IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH
In Spirit and in Truth
The church is made up of people from
different backgrounds with a multitude of
gifts and abilities. The variety in the church
testifies to the unifying power of Christ.
Every believer seeks to glorify God using
the gifts he or she possesses. But what does
Scripture teach us about worship when we
gather with other believers? In this lesson,
you will learn how God wants his people
to worship together as one body.
1. How would you describe the worship at the church you attend?
2. What do you enjoy most about the worship at your church?
Read the following three sets of Bible passages and application notes.
Answer the questions for each set before moving on to the next.
K J V
But the hour cometh,
and now is, when the true
worshipers shall worship
the Father in spirit and in
truth: for the Father
seeketh such to worship
him. God is a Spirit: and
they that worship him
must worship him in
spirit and in truth.
N I V
Yet a time is coming
and has now come when
the true worshipers will
worship the Father in
spirit and truth, for they
are the kind of worshipers
the Father seeks. God is
spirit, and his worshipers
must worship in spirit and
N L T
But the time is coming
and is already here
when true worshipers
will worship the Father
in spirit and in truth. The
Father is looking for anyone
who will worship him
that way. For God is
Spirit, so those who worship
him must worship in
spirit and in truth.
When it comes to worship, attitude is everything. Jesus explained to the woman at the well
that the location of worship is not nearly as important as the attitude of the worshipers. The
phrase “God is spirit” means that he is not a physical being limited to one place. He is present
everywhere, and he can be worshiped anywhere, at any time. It is not where we worship that
counts but how we worship.
3. What does it mean to worship God “in spirit and in truth”?
4. How does the Holy Spirit help us worship?
5. What are the qualities of “the kind of worshipers the Father seeks”?
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6. How can you develop those qualities?
1 Chronicles 16:8-12
K J V
Give thanks unto the
LORD, call upon his
name, make known his
deeds among the people.
Sing unto him, sing
psalms unto him, talk ye
of all his wondrous
works. Glory ye in his
holy name: let the heart of
them rejoice that seek the
LORD. Seek the LORD and
his strength, seek his face
his marvellous works that
he hath done, his wonders,
and the judgments
of his mouth.
N I V
Give thanks to the
LORD, call on his name;
make known among the
nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise
to him; tell of all his wonderful
acts. Glory in his
holy name; let the hearts
of those who seek the
LORD rejoice. Look to the
LORD and his strength;
seek his face always.
Remember the wonders he
has done, his miracles,
and the judgments he pronounced.
N L T
Give thanks to the
LORD and proclaim his
greatness. Let the whole
world know what he has
done. Sing to him; yes,
sing his praises. Tell
everyone about his
miracles. Exult in his
holy name; O worshipers
of the LORD, rejoice!
Search for the LORD and
for his strength, and
keep on searching.
Think of the wonderful
works he has done, the
miracles, and the judgments
he handed down.
David’s song of praise contains two important principles of worship: (1) We should remember what
God has done, and (2) we should tell others about it. David achieved both principles when he led the
people in worship, reminding them of God’s wonderful acts and miracles. When Christians remind one
another of God’s faithfulness, they give God glory and are encouraged to trust him with their future.
7. What keeps us from telling others about God’s work in our lives?
8. How does telling others about God’s faithfulness show our love for
God and for others?
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9. When has the testimony of another believer inspired you to worship
10. What examples of God’s faithfulness to you could you share with
1 Corinthians 14:26, 40
K J V
How is it then,
brethren? when ye come
together, every one of you
hath a psalm, hath a doctrine,
hath a tongue, hath
a revelation, hath an
interpretation. Let all
things be done unto edifying.
. . . Let all things be
done decently and in
N I V
What then shall we
say, brothers? When you
come together, everyone
has a hymn, or a word of
instruction, a revelation,
a tongue or an interpretation.
All of these must be
done for the strengthening
of the church. . . . But
everything should be done
in a fitting and orderly
N L T
Well, my brothers and
sisters, let’s summarize
what I am saying. When
you meet, one will sing,
another will teach, another
will tell some special revelation
God has given, one
will speak in an unknown
language, while another
will interpret what is said.
But everything that is
done must be useful to all
and build them up in the
Lord. . . . But be sure that
everything is done properly
and in order.
Worship is vital to the life of the whole church. Everything done in corporate worship must
benefit those present. Singing, preaching, reading of Scripture, and the exercise of other spiritual
gifts must be offered in a spirit of love so as to strengthen the faith and enhance the worship
of other believers. Order is important, too, for it keeps reverence for God and respect for
other worshipers in focus. As Paul notes, a visitor to a worship service should “fall down and
worship God, exclaiming, ‘God is really among you!’” (1 Corinthians 14:25, NIV).
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11. How do first-time visitors typically react to the worship services at
12. What are the dangers of disorderly worship?
13. What can you do if you feel uncomfortable or unable to contribute
to the worship at your church?
14. How can you improve the way you prepare for and participate in
We do not have to guess about the right way to worship—the Bible
describes the kind of worship that pleases God. Scripture emphasizes the
importance of (1) worshiping in spirit and in truth, (2) telling others what
God has done, (3) using our spiritual gifts to help others worship, and
(4) worshiping in an orderly way so that all the members of the church
will benefit. God wants us to join with other believers so that we can help
each other worship. To neglect worship services is to spurn the encouragement
and example of other believers. Remember, the goal of corporate
worship is to glorify God and strengthen one another in the Lord.
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15. How can you more fully worship God in spirit and in truth the next
time you worship?
Read Numbers 29:1-6.
God instructed the Israelites to set aside certain days to celebrate and to worship him. This
passage describes one of those days known as the Feast of Trumpets. The Feast of Trumpets
gives us important principles to follow in our worship today: (1) The people gathered together
to celebrate and worship. Joining with other believers to worship is mutually edifying. (2) The
normal routine was suspended, and no hard work was done. It takes time to worship, and
setting aside the time allows us to adjust our attitudes beforehand and reflect afterward.
(3) The people sacrificed animals as burnt offerings to God. We show our commitment to God
when we give something of value to him.
16. What special days do we set aside for celebration and worship?
17. How do you change your routine during days or seasons that are
important to the life of the church (such as Easter, Advent, or Christmas)?
18. How do you need to change your weekend routine to better
prepare for and reflect on worship?
Read 1 Chronicles 24:1-19.
The temple service in the Old Testament was highly structured, but this did not hinder the Spirit
of God. Rather, it provided an orderly setting for worship. Sometimes we feel that planning and
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structure are unspiritual activities that may hinder spontaneity in worship. But order and structure
can free us to respond to God. Order brings glory to God as we experience the joy, freedom,
and calm that come when we have wisely prepared to worship him.
19. How do you usually prepare for worship?
20. What often keeps us from preparing our hearts for worship?
21. How can you contribute to the planning and preparation for worship
at your church?
Read Romans 12:4-6.
God gives all believers spiritual gifts to use for the benefit of the church. You may not be a
master musician, a prophet, or a teacher, but God appreciates whatever you have to offer.
Keep in mind that there are many different ways to contribute to worship.
22. How has your worship been enhanced by the gifts and abilities of
23. How can having pride in one’s spiritual gifts interfere with a
24. What spiritual gift has God given you to contribute to the worship
at your church?
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25. How can you use that spiritual gift in a way that will benefit others
in the church?
Read Romans 12:1-2.
In worship, we give God the freedom to renew our minds and change us from the inside out.
We willingly offer ourselves as “living sacrifices,” putting our minds at his disposal. This sacrifice
of our own desires becomes a “spiritual act of worship.” Because he wants only what is
best for us, and because he gave his Son to make our new lives possible, we should joyfully
give ourselves to be used of God.
26. How can worship motivate you to be a living sacrifice?
27. How are other believers helped when we give ourselves to God?
28. How can you be a living sacrifice to God this week?
Read 1 Timothy 2:1-15.
This passage gives us more practical advice about corporate worship. Paul warns that anger
and strife make prayer and worship difficult. That is why Jesus said that we should interrupt
our prayers, if necessary, to make peace with others (Matthew 5:23-24). Paul also exhorted
women to worship in quietness and respect, not flaunting their beauty or knowledge. Our
efforts should focus on pleasing God, not impressing others.
29. How can a broken relationship with a friend interfere with our worship?
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30. How does quietness and respect encourage worship?
31. In what relationship do you need to seek healing or restoration so
that you can worship God with an untroubled spirit?
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