The Bible does not teach that a person can worship God his or her own way. The idea or concept is foreign to what the Bible says. In fact, the Bible clearly and plainly teaches the specific way in which we are to worship God. At John 4:23-24, Jesus says, “the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth: for the Father is seeking such to worship him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” Notice Jesus said we must worship God not only in spirit but also in truth!
The Old Testament says God was to be worshipped in forms and rituals in the sacrifices and praises they offered to God at designated holy places on the altars, in the tabernacle, and later in the temple. Now, since God is spirit He is to receive spiritual worship from our hearts, as we humble ourselves to God at any time and place since God is everywhere present, and is not limited to any specific place.
To worship God in truth is to worship him as God directs in His word. Jesus in praying to God said, “Sanctify them (his disciples) by Your truth: Your word is truth” (John 17:17). “And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Also, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6).
The Bible teaches that we worship God publicly on the first day of the week by singing, praying, giving, teaching, and partaking of the Lord’s supper (Acts 2:42; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2; Ephesians 5:19). We are to follow the example of the worship of the New Testament Christians as the Bible teaches. We also worship privately by Bible study, prayer and singing.
The Bible not only tells of true worship that is acceptable to God, but warns of vain, ignorant, and will worship that is not pleasing to God. Leviticus 10 tells of Nadab and Abihu who were killed because they did not worship God in truth as He had directed them.
Friends, doing anything we want to worship our own way is a dangerous concept on which to base our salvation. We must have a “thus saith the Lord” in everything we do in worship. Worship “in truth” can only be derived from the pattern set forth in the word of God.
—Douglas A. Williams, Geneva AL