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Peter: The Worship of the Lord Jesus

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  • Peter: The Worship of the Lord Jesus

    A. The Jehovah's Witnesses believe the Lord Jesus is not God and so therefore should never be worshiped.
    1. Reverent adoration should be expressed only to God. To render worship to anyone or anything else would be a form of idolatry...True Christians do well to direct their worship only to Jehovah God, the Almighty (Awake! April 8, 2000, page 26+27). Since "every prayer is a form of worship" (The Watchtower, December 15, 1994, page 23) this would mean that praying to the Lord Jesus is not allowed.

    B. 1 Peter 3:12-15 (NASB) all form one piece in the worship that is due unto the Omniscient Jesus Christ.
    for the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and his ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil (v. 12).
    Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? (v. 13)
    But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. and do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, (v. 14)
    but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence (v. 15).

    C. In his next letter Peter would render a doxology to the Lord Jesus (2 Peter 3:18) demonstrating that he worshiped Him.
    See "Doxologies to the Lord Jesus Christ":

    D. Peter establishes that the Lord Jesus is omniscient (1 Peter 2:25), which, along with God's holiness, forms the basis of worship.

    E. Peter refers to the omniscience of God in which he applies to the Lord Jesus (1 Peter 3:12).
    1. 1 Peter 3:12 is a citation from Psalm 34:15-16b. Peter previously cited a passage from this very same chapter and applied it to the "Lord" in reference to the Lord Jesus earlier in his epistle (1 Peter 2:3 cf. Psalm 34:8).
    2. Thomas R. Schreiner: Some think the "Lord" here, as in the OT context, probably refers to God rather than Christ (Achtemeier, 1 Peter, 227). Bauckman argues that "Lord" refers to Christ since Peter when he cited Psalm 34 in 2:3, clearly identified the Lord as Christ ("James, 1 Peter and 2 Peter, Jude," 313). Bauckman's argument is persuasive since he takes into account the Petrine usage of the Psalm (The New American Commentary: 1, 2 Peter, Jude, Volume 37, page 168, footnote 215, Thomas R. Schreiner).
    3. Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown: Shepherd and Bishop - The designation of the pastors and elders of the Church belongs in its fullest sense to the great Head of the Church, "the good Shepherd." As the "bishop" oversees (as the Greek term means), so "the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous" (1 Peter 3:12). (Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible)
    4. We have seen Peter cite Psalm 34:8 and apply it to the Lord Jesus in 1 Peter 2:3. Peter did this once again in applying Psalm 34:15-16b to the Lord Jesus in 1 Peter 3:12. A closer look at Psalm 34 reveals something even more. This Psalm is one of worship that extols the magnificence of God and the care and protection He gives towards those who trust Him. In seeking Him (which is another way of saying "worshiping Him", cf. v. 3) it is interesting to read verse 7:
    The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them (NASB).
    This worship encompasses fearing this Angel/Messenger of the LORD and as we have seen in Genesis 48:15-16 this Messenger was indeed worshiped.
    See "The Worship of the multi-Personal God (Genesis 48:15-16)":
    Since Peter had already appealed to this particular Psalm on two occasions to the Lord Jesus is further proof that he understood this Messenger as the preincarnate Christ. Indeed, the very next passage (v. 8) is applied to the Lord Jesus in 1 Peter 2:3. Tasting and seeing that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8) requires that one "fear" Him beforehand (Psalm 34:7).
    See Alexander MacLaren's "THE ENCAMPING ANGEL":

    F. 1 Peter 3:14 is cited from Isaiah 8:12 while 1 Peter 3:15 is cited from Isaiah 8:13.
    1. Peter teaches that the believer is to sanctify Christ as Lord in their hearts (1 Peter 3:15). Sanctifying (ἁγιάζω) Christ as Lord entails worshiping Him just as sanctifying (ἁγιάζω) the Father in Matthew 6:9 refers to worshiping Him. In fact, when we compare these two sections of Scripture we see an interesting parallel between the worship that is to be rendered unto the Father and the worship that is to be rendered unto the Son.
    a. Omniscience
    The Father (Matthew 6:1-8)
    The Lord Jesus (1 Peter 2:25)
    b. Prayer/Worship which would necessitate omniscience
    To the Father (Matthew 6:9)
    To the Son (1 Peter 3:12, 15)
    c. Absolute holiness which is the basis for worship
    The Father (Matthew 6:9)
    The Son (1 Peter 3:15)
    2. The Worldwide English New Testament and the New Living Translation accurately translate 1 Peter 3:15 as:
    "Worship Christ as Lord"
    3. What is said concerning the worship and omniscience of God applies equally to the worship and omniscience of the Lord Jesus thus necessitating that He is God.
    a. Matthew 6 - The Father
    1. Richard Watson: It is also most worthy of our notice, that when this duty is enjoined upon us by our Lord, he presents the Divine Being before us under a relation most of all adapted to inspire that unlimited confidence with which he would have us to approach him: - "Pray to thy Father which is in secret." Thus is the dread of his omniscience, indicated by his "seeing in secret," and of those other overwhelming attributes which omnipresence and omniscience cannot fail to suggest, mitigated, or only employed to inspire greater freedom, and a stronger affiance (Richard Watson, Theological Institutes, Volume 2, page 495).
    2. TDNT: He who penetrates all things regulates worship, Mt. 6:4, 6, 18 (5:991, pater, Schrenk).
    3. TDNT: Hence the disciples are not to be as the hypocrites. They must not give, pray, or fast so as to be seen by men. On the contrary, these things are to be done by them in the concealment in which only God can see them, Mt. 6:2-4, 5, 16 (8:568, hupokrinomai, Wilckens).
    4. Holman Bible Dictionary: Omniscience
    The state of being all-knowing which theology ascribes to God. Though Scripture affirms God's immeasurable understanding (Psalm 147:5), God's omniscience is not a matter of abstract speculation. Rather, God's knowing is a matter of personal experience. God knows us intimately (Psalm 139:1-6; Matthew 6:4, Matthew 6:4,6, 8). Such knowledge is cause for alarm for the unrighteous but for confidence for God's saints (Job 23:10; Psalm 34:15-16; Psalm 90:8; Proverbs 15:3; 1 Peter 3:12).
    b. 1 Peter 3:15 - The Lord Jesus
    1. Peter H. Davids: The point of the text is clear. The heart is the seat of volition and emotion for Peter, the core self of the person. The call is for more than intellectual commitment to truth about Jesus, but for a deep commitment to him (cf. 1:22). Christ is to be sanctified as Lord. This does not mean to make Christ more holy, but to treat him as holy, to set him apart above all human authority. This sense is clearly seen in the Lord's Prayer, "Hallowed be thy name." "To 'hallow' the name means not only to reverence and honor God, but also to glorify him by obedience to his commands, and thus prepare the coming of the Kingdom." Peter, then, asserts that Jesus is to be honored, reverenced, and obeyed as Lord. This quotation also reveals more about Peter's Christology, for he takes a passage definitely speaking about God in the OT and refers it to Christ, making clear by his addition that that is the sense in which he is taking "Lord." This way of expressing his high Christology is typical for Peter (The New International Commentary on the New Testament, 1 Peter, Peter H. Davids, page 131).
    2. Whedon (1 Peter 3:15): Enthrone him in your hearts for life and for death; and in alarm and danger he shall keep you in quietness and rest. The passage is proof of the Godhead of Christ.
    Last edited by foudroyant; 06-20-2014, 09:44 AM.

  • #2
    G. Since the Lord Jesus is worshiped this would prove that He is the omniscient God.
    1. NIDNTT: It is significant that, wherever the NT speaks of requests made to God, it emphasizes that such requests are heard (cf. Matt. 6:8; 7:7-11; 18:19; 21:22; Jn. 14:13f.; 15:7, 16; 16:23f., 26; 1 Jn. 3:22; 5:14f.; Jas. 1:5). It is as if the NT witnesses wished particularly to encourage men to pray, by assuring the suppliant that his requests are heard by God. The NT is aware that this certainty keeps all prayer alive; let such certainty become weakened or diminished through doubt, and prayer dies...In prayer we are never to forget whom we are addressing: the living God, the almighty One with whom nothing is impossible, and from whom therefore all things may be expected (2:857, Prayer, H. Schonweiss).
    2. NIDOTTE: Prayer is, indeed a serious matter. It is regarded in the Bible as the most fundamental of all expressions of religion. It concerns the deepest feelings and most central motivation of the persons who are offering their prayer to their God, and it concerns the covenant relationship, with its blessings and sanctions, as the inevitable fabric of the living communion between the people and their God. To pray is an act of faith in the almighty and gracious God, who responds to the prayers of his people (4:1062, Prayer, P.A. Verhoef).
    3. Side note: The above citations do no help to those who claim that the Lord Jesus is not God but He can still receive prayer. If the Lord Jesus is not omniscient He wouldn't be able to judge every motive and thought each audible or silent prayer carries. Furthermore, if He were not omnipotent/Almighty then He may not be able to always act on all the prayers He receives.

    H. The Old Testament teaches that God ought to be worshiped because He is absolutely holy (1 Samuel 2:2; Psalm 99:3, 5, 9). In fact, "Holy" is God's name since it is who He is (Psalm 111:9; Luke 1:49).
    In her worship of God Hannah so correctly stated in the praise of her heart that "there is none holy like the LORD" (1 Samuel 2:2, NASB).
    Let them praise Your great and awesome name; Holy is He (Psalm 99:3, NASB).
    Exalt the LORD our God And worship at His footstool; Holy is He (Psalm 99:5, NASB).
    Exalt the LORD our God And worship at His holy hill, For holy is the LORD our God (Psalm 99:9, NASB).
    1. Barnes: The fact that God "is" holy - that he is pure and righteous - that he cannot look upon sin but with abhorrence - is a just foundation for universal praise. Who could worship or honor a God who was not pure and holy?
    2. Clarke: His holiness - the immaculate purity of his nature, was the reason why he should be exalted, praised, and worshipped.
    3. M. William Ury: All of heaven's hosts, Israel, and the church ascribe praise to a holy God because that idea sets him apart from everything else (Exodus 15:11; Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8). Holiness is what God is (Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, Holy, Holiness).
    4. Barnes (Psalm 99:9):
    Barnes: (Psalm 99:9): This appropriately closes the psalm, by a distinct and solemn statement that the fact that Yahweh is a holy God is a reason for worshipping him. This is at all times the highest reason for adoration and praise.
    5. Andrew E. Hill: The God of the Old Testament is utterly holy and thus transcendent, inaccessible, mysterious, and inscrutable (Psalm 99:3-9). But if this alone were true about God, why worship such a terrible and awesome deity? Happily, this same God is also the "Holy One among you" (Hosea 11:9), a God who at once dwells "in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit" (Isaiah 57:15). God merits worship because in his imminent presence he is able to answer those who call upon him and forgive their wrongdoings (Psalm 99:8). It was this intimate presence of a holy God that prompted heartfelt praise and worship (Psalm 99:3) and the keen desire for holy living among the people of Israel (Leviticus 19:2).
    (Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, Worship)

    I. The New Testament teaches that God ought to be worshiped because He is absolutely holy (Revelation 15:4).
    Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy; For all the nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed (Revelation 15:4, NASB).
    1. Revelation 15:4 teaches that "only" (μόνος) God is holy. The same Greek word for "holy" (ὅσιος) is used in Titus 1:8 as a noble quality of what people (overseers) are to aspire to so what Revelation 15:4 is teaching (based on the very next clause) is that only God is absolutely holy in that He alone is to be worshiped. His absolute holiness forms the basis of worshiping Him. To ascribe worship to anyone/anything other than God is to ascribe the holiness that He "alone" has to someone/something else which is a direct assault on His name.
    a. Adam Clarke: Who shall not fear thee - That is, All should fear and worship this true God, because he is just and true and holy; and his saints should love and obey him, because he is their King; and they and all men should acknowledge his judgments, because they are made manifest.
    b. Robert L. Thomas: It's basic meaning of "sacred" means that God's sacred character is one reason for universal worship of Him (Revelation 8-22: An Exegetical Commentary, page 238).
    c. TDNT: He and He alone is worthy to be praised and perfectly blameless, maintaining righteousness and truth without abridgment or disruption, and bringing salvation by His acts (5:492, holy-osios, Hauck).

    J. Since we are to sanctify the Lord Jesus in our worship of Him this proves His absolute holiness to which Revelation 15:4 ascribes "only" to God.
    1. TDNT: When God's deity is revealed to man in the majesty of worship (cf. Is. 6:3), then God is sanctified to him. The cultic element is here absorbed in the adoration in which God's deity is felt in contrast to all creatureliness (TDNT: 1:111, hagiazw, Procksch).
    2. Wuest: Peter was exhorting these Jews to set apart their Messiah, the Lord Jesus as Jehovah, Very God, in their hearts, giving first place to Him in obedience of life (Word Studies in the Greek Testament: 1 Peter, Volume 2, page 88)

    K. The Jehovah's Witnesses belief that the Lord Jesus is not to be worshiped runs contrary to what Peter repeatedly and so clearly affirmed.
    Last edited by foudroyant; 06-20-2014, 09:44 AM.


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