In Spirit and Truth
In His discussion with the woman at the well in Samaria, Jesus said, “An hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers” (John 4:23). God is glorified when our worship is in accordance with sound doctrine and offered with sincere adoration.
Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth reveals that the Christians there failed to grasp the essence of reverent, heart-felt worship. “When you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper, for in your eating each one takes his own supper first; and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? In this I will not praise you” (1 Corinthians 11:20-22).
Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper for the express purpose of commemorating His death on the cross upon which His blood was shed for us. Instead of partaking of the communion in memory of Christ’s death, the Corinthians had degraded it to a common meal where they selfishly consumed all the bread and fruit of the vine before other members even arrived!
God has clearly stated the consequences when we choose to entertain ourselves under the guise of worshiping Him. “Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly” (1 Corinthians 11:27-29).
The ceremony under consideration in this text is the Lord’s Supper. What other form of divine worship is of lesser significance? Congregational singing? (Ephesians 5:17) Praying? (1 Timothy 2:8) Proclaiming the word? (Acts 20:7) Paul chastised the Corinthians for being worldly minded (1 Corinthians 3:1-4) and their misuse of the Lord’s Supper was simply one manifestation.
Much of what is pawned off today as worship is nothing more than entertainment for the masses. The assembly has become the audience, glorifying the professionals on the stage instead of the Creator on the throne. Preachers have become motivational speakers and fun and games appear to be the order of the day. Paul, who preached righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, would not be impressed (Acts 24:25).
Spiritually-minded Christians assemble to glorify God and Him alone. When they participate in the things God has authorized with sincere hearts, He is glorified and His children are edified and uplifted. Everything else is worldliness.