How to Worship in Spirit – Part 1

Study on Worshipping God

John 4:20-24

Mp3 Audio    PowerPoint


I.         Introduction (John 4:24)


A.      What is worship? True worship, real devotion does not consist in the performance of certain religious duties at set times, but in the spirit in which the Ordinary duties of common life are performed.  William Law

B.       This is part three of a series looking at True Worship, and True Worshippers

C.       So Far, we have looked at the Wrong Ways to Worship

D.      Starting today, I want to explore the Right Ways to Worship God

E.       This is not something trite, or simple, or easy – like 1+1=2

F.       The Worship of God has been so perverted today, and without the Bible, would be totally lost

G.       When examined by the Bible, it will be found that MOST (at least 90%) of all churches worship God wrongly, and even sinfully – not an exaggeration


II.       Review – There are Many Wrong Ways to Worship (John 4:20-24)


People try all the time to worship God…


A.      Geographically

B.       Ignorantly

C.       Paganly

D.      Without the New Birth

E.       Stubbornly

F.       Religiously

G.       Selfishly - Only for looks

H.      Apathetically – with no passion, heart, or zeal


III.     Principles of Worship


A.      Worship means to show someone’s worth! Ascribing great worth to a person


1.        To honour – extol, lift-up, praise

2.        To please

3.        To bless

4.        To love with all the heart

5.        To glorify – put all the attention on – put the lime-light on

6.        To serve gladly and whole-heartedly

7.        To show someone’s worth-ship! An act of ascribing worth/value to a person.


B.       Everyone worships some-thing or some-one!

C.       But most people miss the target when it comes to worshipping God - People assume they know what worship should be like.


1.        But they either don’t know God

2.        Or they don’t know how to worship Him

3.        Or they don’t care to worship Him – I want to address those people a little later on!


D.      People today worship…


1.        Their rock music collection (including their CCM music sadly)

2.        Their friends – obey them and live for THEM and their approval instead of God’s

3.        Their family – can’t risk losing them, or being shunned by them

4.        Money – couldn’t think of living out of debt but have to live in the pursuit of money and possessions

5.        Themselves – they are “lovers of their own selves”

6.        They deny all the above but it’s clear who their real gods are by their lives


E.       The Tests of True Worship


1.        Are you ashamed of the God of the Bible? Ashamed of giving Him first place in your life – pre-eminence? Then you do not know worship

2.        When was the last time you took Christ’s side in this world and stood with him joyfully when others mocked Him? If never, or only rarely, then you do not know or experience real worship

3.        Have you forgotten that Satan seeks worship too (Matt 4:9)? If you think only God is interested in worship, then you do not struggle against the pull to worship the god of this world, and therefore probably have never really worshipped the God of the universe!

4.        How soft are you in your stubbornness towards authority? The worship of God changes a rebel into a servant of all! If you fight God, it makes it hard to worship Him at the same time!

5.        Do you find it easy to obey God and do His will for your life? If not, then you need to learn what it means to truly worship God!!!

6.        Is worship to you just a “church” thing?


IV.    Message – Worshipping God in Spirit


A.      Worshipping God in Spirit is An Inner Worship (Psalm 103:1)


1.        A Spiritual Worship – a worship by your spirit of a Spirit


a.        A worship using your spirit – not your body, your hands, your money

b.       You are a tri-part being with a soul, a body, and a spirit


1)       The soul is the real you

2)       The body is what we relate to – what you walk with, eat with

3)       The spirit is what God relates to – what you pray with, worship Him with


c.        A worship of a Spirit – not of a star or planet, or person or thing


2.        Kind of hard to worship with your spirit if it is dead (Eph 2:1-5)


a.        Kind of hard to talk with your mobile battery being dead

b.       Kind of hard to start your car if your battery is dead

c.        Kind of hard to walk if your legs are gone

d.       Everyone of us are born with something missing in us – an ability to talk to God, to worship God


3.        Must be born again (John 3) – regenerated is the Bible word – not baptized, or prayed over, or pumped up with enthusiasm, but handed over to Jesus Christ asking Him to give you life!!!

4.        All worship of God must be from the inside – it must come from within you – it is not faked, or worked up, but real and alive

5.        Contrast this truth - the flesh has nothing to do with worship at all (Philp 3:3; Acts 17:24,25)


a.        Speaking of the acts of a person while attempting to worship – go through motions


1)       Like kneeling, bowing, kissing, mumbling

2)       That has nothing to do with true worship


b.       There goes the fancy new hair-style

c.        There goes the money and the cars

d.       There goes the new clothes

e.        All our best efforts are nothing to God – Cain learned that

f.         There goes the traditions of religion – holy days, holy water, holy vestments, holy candles, holy eucharist, holy orders, holy doors, holy cup, holy saints, holy week, … holy cow!

g.       There goes the modern worship-style too! A lot of churches emphasize their style of worship, instead of the One they are worshipping!


1)       Contemporary Christian Music has taken over

2)       Drums now beat out an atmosphere like a rock concert instead of a time for preaching

3)       Dancing attracts people to the gyrations of women instead of the holiness of God

4)       Women preaching and screaming usurp authority that God meant to be vested in men


h.       Oh that we worshipped God in the beauty of a right spirit - holiness (Ps 55:10; 29:2)


6.        A Bible believer checks his spirit, whether it is engaged in worship, or just his hands and his body


B.       Worshipping God in Spirit is An Attitude – the way you approach God is paramount


1.        That’s why the Bible speaks just as much about attitudes as it does actions


a.        Of course murder is wrong, but hating someone is just as wrong

b.       Of course adultery is wrong, but lusting after girls is JUST as wrong

c.        Of course stealing is wrong, but thinking that stealing is ok is just as wrong

d.       Rebellion against God, against parents, against authorities is wicked, yet no one really questions their attitudes, and so the actions of this world just grow from worse to worser!


2.        With bad attitudes, there can be no spiritual worship at all!

3.        That’s what David was warning is Psalm 66:18 – that God does not respect any of your worship while sin rules in your heart instead of Him!

4.        Must worship in holiness – not worldliness

5.        The attitude of worship


a.        Awe (Ps 33:8) – in wonder and amazement - stunned

b.       Fear – terror (Psalm 5:7)

c.        Excited – passionate (Ps 9:1; Lk 24:32)

d.       Careful – caring about the little things you do and say to God (Ps 19:14)

e.        Stopped, Resting, Not Hurried (Ps 46:10) – having no where else to go (as with Job, and Peter)


6.        A Bible believer checks his Attitude - whether it is driven by the world, the flesh and the devil, or by submission to Christ

7.        Worship comes straight from the Heart, not just the head – it is like love (Ps 9:1; Mt 15:8,9)


a.        Not something that is just done out of tradition or duty

b.       But something that cannot be held back because you MUST worship

c.        It is like when you fall in love – you can’t stop thinking about someone, and dreaming about them, and wanting to be with them

d.       This is all foreign to materialists – people who only know how to worship THINGS and people!

e.        The source of all our troubles in life is our heart

f.         The place that God wants to fill is our heart

g.       A Bible believer checks his Heart – whether it has just made room for Jesus, or is completely conquered by Jesus


V.      Conclusion


A.      Next Week, Worshipping God is Concuming!

B.       Everyone worships some-thing or some-one!

C.       But most people miss the target when it comes to worshipping God

D.      Who do you passionately worship? Who matters most to you? The Lord earned that place in your heart… will you give it to Him, and Him alone?


Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland