Worshiping God by affirming God’s worthiness flies in the face of the Fall. In the Fall, humans got hung up on our “self-worth.” We wanted the status God had. [Romans 1:21; Genesis 3:5] We failed to perceive our proper place in the created order, and so we threw that order out of alignment.
In the first book of the Bible, Adam and Eve say to God, “We are worthy.” In the last book of the Bible, the elders say to God, “You are worthy.” God is back in God’s appropriate place, we are in ours, and the cosmos is right again. In a way, our public worship each week is an exercise in this eternal act of putting God in God’s proper place. Michael Lindvall describes worship as “weekly practice at not being God.”
—Nathan Bierma, “Worshipful Service,” Perspectives Journal June 2006
It was Adam who above all perverted his knowledge of God and sought to escape the status of creature, and believed a lie and became a fool and thus set the pattern (Adam-man) for a mankind which worshiped the idol rather than the Creator. [Romans 1:21-25]
—James D.G. Dunn. Romans 1-8 (Word Biblical Commentary Vol. 38), 53
Adam was not content to be the Son of man he was; the tempter’s promise, You shall be as God, moved him to attempt self-aggrandizement by disobedience. [Genesis 3:5; Romans 1:21]
—C. K. Barrett, From First Adam to Last: A Study in Pauline Theology, 16
The sequence of events outlined in Romans 1 recalls the story of Adam in Genesis 1–3. God revealed to Adam what can be known of Him (Rom 1:19), and that from the creation onward, God’s attributes were clearly discernible to him in the things that had been made and that he was thus without excuse (v. 20). Though Adam knew God, he failed to honor Him as God, and grew vain in his thinking and allowed his heart to be darkened (v. 20). Adam’s fall was the result of his desire to be God, to attain the knowledge of good and evil (Gen 3:5), so that, claiming to be wise, he in fact became a fool (Rom 1:21).
—M. D. Hooker, “Adam in Romans I,” New Testament Studies 6 (1960), 300