Where the first Adam failed and brought the tyranny of false worship to the race, the obedient worship of the second Adam would lead a new humanity to the liberating glory of the worship for which it was created.
—Noel Due, Created For Worship: From Genesis to Revelation to You, 20
In Revelation 14:7 the sum of the eternal gospel is described: “And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come, and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”’ The language in the first part of this verse reminds us of Romans 1:21: “For although they knew God, they did not honour [glorify] Him as God or give thanks to Him,” on which we have commented previously. Human sin is fundamentally a refusal to glorify God, a rejection of our created vocation to worship Him.
—Noel Due, Created For Worship: From Genesis to Revelation to You, 223
Pride is self contending with God for preeminence. [Romans 1:21]
—Charles Bridges (1794-1869)
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
Paul said, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Sinning is a “falling short” of the glory of God. But the Greek word for “falling short” (husterountai) means “lack.” The idea is not that you shot an arrow at God’s glory and the arrow fell short, but that you could have had it as a treasure, but you don’t. You have chosen something else instead. This is confirmed in Romans 1:23 where people “exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image.” That is the deepest problem with sin: it is a suicidal exchange of infinite value and beauty for some fleeting, inferior substitute. This the great insult.
—John Piper, God’s Passion for His Glory, 36
The charter of man’s existence is: Inferiority to God, superiority to all else in creation.
“Thou madest him a little lower than God . . . Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet” (Ps. 8:5 f.).
Man’s dominion must always be subject to the over-riding dominion of God, than whom he is always “a little lower”; if he throws off the yoke of service to God he loses his own proper authority, with and for which he was created. It was by blurring the distinction between himself and God, by an attempt to place himself on equality with God and thus to secure that nothing should be excepted from his rule, that man fell. [Romans 1:21]
—C. K. Barrett, From First Adam to Last: A Study in Pauline Theology, 17
1:25: They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creation rather than the Creator . . . for this reason God handed them over . . .
1:28: As they did not see fit to take cognizance of God, God handed them over . . .
These verses show that the prior, non-moral but religious or theological, fall consisted in a rejection of the knowledge of God, an idolatrous turning from the Creator to the creature. This is what the main passage, 1:18-23, says; and this (in Paul’s view) is the fall, not the consequence of it. Man was surrounded by the handiwork of God, his infinitely beneficent Creator, who established him as lord over all his surroundings. But having tasted dominion he sought to be free even of God, and to extend his lordship upwards as well as outwards. He thus refused to glorify God as his Lord, and to give thanks to Him as the giver of all good things. This inordinate pride, the perversion of a lordship that God himself had created for man, was accompanied by the loss of man’s knowledge of God, and idolatry; that is, man’s subordination to the creatures he should have ruled.
—C. K. Barrett, From First Adam to Last: A Study in Pauline Theology, 19