Worship in spirit and in truth?? - Printable Version

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Worship in spirit and in truth?? - sonworshiper - 07-20-2006


Just wondering, (as I always have) what y'all think of that verse. . .Worship in spirit and truth.

Darlene Zschech wrote in her book "Extravagant Worship", "regardless of the method, the act of worship must be in spirit (from our rational consciousness) and truth (consistent with the rest of our lives)" (John 4:24)

I LOVE the way she put it, and I agree with it, especially the concept that our worship should be consistent with the rest of our lives.

What do you think--how do you see that verse. . .



Worship in spirit and in truth?? - HelenaZF - 07-20-2006

Saw your topic this morning, but I don't think deep thoughts very well in the AM, so just coming back to this now.

I've always seen the "truth" part of that verse as having to do with actual Truth...as in the truth of the scriptures. And the spirit part as having to do with our awareness of the spirit (His and ours) as we worship Him.

There is a verse in Psalm 51:6 that says: Surely you desire truth in the inner parts ; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. I guess in that sense, one could say that the Lord was talking about the integrity of our lives as held up to the mirror of the Word. And if we have learned that "wisdom" that was taught to our "inmost place"...it will affect our character and actions to bring us in line with the truth of the scriptures.

Darlene's statement is using the word truth in the sense of being "integrity". While that is a good thought...I'm not convinced that the Lord's intent in this statement is solely about our personal integrity.

I like to hear some other views on this though, because this is something I will admit that I haven't completely thought out.

Worship in spirit and in truth?? - Dave - 07-20-2006


You took the words right of my mouth! I'd almost finished a reply, left it whilst I was eating, came back, did a preview, and there yours was! As you'll see, I mention both Ps 51 and the Bible in general.


John 4:24 is one of my favourite verses. I'd agree that consistency is important - it also seems to be what Ps 51:6a (another one of my favourites) is suggesting.

However, we are all imperfect, and hence will not be 100% consistent. But this doesn't disqualify us from worshipping provided that we acknowledge our failures, bring them before God, and are willing to let Him transform us on a daily basis.

If you look at John 4:23, the preceding verse, it says that the Father seeks worshippers in spirit and truth. So it suggests that this is something we should be aiming for, but are probably not there yet (well, I'm not, I don't know about everyone else...).

EDIT: I've deleted a line here that would have left you scratching your heads thinking what is he on about. I had a comment at the start about baseball that I deleted before posting this reply, but I forgot to remove this reference to it. It was of no relevance to the discussion.

I can think of three other interpretations of "..and in truth"

(1) The truth about God. Our worship will reflect who we think God is. Pretend you are an alien who's walked into a church service!! What impression of God would you get? Of course, we won't know the full truth about God before we get to heaven, but in many cases our understanding is quite flawed and needs much study. We all have plenty to learn. I'm also reminded of the point about childhood experiences in Dean's report of the Tom Kraeuter seminar - check it out <URL url="http://zionfirefriends.com/index.php?showtopic=467">here.

(2) The truth of the Bible. The principles of our worship should be the same as those found in the Bible. One thing I've noticed is that biblical worship varies considerably - from wild celebration to everyone flat on their faces in silence. And it happens in different times and places. So perhaps our worship should also reflect this diversity. And, of course, we should be seeking to live in accordance with the truth of the Bible.

(3) The truth of who we are. Again, there's a lot of diversity here. God has made me a dancer and that's an integral part of my worship. I don't expect everyone else to dance, but neither do I expect them to say "dancing isn't my thing so we shouldn't do it". There's also the truth that we have to come as we are (as we can't be anything else) and not put on a false face for God. Think of the story about the pharisee and the tax collector.

I don't regard these three interpretations, and Darlene's, as being mutually exclusive. There's so much meaning in this verse I think they all have validity.



PS Sorry, I haven't time to write anything about the "in spirit" bit.

Worship in spirit and in truth?? - DeanZF - 07-20-2006

Dave,Jul 20 2006, 01:24 PM Wrote:I don't regard these three interpretations, and Darlene's, as being mutually exclusive. There's so much meaning in this verse I think they all have validity. <snip>

PS Sorry, I haven't time to write anything about the "in spirit" bit
And Dave took the best part of my own comments! SO much meaning. The Word seldom says something without multiple meanings or applications.

There is one often controversial meaning as well. Remember that Jesus described Himself as Truth. I don't have the Greek or Hebrew skills to discern if this has anything more than an oblique relationship to the rest of the discussion.

As to the "in spirit" portion of that verse, my resources all point to the fact that this is not the Holy Spirit, even by implication, although a couple of versions (not necessarily termed translations) of the Holy Scriptures talk about worshiping Him because of inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

One part of "spirit" might also have to do with a parallel phrase in the Word, dealing with keeping the "spirit of the law, not just the letter." One of my own favorite interpretations of that phrase is that Father is a spirit, and is seeking those who will worship Him in the physical [visible] and in the inner man [where no man can see]. Most of us have experienced watching someone go through all the postures and actions of worship, and know that it wasn't "real" worship. Call it going through the motions or lip service, but if it's all display and no heart... Y'know?

I think that Darlene's comments are a goodly part of it, but not all.