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Should we worship Jesus?

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Question: "Should we worship Jesus?"

The answer to this question largely hinges on Jesus’ identity. If Jesus is regarded as deity in the same sense as His Father, then we should worship Jesus. If the New Testament documents identify Jesus with Yahweh, then we should worship Jesus. If He is merely a prophet of God, the worship of Jesus would not be appropriate. Given the Bible’s insistence that worship is to be directed to God alone, any God-fearing individual will need a satisfactory answer to this all-important question.

The apostle Paul called Jesus “our great God and Savior” (Titus 2:13) and points out that, prior to His incarnation, Jesus existed in the “form of God” (Philippians 2:5–8). God the Father says regarding Jesus, “Your throne, O God will last forever and ever” (Hebrews 1:8). The apostle John says that “in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word [Jesus] was God” (John 1:1). Other passages identify Jesus as the Creator and Sustainer of the universe (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16–17; Hebrews 1:2). Jesus receives worship several times in the Gospels (Matthew 2:11; 28:9, 17; Luke 24:52; John 9:38; 20:28). Jesus is never said to reject such adoration. Rather, He accepts such worship as well placed. So, does the Bible portray Jesus as fully deity? The answer is certainly “yes.”

With that being said, Christians need to recognize that the Bible also teaches the deity of the Father (John 6:27; Romans 1:7; 1 Peter 1:2) as well as the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3–4; 1 Corinthians 3:16). And yet the Scriptures teach that there is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Corinthians 8:4). How can this be? The Christian church has historically taught that the Bible is clearly portraying God as one Being who exists in three Persons. This doctrine is known as the Trinity. Dr. James White, author of The Forgotten Trinity, has provided what we believe to be a helpful definition of the Trinity. Here it is: “Within the one Being that is God, there exists eternally three coequal and coeternal persons, namely, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” We contend that this is the clear teaching of Scripture and should be affirmed by any biblically faithful Christian.

These biblical distinctions go a long way in providing the proper balance in Christian worship. We must not overemphasize our adoration for any one Person in the Godhead at the expense of another. The Bible teaches that, while the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit perform unique functions and have different roles, all three Persons of the Godhead are equal in power and majesty.

In summary, the Bible teaches that Jesus of Nazareth is nothing less than God the Son, the second Person of the Triune God (Trinity). In view of this, He is due our full worship and devotion. To fail to worship Jesus Christ would be sinful.

Recommended Resource: How to Worship Jesus Christ: Experiencing His Manifest Presence by Joseph Carroll

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