What does it mean to worship the Lord in spirit and truth?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
The idea of worshipping the Lord "in spirit and truth" comes from Jesus' conversation with the woman at the well in John 4:6-30. In the conversation, the woman was discussing places of worship with...

July 01 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini Carl Naitram
Worshiping God in spirit and in truth takes in our whole lives or all of our living. Whatever I do it must be an act if worship.
One of the worst things that have happened to Christianity is the concept of calling services on Sunday Morning a worship service while the other services if the church has other designations like prayer meeting or evangelical or mission etc.

That is why people dress up with their best clothes etc for Sunday morning services and dress casually for the other services. Some churches even have in their bulletins ir on their walls the words "ENTER TO WORSHIP DEPART TO SERVE."

Even the type of songs or choruses many churches sing are if a different beat on Sunday mornings..what they call worship hymns.
So people think that they worshiping of God is during that service and as soon as they leave service they go back to their regular life style which has very little consciousness of the presence of God.

They will bring their offerings and so call worship God in giving but will not give to their poor neigbours or needy people. 

They will dress modestly for Sunday Morning but very immodest when they go to work or elsewhere.

Worshiping God in spirit means that wherever we are we must be in the act of worshiping God. Location or event or day has nothing to do with it. Truth has to do with understanding which includes doctrine but it also has sincerity or lack of hypocrisy in mind.

If we learn to worship God in every area and act or activity of life then we will have better marriages in attitude towards our spouses and in activity with them including sexual matters. 

We would be better employees and employers, better sportsmen, better neigbors etc because we would be conscious of the presence of God and carry our Sunday worship with us all through our lives.
If I cannot worship God with my activities then my activities are wrong yea maybe even sinful. 

We have mananged to put the worship of God in a little box called churchespecially Sunday morning services and when we leave church it is back to worshiping our idols. 

So to me worshiping God comes down to living a holy life in all that I do, in all that I am, in all that I desire for then we will be also worshiping him in truth as well as in spirit.
God bless you.

June 02 2014 4 responses Vote Up Share Report

Image Greg Kelly
John 4:22 (Jesus speaking) You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews." 23: "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in Spirit and Truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.". 

It is one thing to worship what you do not know, another to worship what you know. 

There are many sincere people who worship God in the way they think is right, God winks at times of ignorance, but when the light of truth comes calls all men to repentance. Hosea 4:6 "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge, because you have rejected knowledge I will also reject you." 

Consider if there was some worldly or pagan belief, non-biblical belief you cherished or was a part of your sincere worship and by the grace of God you discover it's falsehood, then by God's grace you would certainly stop the practice or belief. You worshipped in spirit, you believed what you were doing was right, but now you know better. Now you worship God in more truth. This is what it means to worship God in Spirit and Truth. For example, you worship at church and you are very sincere, but sincerely wrong, you have never been baptized, you realized Jesus is your personal Lord and Savior and you accept Him as and are baptized. Now you worship in more sincere truth. 

Ponder, if there are "True Worshippers" then there also must be by definition "false worshippers". So not all worship is sought after by the Lord.

Truth is like light, as your path is lit more and more, you by the grace and love of God accept truth and continue in your sincerity. Sincerity, however, is no substitute for truth, once you learn the truth, then are you obligated to follow it? Then you become the type of worshipper God seeks. 

True worshippers are free: John 8:31,32 To the Jews who had believed him Jesus said "IF YOU HOLD TO MY TEACHING, you are really my disciples. Then you shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free." 

In the aforementioned above in John 4, Jesus said "and has now come", Jesus is the truth and learning of Him, His character, His love and proper obedience to Him out of love leads to worship in truth up to and until that glorious time we see Him, then that worship with all of us together will be true as it gets. (:

September 18 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Image Greg Kelly
A person that worships in Spirit and Truth worships fully. To only worship in truth is like a pharisee. You know the rules, you just don't know to apply them correctly. A person that worships in Spirit only worships with sincerity, but is sincerely wrong, that's why they are referred to as worshipping what they do not know.

A person that goes to church, but doesn't live it everywhere else and knows they don't, doesn't worship in either spirit or truth.

Understanding and learning must be Biblical, it must be a plethora of evidence gathered to build a "wall of context", not a "one verse interpretation" or a misinterpretation of many verses out of context and not open to whatever someone wants to personally think or "feel" it means because it sounds good to them or doesn't contradict their pagan- Christian fusion way of living or because it doesn't "step on their toes". 

I am amazed these days how many times someone will answer with "You need to read the book by..." or "If only you would have heard the sermon by...". Why? So I can be limited to another person's interpretation? Read the Word for yourself. It isn't for the slothful or lazy, and if you read another book, see that it doesn't have proclivities against Biblical teaching.

A relationship with Jesus is meant to be very personal. God has exceptions, but human beings want these exceptions to apply to everyone. Perfect example: The Bible is explicit about the need to be baptized but you will hear "I don't have to be baptized (or baptism isn't important) because the thief on the cross wasn't baptized." So, are you the thief on the cross? Are your "talents" and light the same as everyone else's? 

People take God's loving situational exceptions and turn them into group excuses. (The proverbial "Oh yeah, but what if someone lives on a desert island and...") Why is this so difficult and controversial for people to understand when they apply it in their own lives on a daily basis? Do you have rules and standards? Do you sometimes allow for exceptions because of mitigating circumstances? Does that diminish or negate the standard? Is it ok to drive 80 in a 55 from now on because the officer lets you go? Now is it ok for everyone to drive 80 in that 55 mph zone?

The Bible is amazing in that it will interpret itself even down to what words mean by searching the scriptures and finding truth, finding how a word or meaning is consistently conveyed in the rest of the Bible. 

The Bible refers to an end time habit of people having "itching ears hearing what they want to hear". They may continue to worship in spirit, but they want no part of the truth. God doesn't want a hundred denominations. Paul gives examples of disorderly worship to the church in Corinth. God wants sincere worship, but how hard is this? He wants truth in worship. He wants both.

September 20 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Grant Abbott Child of Father, Follower of Son, Student of Spirit
The worship God our Father desires happens 24/7 and engages all our mind, will, emotions and body. Everything we think, say and do should bring honour and glory to our God for his great salvation of us. This worship has nothing to do with what happens for an hour or two during our weekend church services. The worship that takes place in heaven by the spirits of the saints and the holy angels is going on constantly, never stopping. That is the kind of worship our God is seeking, the total dedication of our lives to his honour and glory.

To worship in spirit has nothing to do with emotional or heart-felt engagement during our individual and corporate devotional times or church services. The spirit Jesus is talking about is the Holy Spirit. You see, the only worship our God and Father accepts is from born again Christians who have the Holy Spirit living inside of them. When the Holy Spirit comes to live inside us, he breathes life into our dead spirits and we become eternally alive. Now we are able to truly worship. Everyone else who is not born again is hiding their sinful condition behind a cloak of false worship.

In John 4:10 Jesus says "If you knew the gift of God", he is referring to the Holy Spirit. Later in the same verse he says he could give her "living water", again a direct reference to the Holy Spirit. In John 4:13 Jesus says the water he gives "becomes a spring of water welling up to eternal life". Jesus is saying that when the Holy Spirit comes, his living water creates eternal life. In John 4:24 Jesus says "God is Spirit", another indirect reference to the Holy Spirit. Because we worship one triune God, then the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all spirit and we cannot worship them unless our spirit has come alive.

The truth that Jesus is talking about is the "Word of God", the whole bible. In John 4:22 Jesus says the Samaritans worship what they do not know but the Jews worship what they do know because salvation is from the Jews. Jesus is talking about the Old Testament of the Bible which tells the whole world that a saviour is coming from the Jewish nation. The Old Testament is God's revelation of truth to us. Every word in it is true and can be used in our worship. In John 4:23 Jesus says "A time is coming and is now here", he is referring to his human life as the Messiah and to the future completion of the New Testament which will include God's full revelation of truth to us human beings.Every thought, word and deed of Jesus's life is truth and we can worship every verse. Every word of the New Testament is truth and we can worship and apply it to our daily lives.

When we know the bible and the life of Christ, in intimate detail, we can worship God in truth. Every time the bible leads us to confess our sins and repent of them, that is an act of worship. Every time the bible challenges us to give generously to those in need and we do so, that is an act of worship. Every time the bible reminds us to act justly, to be merciful to others and to walk humbly, and we do so, that is an act of worship. 

The bible tells us a lot of truth about what God is like. These attributes of God are given to us so we can worship God in Spirit and truth. Words that describe God's nature, like: complexity, eternity, incarnation, infinity, immensity, immutability, reality, self-sufficiency, simplicity, totality, and unity. Words that describe God's character, like: able, accessible, available, beautiful, changeless, complete, creative, excellent, faithful, forgiving, generous, glorious, good, gracious, great, healthful, holy, infinite, invincible, joyful, just, kind, knowing, loving, majestic, measureless, merciful, mighty, patient, peaceful, powerful, present, radiant, reliable, responsive, righteous, secure, sovereign, spotless, stable, steadfast, strong, sufficient, timeless, truthful, unique, victorious, wise and wonderful.

My Challenge: Pick 1 attribute each day. Ask the Holy Spirit for his favourite verses, then worship.

July 26 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

95 1 Jay Saunders
When you are saved and filled with the Holy Spirit there are times when you worship God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, which are all in one, where time and the cares of this life do not exsist. You are fully engaged in worship. People are not even noticed when you worship in total purity of purpose to honor Creater, Heavenly Father, and Savior in the power of the Holy Spirit. You feel a complete oneness with Him. 

It is during times like this where you may even experience a God of the supernatural of power to heal, rejuvenate, and the infilling of power that changes you from the inside out. Once you have experienced these things, no one can ever tell you that your God is not real or a figment of your imagination. The power that flows is like no other experience in life. Except true salvation, of course, which is similar but no way the same. Hallelujah!

March 10 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Open uri20150122 31549 1ruiwsl Jyotish Mishra Saved by grace through faith in JESUS CHRIST.
In His conversation with the Samaritan woman our Lord Jesus mentioned this point: “To worship God in Spirit and in truth." Worship means to fall prostrate before God, to bow down before His glory and majesty as the twenty four elders do when the four living creatures give glory, honour and thanks to God (Revelation 4:8&9). Or as prophet Isaiah did when he saw the glory of the Lord (Isaiah 6: 1-7).

Now worshipping in Spirit and truth could mean when we see ourselves from God’s point of view based on His revelation in His word; we see ourselves as sinners and accept God’s forgiveness in God’s terms (that is, the Lord Jesus died for our sins and rose again for our righteousness, Romans 4:24) and fall or bow down ourselves to thank and praise Him (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). Then we are in fact worshipping God in Spirit and in truth, just as Isaiah did. 

The Samaritan woman could see herself as a sinner and bow down to the revelation of Lord Jesus that He was indeed the Messiah (John 4: 26). She then leaves her water pot and goes to the city to testify. (John 4:29)

A true worship in Spirit and truth would be followed by a consecration as Isaiah did, as this Samaritan woman did, and as we all are commanded to do (Romans 12:1). It is not limited to a Sunday worship service, but it is a life time consecration and service in every area of our life.

June 12 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Billy P Eldred
There are plenty of answers to this question, so I’ll make mine short. 

Because we have the Bible we can know God and Believe. When we know God and believe, we worship in truth because it is heartfelt and not because we are told to. (Under the law) Also BECAUSE we know God, we worship in His Spirit the way He wants us to. In Spirit and Truth! (Truth also means in Jesus by whom we know God).

November 13 2019 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Add your Answer

All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.

What makes a good answer? ▼

A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.

  1. Adhere to the eBible Statement of Faith.
  2. Your answer should be complete and stand-alone.
  3. Include supporting arguments, and scripture references if possible. Seek to answer the "why".
  4. Adhere to a proper tone and spirit of love and understanding.
  5. For more info see The Complete Guide to eBible
  1. 4000 characters remaining