Are We Worshiping In Spirit When…
In John 4:23, 24, Jesus said, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and Truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and Truth.”
Much has been preached and taught on what it means to worship “in spirit and Truth”. worshiping in spirit means to worship reverently from the heart in sincerity. One who worships in spirit will look to God to teach us how to worship Him. He will look to God’s Word in the Bible, which is God’s Truth (John 17:17). He will then worship accordingly, “in spirit and Truth.”
I have decided this month that rather than using this space to write another lesson on this subject, it would be better this time to apply what so many of us say we already know, and ask some questions. The questions will all begin with, “Are we worshiping in spirit when...?”
1. Are we worshiping in spirit when our women are allowed and even encouraged to do the works that God has specifically assigned to the men of the church? 1 Tim. 2:8-15; 1 Cor. 14:34-37; Titus 2:1-5. If the men in the congregation have “dropped the ball,” like so many say to me, they need to repent, not give it to their women.
2. …we look for loopholes, question, even deny that God’s Word and His revealed pattern for the church of Christ applies to us today?
3. …we practice acts of worship that are not authorized by Christ, or His apostles, and therefore are not done “in the name of the Lord”? Matt. 16:19; 28:18-20; Col. 3:17; Lev. 10:1-3.
4. ...we use the Lord’s money from the weekly contribution of our worship service to do works of the city, county, and/or state that in no way glorify God through His church? e.g.: food banks; county homes for runaway, pregnant girls, and “sex slaves”, etc.
5....we put money in the collection plate, but don’t know and/or don’t care if it is used for the Lord’s work, politics, or works of secular government offices?
6. ...we lead our worship services with a spiteful, “in your face” attitude that reveals we don’t care who we hurt, or what our brethren believe, or understand about what we are doing? Rom. 14.
7. ...we deliberately snub our brethren, or even “run them off” over differences of opinion? Rom. 14.
It seems to me like people who are involved in these practices, especially during worship services, have their hearts and minds in the wrong places. One cannot glorify God from the heart when he/she is seeking to accomplish his/her will over His. We need to put God’s will before our own. In Matt. 22:37-40, Jesus says, ”’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your MIND.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the Prophets.”
One who loves God with all his heart, soul, and mind will look to HIS Word for the Truth on how to worship Him, and will find it. It is there for those of us who seek it out. In John 8:31, 32, Jesus says, “If you abide in My Word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free.” worshiping the way the Bible says is worshiping “in Truth”. Worshiping sincerely with love in our hearts for Him AND each other is the only way to worship “in spirit and Truth”. We will love each other with His love and work together to glorify Him on earth. People who love God’s Truth love each other and worship “in spirit and Truth”.
Timothy A. Sundlie - Evangelist for the La Crosse church of Christ