John 4:24 God is a spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Acts 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

I Corinthians 14:15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also. I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with understanding also.

Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

I Chronicles 16:29 Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

Psalm 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.

Psalm 119:7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.

Psalm 99:9 Exalt the Lord God, and worship at his holy hill; for the Lord our God is holy.

Ezekiel 43:12 This is the law of the house; Upon the top of the mountain the whole limit thereof round about shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house.


MEMORY VERSE: Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest. —Revelation 15:4


CENTRAL THOUGHT: The worship of God—praise, exalting, singing—Who is a spirit, must be with our spirit, or inner man, which is our connection to God. He is not worshipped with what we do or bring with our hands, nor is He limited to any building or geographical location. Additionally, because He is holy, we must worship Him in holiness and with pure lives.




John 4:24 “In spirit”: “Inwardly in our minds and hearts, adoring his majesty, revering his power, humbled before his purity, confiding in his mercy, praising him for his benefits, loving him for his unspeakable love to us; being subject to his sway, obedient to his will, resigned under his dispensations, devoted to his glory, and aspiring after a closer union with Him, and a more full conformity to Him.” —Benson Commentary

Acts 17:25 “Worshipped with men’s hands”: to “serve”; to wait upon; to render religious service or homage. The heathen practice of bringing food and nourishment to their gods, and believing that it was consumed by them is referred to here.

Ephesians 5:19 “Psalms”: A striking of musical strings; the phrase is used of one who has it in his heart to sing or recite a song of the sort. “Hymns”: A song that gives honor, praise of thanksgiving to God. “Spiritual songs”: songs that are divinely inspired, and so evocative of the Holy Spirit. “[Songs that are] indited [composed] by the Spirit of God, consist of spiritual matter, and are designed for spiritual edification; and are opposed to all profane, loose, and wanton songs.”—Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible

Psalm 66:18 “If I regard iniquity in my heart”: look with favor or pleasure upon any sin whatsoever, especially idolatry, which is often expressed by the word iniquity. “…If I have not been willing to forsake all sin; if I have cherished a purpose of pollution or wrong.” —Barnes Notes on the Bible




As was mentioned in earlier lessons, Jesus’ message to the woman at the well, who was a Samaritan, settled some deep ancient confusion and pollution in the minds of Jews and Samaritans concerning the worship of Jehovah. Jesus brought light and truth upon the subject, elevating it to an entirely new level, and revealing that anyone in the world, anywhere in the world, is called to worship the Father with a sincere, pure and true motive of heart; not with lip service or literal rituals, but with his/her spirit. This could mean the native in the jungle, the prisoner in his cell, the island dweller, the tribesman on the Sahara, the businessman in his office, or the mother as she holds her baby. It could mean driving down the road, gathered with other saints in a chapel, or lying bedfast in the grips of paralysis. True worship takes place in the spirit—from our innermost being, directed to, enabled by, and united with the Holy Spirit of God.

Paul brought it out more clearly when he addressed the Athenians about the worship of the true God. Echoing a similar passage in Psalms 50:8-14, he explained that their practice of bringing food to the gods, or going through other rituals to “sustain” their gods was not beneficial or necessary for the true God, Who is self-sufficient, whole and complete.

In his epistles to the churches, Paul also taught the importance of spiritual worship, again emphasizing that true worship takes place in the inward part of man, the spirit; therefore worship must be on a spiritual, or heavenly level, not on a temporal or physical level. The songs and prayers must follow this pattern. Historical writings reveal that the early church refrained from using musical instruments in worship (as had the Jews who had returned from captivity, and were zealous to not return to the defiling elements of Canaanite idolatrous worship), in their desire to please the Lord with spiritual, not fleshly, worship.

The remaining scriptures in our lesson bring out the important truth, holiness unto the Lord, as being the “law” of His house, or the prescription for acceptable worship. His house today is His church, the body of believers, where He comes to dwell, individually in our hearts, and corporately in the assembly of saints.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




1. His Dwelling Place: Where does God want to dwell, and where does He require men to worship?

2. A Necessary Component: God wants us to worship with our ___________ and be filled with His _____________.

3. What to Bring: What is always a vital part of worship?

4. Two Opposites: God won’t hear the prayer of a heart that __________ ____________, but is pleased when worshipped with ___________ of __________ from someone who has learned His righteous ______________.




This is a concept that I see developing as we have studied this subject: God doesn’t need my worship to make Him great or complete. Rather, worship is for my benefit. I need to recognize my need for Him and humble my heart before him in reverence and contrition. I need to acknowledge His gifts and blessing in thanksgiving and praise. I need to trust in Him implicitly to provide, lead, guide, and care for me.

The Bible speaks of divine jealousy. It’s a jealous love for me—I suffer, I lack, I will go into destruction if I turn aside from Him, and He ardently wants what’s best for me and what will bring me into eternal bliss and fellowship with Him, for which purpose He created me.

Two important aspects of this are brought out in this lesson. He created me with a spirit, through which He gives inspiration. Although I use my physical voice in praise, petition, and song, it must originate deep in my spirit or it is dead and empty. Likewise, if I offer worship while cherishing idolatry or any sin in my life, it is lifeless. The Old Testament Israelites attempted to worship God in this way. He called it a stench, an abhorrence, to his nostrils, and refused to attend to it, countenance it, or bless it in any way (Isaiah 1:10-20 and Amos 5:21-24).

When we have learned His righteous judgments through His Spirit Who makes them manifest—clearly known and revealed—to us, we can then understand how to worship God in spirit and in the beauty of His holiness.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




Colossians 2:23 speaks of “will worship.” Will worship involves the will, the desires, the personal likings, or the whims of the worshiper. It is “self-devised” worship. The offerings of Nadab and Abihu, as recorded in Leviticus 10:1, were a form of will worship. Cain’s sacrifice (Genesis 4:3-5) was also a form of will worship. He offered it according to his own personal liking, and it involved that which meant the most to him—the product of his own toil and the work of his own hands. Will worship can never produce a sacrifice acceptable to God.

There are many different forms of “will worship.” Any self-motivated style of worship wherein the worshiper seeks fulfillment of certain emotional, sensational, or intellectual cravings is will worship. Will worship can manifest itself in different ways, depending upon the temperament of the worshiper. Our temperament is our “inclination or mode of emotional response—disposition.” In will worship it is often the temperament that regulates the will and the will becomes the regulating factor of one’s worship. Will worship can take place when the temperament of a person is such as to cause him or her to crave the achievement of certain sensations of ecstasy or to experience certain intellectual delights. Listening to, producing, or participating in certain styles of music, listening to a demonstrative, piquant orator, etc., can achieve these sensations and delights. In Acts 12:21-22 we read of Herod giving an oration that so inspired the people that they “gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.” These kinds of motivations, however, come from the human element rather than the divine.

God cannot be worshiped on the basis of any kind of human temperament. Human temperament may, and does, become involved in worship when touched by the Spirit of God, but the essence of all true worship lays within the element of God’s own Spirit and His truth. Humanity cannot worship God aright without the aid and moderation of His Spirit and the light of His truth. We must worship within the element of who God is, not who we are. Nothing but God Himself and the very essence of His own person can truly sate the cravings of the human heart.

—Bro. Harlan Sorrell