For we [Christians] are the true circumcision, who worship God in spirit and by the Spirit of God, and exult and glory and pride ourselves in Jesus Christ, and put no confidence or dependence [on what we are] in the flesh and on outward privileges and physical advantages and external appearances. Philippians 3:3 (AMP)
Paul wrote that true Christians, those who were circumcised in heart, worship the Father in spirit and by the Spirit. The physical location of their worship is not important. It doesn’t matter about their status in the church or the community. It doesn’t matter how talented they are or their physical appearance because worship comes from their spirit. True worshipers don’t take notice of themselves for their eyes are on the Father and their spirits are tuned to the Holy Spirit.
Jesus told the woman at the well, But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. (John 4:23 ESV) The word that Jesus used for spirit in this verse is the Greek word pneuma. Pneuma is defined as a current of air, breath or a breeze. It is used to describe man’s spirit, God’s spirit and even demon spirits. The fact that it is not capitalized in John 4:23 most likely indicates that the translators felt Jesus was referring to the human spirit. In most cases the translators used a capital “S” when speaking of the Holy Spirit.
The true place of worship is the spirit of man. The means by which we approach God in worship is the Holy Spirit. Without the Spirit of God dwelling in us we could neither have a relationship with God the Father nor would we be permitted to enter his presence (1 Corinthians 12:13). Paul wrote, For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. (Ephesians 2:18 ESV) So, through Christ the Holy Spirit affords us access to the Father.
It is the Holy Spirit that produces spiritual fruit in us and perfects in us a life of holiness. The Holy Spirit is the agent by which we are conformed into the image of Christ. Being open and obedient to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives will enable us to produce worship from our spirits that will be in tune with the heart of the Father.
Paul wrote to the Ephesians, And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30 ESV) Many times Christians grieve the Holy Spirit by allowing fleshly desires to choke out the work God desires to do in them and through them. Grieving the Holy Spirit limits the genuine flow of the Spirit in the life of a believer.
In our attempts to keep a pure spirit and offer pure worship we may at times need to pray as David, Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10 ESV) We must strive to be pure in spirit, living lives of repentance. Doing so will allow our spirits to be refreshed by the living waters of the Holy Spirit and prevent broken fellowship with the Father.
Has sin stifled your fellowship with the Father? Are you striving to be pure in spirit?
Scriptures for meditation:
1 Corinthians 6:19-20