- JRM Sydney
CREATED for WORSHIP (Part 2)
Updated: Jun 23, 2021
IN SPIRIT and in TRUTH
The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 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. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”
John 4:19-26 (ESV)
We are continuing with our month series: CREATED for WORSHIP and the central goal of this series is for us to understand waht Biblical Worship is and how it looks like. We believe as a Church that to beleive right is to live right and to be a Christian means to live a Biblical life. As we grow deeper in our faith and walk with Jesus, our lives are being transformed by the WORD of GOD and not by the opinions or trends of this world. In our key passage this week, we are diving in what it means to worship God in spirit and in truth. Many Christian are familiar with the encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman in John 4. But not everyone can explain what Jesus meant when he said the Father is seeking men and women who will worship him “in spirit and truth” (v. 23).
The “truth” part is plain enough — with the coming of Jesus, that truth centers on his person and work, the one who is himself “the Truth” (John 14:6) and the message about his saving accomplishments for us, which is “the word of the truth, the gospel” (Colossians 1:5). It is this “word of truth” (James 1:18) by which we’re given new birth, this “word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) that Christian workers endeavor to handle aright, and this truth that anchors and saturates worship that is truly Christian.
But what about “spirit”? Is this our spirit or God’s Spirit? Jesus’s memorable statement in John 3:6 helps: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” It’s not either-or, but both-and. For those who are new creatures in Christ, our spirit owes its existence and vibrancy to the Spirit of God. As John Piper writes, “True worship comes only from spirits made alive and sensitive by the quickening of the Spirit of God”. God’s Spirit ignites and energizes our spirit.
It’s the Holy Spirit who awakens in us an understanding of God’s beauty and splendor and power. It’s the Holy Spirit who stirs us to celebrate and rejoice and give thanks. It’s the Holy Spirit who opens our eyes to see and savor all that God is for us in Jesus. It’s the Holy Spirit who, I hope and pray, orchestrates our services and leads us in corporate praise of God.
To worship God in S/spirit and in truth is inseparable. It obviously means that our worship in spirit (from our innermost being) must conform to the revelation of God in Scripture. It must be informed by who God is and what he is like. It must be rooted in and tethered to the realities of biblical revelation. Worship is not meant to just be formed by what feels good, but by the light of what’s true.
Genuine, Christ-exalting worship must never be mindless or based in ignorance. It must be doctrinally grounded and focused on the truth of all we know of our great Triune God and our spirit should resonate with that Truth as we shout and sing our Amens and Hallelujahs! To worship inconsistently with what is revealed to us in Scripture ultimately degenerates into idolatry. The Scriptures has a lot to model to us with what worshipping in spirit and in truth looks like. Extravagant worship such as David's offerings (e.g. 2 Samuel 24:24; 1 Chronicles 29); the woman with the alabaster jar (Matthew 26:7,Mark 14:3,Luke 7:37); and my personal favourite is Jesus' standing ovation upon the boldness and sacrifice of Stephen in Acts 7:54-60. Not to mention the many lists of great faith in Hebrews 11. As the Scripture says it: The Father is looking for such worshippers on the earth. To worship God in Spirit and in Truth is what pleases Him and we know that we can only please Him with faith.
"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek Him." - Hebrews 11:6
Men and women of faith - the real worshippers in the Bible are those who did not just have the appearance of godliness or religiosity but those that have obeyed God and believed Him and lived out their lives in full surrender and trust in Him.
WHAY YOU GIVE GOD REFLECTS WHAT HE IS WORTH TO YOU. WHAT GOD GAVE YOU REFLECTS WHAT YOU ARE WORTH TO GOD.
At the end of the day we cannot really give God anything for everythign came from Him. He is not impressed with our abilities, intelligence or talents for He is the One who gave them all. But what gets His attention is FAITH... When we return our lives to its rightful owner... When we come back Home to the arms of the Father... Our hearts wholly and fully inclined to Him and calls on Him according to what is true about Him - that pleases Him like no other.
QUESTIONS for DISCUSSION:
1. If your personal testimony is summed up or described in a worship song, what would it be? Why?
2. Why do we sing songs at church and why and how is it a vital expression of our worship? 3. How would you define worship?
4. What did Jesus mean about "worshipping the Father in Spirit and in truth"? (John 4)
5. Do you recall a time when you were powerfully and significantly impacted and changed by God thru worship?
6. What do you think is the relationship of the Word of God and Worship?
7. How important is personal devotion to a growing worship life unto the Lord?
8. What is your favourite Bible story or example of worship in the Scriptures that inspires you in your own commitment and desire to worship the Lord?
9. Why do you love Jesus?