Worship in Spirit and in Truth
Worship to Almighty God should be one of the most reverent and encouraging events in the Christian life. If we worship God acceptably, it brings great honor and glory to our Heavenly Father. However, if we worship God in a way that He has not told us, then it is damaging to our soul and displeasing to the Almighty (see Lev. 10:1-2). Let’s notice exactly how Christians are told to worship God in the New Testament.
1. Worship God in Song. Paul instructed us to speak “to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Eph. 5:19). To the church in Corinth Paul instructed them to sing with the spirit and the understanding (1 Corinthians 14:15). In the New Testament God has only told us to sing in our music. Anything else is an addition to God’s Word (Prov. 30:6).
2. Worship God in Prayer. Jesus taught us to pray “our Father who is in Heaven” (Matt. 6:9). As we study prayers of great men and women of the Bible we learn that they used them as a time to exalt and magnify the name of God. Study the prayers of Nehemiah, Daniel and Ezra and we will see the majority of what they said was to laud and praise the name of God. The same is true in New Testament worship. In Acts 16:25, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God and the prisoners were listening to them.
3. Worship God in Giving. Paul instructed the Corinthian congregation to give on the first day of every week as an act of worship to God (1 Corinthians 16:1-2). When we give as we have prospered and with a cheerful heart, then we truly give honor to God (2 Cor. 9:6-7). In Malachi 3 the people were dishonoring God because they were giving him the sick and leftovers of their flock. Today, if we give as the Bible teaches we will honor God.
4. Worship God through the Lord’s Supper. In Matthew 26:26 Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper as a memorial of His death and sacrifice for our sins. The bread and the fruit of the vine represent the body and blood that Jesus shed for us. Paul encouraged us to examine our own bodies and eat the Lord’s Supper in remembrance of the sacrificial lamb of God—Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 11:23ff). We learn that the Lord’s Supper is to be remembered on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). Since every week has a first day and there was no specific week in mind, Christians should partake the Lord’s Supper every first day of the week.
5. Worship God through Preaching. We notice on every occasion that when Christians gathered together, they preached the Word of God (Acts 20:7; Acts7). If preachers of the gospel preach only what the Bible says, then it truly will glorify God (1 Peter 4:11, 2 Tim. 4:6-8). As hearers, when we hear with the attitude of “speak Lord your servant hears” (1 Sam. 3:9), then we also participate in the preaching and glorify God.
Dear friend, worship is not something to joke about or take with a flippant attitude. Worship is a very serious matter. When done properly both God and the worshippers will be encouraged and uplifted. May God help us to worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24).