The True Worship

Posted by admin on 27 June 2021 in Deuteronomy, John, The Book of Romans |

John 4:19-24

19 ‘Sir,’ the woman said, ‘I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshipped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.’

21 ‘Woman,’ Jesus replied, ‘believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 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 the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.’

The Samaritan woman wanted to know where to worship (20). In the Old Testament, the one place of worship was commanded (Deuteronomy 12:1-32, esp., Deuteronomy 12:5). Today, let us study true worship Jesus taught.

First, true worship does not depend on the location (21).

Second, true worship requires ‘to know God’ (22).

How we can know God:

  • GOD’s WORD: The Holy Bible (The written revelation) is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Note that the Old Testament, especially the Law (the first five books) was given only to the Jews previously. And, the living God led them in their history. So, the Jews know God well.
  • GOD’S IMAGE: The requirements of the law are written in their hearts, their conscience bears witness, and their thoughts accuse/defend them (Romans 2:15). We were created in His image (Genesis 1:27).
  • GOD’S CREATION: God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made (Romans 1:20).

Third, true worship is in the Spirit and in truth (24).

See v23. God is spirit. He seeks the true worshippers (as opposed to ‘we go to the temple, we seek God.’). God will find you wherever you worship in the Spirit and in truth.

See v24.

24 God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.’

In the Spirit (in spirit): in the human spirit moved by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14, 16, 26) as opposed to external, stiffened, and even carnally fanatical modes of worship [2].

In truth: real, actual (in life) as opposed to symbolic, formal, ritualistic worship [2].

Some other relevant words

Our day-to-day life as a living sacrifice to God: Romans 12:1-2


[1] The Holy Bible: New International Version (Anglicised Edition, 2011). (2011). (Revised and updated edition). London: Hodder & Stoughton.

[2] Lange, J. P., & Schaff, P. (2008). A commentary on the Holy Scriptures: John (pp. 161–162). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

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