God’s Initiative and Our Response

The biblical view of worship, which governs the actual worship of Jews and Christians, is distinguished from all other religious understandings of the cultus [worship practices] by the fact that the worship of God’s people in the Bible is always represented as the worship offered by those who have been redeemed. Thus it would be no paradox to say that for us worship does not start with man, but with God, who has taken the initiative to which we respond when we worship Him. He has made His Name known to us, and so we worship that Name.

Worship takes place within the Covenant, and the Covenant is established by God on the basis of His own redemptive acts which He has already performed.

—William Nicholls, Jacob’s Ladder: The Meaning of Worship, 16-17


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