Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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The Patternists: Worship in “spirit and truth”


In John 4:24 Jesus said, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” The context reveals that the only acceptable worship is that offered in accord with God’s will. That is why Jesus endorsed the worship of the Jews (in Jerusalem), rather than the worship of the Samaritans.

The text also indicates that under the dispensation of Christ, the location of worship is of no consequence. The idea that God is limited to a particular place (Jerusalem, a mountain) is debunked by Jesus. This is because God is Spirit.

This truth requires that acceptable worship be offered in “spirit.” The worshipper must be engaged – it is an act of adoration to God, which comes from a sincere, reverent, and fully committed heart.

The worship of Israel was condemned by God during the time of Amos. They said, “When will the New Moon be past, that we may sell grain? And the Sabbath, that we may trade wheat?” (8:5). They weren’t interested in worship, they were only going through the motions. Though the form of worship was in accord with God’s will, the proper spirit was not present.

We are right in demanding that worship to God follow the form revealed and regulated by His will. We must be equally adamant that those who worship Him be fully engaged, with devotion and love for their God.

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