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Tuesday: In Spirit and in Truth — 7 Comments

  1. The Samaritans and the Jews despised one another. Both claimed to have the original pure Torah and the other side had a corrupt version. The Samaritans claimed that their Mount Gerizim was to be the place of the temple while the Jews claimed the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The Samaritans claimed to be the descendants of the northern tribes of Israel and had kept the pure faith, whereas the Jews had been corrupted by the Babylonian captivity. The Jews considered the Samaritans as fools

    It was against this background that Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well. And had the discussion about the place of worship. As always, Jesus looked beyond the liturgy and location to let the woman know that those issues were not really important.

    Jesus replied, “The time is coming, ma’am, when we will no longer be concerned about whether to worship the Father here or in Jerusalem. For it’s not where we worship that counts, but how we worship—is our worship spiritual and real? Do we have the Holy Spirit’s help? For God is Spirit, and we must have his help to worship as we should. The Father wants this kind of worship from us. But you Samaritans know so little about him, worshiping blindly, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes to the world through the Jews.” John 4:21-24 TLB

    Jesus then pointed to himself as the Messiah, and in so doing revealed the Father who is beyond liturgy and location. That is what it means to worship him in Spirit and Truth.

    Big Picture Stuff: How often do we get ourselves bogged down about the nature of the Godhead and our pictures of salvation in our arguments with one another? We think that our argument and interpretation of Scripture is bigger and better than those of the others. In all of this, have we become like the Samaritans and the Jews, arguing over the place of worship and who has the best Torah? Do we need to be pointed to the Messiah who reveals a God that is to be worshiped in “Spirit and Truth”?

    They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.” John 4:42 NIV

  2. So far I have discovered that worship includes (1) acknowledging the LORD's power and authority over me, (2) praising Him as the Creator and for His goodness to His people and the third element is to come into His presence and offer incense - our prayers.
    The LORD instructed Moses Let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them however as Jesus said to the woman at the well things are different now, His presence is no longer in a place but in our heart which is the temple, the dwelling place, of God through the Holy Spirit. 1Cor 3:16, 2Cor 6:16, 1Cor 6:19, Eph 2:18-22, John 14:17, 2Tim 1:14
    It is the Holy Spirit who helps us communicate with the LORD in prayer. Rom 8:26-27
    So the third element of worship is to come into His presence through prayer.

    1 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth.
    2 Serve the LORD with gladness;
    come into His presence with joyful songs.
    3 Know that the LORD is God.
    It is He who made us, and we are His;
    we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.
    4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving
    and His courts with praise;
    give thanks to Him and bless His name.
    5 For the LORD is good,
    and His loving devotion endures forever;
    His faithfulness continues to all generations.
    Ps 100:1-5

  3. It can be more efficient to teach something when we experience it first! We can worship in spirit and truth prior to teach others. If our daily lives become a constant worship service, perhaps this way we may involve those around us also to worship in spirit and truth.

  4. What does Jesus mean when saying we must worship God in "spirit and truth"? Perhaps we need to understand the reason He states when saying "God (is) a Spirit". If we read the original it would say: "Spirit the God"(Pneuma ho Theos). What do we derive from this statement? Is God spirit, or breath, or wind? Given the context, I see "breath" as the logical meaning due to how God created man in the beginning. God is the Source of breath, or "God is breath", or "breath(life), the God", as the Source of it.

    This would make a lot of sense to the woman and us wouldn't it? Jesus is saying that our very life, all life, is from God, and He is worthy of our worship, which resonates with Revelation 4:11 doesn't it?

    So we must worship with our very life according to His Truth. Many worship traditions, or their own ideas, reason, science(so called), etc. But only in Truth can we worship God who gives us life as our Creator. This thought takes worship to an all-encompassing priority in all that we do. Worship is life, and according to scripture, a holy life(Ps 29:2).

    As for truth, I cannot worship God if I don't keep the 7th day because I prefer the 1st or 3rd day. I need the Truth to "walk in", or I will stumble in my effort to obey/worship. The Psalmist states "your Law is the truth"(Ps 119:142), which the "undefiled...walk in"(Ps 119:1). There is no other safe or right path than God's Law/will(Ps 40:8; 119:11,105).

    So God who is the source of my life is worthy of my obedient/holy life, which is true worship.

    Don't you just love how this Samaritan woman responds?! Doesn't this answer the question of Truth being relevant to those outside(John 10:16)?

  5. I think, if one strips all sentimentality from the core mission of Christ Jesus and breaks it down to its basic facts, His mission is a very practical, simple, straight forward instruction for mankind – believe, apply, or die. We might have placed an aura of sentimental awe around the person of Christ Jesus which potentially can take our eyes of the ‘down-to-earth’ application of His practical message.
    I think worship is also one of those areas in mankind’s life which is embellished and becomes decorated like a Christmas tree with ornaments of man’s choosing; man’s mind will think of all types of trimmings for his ‘tree of worship’.
    For the believer, Christ Jesus breaks down for us worship into its essence – spirit and truth. We can add all kinds of ‘feel-good’ things to this, but can never take away this basic foundation were true worship takes place. In my opinion, the word ‘worship’ depicts the life of a follower of Christ Jesus walking by Faith the Way of Truth in the Spirit of Love.

    God’s restorative influence is directed to the heart and mind to point them to Him and with that change them from focus on self to focus on other.
    If Love is the core attribute and context in which God manifests Himself, if man lost ‘contact’ with this essence which identifies him with his Creator, what would be restored first in order to give mankind back that which is needed most? – The capacity/ability to love their Creator and therewith the ability to love their fellow man!

    We need to be careful to not allow worship to become *works*. Spirit and Truth is that which God restores insight man to be able to have communion with Him; this is the believer’s new life, they live in and by His Spirit and Truth and so have Life.
    By Faith we worship Him as we abide in His Spirit and Truth and so live in the Kingdom of God.
    In my understanding, the essence of true worship is in the believer’s state of being - a new disposition, an inert intent of the heart and mind which will express itself in our humble gratefulness toward our Heavenly Father and our Savior Christ Jesus, and loving kindness toward our fellow man.

  6. 'True worship of the Lord must be “in spirit,” that is, it must stem from love of God, from the experience of knowing Him personally.'
    When children are shown and taught how to worship I am not too sure if they understand the deep meaning of what worship entails. As adults true worship takes on a different meaning. Throughout the bible we read about true and false worship. When Jesus met the woman at the well she was the one who raised the topic about worship. Where is the right place to worship? Here or there. In response to her question, Jesus answered- those who worship must worship in spirit and in truth. Worship is about our heart and not about the place. Jesus can meet anyone anywhere.
    He met the Samaritan's at their level and those who believed in him were saved while the Jews who disbelieved in him were lost.

  7. The KJV says, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” Yet, what does this actually mean? God urged His children to “be still, and know that I am God.” The psalmist added,”He leads me beside quiet waters,” and Isaiah said, “In quietness and trust is your strength.” In order to worship and perceive the biblical thoughts God may send us, the mind must be quiet enough to hear (as an example) at theta level. God so often tells His children not to fear because fear will drive the mind toward gamma state where it is nearly impossible to understand His communication with us.

    When we consistently discipline ourselves in long-term biblical meditation on His word and quieting or minds to the Holy Spirit in focusing our thoughts on His thoughts of love and truth-can result in a stronger connection to God, an increased ability to discern His voice, an to be able to discern and reject satan’s thoughts.

    So, worshiping our Father in Heaven is to know and understand the biblical truth He has given us and to recognize His still small voice as if it’s a gentle thought in the morning when your first are waking up. Having that kind of worship brings peace into your life and your relationship with God our Father and His spiritual realm will always be open to you.


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