Worship in Spirit and Truth

23 But 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. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” – John 4:23-24

Whenever I come past these verses they grab me. The idea that God is seeking such people leaves me wanting to be found. Also the clear list of ingredients necessary for true worship that God desires; God is a spirit, therefore, these people He is seeking to worship Him must do so in spirit and truth. Not one or the other. Both are required.

In preparing for this post I sought teaching on “in spirit and truth.” Here are some notes from a sermon series on ‘true worship‘. 

Elements to worship in spirit:

  1. Spiritually alive: having received the Spirit and not grieved nor quenched Him through ignoring Him for nor drowning Him out with self.  
  2. Thoughts focused on God.
  3. The Word of God present as the source of discovery and truth in our lives.
  4. An undivided heart for God; A single eye for God.

Elements to worship in truth:

Worshiping in truth is all about worshiping what is true. God is truth. (John 14:6) Put another way, true worship is in an understanding of the truth. Put another way still, worshiping in truth requires understanding the truth.

Worship in truth admits the truth about everything. Including us, Him and how we relate; the past, the future, His promises. Everything as revealed in scripture. When I read Psalm 47:7 it seemed to ‘click’ for me.

For God is the King of all the earth;
sing praises with a psalm! (ESV)

The translation in the King James Version helped me connect to the meaning of worshiping in truth a bit easier.  

For God is the King of all the earth:
sing ye praises with understanding. (KJV)

Worship is a response to truth. Worship is a response to truth in that very same truth. Without the truth there is no true worship. False worship seems to have its formation in the imaginations of our mind and rationalizations of our heart. All of which point to a false and perverted view of God and His creation.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. Romans 1:24-25


I hope these notes where helpful to you in our quest to worship in spirit and truth. Have an awesome day.  May God reveal the truth to you and may you draw neigh to Him and He to you.

Today’s reading: 2 Chronicles 16; Revelation 5; Zechariah 1; John 4

Suggestions for prayer: Admit your sinful heart to God. Like David did, confess that you are not be able to search out all of the sin in your heart. Ask God to find it and deal with it. Commit yourself to Him, trust in Him. (Psalm 139:23-24, Psalm 51:10)

Challenge: Consider getting to service early to spend time in prayer confessing your sins, humbling yourself and preparing your heart to worship in Spirit. Also consider allowing for time to reflect on the truth of who God is and who we are in relation to Him in order to enter into God’s presence to worship Him in truth.

For further study: Consider selecting a sermon from the series on ‘true worship and listening in for a while on your drive to work.