Worship is a transitive verb. This isn’t a lesson in English grammar, it is a vital issue in biblical theology and in Christian living. Worship is a transitive verb! That is, it demands an object. And the only the object it will tolerate in biblical religion is the object God. So, when someone says, “O, I just come to worship God,” I wonder whether they really have got clarity about the object of our worship. It is God and no other. That’s what worship is really all about; it can never be divorced from the God who is its only object.
—Eric Alexander, “Worship God! (Rev. 19:10)” (sermon)
Through the liturgy of the church, God comes to, speaks to, and joins with the worshiping community in Jesus Christ through the power the Spirit, and worshipers offer a response which is inspired by the Spirit and is united to the prayers and worship of Jesus Christ. In this way, a trinitarian theology of worship calls worshipers not to generate their own proclamation about God nor to muster up their own acclamation to God, but rather to receive the gift of the Word of God and to participate in the worship offered by Jesus Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit. This understanding of liturgy commends liturgical actions which acknowledge the mediation of Christ and the Holy Spirit, and reflect the joy, confidence, and gratitude that is a fitting response to gifts of divine grace.
—John D. Witvliet, The Doctrine of the Trinity and the Theology and Practice of Christian Worship in the Reformed Tradition (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Notre Dame, 1997), 297
We do exhort men to worship God neither in a frigid nor a careless manner. . . . His benefits towards ourselves we extol as eloquently as we can, while we call upon others to reverence His Majesty, render due homage to His greatness, feel due gratitude for His mercies, and unite in showing forth His praise.
—John Calvin, On the Necessity of Reforming the Church http://www.lgmarshall.org/Calvin/calvin_necessityreform.html
In doxology we thank the Giver not merely for His good gifts but for His goodness. We glorify and glory in God not merely for His salvation but for Himself as the one who saves and is to be worshiped in and for Himself.
—John Thompson, “The Trinity and Worship,” in Modern Trinitarian Perspectives, 102
God lovingly receives our affection, our worship, our gifts, our conversation. Be this as it may, the line is to be traced, for the most part, from Him to us: He gives and we receive. All that we offer to Him, our lives and hearts, come from Him in the first place.
—Edith M. Humphrey, “The Gift of the Father,” in Trinitarian Theology for the Church: Scripture, Community, Worship, 94
We give Thee but Thine own,
Whate’er the gift may be;
All that we have is Thine alone,
A trust, O Lord, from Thee.
—William Walsham How (1858) (hymn)
In worship, the members of the church focus on God; in instruction and fellowship, they focus on themselves and fellow Christians; in evangelism, they turn their attention to non-Christians.
—Millard Erickson, Christian Theology, 1066-1067
All evangelistic activities of the church have as their goal finding more worshipers for God; all edification activities of the church have as their goal making better worshipers for God.
The only parochial [church] activities which have any real justification are those which spring from worship and in their turn nourish it.
—Jean-Jacques von Allmen, Worship: Its Theology and Practice, 55-56
Worship is the only Christian activity which is an end in itself.
To say “glory be to God” is to protest against the powers and the powerful who imagine that they can fulfill the longings of humanity.
—Jean-Jacques von Allmen, Worship: Its Theology and Practice, 64