Honor, not Worship

Why did Peter object to Cornelius’ actions?

Acts 10:25 

Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. - NIV

Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. - KJV

Cornelius met him, and fell at his feet and worshiped him. - NASU

Cornelius fell to the floor before him in worship – NLT

There is a difference between HONORING someone and WORSHIPPING them.


Respect given to a superior

To those who deserve it
Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor . Rom 13:7

"Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. - Exodus 20:12

Political Leaders
Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king. 1 Peter 2:17

Others above self
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10

Elders, pastors, teachers, shepherds
The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor , especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. 1 Tim 5:17

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Tim 1:17

Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: 

11 "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being." Rev 4:9-11

In a loud voice they sang: "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!" 

13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!" 

14 The four living creatures said, "Amen," and the elders fell down and worshiped. Rev 5:12-14


The worthiness of receiving special honor/devotion
Bowing down
Falling on one’s knees
Laying prostate
Lifted hands
Shouts of praise

God and God alone is to be worshipped

"You shall have no other gods before me. 

"You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand [ generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:3-6

Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. Isaiah 46:9

Satan desires the honor and worship that is God’s alone

Isaiah 14:12-14

How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! 

You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! 

13 You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.   

14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High." 

Matt 4:8-10

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me." 

10 Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'" 

Rev 13:5-8

The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. 6 He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. 7 He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. 8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast — all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. 

Rev 13:11-12

Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. 12 He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed.

God is robbed of the glory and worship that He alone is worthy of when we

Worship creation – Romans 1
Unknown gods – Acts 17:23
The golden calf 
Nebuchadnezzar’s statue
The brazen serpent 
Other men

God punished Herod for trying to steal His glory

Acts 12:21-23

On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. 22 They shouted, "This is the voice of a god , not of a man." 23 Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died. 

Peter understood that God and God alone is deserving of worship

Psalm 29:2

Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. 

Psalm 96:9

Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth. 

Psalm 95:6-7

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;  7 for he is our God 

and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.

We honor men

We worship God