But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him (John 4:23 KJV)
Scripture teaches us there is true worship, true worshippers, and a true sanctuary. This article will briefly examine the meaning of “true,” as used in the context of worship.
The key to understanding the word “true” is to recognize that Jesus is not comparing something true as opposed to something false. The comparison here was not false religious or idolatrous worship. On the contrary, Jesus was comparing worship under the Old Covenant and the new era of worship in the days of the Messiah. God ordained Jewish worship under the Law, so the Old Testament worship was divine in its origin; though it was not false worship, it was not true worship either. Hebrews 9:24 best describes this worship as copies of the true things:
For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf (Hebrews 9:24 ESV)
So the Jewish Tabernacle (or Temple), the priests, the worshippers, and the worship activities in the Tabernacle were only shadows, copies, or figures of the true things. In this context, the word “true” means the real thing—the real Tabernacle is heaven itself, the real High Priest is Christ Himself, the beautiful garments the priests wore represent our salvation and righteousness in Christ, etc. Similarly, all the sacrifices and offerings in the Old Testament were only shadows of what was to come.
God has made us the real worshippers. For example, when you, a believer with the Spirit of God, speak a word of praise to God, it surpasses all the thousands of burnt offerings the nation of Israel ever offered! That is how powerful your activities are to God. You are the real deal, the true worshipper the Father “seeketh to worship Him” ( John 4:23)
What is the meaning of the word “true” as described above?
Apply the Word
Today, we are the true worshippers worshipping God in heaven. You may wonder how we can be on earth and in heaven at the same time. Please read the devotional “Seated in Heavenly Places” to understand this concept fully. You are the worshipper God is looking for: your worship, praise, thanksgiving, body, heart(indwelt by His Spirit)!
Thank the Father for the privilege of making us true worshippers in the true sanctuary.