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In the Gates

The Pattern of Sound Worship (2)

Abiding Principles from the Ceremonial Laws: Worshiping God (7)

Worship must be pursued in Spirit and according to God’s truth.


And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am commanding you today for your good?” Deuteronomy 10.12, 3

The second set of complementary terms which mark out the pattern of sound worship are Spirit and Truth. As Jesus explained, all who intend to worship God must do so in Spirit and in Truth (Jn. 4.24). Worship is not simply a matter of carrying out external rituals in a timely manner, as we have seen. Worship as God intends it begins within, with proper affections and a commitment of the entire soul. Worship is a spiritual exercise and, as such, it requires the help of the Spirit of God if it is to be acceptable to God.

True worship, therefore, will seek to understand the ways of God’s Spirit and to employ all aspects of the practice of worship for allowing and enabling the Spirit to do His spiritual work of renewing us in God’s Covenant. The first questions to ask, therefore, about such matters as worship preparation, planning, and participation are not related to what we require or would like, but to what the Spirit of God uses in bringing the glory of God to bear on the souls of God’s people unto renewal in His Covenant.

Closely related to this is the matter of Truth in worship. We only worship God in Truth when the Truth of God informs, shapes, guides, and rules our worship, from beginning to end, from the inside out. God has revealed what is pleasing to Him in worship. We must make sure that our worship is according to the pattern revealed, first, on the mountain with Moses, then, subsequently, in the all the rest of Scripture. Only such worship as submits to what God has revealed can be acceptable to Him, for His glory and our blessing.

We worship God truly when we worship Him in Spirit and in Truth, from the depths of our souls, in the power of His Spirit, and according to the revelation of His will in Scripture.

For a fuller study of the pattern of worship revealed in Scripture, order the book, The Highest Thing, by T. M. Moore, from our online store. These studies and brief essays will help you to see how the pattern of sound worship, which began in the Law of God, comes to complete expression in the rest of Scripture. Pastors, we’re getting ready to start the next season of The Pastors’ Fellowship. Write to me today at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for information about how you join in these online discussions. Our theme for the coming series is “The Worldview of God’s Law.” There is no charge for participation, but you must reserve a place for these monthly gatherings. Subscribe to Crosfigell, the devotional newsletter of The Fellowship of Ailbe.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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