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What does the Lord mean when He says that we should worship in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:23-24)?



You have asked how what if means to worship in Spirit and in Truth.  It might help to look at the Lord's audience and to consider how they were worshipping. The Lord was speaking to a Samaritan who seemed to know how Jews worshiped.

The Samaritans weren't worshiping in Truth because they were not worshiping in the right place and with the instructions that the Lord gave. They had priests of their own making. So worshiping in Truth requires worshiping the way God has told us to and in our case we would find those instructions in the epistles for the most part. 

The Jews were not worshiping in Spirit even though in many cases they followed the letter of the law. They were just going through the motions or through the rituals. They were not in fellowship with the Lord in their worship, even to the point where they thought they were worshiping by crucifying the Lord. Worshiping in Spirit is the devotional worship of a person who is saved and in fellowship with the Lord. This person will be controlled by (filled with--Ephesians 5:8) the Spirit. There will be a devotional quality to this kind of worship, it is not the worship of duty but of privilege. It will be enthusiastic and it will not seem dead.  It will not necessarily be the charismatic type of worship that is popular today. This worship will be orderly since that is part of the Truth.  This worship will be about the Lord and not about us since He is the Truth and being God, He is Spirit.

I hope this helps.

Bruce Collins