Friday, November 4, 2011

Worship God in Spirit and Truth



Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father.  You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.  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 4:21-24)

By mentioning the two different worship sites (John 4:20), the woman at the well was perhaps trying to shift the conversation away from the subject of her own sins to theological questions. Or perhaps she realized that she was a sinner (John 4:18), and knew that she was required to offer a sacrifice.

The woman probably assumed that because Jesus was a Jew, He would insist that the sacrifice be offered in the temple at Jerusalem. The Jews insisted that the exclusive place of worship was Jerusalem. But the Samaritans had set up a rival worship site on Mount Gerizim, which according to their tradition was where Abraham went to sacrifice Isaac, and where later on he met Melchizedek.  When the blessings and curses were read to the wilderness generation of Israel, the blessings were read from Mount Gerizim (Deut. 11:29; 27:12).  Deuteronomy 27:4 instructed that an altar be erected on Mount Ebal, opposite Mount Gerizim. But the Samaritan scripture changed the verse to read “Mount Gerizim.” The Samaritans altered history and tampered with the text of Scripture to glorify Mount Gerizim.

When Jesus said, "salvation is of the Jews," He meant that only through the Jewish Messiah would the whole world find salvation.  God had promised that through the Jewish race the whole earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:3).  The Old Testament prophets had called the Jews to be a light to the other nations of the world, bringing them to knowledge of God; and they had predicted the Messiah's coming.  The woman at the well may have known of these passages and was expecting the Messiah, but she didn't realize that she was talking to Him!

When Jesus said, "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." what did He mean?  God is not limited by time and space. When people are born of the Spirit, they can commune with God anywhere. Spirit is the opposite of what is material and earthly, for example, Mount Gerizim. Christ makes worship a matter of the heart. Truth is what is in harmony with the nature and will of God. It is the opposite of all that is false. Here the truth is specifically the worship of God through Jesus Christ.

God is not a physical being limited to one place.  He is present everywhere and He can be worshiped anywhere, at any time.  It is not where we worship that counts, but how we worship.  Is your worship genuine and true?  Do you have the Holy Spirit's help?  How does the Holy Spirit help us worship?  The Holy Spirit prays for us (Romans 8:26), teaches us the words of Christ (John 14:26), and tells us we are loved (Romans 5:5).

Father God, it is my prayer today that I humble myself before you and ask forgiveness for not worshiping You in the way that You desire.  Lord search my heart and soul to convict me of any sin that I may have in my life that would be a stumbling block as I go out and witness in your name.  I pray this all in Jesus' name.  Amen.

References:  NKJV Holy Bible, Life Application Bible (NIV), and the Nelson Study Bible. Worship God in Spirit and Truth

10 comments:

Clint said...

Amen. Thank you---and God bless.

dfish said...

So many are wrapped up in going through the motions of being a Christian, like the Pharisees, taking pride in their religiosity. God wants a real attitude of worship, not just religious behavior.

Great post.

Karen Kyle Ericson said...

Hmmmm... I'm feeling a revival coming on : ) Awesome stuff! I was reflecting on some of this too. The early Church didn't have all our embellishments, they worshiped from their hearts in simplicity. Homes made of clay, wooden tables, chairs. I still don't know what Jesus thinks of all our Christian finery, gold crosses, elaborate buildings, fancy robes. Probably because He's the judge and I'm not. But you nailed it- He looks at our hearts.

Brenda Rees said...

Amen to your prayer. God bless

Rhonda said...

The LORD had to teach me the truth of True Worship..it was painful and totally set me free to experience the Father, Son and Holy Ghost in so many ways when worship stop being about me ....

Shoshi said...

A timely prayer for me to pray, too, Lloyd! So I say Amen too. Thank you for an excellent post, and thank you for your lovely comment (as always!) on my blog. I so appreciate your prayers! May the Lord bless you richly today, Shoshi (P.S. Ah... dumping grounds! I expect we all have them! I tidied up that mess, but have started making another one!!!)

Michelle My Bell said...

Wonderful post- THANK YOU, I so needed this today. Amen
Much Peace & Blessings

DeanO said...

God bless brother!

Arooj said...

truth is such a great power that arouses a new spirit.that leads one towards our Creator.

Geoff Maritz said...

Hey Lloyd, this is the third time I've read this post. Still thinking about it. Jesus tells the woman that they don't know what they worship but the Jews do, not who but what. Hmm.
Jesus turns God the creator (a what?) into the Father (A Who?)He says God is spirit, what is spirit? I for my own part understand but am at a loss as to how to put it into words, there is much food for thought in this scripture and I have pondered it for many years now and yet still don't know. Well one thing is for sure, people worship God everywhere now, not only in the temple in Jerusalem.
As to your prayer, me too. Thanks my friend, I'll probably come back and re-read this post a few times. Bless you, Geoff.