of God. God in their language meant the Being outside of the world who had made it and was infinitely different than anything else. And when you have grasped that concept you will see that what this man said was quite simply, the most shocking thing that has ever been uttered
by human lips."
The question arises from time to time as to whether God the Father alone is to be worshiped or whether it is proper to worship Christ, and by extension, the Holy Spirit?
When Pliny the Governor of the Roman province of Bithynia wrote Emperor Trajan on the proper way to deal with Christians, he said of some he was interrogating, "They asserted, however, that the sum and substance of their fault or error had been that they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god, and to bind themselves by oath, not to some crime, but not to commit fraud, theft, or adultery, not falsify their trust, nor to refuse to return a trust when called upon to do so."
The time is about 112 a.d. which shows that the person of Christ was the focal point of faith and that it was the habit of Christians to worship Jesus. The testimony received by Pliny was that Christians believed Jesus was God and He was worshiped. But even if a historical reference is dismissed, what about the Scriptural references which support it?
*Mt 2:10-12 the 3 kings worshiped Jesus
*Mt 14:32-33 the disciples worshiped Jesus
*Jn 9:35-38 the formerly blind man worshiped Jesus
*Mt 28:16-17 after the resurrection the disciples worshiped Him
*Rev 5:13-14 the four living creatures and the elders worshiped Him
The disciples knew that God alone was to be worshiped, and so why did the disciples worship Jesus? They believed in one God. And why did Jesus accept it? And why did the Holy Spirit record it as approved? They answer is that they were worthy to be worshiped.
Since Jesus and the Holy Spirit are part deity, there from the beginning of the creation, all of the honors due to the Father are due to the Son and Holy Spirit. It is therefore not improper for Christians to worship Christ in song. It is not wrong either to address Jesus Christ as Stephen did in Acts 7.
We worship God. We worship the Father through Jesus Christ. But knowing the Son and Holy Spirit are God, it seems unimaginable that we should go through this life without ever addressing the 2nd and 3rd persons of the Godhead. It seems unimaginable to me that Christians should intentionally never worship Christ Jesus.

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