Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | October 12, 2010

“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Today’s devotion is John 4:15-26 which covers the second part of the encounter between Jesus and the woman of Samaria. 
 
“15  The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw.” 
                                      
 16  He said to her, “Go, call your husband and come here.”
                                      

 17  The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.”  Jesus said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband';

 18  for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband;  this you have said truly.”

 19  The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.

 20  “Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.”

 21  Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in 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 an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth;  for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.

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

 25  The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.”

 26  Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”  John 4:15-26.

How do we worship God in spirit?

We must have God’s Spirit, in order to worship God in spirit.

For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.  For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God;  for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.  But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.  If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.  But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh–for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die;  but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.  For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”  The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”  Romans 8:6-17.  (Emphasis added.)

  

How do we worship God in truth?

Here are two elements provided in today’s Scripture.

We must worship God in the truth of who we are, in order to worship God in truth.  We admit our sinful condition.  The woman of Samaria admitted her sinful condition when confronted by Jesus of her sinful condition.  Jesus said:  “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband';  for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.”  The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.

We must worship God in the truth of Who He is, in order to worship God in truth.  The woman of Samaria said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ);  when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.”  Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” 

Here is an additional element provided elsewhere in Scripture.

We must worship God in the truth of how we are saved, in order to worship God in truth.  Having zeal or trying hard is not sufficient.  “Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.  For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.  For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.”  Romans 10:1-3. 

In conclusion, Philippians 3:1-11 ties it together.  Notice how Paul writes about those “who worship in the Spirit of God”, meaning that we must have God’s Spirit in order to worship God in spirit.  Notice how Paul explains in detail the truth of who he is, the truth of Who God is, and the truth of how we are saved. 

“Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you.

Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision;  for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh,

although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh.  If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more:  circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee;  as to zeal, a persecutor of the church;  as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless.

But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.  More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;  in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”  Philippians 3:1-11.  (Emphasis added.)

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