Preached by Pastor Kohl on
January 4, 2004

Bible Text:

John 4:23,24, “ But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers 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.”


Our theme for 2004 is worship. John 4:24 is our theme verse. This year we hope to be studying worship: what it is, what it is not, and how we can do it. For this first sermon of the year, I’d like to give a brief overview of this important topic. We will study it more in depth as the year progresses.

I. What Worship is Not:

1. Worship is not music.

Some form of the word “worship” is found 234 times in the Bible. It is never tied to music. The Bible records Jesus and his disciples singing only once (“And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.” Matthew 26:30). Paul and music are only connected once (“And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.” Acts 16:25). Music is greatly de-emphasized and minimized in the New Testament.

2. Worship is not a meeting.

There is no mention in the New Testament of the church gathering to worship. The church is a place where we give, pray, fellowship, serve, and are fed in knowledge and understanding. Never once is it called a place of worship.

II. What Worship is:

1. Worship is a life guided by truth – An action.

Our text verse says that God is seeking people to worship Him in truth. Any time we will take a principle of truth from God’s Word and guide our lives by that truth, we are worshipping God.

For example: If a man reads 2 Thessalonians 3:10 (“... if any would not work, neither should he eat.”), then decides to guide his life by this principle, finds a job, and becomes a faithful worker, he is worshipping God.

2. Worship is a life given for God – An attitude.

Our text verse says God is also seeking people who will worship Him in spirit. This word “spirit” has two meanings, one of which is attitude. Obeying God’s truths with the right attitude is a way of worshipping God. Often we obey God with an self-centered or ulterior motive. This is not worshipping God.

For example: If a man knows that God commands him to work, but he goes with a motive of earning lots of money, he is not worshipping the Lord.

3. Worship is a life governed by adoration – An admiration

The other definition of the word “spirit” is emotion. We need to worship God with our emotions. In fact, the word “worship” is translated into English from the Greek word “proskuneo.” It can literally be translated “to kiss, as in a dog licking his master’s hand.” Do you adore God like this?


Many people in our culture say they worship God, but few worship Him the way He has commanded us to. As with all His commandments, we must obey Him in His way. Let us pray for the Lord to change our thinking in regards to worship.

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