Biblical, Spirit-empowered worship involves truth and emotion. Worship in the Spirit involves the mind and the heart. Truth without emotion produces dead orthodoxy and a church full of artificial admirers. Emotion without truth produces empty frenzy and cultivates shallow people who refuse the discipline of rigorous thought John Piper writes, “Strong affections for God, rooted in and shaped by the truth of Scripture—this is the bone and marrow of biblical worship.”
Jesus said it this way, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23-24, NKJV). Jesus is indicating to us that true worship has a two-part component: spirit and truth. Both are necessary for authentic worship.
Strong affections for God, rooted in scripture and shaped by the truth of Scripture, are the bone and marrow of truth and spirit worship. Deep convictions, rooted in the truth and doctrine of God’s Word, make the mind come alive. Lively emotions, based in such truth, cause the heart to be awakened.
It follows that biblical worship should provide two things: channels of the mind to grasp and understand the reality and love of God through truth, and channels for the heart to respond to the beauty and majesty of that truth.
Growing in Spirit-empowered worship,
Steve Holt D.D. MA