Integrity Worship Institute - "Spirit and Truth"

This past week's lesson at the Integrity Worship Institute was specifically on "praise," but the discussion question and assignment touched on what worship "in spirit and in truth" was.  Here's my reflection answer"

In John 4, Jesus told the disciples that there would be a new way to worship, that worship would be “in spirit and truth.” This was a radical concept. But what does it mean?
Prior to Jesus, worship was confined to particular places. There was a physicality to worship; it had to be done properly in the right place, in the right time, in the right form and with the right accouterments. One could make proper worship by doing these things correctly.
Jesus tells us that where, when and by what form one worships is less important than how they worship. To worship “in spirit and in truth” means that we do not worship with outward physical signs and demonstrations, but by linking our spirits to God himself, entering His very presence. It means to offer a worship that is genuine and from the soul, not from the body, or objects such as animals or incense.
To worship in truth means genuine worship based on the scriptural commands of God (obedience is better than sacrifice) rather than symbolic worship – which is closer to idolatry than true worship.   

So, what do YOU think?


  1. Very confusing commenting system you have here....


    Good answer Mike. I would probably have answered in a similar manner had I got round to doing it!

  2. Interesting. My understanding of Jewish worship theory was that everything they did could be worship, including and especially work. They also had to worship God in specific places through pre-determined practices because mostly they did not have the Spirit of God within them as individuals. There were exceptions that are also recorded as worshipping outside of a temple context.

    I've often wondered whether the law and the worship forms the Jews were given carried such restrictions because they were a naturally corrupt and corrupting people, always eager to go astray. Would a more open set of guidelines have allowed them to completely go off the rails in self-destructive fashion?

  3. Toni, I think you're onto it. Certainly the Hebrews had the option of having their entire lives be worship, and the psalms point to that. However, I think they had largely reduced worship to being little more than pomp and circumstance. Certainly by the time of Christ, this was the case.


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