God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.
It is interesting that when Jesus was talking to the woman at the well, he says to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father” (John 4:21). That is, there will come a day when it won’t matter where you are when you worship God. No longer will people have to trek to Jerusalem to worship God. What will matter is how they worship God. He goes on to say to her that “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.” What is important to note is that there are two elements necessary to worship God rightly, to worship God in a manner that is honoring and pleasing to him—in spirit and in truth. Just one chapter earlier, Jesus said to one of their religious rulers, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God" (Jn. 3:3). When asked what that meant, he then says, “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” Those who seek to worship God must be born of the Holy Spirit—they must be born again. But spiritual re-birth is not enough to render God-honoring worship. Later Jesus will pray to the Father, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (Jn. 17:17). God’s word is truth. Thus, to render to God worship which honors and pleases him, we must not only have repented and placed saving faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, we must worship God in accordance with Scripture. We dare not create our own unique way of worshipping God. “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
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