Recognizing True Worshipers
One might think that there are certain acts or certain doctrines that identify true worshipers. One might have a list of such things and decide to measure others by these standards. However, in many cases, the list of so-called ‘identifying marks’ do not necessarily mean the bearers of these ‘marks’ are true worshipers.
For example, people can respect the Bible, honor God’s name, preach about the kingdom, avoid entanglements with the world, and love members of their own religion. These are fine and honorable acts. Yet a person can perform all of these acts, and still not be worshiping ‘with spirit and truth.’ (John 4:23-24)
For the most part, these are social acts – acts that placate our fellow believers. But they are not necessarily acts of true worship and genuine religion. We are reminded of what Jesus said to the Jews of his day, quoting from the prophet Isaiah:
“‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’”
– Matthew 15:8-9
True worship is heartfelt communion with the Father. It is a whole-souled consecration to doing the divine will. And it is summed up in these two commandments:
“Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
– Matthew 22:37-40
True worshipers are identified by their fruits. (Matthew 7:16-20) If they are truly worshiping with spirit, they will exhibit the fruitage of the spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
– Galatians 5:22-23
And if they are worshiping with truth, they will be true to what they believe, not hypocritical. The life they live in private is the life they live in public. And they will be hungering and thirsting for righteousness, and thus open to a constant refining of their faith.
Fore mostly, they will be imitating Jesus and practicing his religion of whole-souled dedication to the Father and to the doing of his will.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
– Colossians 3:23-24
In essence, true worshipers recognize the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, they teach the same message of entry into the Kingdom of the Heavens as Jesus taught, and they follow the Christ ‘wherever he goes.’ (Revelation 14:4)