24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
This verse is a rebuke of both Samaritan and Jewish worship.
24 God is Spirit,
The New King James version is better than the King James. The KJ translates “God is a Spirit.” That is not correct; He is not one spirit among many. The point is that God is invisible in nature. He is not confined to time and space. His essential nature is “spirit.”
God is not like finite man. He is the invisible God (Co 1:15; 1 Ti 6:16). Without God revealing Himself, it would be impossible to know who and what He is.
God as Spirit does not define Him in His complete being but how He appears to the world. God does not have a body. He is not a corporeal being. “Spirit” simply means He is invisible, not human or finite. He is unknowable without revelation.
and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
God is not interested in sham worship. Worship in hypocrisy violates the essence of worship because it is pretense. It is religion without reality or “truth.”
Those who worship God must, of necessity, be the spiritual kind. The word “must” indicates that this kind of worship is not an option. It is the only way to worship. Man cannot establish the place or the how of worship. Because God is by nature “spirit,” He must establish how one worships. Worshipers can only come to God on God’s terms.
“Spirit” refers to spiritual worship. Worship is not fundamentally material by objects or place of worship. Spirit is the highest part of man. It will remain even if the body dies.
“Truth” refers to real relationship with God. It is a yielded approach to God. This is worship that is in harmony with the nature and will of God. It is genuine fellowship with God. Worship like this tallies with who and what God is; it corresponds with His essence and attributes. Worship always builds upon truth (Ps 145:18). Worship is far more than an emotional experience. Genuine fellowship with God requires truth. Exposition of Scripture is indispensable to genuine worship because it reveals who God is truly.
Authentic worship is inward, involving the heart.
Ceremonial worship that involves place and time does not measure up to authentic worship that involves the soul of the individual.
There is a difference between soul worship and spirit worship. The soul appreciates beauty of the choir or music and values the ability of the speaker to communicate. However, spirit worship has a heart toward God.