“God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
Worship God in Spirit and Truth
“How do I worship God?” the woman wondered. There she was at a well, talking with a man named Jesus whom she had just met. Jesus told her something she thought only she knew: she had had five husbands and was currently living with yet another man. Her sins past and present, open and secret, were laid bare before her. Confronted with her sinful life, the women had to question how she could make it right. “How do I worship God?”
Maybe that’s a question with which you’ve wrestled. You know your sins. You have those secret evils you’ve done that you hope no one else knows about. How do you make it right? How do you worship God?
True worship of the true God begins with and is centered on him. Jesus pointed that adulterous woman to himself as her only hope for eternal life. It is the same with us. We sinners cannot make ourselves right with God, but God has done that for us by sending his Son, Jesus, to pay for our sins through his death on the cross and his resurrection from the dead. Using that message of salvation in Jesus, God the Holy Spirit plants and strengthens saving faith in our hearts. That Spirit-worked faith in Jesus, produces thankfulness and a desire to show God our gratitude in worshipping him. We worship God knowing and believing in what he has done for us in Jesus.
What does such worship look like? Do we have to go on a pilgrimage? Does worship take place only in a church? No. God is spirit. He is not confined to any one place or time. So, believers can worship God anywhere at anytime. Gladly hearing or reading God’s word is worship. Praying to God on our own or with others is worship. Gathering with other believers around the truth of God’s word is worship. Singing hymns at church or elsewhere is worship. God’s Word says, “… in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship” (Romans 12:1). Living our lives to reflect the love God has given to us in Jesus is worship. Serving others in their needs is worship. Being a faithful spouse, a loving parent, or a devoted friend is worship.
True worship is founded on the truth that Jesus is the Savior from sin and death. By the Holy Spirit’s work of bringing us to faith, worship is the grateful response of our spirits to the truth of salvation through Jesus. How do we worship God? “In spirit and in truth.”
Prayer:(Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal—469):
Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to thee. Take my moments and my days. Let them flow in ceaseless praise. Amen.
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