Most people think of worship in the context of music and singing. That was all I knew until I started searching the bible about what Jesus meant when He spoke about worship in spirit and truth. I came to understand that our spiritual act of worship is to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice to God – Romans 12:1. In the Old Testament when priests sacrificed animals to redeem sin, they had to make sure the sacrifice was without blemish. So are we to sanctify ourselves and enter His presence daily without blemish, by constantly disciplining ourselves and seeking forgiveness. Worship is not simply singing worship songs on a Sunday; rather, worship is about living right with God, purifying our bodies and renewing our minds daily. As we read the Word of God we can begin to understand the mind of God. Reading scripture, we become knowledgeable about living a life that can be a life of worship to God. Before Jesus arrived, worship was an outward expression and guided by strict laws.
WORSHIP IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
In the Old Testament, law guided worship and it was location specific, regulatory and housed in a earthly sanctuary;
- Where to worship – Worship took place in a temple, on a mountain or a specific place that God chose. The Holy Spirit only came “upon” certain people in those days, so the people depended on the prophets to hear from God. They were told not to offer their burnt offerings and sacrifices wherever they chose, but only in the place which the Lord chose – Deuteronomy 12: 13-14.
- Sacrifices – Sacrifices had to be made to atone for the sins of the people. Without the shedding of blood, there can be no forgiveness of sins. Deuteronomy 12: 6 “There you shall bring your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the offerings of your hand, your vows, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and of your flocks.“
WORSHIP IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH
Christ is the centre of worship in the New Testament, not a meeting place or a building. The Holy Spirit, sent to us by Jesus after He ascended, guides and counsels us in our worship. 1 Corinthians 3: 16, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?”
True worship is an act of expression that comes from the heart and guided by the Holy Spirit – not an outward experience. For us to get closer to God, we need to purify ourselves so we can hear His voice and become the worshippers that He wants us to be. God is spirit and wants us to worship Him in spirit and in truth. We need to pray and be in daily communication with Him and recognize our dependence on Him in every matter of our lives. He does not need us to worship Him religiously – but to worship Him lovingly.
As believers, we need to sanctify ourselves through the word by reading and meditating on the bible, the inspired word of God. Sanctification is no longer an outward cleansing process of washing of hands, feet and clothing like in the Old Testament. Through Christ, sanctification is an inner cleansing of the spirit man.
When we speak God’s word, we worship Him by speaking truth, which is the word. Sanctification through the word of God cleanses the mind and the spirit man. When you study the word and gained enough knowledge of who Jesus is and what he preached, you will attain revelation and deep understanding of who God is – John 7: 15-16.
John 1: 14 – “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, the glory as the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Reading the Word of God is an act of worship
Matthew 22: 37 – 40 Jesus replied:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it. ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Blog post https://trueworshipper.co.za/dir/