Worshiping Him in Spirit and Truth By George Stroh, Senior Pastor December 14, 2009
"But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:23-24)
In John chapter 4, we have the story of the Lord conversing with the woman of Samaria at the well. Not knowing Jesus or God the Father, she assumed that the place and form of worship was what really mattered; "Our fathers worshiped in this mountain (Samaria), and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship" (John 4:20). Jesus explained to her that she did not know the true God and therefore she was worshipping in ignorance. He told her that He was the promised Messiah (the Christ) and that true worship was not a matter of the proper place or ritual formality, but must be done in "spirit and truth".
To "worship" God is to ascribe worth to Him, paying Him homage in reverent honor and devotion. We have formal church "worship" services and other times of formal worship. Sometimes we refer to our singing in church as "a time of worship". Church buildings are said to be "places of worship". But we can and should worship God in "spirit and truth" at all times, in every location and in all we do.
To worship God in "spirit and truth" is to understand that God is invisible as opposed to the physical or material nature of man. We can know some general things about God, His " His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature" (Romans 1:20) by observing what He has created. But without the specific revelation of the incarnation (Emmanuel-- God becoming a Man) and the truth of Scripture, we could never comprehend or know God. Our worship must not be just in formal external religious rituals and special places of worship, but in the inward spirit of our hearts and minds. Worship is not about the time, location or activity. Just like we are commanded to pray without ceasing, we are are to worship Him without ceasing.
Worshipping God or ascribing worth to Him happens when we trust Him and Obey Him in everything. A prerequisite of trusting and obeying God is hearing, knowing and believing His Word; "So faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ." (Romans 10:17) And, of course, this all begins with hearing and believing the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
During this Christmas season as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and look forward to His return to earth, I hope you will be continually worshiping God. Worshiping Him in "spirit and truth" every day, in every place and in every situation. Have a great week and Maranatha!