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 (John 4:23).
The worship of our God, Father and Creator, is essential to a relationship with Him and to each other. Worship is one of the few things that we do in unison during our church services. It is where corporeity is unmistakably expressed in visible form. What does worship involve? What does it require? In what ways is it expressed?
In some instances, worship in the Old Testament appears to be similar to what we consider worship. We see that King David makes the worship of God a priority in his kingdom. When he brings the ark of the covenant (called the ark of the presence) to Jerusalem, it is said that “all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the horn, with trumpets and with cymbals, making music with stringed instruments and harps” (1 Chronicles 15:28). Because there was such widespread participation, the writer says it was all of Israel. The praise of God was so predominant that all the Israelites were as one.
“And he [David] appointed some of the Levites to minister before the ark of the Lord, to commemorate, to thank, and to praise the Lord God of Israel […] So he [David] left Asaph and his brothers there before the ark of the covenant of the Lord to minister before the ark regularly, as every day’s work required” (1 Chronicles 16:4 & 37). In Psalm 22:3, the psalmist declares “but You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel.”
The praise and worship of God is evident in the New Testament as well because the Early Church also was a worshipping Church. Jesus, Himself, testified to the Samaritan woman that Israel was a worshipping nation when He said, “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” (John 4:22-23). Only the redeemed can worship in spirit and truth because only those who are born-again are alive to the things of God. Jesus unmistakably connects salvation with worship. The Redeemed is a worshipping community.
Worship is not what we have generally come to believe it to be: the singing of songs. True worship is saying the same thing about God that He says about Himself, and it springs from a recognition of who God is and what He has done. Our expression may include the singing of songs to Him or about Him, and it may be coupled with reverent expressions and demonstrations, but it is not limited to that.