By Kevin Williams
“God is Spirit, and those who
worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4.24).
Several principles can be gleaned from the above passage.
God is not human, He is Spirit. God is to be the object (or
audience, if you will) of our worship. Worship has
requirements, there are some things we “must” do. One
requirement is to worship God in spirit, having the right
attitude, motivation, etc. Another requirement is to worship
God in truth, patterned after what He has told us in His
Word. All these are noble truths taught by this passage.
There is also another truth taught
here that needs some emphasis. It concerns the command to
“worship.” Worship is defined as “(fall down and) worship,
do obeisance to, prostrate oneself before, do reverence to,
welcome respectfully” (Bauer, Arndt and Gingrich 1958,
p716). Note that worship is a verb! It is something that is
Several passages of Scripture
illustrate this point well…
• “And Abraham said to his young men, Stay here with the
donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we
will come back to you” (Gen. 22.5).
• “For you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose
name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Ex. 34.14).
• “Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the
LORD in the beauty of holiness” (Psa. 29.2).
• “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before
the LORD our Maker” (Psa. 95.6).
• “And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an
eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the
Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had
come to Jerusalem for to worship” (Acts 8.27).
• “And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so,
falling down on his face, he will worship God and report
that God is truly among you” (1 Cor. 14.25).
• “Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard
and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel
who showed me these things. Then he said to me, See that you
do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your
brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of
this book. Worship God” (Rev. 22.8,9).
I know that the Bible teaches that
we are to attend worship. I also know that it is our duty as
faithful members of the Lord’s church to contact those who
are not “attending” to let them know that we miss them and
to encourage them to be present in the assembly of the
saints. Hebrews 10.25 has been part of the New Testament of
Christ for nearly 2,000 years and it is not going anywhere.
We do have responsibilities to fulfill as Christians.
Now consider this. As seen in the
passages listed above, to worship God is more than mere
attendance. It is an action aimed toward God that is done by
the faithful child of God. It is fulfilling God’s desire for
us to pray to Him, sing praises to Him, preach His Word,
remember His Son at His Supper, and give to Him as we have
prospered through the week. It is praising Him, revering
Him, bowing to Him, symbolically prostrating ourselves
before Him. It is giving God what He wants in His way. It is
participatory in nature. I have to do it in order for it to
be done. No one else can do it for me. No one else can do it
in my place. If I am not a participant in worship then I am
not worshiping! Dwell on that statement for a moment.
Consider the implication of what is being said. Then, ask
yourself the following question: “When I come to worship, do
I worship?” Sounds simple doesn’t it. It really is! And at
the same time it is a major factor that determines if God
accepts what I am doing in the assembly. No worship is done
Resolve, therefore, to be a
participant and not an observer! Think about it! ...Kevin
- Kevin Williams preaches for the Walnut Grove church of
Christ in Benton, KY. He may be contacted through the