“The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”
Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.”
Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He” (John 4:19-26).
What is New Testament Worship? Well, what is worship? Paul said this: “This I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets” (Acts 24:14, emphasis mine).
According to this scripture, worship is believing and acting on the word of God. Most often we think of worship when we’re giving praise and adoration to God. That is certainly a part of worshipping God, but how are you living your life? How do you act when you don’t feel like praising God or all “warm and fuzzy”? Take a look at Paul’s life. Many things happened to him that would make most people quit life.
Think about what happened to Paul and Silas at Philippi:
“Then the multitude rose up together against them [Paul and Silas]; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them” (Acts 22:25).
It was not only physical midnight for Paul and Silas, but it was a tramatic emotional midnight for them also. They were in prison, chained to stocks, on a cold, dirty and toxic floor. What caused this midnight? They were worshipping God by preaching the Gospel. What were they doing during the midnight of their lives? They were praying and singing hymns to God. They were worshipping God during the good times and the bad times. They were living out what they believed the word of God commanded them (Acts 24:14).
The scripture says, “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17; Habakkuk 2:4). Faith in God comes by hearing what God has to say (Romans 10:17). That makes sense, doesn’t it? You can’t have faith I’ll pay your morgage if I never said I would, right? We can’t believe God beyond what we know is His will either. Paul said he worshipped God “according to the Way (the revelation of the New Testament that he was receiving from Jesus) which they call a sect…believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets.” Jesus said, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me” (John 5:39). Keep in mind when you read the Bible, both Old and New Testament, that the written word was given to reveal the living word (Jesus). Paul is saying in Acts 24:14 that he was worshipping the living word as revealed to him Jesus and from the written word. Every revelation about God can be found in the written scriptures. Don’t let anyone lead you away from the Bible.
So you see, worshipping in Spirit and in truth starts with the Bible. What does the Bible say so I can believe and act on it? It includes prayer, praise, obedience, being led by the Spirit, holiness, the God kind of love (agape), faith, baptisms, gifts of the Spirit, the fruit of the spirit, eschatology, judgement, eternal life, heaven and hell, and everything that pertains to life and godliness.