born-again spirit, earthly, God's nature and character, heavenly, increased knowledge about God, inwardly, outwardly, praise tongues, prayer tongues, regenerated spirit, sensuous, spirit and truth, spirit to Spirit, Spiritual
But the time is coming—it has, in fact, come—when what you’re called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter. It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration. ~ John 4:23-24, MSG
We are born again ONLY in the spirit (heart)—not in the soul and not in the body. Indeed, only our born again individual spirit is our new nature—our new man; a new creation. In other words, our born-again spirit is no longer dead to God (no longer separated from God).
Moreover, our now born-again spirit not only is righteous and holy but also our regenerate spirit is filled with God’s agápe love (cf. Romans 5:5), His Law (cf. Hebrews 10:12-17), His spiritual gifts (e.g., cf. 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4:11-13), His power (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-5, 8; Romans 15:13; Ephesians 3:20), and His Perfect Will, which is in the form of the Holy Spirit—the Holy Spirit is that Source of God’s Perfect Will (that Divine enablement), which God Himself put inside every believer (cf. Philippians 2:13). As such, we now can enter into God’s presence to develop our relationship with Him, fellowship with Him, and worship Him.
Then too, because we love God with all of our heart (born-again spirit), soul, and might (totality) [cf. Deuteronomy 6:5; Mark 12:30], our agápe love for Him, which is in our spirit (heart), is what influences our desire to worship God in spirit and truth. Put differently, worshipping all of God (The Father, who is Spirit; the Son, who is Spirit; and the Holy Spirit, who is Spirit) in spirit and in truth only happens when we worship God with all of who we are. All of who we are is in our new man identity (our born again spirit), which means, since God is an uncreated, unmeasured, infinite and eternal Spirit, the only way we can worship our God is with our born-again spirit, and with EVERYTHING He has put within our regenerate spirit.
That’s right! When we worship God in spirit and in truth, we are not worshipping Him with our bodies (our raised arms and hands, or bended knees, or praying hands, or dancing bodies, or musical instruments, or the songs we sing during a worship service, like, for example, three praise songs, one prayer song, one communion song, and one invitation song). That kind of worship is sensuous (the Old Testament’s way of worshipping God, which is outwardly and earthly). Under the New Testament’s covenant of Grace, believers in Christ Jesus worship God in a true and spiritual way, in particular, inwardly and heavenly.
Put differently, only our sin-free spirit can touch or communicate (no doubt, in tongues) with God, who is the Spirit who created spirits, including our individual spirit. Therefore, when our individual spirit worships God in spirit and in truth, our individual spirit is worshipping God in the only true (properly informed, precisely described) spiritual manner suitable to His Nature and His Character, both of which are holy, righteous (morally good; morally right), loving, kind, patient, joyous, disciplined, gentle, faithful, peaceable, triune, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, and so forth.
That is to say, God has given us His Nature so that being like Him would come naturally to us. In other words, the parts of His “Nature” He put in us are how we should be living and behaving naturally. Our praise and worship in spirit and truth, then, happen when God sees our born again new nature (spirit) doing what it is naturally expected to do—when God sees us living holy and righteous lives that are totally Christ-like!
The bottom line is that none of our humanly devised formulas for our worship services is true and spiritual worship. For sure, the Word of God properly informs and precisely describes for us our true and spiritual worship. For example, with our praise tongues (in the Spirit), we are to sing praise songs, prayer songs, and communion songs (cf. Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16); and we are to use our prayer tongues (in the Spirit) when communicating with God (cf. Romans 8:26; 1 Corinthians 14:2).
In summary, the only life that is holy and pleasing to God is our new spirit-man’s life. For this reason, the way we worship with God will be spirit to Spirit, which is why we can worship Him anywhere at any time. Since our bodies are the temple of the Lord, our spirit goes with us wherever our body goes, and yet, once again, no unregenerate body or soul will be used in our true and spiritual worship.
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost indeed is that time that has come and engaged our spirit in a pursuit of truth (more knowledge of who God really is and information about how He truly wants us to worship Him). This current Age is no doubt the prophesied time of increased knowledge (cf. Daniel 12:4), and this truth is why we no longer have any excuses for why we don’t understand what Christ Jesus means by worshipping God in spirit and in truth. Clearly this kind of worship means more than being indwelt with the Holy Spirit, and worshipping God in spirit and in truth means more than singing three praise songs, one prayer song, one communion song, and one invitation song during an organized worship service. A word to the wise should be sufficient.