In the Old Testament, the worship of God was accompanied by many types and external rituals. This was not because God was different then, but because Israel did not yet have the full revelation of God in His Son, Jesus Christ. All the rituals and external rituals in the Old Testament were not in themselves, objects of worship, but only types and shadows to point the people of God forward to the promised Messiah. Now Jesus has come, and concerning how we are to worship God in the New Testament era, He said, “The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers 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.” (John 4:23-24)
That God is a spirit means that He is invisible. God is invisible because He is more glorious than we would ever be able to take in with our human eyes. Just as our human eyes cannot look directly at the sun, so no man can see the glory of God and live (1 Tim 6:16). The most we will ever see of the glory of God is in the face of Jesus Christ, in whom we can see the glory of the one who is the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).
Firstly, because God is a Spirit, He cannot be worshiped with images of any kind, either images of wood and stone, or images of him that are formed in the heart of man. God is not like anything that man can imagine. Every false doctrine, then, is an image of God: it is a creation in the mind of man of a god who is different from the God revealed in the Scriptures. All of us are guilty of this at different times; when we think that God does not see our sin, when we think that God does not know our problems, when we think that God is too weak and distant to help us – then we have created an image of God in our mind that does not represent who God really is.
That God is a Spirit means, secondly, that he must be worshiped in a spiritual manner. This means that we must worship Him from our hearts and not merely by outward rituals or practices. How easy it is to go through the motions of worship – prayer, singing, listening to the Word, giving – without ever consciously lifting our hearts on high in faith to God in His Son Jesus Christ. How easy to worship God “correctly” so that others will see it and accept us. But God demands that our worship of him be spiritual.
Let us pray that God will bring our hearts, minds, spirits and souls to understand who He is, that we may truly worship Him in Spirit and in truth.
Rev. Rodney Kleyn (Wife: Elizabeth)
Ordained: Sept. 2002
Pastorates: Trinity, Hudsonville, MI - 2002; Covenant of Grace, Spokane, WA - 2009Website: www.reformedspokane.org/
Address7317 N.Deschutes Dr.
State or ProvinceWA