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Worship in Spirit and in Truth

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Worship in spirit and in truth. God is seeking worshipers.

Notes
Transcript

Main theme: God is calling us to be worshipers who worship in spirit and in truth.
Introduction:
Testimony of worship and its impact on my life! What about you?
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21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 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. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

1 Talbert, C. H. (2005). Reading John: a literary and theological commentary on the Fourth Gospel and the Johannine Epistles (Rev. ed., p. 121). Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys Publishing.
Background:
Jesus just began His public ministry and this was one of His very first appointments. He just talked with Nicodemus and He leaves to go to Galilee. He arrives at a well because He was thirsty. He meets a Samaritan woman who he talks with. As a rabbi and a Jew, it was socially unacceptable for Him to talk with this woman. Men did not just go up to talk to women one, and two, Jewish people did not associate with Samaritans at all.
Here’s a quick history lesson! Samaritans were originally Assyrian people. They conquered people in the land of Samaria and to keep peace they mixed all the races together. This way no one people group would want to conquer the other. The Samaritans became mixed bloods even with some Jewish people and so to the Jews, they were considered impure.
God, as punishment for this people, He sent lions to attack them so the king of Assyria even tried to get a priest to teach them about the correct God of the Jews. Of course, being mixed bloods and having different worldviews, they followed for a while and then began to make idols and strayed from worshiping the one true God of Israel. Jewish people and Samaritan people did not like each other. They were practically enemies!
Before getting into the main passage, Jesus talks to this Samaritan woman despite all the social rules. His plan was to talk to her and reveal Himself to her as the Messiah. If you remember, this woman is surprised that a Jew is even talking to her and tells her of living water where she will never thirst. He even confront her sin that she had 5 husbands and that she was currently living with her boyfriend. But before Jesus could confront her sin even more, she quickly talks about the main issue between Jews and Samaritans.
See, Samaritans believed that they should worship on this mountain called Mt. Gerizim because they believed that it was blessed. They believed it was also where Abraham and Jacob built altars to God. However, the Jews believed it should be in Jerusalem where the temple was located. They both believed worship had to be in those places respectively.

21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.

1. Jesus’ resurrection meant that worship could happen anywhere.
Jesus starts by grabbing her attention, woman! Believe me! He had just wowed her with his knowledge about her past and she even admitted that he seems to be a prophet of some kind. He was about to say something profound!
Jesus used the phrase “the hour is coming” often in his gospel to describe Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. He was saying that He was going to change everything!
See, Samaritans believed that they should worship on this mountain called Mt. Gerizim because they believed that it was blessed. They believed it was also where Abraham and Jacob built altars to God. However, the Jews believed it should be in Jerusalem where the temple was located. They both believed worship had to be in those places respectively.
Here Jesus was confronting the problem of her belief that location even mattered. He was telling her that it doesn’t matter that it’s on Mt. Gerizim of in Jerusalem! It doesn’t matter for us as Christians that worship can only happen because we are in church, or that even when 2 or 3 are gathered! It doesn’t have to be in a FCA meeting but it can happen anywhere there is a Christian. They can worship God anywhere, in the car, at home, in your room, you can worship Him anytime, anywhere because of His Holy Spirit that is in all of us!
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22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 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.

2. True worship starts with knowing God.
Jesus begins to confront her and say you don’t know what you’re worshiping and even sounds a bit harsh if you think about it! We, as in I and my Jewish brothas and sistas know who we’re worshiping at least! But He was just making a statement. You think you know who you are worshiping but you are not worshiping the right God and I think you know that.
God, as punishment for this people, He sent lions to attack them so the king of Assyria even tried to get a priest to teach them about the correct God of the Jews. Of course, being mixed bloods and having different worldviews, they followed for a while and then began to make idols and strayed from worshiping the one true God of Israel. Jewish people and Samaritan people did not like each other. They were practically enemies!
We know who we are worshiping and that is the one true God. After all, salvation is from the Jews. Salvation was offered to God’s chosen people first: Israel. Some people believed in Jesus but some people have rejected him but at least all Jews have the right idea in who they are worshiping, rather than a made-up god or idol of the land. The Jews and Samaritans both accepted the Torah or the first 5 books of the Bible but while the Jews believed in the prophets and Psalms as God’s spoken word, Samaritans rejected them. That made a huge difference in what they believed.
But! This word changes it all! He knows the history between the two people groups but he changes it all but saying that the hour is coming and is now here! How is it now here? It is here now because Jesus was going to change all of that division about where to worship, it was going to be through Jesus that we would be able to worship anywhere!
3. God is seeking true worshipers who will worship the Father in spirit and in truth.
What does it mean to worship in spirit?
To worship in spirit means to engage God in worship with your whole spirit, or your whole being, with everything that you got! Acknowledging God and His sovereignty over your life. A easy way to think about it is that
God is seeking true worshipers who will worship Him with their whole hearts.
When you worship God in your life, do you worship Him with your whole heart or just a part of your heart? When you come in on a Wednesday night or a Sunday morning, do you worship God and sing to Him with your whole heart engaged or distracted by other things?
Then, He continues to say that we should worship in truth. What does that mean?
Can you love someone you don’t know? Can you thank them if you don’t know what they did for you? Can you? What we believe about God is important. We don’t want to worship a false god made in our own image like the Samaritans did but the one true God based on the Scriptures. This is why we stress reading the Bible so much because what the world says about God is not true! We have to read the Bible for ourselves so that the worship we are offering to God is based on truth!
God is seeking true worshipers who will worship Him their minds.
There’s a balance between heart and mind. When we worship God, we can’t just be about our emotions when we worship Him because music has a powerful effect on us. It can sway us to feel things that are not from God, make us feel happy, sad, etc. When we worship God, we can’t just be about our mind either. We don’t want to just worship God and say all true things about Him with our hearts completely disengaged either! Neither is pleasing to God! He is seeking true, sincere, worshipers who will worship Him in spirit and in truth, with their hearts and minds engaged! He is seeking them because even know we live in a world where true worshipers are hard to find. Even today, I believe God is seeking such worshipers and that He smiles down from heaven for the ones who will give of themselves in worship.

24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

4. We must worship Him in spirit and in truth.
God is spirit meaning that he is omnipresent. He is not a physical body. He is a spirit that is everywhere. If He is spirit, then we must engage Him in that same way in worship where it is not bound by a place or style or time, but that we now have the freedom to worship Him anywhere as long as it is in spirit and in truth. With our hearts fully engaged based on an understanding of who the God of the Scriptures are. This is not an option! We MUST worship Him according to the way that He commands us to. God in Scripture has had plenty of examples of people who did not worship God the right way and were even killed for it.
Before we head into worship, I wanted to ask this question first: Are you born again?
In it says, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Nicodemus did not understand what it meant to be born again and Jesus told him what it meant. It meant that the only way to be a true Christ follower is if you are born again. Not a physical birth but a spiritual birth that can only happen through the power of the Holy Spirit. When we believe in the good news, or the gospel, that Jesus died for my sins and therefore I will trust Him as my lord and savior of my life, the Holy Spirit changes our lives forever and we are born again. The old life is gone and we live a new life of following Jesus.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Here’s the thing: true worship that we are talking about has to come first from a true Christian. To worship in spirit or with our whole being or heart can only really happen when our hearts are completely changed by God first. So I ask you tonight: “Are you a born again Christian?” Because if you are not born again, you cannot truly worship God. It is not acceptable to the Lord.
But now I talk to the believers who are born again.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
I wanted tonight to be a time where we could worship Him in spirit and in truth.
Talk about freedom in worship.
Clapping/Standing/Dancing
Imagine that we are at a wedding and I am the groom and the bride walks down the aisle…
Imagine that we are at a wedding and I am the groom and the bride walks down the aisle…
Standing: We stand to honor God.
Think about the last wedding you went to. You stood up to honor that person. If we honor people by standing how much more should we stand and honor God?
“And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise up and worship, each at his tent door.”
Clapping: We clap to celebrate His goodness.
“Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy! For the Lord, the Most High, is to be feared, a great king over all the earth. He subdued peoples under us, and nations under our feet. He chose our heritage for us, the pride of Jacob whom he loves.”
, “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises! Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together.”
It is a sign of celebration like tribal people in Africa or Native Americans, etc.
It can also be appreciation as in clapping or applauding after a concert?
Dancing: Another form of expression in celebration, excitement, and happiness is dancing. We dance because we can’t contain our excitement!
“As the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, and she despised him in her heart.”
Singing/Raising Hands
Singing: Why do we sing? We sing because He commands it.
God commands it. He deserves the praise.
It brings us together.
It reminds us of the truth about God.
It reminds us of the truth about God.
It engages our heart and mind with God.
It engages our heart and mind with God.
*It is a way to attack the enemy.
*It is a way to attack the enemy.
“And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed…they all helped to destroy one another.”
Raising hands: Why do we lift our hands? We lift our hands as a sign of adoration and surrender.
“Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord, who stand by night in the house of the Lord! Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the Lord!
It is to express adoration in worship. Football game.
It is a sign of offering ourselves to God.
It is a sign of offering ourselves to God.
Surrender in war. Paintball.
Bowing
Worship throughout the NT actually means often, bowing down.
Worship from adoration leads to surrender (bowing down). To bow down means to submit yourself completely to a lord.
“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
The majority of the word “worship” in the New Testament means to bow down.
Description of bowing back in the day. Neck exposed. Vulnerable and had to have you head down.
The majority of the word “worship” in the New Testament means to bow down.
Last Transition: I Surrender All – Bowing down in worship
It is the most vulnerable body posture you can have in worship.
Worship ultimately means obedience.
- And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.
Last Transition: I Surrender All – Bowing down in worship
Silence
Selah means pause or musical interlude.
Worship ultimately means obedience.
- And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.
Worship begins with adoration and ends with surrender.
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