NT Tuesday: Worship in Spirit and Truth
The editors of this blog have asked me to write a series of posts that are scheduled to appear on Tuesdays. My heart’s desire is to explore some New Testament principles during this time. And seeing that this is a blog, the author requests that some of the readers reply and give their sincere thoughts/perspectives on the topic at hand – that’s the purpose of a blogs, folks!
The dictionary definition of a principle is that of “a basic truth, law or assumption.” It is that general definition that I would like to focus on for the next several weeks (or months, until the real bloggers kick me off here.) So, a New Testament principle is “a basic truth, law or assumption that was established or expounded upon in the New Testament for believers seeking to follow the Lord Jesus as His disciples, individually or collectively.” I fear, that we often define New Testament principles too narrowly and biasedly to fit our mindset. I will endeavor, in my fledgling series of blogs, to approach this subject without bias, but rather, with a heart open to hearing from the Lord Jesus.
The first New Testament truth and law (i.e. principle) that I would like to explore with you is that of worship. We are going to split worship into two types, but for now we will look at Worship in a general sense and then in the next few weeks look at the two types of worship – corporate and individual – before moving on to the next principle.
In John 4:21-24, the Lord Jesus said to a woman sitting by a well, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Peter would later write in 1 Peter, As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:4-5.
Note, firstly, that the Father seeks worshippers. As disciples of Jesus Christ, worship is a necessity – both corporately and individually. The Father desires it! Think of that, the Father desires it. But as any Master desiring something, it is to be on His terms. This by default means that it is not on our terms. (That seems like a basic truth, but alas, it is woefully ignored. More on that later.)
So, the first characteristic of worship, as defined in the New Testament is that worship is “spiritual”. Spiritual is used here in contrast to physical. Meaning that New Testament worship includes NOTHING that is physical. Let’s look at that more, next week! Until then, fulfill your ministries!
Jump to the next post in this series.
Photo credit: Chris Buggins, used with permission.