True Worship Is Not Tradition, But What Pleases God!

True worship is not about following traditions, but doing what pleases God! Don’t blindly follow the ways that others worship. We need to go beyond the basic teachings of the Bible. Above all, there is always room for growth, so let’s continue to learn deeper truths.

Be sure [Be careful; Watch; See] that no one leads you away [takes you captive; captivates you] with false [deceptive] and empty [worthless] teaching that is only human [according to human traditions], which comes from the ruling spirits [elemental spiritual forces (demons); or elementary teachings] of this world, and not from Christ. Colossians 2:8 (EXB) [read Colossians 2:6-15 (8); Matthew 15:1-9 (2)]

Updated: Monday, September 5, 2022

True worship – summary

So then, my brothers, because of God’s great mercy to us I appeal to you:

Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer.

2 Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God — what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect. Romans 12:1-2 (TEV)

Think about this:

Jesus wants us to please Him in our worship. He no longer meets His children only in certain places. God is Spirit, He lives in us. Some of us follow a habit; “go to church”. We must learn to adore Him in any place. We can worship in our cars, in houses, in stores; in all places. Get to know the truth, this Bible study is a simple start.

Key Points:

  1. Your life is a gift

    Be a gift—full of life to God, loyal to his work and a joy to him. So do not let sin have power over your body here on earth. You must not obey the body and let it do what it wants to do.
    13 Do not give any part of your body for sinful use. Instead, give yourself to God as a living person who has been raised from the dead. Give every part of your body to God to do what is right.
    14 Sin must not have power over you. You are not living by the Law. You have life because of God’s loving-favor
    . Romans 6:12-14 (NLV)

  2. Live your praise

    Give honor and glory to God. Follow the Holy Spirit and the word of God. “All of you praise me with your words, but you never really think about me. 9 It is useless for you to worship me, when you teach rules made up by humans.” Matthew 15:8-9 (CEV)

  3. Set apart for service

    Let the Holy Spirit guide you into the truth. The word of God is truth. Learn to serve (worship) in the way Jesus desires. The Lord prayed for you and said: They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 17 Set them apart [i.e., for your service] through the truth; your word is truth.
    John 17:16-17 (AUV)

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Picture of inland empire for the true worship bs
Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer.
Romans 12:1b (GNT)

True worship‘ is it “going to church” on a regular—living there (always there for everything while neglecting their families) for some—proudly saying what you don’t do? Is true worship about the “thou shall not’s” in the Law—the do not’s of the church?

  • “I do not use profanity”
  • “and I do not smoke or drink” (meaning alcoholic beverages)
  • “I do not lie” and the list goes on.

Many years ago my worship was like the Pharisee Jesus used in a parable in Luke 18 ‘…God, I thank you that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax gatherer. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.…’.

Today I know that we must be careful ‘…whoever makes himself look more important than he is will find out how little he is worth. Whoever does not try to honor himself will be made important..’ [Luke 14:11].

I was a ‘holy-roller’

God had to reveal ‘true worship’, I fault no one but myself, we must seek God and God alone to learn how to please Him.

Pleasing God with true worship: The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Psalm 51:17 (KJV)

Never did I stop to ask God what He required; I know you are not like that—self-righteous—guy I used to be. My ‘church’ experience was attending every service, three to four times a week, with no such thing as timed services (a set time to end our worship service). We were Acts 2:38 ‘holy-rollers’ and knew we were pleasing God in our manner of worship.

Do not get me wrong, I thank God for that experience and the foundation that it gave me. And I do realize times have changed, especially with the megachurch requiring multiple services in a day. So, I am not bashing any particular form of religion; but God had to enlighten me on true worship and it is very different from what I practiced.

Developing true worship

So then, my friends, because of God’s great mercy to us I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer.

2 Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God—what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect. Romans 12:1-2 (GNT)

Pray for full understanding while you study God’s word, and allow the Holy Spirit to help you understand His word. If you have questions please ask via a comment below or email Tim. Take this three-part journey with me through the Scriptures with an open mind and maybe God will reveal true worship to you. If this study does nothing more than plant a seed that will develop over time—most change takes time—the word has not returned void.

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True Worship (Part1)

Picture of sf bay park for true worship bs
God is Spirit: and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
John 4:24 (RKJNT)”

Jesus said to her, Woman, believe me, the hour comes when you shall worship the Father neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem. 22 You do not know what you worship: we know what we worship: for salvation is from the Jews.

23 But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him. (RKJNT)

Do you know what it means to worship God? Satan tried to get Jesus to worship him. But did he really know how to worship?

Matthew 4:9 And said to him, All these things will I give you, if you will fall down and worship me. John 4:21-23 (RKJNT)


The word true used by Jesus in John 4:24 means truthful (alethinos) from the root word alethes (true). Which of the following definitions apply to “true” as in ‘true worshippers’?

  1. agreeing with the facts: not false
  2. real or genuine
  3. having all the expected or necessary qualities of a specified type of person or thing


The word worship in John 4:23-24 is from proskuneo (pros-koo-neh’-o):

  • to fawn or crouch to; to fall face down (prostrate) in adoration; a physical act of lowering oneself in humble submission with an attitude of utmost adoration or respect1.
  • in the NT by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication2.
  • To understand why Jesus used the phrase ‘true worshippers’ {the word worshippers is only used once in the KJV} we must consider background details. Jesus gave one clue in verse 22 “You do not know what you worship:” keep in mind He was talking to a non-Jew (Samaritan). But is that the reason He used ‘true worshipper’? Consider the following scriptures before deciding.

OT Scriptures

But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7 (KJV)

The Lord says: “These people worship me [come near to me] with their mouths, and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship [awe; fear] is based on nothing but human rules [commandments that have been taught]. Isaiah 29:13 (EXB)
NOTE: [draw near, come near, and fear in KJV come from nagash (naw-gash’) {Mickelson} to worship]

“Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail. 9 Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, 10 and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’—only to go on doing all these abominations?

11 Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, declares the Lord. 12 Go now to my place that was in Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first, and see what I did to it because of the evil of my people Israel. Jeremiah 7:8-12 (ESV)

NT Scriptures

You hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, 8 This people honours me with their lips; but their hearts are far from me. 9 But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Matthew 15:7-9 (RKJNT)

And when they had come into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented to him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:11 (RKJNT)

And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. Matthew 28:9 (KJV)

As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in order to honor him. 26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Get up! Like you, I’m just a human.” Acts 10:25-26 (CEB)

But if everyone is proclaiming God’s message when some unbelievers or ordinary people come in, they will be convinced of their sin by what they hear. They will be judged by all they hear,

25 their secret thoughts will be brought into the open, and they will bow down and worship God, confessing, “Truly God is here among you!” 1 Corinthians 14:24-25 (GNT)

Next up: Spirit

This was just a portion of what we should know about true worship. Please continue with part two ‘spirit’. Pray for full understanding while you study God’s word, and allow the Holy Spirit to help you understand God’s word.

Question for True Worship part 1: Do you worship God?

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Worship in Spirit (Part2)

Picture of beautiful rocks at beach for the true worship bs
“Since we live by the Spirit, by the Spirit let us also be guided.
Galatians 5:25 (ISV)”

God is Spirit: and those who worship him must worship him in spirit [led by the Spirit to worship or with the help of the Holy Spirit] and in truth. John 4:24 (RKJNT)

Welcome to part two of this three-part series, the focus is ‘spirit’ (in spirit). What does ‘in spirit’ mean?

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)

In spirit

In – The word in used by Jesus in John 4:23-24 means give self wholly to. {1 Timothy 4:6–5:2; Titus 2:11-14}

Spirit – The word spirit in John 4:23-24 is from pneuma (pnyoo`-mah): there are many definitions for this word. I chose the one that represents the word used in context in John 4:1-26. (divinely) God, Christ’s spirit, the Holy Spirit1.

Rejoice in the Spirit

In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit [Jesus felt the joy that comes from the Holy Spirit], and said, I thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and prudent, and have revealed them to babes: yea, Father; for so it seemed good in your sight. Luke 10:21 (RKJNT)

the Spirit gives life

It is the Spirit that gives life. The body is of no value for that. But the things I have told you are from the Spirit, so they give life [never ending life (John 6:68 and Romans 8:2 )]. John 6:63 (ERV)

It explains spiritual truths

When we say this, we don’t use words taught to us by human wisdom. We use words taught to us by the Spirit. We use the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. 14 People who do not have God’s Spirit do not accept the things that come from his Spirit. They think these things are foolish. They cannot understand them, because they can only be understood with the Spirit’s help. 1 Corinthians 2:13-14 (ERV)

So, worship in a new way

But now we have died to what used to control us. We have been set free from the law. Now we serve in the new way of the Holy Spirit. We no longer serve in the old way of the written law. Romans 7:6 (NIRV)

Spirit of Truth

That is the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see him, neither does it know him: but you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. John 14:17-18 (RKJNT)

But when the Comforter comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he shall testify of me: John 15:26 (RKJNT)

However when he, the Spirit of truth, has come, he will guide you into all truth, for he will not speak from himself; but whatever he hears, he will speak. He will declare to you things that are coming. John 16:13 (WEB)

Next up: Worship in Truth

Please stay with us for part three. Continue to pray for full understanding while you study God’s word. Allow the Holy Spirit to help you understand God’s word.

Question for ‘true worship – part 2’: Do you worship God in Spirit?

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Worship In Truth (Part3)

Picture of road in the hills for the true worship bs John 14:6
“Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:
John 14:6a (RKJNT)”

Little children [i.e., dear ones], we should not [merely] claim to love [people], or [even just] talk about it, but [we should love] by what we do [for them] in a genuine way.

19 And this is how we will know that we are following [God’s] truth, and will have assurance [of it] in our hearts and before God [as well]. 1 John 3:18-19 (AUV)

Yeah, you made it to the last of this three-part series, the focus is ‘in truth’. Nelson says, ‘TRUTH is a moral and personal characteristic of God: He is “the God of truth”‘3

In truth

In truth – The phrase ‘in truth‘ in John 4:23-24 is from aletheia (al-ay’-thei-a): objectively, what is true in any matter under consideration. Truly, in truth, according to truth of a truth, in reality, in fact, certainly. Absolute truth is the knowledge of God, the ground of all relative truth and being.4

What is Truth?

The gospel or word of God is truth. The Psalmist (119:160) says “Your word is truth from the very beginning”.

In him you also, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: having also believed, you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 Who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession, to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:13-14 (RKJNT)

If indeed you have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 Then put off the old man, which belongs to your former life, which is corrupt through deceitful lusts;

23 And be renewed in the spirit of your minds; 24 And put on the new man, who, in the likeness of God, is created in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:21 (RKJNT)

Live by truth

Everyone who does evil things hates the light. They will not come into the light. They are afraid that what they do will be seen.

21 But anyone who lives by the truth comes into the light. He does this so that it will be easy to see that what he has done is with God’s help.” John 3:20-21 (NIRV)

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32 (KJV)

We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. 1 John 4:6 (KJV)

Finally, brothers and sisters, fill your minds with beauty and truth. Meditate on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy. Philippians 4:8 (VOICE)

Question for ‘true worship – part 3’: Do you worship God in truth?

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True Worship Conclusion

For I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 And all ate the same spiritual food; 4 And all drank the same spiritual drink: for they drank from that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

6 Now these things are examples for us, so we should not lust after evil things, as they lusted. 7 Nor be idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 8 Let us not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day.

9 Nor let us tempt the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by serpents. 10 Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened to them as examples: and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the end of the ages has come. 1 Corinthians 10:1-11 (RKJNT)

It’s a wrap

Is the true worship of God merely attending church services regularly? Doing good, paying tithes, and giving offerings? Are any of those mentioned in the study? At some point, we will address each of the preceding questions. Would you like to know what role attending church services, doing good, paying tithes, and giving offerings play in worship?

Let me know your thoughts and please do not give me your opinion, support what you share with Scripture. Please do what you can to learn more about the God we worship and what He requires. Have a fantastic day and take time for the true worship of God, in Spirit and truth—blessings— Tim. ☺

True Worship Outline

Note: parenthesis (#) encloses the key verses.

  • Summary

    • Romans 12:1-2; 6:1-14 (12-14); Matthew 15:1-20 (8-9); John 17:6-19 (16-17).
    • Read Acts 7:44-50 (48); Colossians 3:1-11 (11); Ephesians 4:1-6 (6).
  • Intro

  • Part One

    • John 4:1-26 (21-23) {1 Samuel 16:1-13; Psalms 51:14-17; Isaiah 29:9-16; Jeremiah 7:1-27}; Matthew 2:1-12 and 15:1-20 (7-9); Acts 10:24-33 (25-26); 1 Corinthians 14:20-25. Luke 10:21-24 (21) and Matthew 11:25-27′
  • Part Two

    • John 4:1-26 (24); 6:60-70 (63); 7:37-39; 14:15-18 {15:26-27; 16:5-15; 1 John 4:1-6}; Acts 11:1-18 (12); Romans 7:1-6; 1 Corinthians 2:6-16; Philippians 3:1-11 (3).
  • Part Three

    • 1 John 3:16-23 (18-19); Ephesians 1:1-14 (13-14) and 4:17-24 (21); Psalms 119:153-160 (160); 1 John 2:24-27; John 3:1-21 (20-21); 14:1-6; 17:6-19 (17).
  • Conclusion: 1 Corinthians 10:1-11.

See what is available on the Sound Truth Ministry website.


Related Bible studies/lessons/snacks for your Spiritual growth:

Copyright information:

(AMP) Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible, Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. ( || Common English Bible (CEB) Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible Scripture quoted by permission. || (ERV) Taken from the HOLY BIBLE: EASY-TO-READ VERSION © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center, Inc. and used by permission. || (ESV) Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. || (EXB) The Expanded Bible Scripture taken from The Expanded Bible. Copyright ©2011 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


 || (GNT) and (TEV) Scripture quotations marked (GNT) are from the Good News Translation in Today’s English Version- Second Edition Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by Permission. || (NIRV) Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Reader’s Version®, NIrV® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. The “NIrV” and “New International Reader’s Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™


2 thoughts on “True Worship Is Not Tradition, But What Pleases God!

  1. True Worship
    True #worship is more than going to a building (#church). It is living #holy and pleasing #God. So be a living sacrifice; live holy!

    Scripture for the day:
    Romans 12:1-2 Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship.

    2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
    [Christian Standard Bible (CSB)]

    Please share this with your family and friends!

  2. May 13, 2017
    Is #true #worship of #God merely attending #church services regularly? Doing #good, paying #tithes, and giving #offerings? What does God say about true worship?

    Don’t miss the next Sound Truth Bible lesson, “Truth”. Coming May 15, 2017, I look forward to your support. Happy Saturday everyone!

    Scripture for the day:

    John 14:6-7 Jesus said to him, “I am the [only] Way [to God] and the [real] Truth and the [real] Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

    7 If you had [really] known Me, you would also have known My Father. From now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”
    [Amplified Bible (AMP)]

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