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Serve (3000) (latreuo from latris = one hired or latron = reward, wages) means to work for reward, for hire or for pay, to be in servitude, render cultic service. Latreuo was used literally for bodily service (e.g., workers on the land, or slaves), and figuratively for “to cherish.” In the NT the idea is to render service to God, to worship, to perform sacred services or to minister to God in a spirit of worship (in fact in the NT uses below, note several passages clearly associate worship with serving.) I Serve = present tense emphasizing the habit of Paul was that of ministering and serving God in a spirit of worship. In short, Paul's day to day life was one dominated and directed by an attitude of worship. When daily life is lived as an act of worship to the Most High God, otherwise "mundane" chores take on an entirely different significance. Oh, to live such a God focused, God glorifying life! Amen Latreuo - 21 times in 21v. NAS Usage = offer service (1), serve (15), served (1), serving (1), worship (1), worshiper (1),worshipers (1). Observe several associations with worship. Note the frequency in Hebrews. Note that serving has a "negative" aspect (idols) but more often the positive aspect of orientation toward God. Matthew 4:10 Then Jesus said to him, "Go, Satan! For it is written, 'YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.'" Luke 1:74 To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear, Luke 2:37 and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four (Anna - Lk 2:36, 38). She never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers. (O my, what a model of devotion! Now the "temple" never leaves us, for we are the "temple" of God wherever we go. Are we conscious of this truth? Do we take advantage of our high and holy privilege? Do we praise Him and pray to Him, serving Him night and day? I am convicted! Notice what motivated Anna in Lk 2:38! What [Who] we are looking for will [should] radically impact how we are living - for time or for eternity, for Savior or for Self?!) Luke 4:8 Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD AND SERVE HIM ONLY.'" Acts 7:7 "'AND WHATEVER NATION TO WHICH THEY WILL BE IN BONDAGE I MYSELF WILL JUDGE,' said God, 'AND AFTER THAT THEY WILL COME OUT AND SERVE ME IN THIS PLACE.' Acts 7:42 "But God turned away and delivered them up (paradidomi - Be careful! God may give you over to what you desire to worship! Read Exodus 20:1-6 for a "refresher!") to serve the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, 'IT WAS NOT TO ME THAT YOU OFFERED VICTIMS AND SACRIFICES FORTY YEARS IN THE WILDERNESS, WAS IT, O HOUSE OF ISRAEL? Acts 24:14 "But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets; Acts 26:7 the promise (Acts 26:6) to which our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly serve God night and day. And for this hope, O King, I am being accused by Jews. (What was the hope of the genuine believers in ancient Israel? The coming of the Messiah and His kingdom = Acts 1:6; 3:22-24; 13:23-33; Ge 3:15; Isa 7:14; 9:6; Da 7:14; Mic 5:2; Titus 2:13; 1Pe 1:11, 12). Acts 27:23 "For this very night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood before me, Romans 1:9 (note) For God, whom I serve in my spirit (How did Paul "serve" God? What was his act of devotion?) in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you, Romans 1:25 (note) For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served (cp Acts 7:42 above) the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. Philippians 3:3 (note) for we are the true circumcision (Jews who have been circumcised in heart, not just literal flesh! cp Ro 2:28-29, Col 2:11-12), who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh, (Observe: Worship in Spirit and truth - cp John 4:23, 24) 2 Timothy 1:3 (note) I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience the way my forefathers did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day (Observe: What makes serving/worship acceptable? Note again the phrase "night and day"? What is he saying about one's lifestyle?) Hebrews 8:5 (note) who (Heb 8:1-4) serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, "SEE," He says, "THAT YOU MAKE all things ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN WHICH WAS SHOWN YOU ON THE MOUNTAIN." Hebrews 9:9 (note) which (What is "which?" Heb 9:8) is a symbol for the present time. Accordingly both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make the worshiper (verb is used as a noun - note again the present tense speaks of one's lifestyle) perfect in conscience, Hebrews 9:14 (note) how much more (Much more than what? Heb 9:13) will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Observe: Condition of real worship, in spirit and truth - a clean conscience. What is the implication for us before we begin to "worship" on Sunday mornings? Do we not need to confess and seek clean hands and pure heart? cp Ps 24:3-4. Is this a common practice in churches today?) Hebrews 10:2 (note) Otherwise (What's the contrast? Heb 10:1), would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? Hebrews 12:28 (note) Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; (Observe: A lofty motive to stimulate genuine worship. We are "practicing" for eternity future!) Hebrews 13:10 (note) We have an altar, from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. Revelation 7:15 (note) "For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne shall spread His tabernacle over them. (Observe: Even in eternity, our "lifestyle" is to be one of continual worship/service!) Revelation 22:3 (note) And there shall no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His bond-servants shall serve Him; (Observe: And some say heaven will be boring! They either have not read or do not understand this verse!) In the non-apocryphal Septuagint latreuo describes the service of the priests. The service/worship as in the NT uses in some contexts refers to worship of idols rather than God. There are over 100 uses of latreuo in the Septuagint (LXX) (Ex 3:12; 4:23; 13.13" class="scriptRef">13.6" class="scriptRef">6" class="scriptRef">16" class="scriptRef">16" class="scriptRef">16" class="scriptRef">7:16; 8:1, 20" class="scriptRef">20" class="scriptRef">20; 9:1, 13; 10:3, 7-8, 11, 24" class="scriptRef">24, 26" class="scriptRef">26" class="scriptRef">26; 31" class="scriptRef">12:31; Ex 20:5; 33" class="scriptRef">23:24f; Lev 18:21; Num 16:9; 19" class="scriptRef">Deut 4:19, 28" class="scriptRef">28" class="scriptRef">28; 5:9; 6:13; 7:4, 16; Deut 8:19; 10:12, 20; 11:13, 16, 28; 12:2; 13:2, 6, 13; 17:3; 14" class="scriptRef">28:14, 36, 47-48; Deut 29:18, 26; 30:17; 31:20; Josh 22:5, 27; 23:7, 16; 24:2, 14-15, 18-22, 24, 31; Jdg 2:11, 13, 19; 3:6-7; 2Sam 15:8; 2 Ki 17:12, 16, 33, 35; 2Ki 21:21; 2 Chr 7:19; Ezek 20:32; Dan 3:12, 14, 17-18, 28; 4:1; 6:16, 20, 26; Da 7:14) In secular Greek latreuo meant to work for wages, then to serve without wages. It originally referred predominantly to physical work then later was used more generally. Vine adds that latreuo, and its corresponding noun latreia (word study), originally signified the work of a hired servant, as distinguished from the compulsory service of the slave. In the course of time this word group largely lost the significance of work as a hired servant, and in Scripture took on the sense of adoration in addition to free (freewill) obedience. John MacArthur explains that latreuo "might best be translated “to render respectful spiritual service.” True worship goes beyond praising God, singing hymns, or participating in a worship service. The essence of worship is living a life of obedient service to God. “Do not neglect doing good and sharing,” exhorts the writer of Hebrews, “for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Heb 13:16-note). True worship involves every aspect of life. (Ed: Read that statement again!) (MacArthur, J. Philippians. Chicago: Moody Press) (Bolding added) Latreuo can therefore convey either the idea of worship or service and frequently appears to mean both which suggests that service (to God) cannot be truly separated from worship (of God)! WORSHIP OF GOD AND WORKS OF GOOD Many Christians desire to "worship" the Lord on Sunday but are too busy to "serve" Him at other times. The New Testament knows nothing of such a dichotomy or compartmentalization of our spiritual life from our secular life. In other words our secular life always includes our spiritual life. On the other hand notice that the order in Scripture is first “worship” and then “serve”. Acknowledgment of God Himself must have precedence over activity in His service. Service to God derives its effectiveness from engagement of the heart with God. Any true worshipper of God is also a servant, ready to do his Master's bidding, discharging his or her priestly duties. The corollary truth is that good works should be those initiated by and empowered by the Spirit of God, so that we engage in the works that God has prepared for each of us even before the foundation of the world (see good works in Eph 2:10-note, cp Jesus' formula for works that will endure throughout eternity). These thoughts beg the question beloved - Are you busy doing "good" works that really are not "God's" works? Even as we were saved by grace through faith, we are to carry out good works by grace through faith (see Paul's formula for good works in 1Cor 15:10-note). (See also related discussion - Good Deeds) Anna the prophetess exemplifies latreuo in action for even though she was a widow ... age of eighty-four...she never left the temple, serving (latreuo) night and day with fastings and prayers. (Lk 2:37) Comment: How did Anna serve? With fastings and prayers! From Anna's beautiful example, we can readily see how the serving aspect of latreuo overlaps with the idea of worship. Paul's introduction to the Romans conveys a similar nuance: For God, Whom I serve in my spirit ("with my whole spirit" Amp) in the preaching of the gospel of His Son (So what is Paul's service?), is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you. (Ro 1:9-note) Comment: Paul served God "holistically" beginning with his spirit, for he knew that those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (Jn 4:24). God pleasing and God honoring service calls for total, unreserved commitment on the part of the worshiper (cp our "holistic" spiritual service [latreia] of worship in Ro 12:1-note). MacDonald comments on Paul's use of latreuo noting that for the great apostle this worshipful service... was not that of a religious drudge (to do hard, menial, monotonous work), going through endless rituals and reciting prayers and liturgies by rote. It was service bathed in fervent, believing prayer. It was willing, devoted, tireless service, fired by a spirit that loved the Lord Jesus supremely. It was a flaming passion to make known the Good News about God’s Son. (Believer's Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. Nashville: Thomas Nelson) "Copy and paste the address below into your web browser in order to go to the original page which will allow you to access live links related to the material on this page - these links include Scriptures (which can be read in context), Scripture pop-ups on mouse over, and a variety of related resources such as Bible dictionary articles, commentaries, sermon notes and theological journal articles related to the topic under discussion."

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