This is the first lesson of the teaching series about worship in the Church where I serve. If you are one of the attendees last week who happened to listen, please share this blog! Thanks!
The objectives of this sequel are to examine the nature of worship and to explain the meaning of spirit and truth in worship. But before we continue let us check the definition of WORSHIP.
Worship is a state (an attitude) of spirit. Since it’s an internal, individual action, it could/should be done most of the time (or all the time) in our lives, regardless of place or situation (John 4:21).
In the light of the definition, we can say that Christians should worship all the time, seven days a week. When Christians formally gather together in worship, still the emphasis should be on individually worshiping the Lord. Even in a congregation, participants need to be aware that they are worshiping God fully on an individual basis.
1. In Spirit and In truth (John 4:23-24)
When Jesus sat on the well, where he met the Samaritan woman, he explained that there is a new kind of worship in which people are to worship the Father in spirit and in truth and those who seek to worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.
Some would say that this means to worship with sincerity, from the heart. But our text suggests that Jesus is making a contrast between old testament worship and new testament worship (John 4:19-24) and old testament worship requires sincerity as well as in new testament. To worship in spirit means to offer “spiritual worship” because God is spirit, that is why worship must be in keeping with His nature.
Hebrews 9:1-10 teaches us that OT worship consisted of Fleshly Ordinances, like:
- A physical structure
- Special clothing for priests
- Burning of incense
- Instruments of music
- Animal sacrifices
But in NT worship focuses toward the spiritual side of man:
- God’s temple is spiritual and is made up of Christians
- All Christians are priests and are offering up spiritual sacrifices
- Our prayers are as sweet as incense
- Our music is making melody with the heart
To worship in spirit is to offer up spiritual worship as taught in NT and not the physical worship as found in OT.
There were many elements in OT worship that were simply a shadow of what was to come. Say, the Tabernacle, it was just a symbol or type. The law with its worship was only a shadow of that which was to come.
However, we should expect the worship of the true to be different from that of the shadow. OT worship was physical in nature but NT worship is according to the realities that God is Spirit and therefore our worship must be spiritual in nature.
To worship in truth is to offer up the true spiritual worship as taught in NT and not the physical worship in the OT which was but a shadow.
2. Edification (1 Corinthians 14:26)
Apostle Paul instructed the church in Corinth that all things are to be done for edification, that is for the purpose of building up. Worship is included when he told them that.
Worship in the church should edify or build up those engaged in it, not by what may sound good to the ears (the flesh) but by words that impact the heart of man (the spirit).
3. Decently and In Order (1 Corinthians 14:40)
Worship must be done in a seemly manner that glorifies God. Worship also follows a fixed arrangement, not totally spontaneous.