John 4:23-24 - Worshiping in Spirit and in Truth

In John 4:23-24, Jesus states that the kind of worshipers God seeks are those that worship Him "in spirit and in truth". However, it is probably not immediately obvious what this phrase actually means. It is a rather literal translation of the Greek, but because English grammar is quite different from Greek grammar, the English phrase fails to express the same idea with the same force. The grammar of the underlying Greek clearly indicates that this phrase describes the manner in which we should worship God - it answers the question "How?" How do we worship God? - "in spirit and in truth" - or much better: "spiritually and truthfully". The next question is what does it mean to worship "spiritually" and "truthfully". Worshiping spiritually means our worship is generated from our spirit. Going through the motions, performing ceremonies, eating the Lord's Supper, singing songs or praying with little or no thought is not worship! These things may be used to express worship - but they are not worship. Worship comes from the depths of our spirit, as we recognize and bow before the greatness and awesomeness of God. To worship God truthfully means that our worship must be real and not pretentious - it must be sincere! Therefore, John 4:23 would be better translated: "God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship with their spirit and with sincerity".

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