How to Worship Jesus Christ - by Carroll, Joseph
Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 1991. 90 pp.
Reviewed by Heather Peacock, wife of TMS student Trevor Peacock
How to Worship Jesus Christ establishes a case for worship as the highest priority for every Christian. Not only were we created for worship of our Creator, Lord and Saviour, but also it is through our worship of God that He communicates His presence in our lives. In this book, Joseph Carroll describes what true worship is and what it ought to look like in our lives.
The book discusses the conditions required for true worship, examines the results in the lives of those who choose to worship and looks at key biblical passages to aid in our worship. A necessary condition for worship is to be alone with God for intimate fellowship with Him. In addition, true worship demands total submission to God, discipline, and ultimately dying to self, so that Christ alone is glorified. The author also emphasizes that true worship is from the heart, which includes our intellect, our emotions, and our will. He gives numerous biblical and historical examples of men and women who made worship a priority in their life, describing what their lives resembled as a result of this choice. As an aid in true worship of the Lord, the author provides an exposition of Revelation 4 and 5—giving us a glimpse of the Holy God that we were created to worship. To worship Jesus Christ is to attribute worth to Him, and just as the rewards are great, so are the difficulties we face putting this into practice. Maintaining priorities and setting our will to persevere even when we feel like nothing is happening are two difficulties the book addresses.
The final chapter is a practical “how to” guide for worship. There must be aloneness with God, obedience to God with no unconfessed sin, submission to God (being controlled by the Holy Spirit), and concentration of all our attention and affection on God alone. Because worship must be intensely personal, the author offers a variety of suggestions such as praying aloud, memorizing Scripture, and using hymns and books in our worship of the Lord. He gives many examples of how to adapt Scripture and hymns into personal and direct ascriptions of praise to the Lord. Finally, the author warns of the hindrances to worship—an unsurrendered heart, unconfessed sin, wrong attitude, enemy opposition, physical tiredness and unbelief.
This book was a short read but packed full of challenging truths. I appreciated the challenge to do more than just say, “I want to be a worshipper,” but to recognize that it takes a definite act of the will to become a worshipper. How encouraging to be reminded that what the Lord requires of us, He also enables us to do! We can become worshippers of Jesus Christ, and it is through this intimate fellowship that we grow in our knowledge of Him and are being made like Him through the Holy Spirit. I would like to end with a quote from this book that touched me with what effect on my life a true heart of worship would have, “. . . for to know Him is to immediately fall down in wonder, love, praise and submission.”