John 4:1-26: Six Principles of Worship

John 4:1-26: Six Principles of Worship

We discovered last week when we talked about the priority of worship, that worship is such an important issue that it led to national Israel’s downfall for failure to get it right.

  1. God is seeking worshipers.

John 4:4, 7-9, 23 (ESV) 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.

  • Jesus “had” to pass through Samaria.
  • Jesus broke cultural rules to seek and save a worshiper because he is seeking worshipers.
  • The advance of the kingdom of God is creation redeemed and worshipers sought out.
  1. Only true worship is acceptable to God.

John 4:23-24 (ESV) 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.”

  • If there is “true” worship then there is false worship.
  • True worship is defined as “spirit and truth”.
  • False worship will deny “spirit and truth”.
  1. True worship is not bound by time or place.

John 4:20-21 (ESV) Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 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.

  • We simply can’t reduce worship to a song or a special place where we had a great experience.
  • Worship, as a living sacrifice, defies such trivialities.
  • 4:28-30, 39 – The woman left behind her stained reputation, and the threat of public “who knows what”, to go public with Jesus. That was socially risky for her. That was “living sacrifice” put on display. That is TRUE WORSHIP THAT IS NOT BOUND BY TIME AND LOCATION.
  1. We are living in the “hour” of true worship.

John 4:23 (ESV) 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.

John 4:25-26 (ESV) 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.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”

  • We don’t have to wait, we live in the day the prophets longed for.
  • True worship is something that was expected and brought about by the coming of the kingdom of God, and it has now come…Therefore, it’s important.
  1. The Holy Spirit is the power source of true worship.

John 4:23 (ESV) 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.

Philippians 3:3 (ESV) For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh—

  1. The New Testament standard of acceptable worship is “spirit and truth”.

John 4:23-24 (ESV) 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.”

What is “worship in spirit”?

Worship in spirit is worship that is never merely physical

  • Worship has to transcend the outward experience.
  • All true outward experiences of worship must be the result of the Spirit working in the soul of the Christian to move them to desire to be a living sacrifice from their very being. 

Worship in spirit is worship in, by and with the help of the Holy Spirit

  • The bible never tells us “how” to do this. It does tell us it is a reality.
  • Dallas Willard calls this the “with God life”.
  • It is the immaterial, Bible saturated, Jesus centric, prompting to be like Jesus, want God, want to do his things, and a desire to be a living sacrifice out of sheer delight, joy and immense motivation.
  • It looks like the immaterial promptings to do a host of biblical things that bring peace, “shalom”, right, order, good, health, joy, knowledge of truth to others and ourselves for the sake of Jesus and his kingdom.
  • Holy Spirit is the mechanism for this kind of life ^^^^^^.
  • Submission to Holy Spirit can affect the atmosphere in a room or around where you are sitting.

Worship in spirit is the spiritual action of the mind

Deuteronomy 6:5 (ESV) You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.=

Jesus quotes this verse and brings some interpretive value to it: Matthew 22:36-37 (ESV) Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

Worship in spirit is the spiritual action of the heart

Deuteronomy 6:5 (ESV) You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

Worship in spirit is the spiritual action of the will / volition

Romans 12:1-2 (ESV) I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

“The path of really living is the path of really dying.” – Leafblad

  • When the Lord raises a dead heart and sets a person free from sin, the Christian has spiritual sight to choose the good over the bad, and even better, choose the best over the better.
  • We worship in spirit when we make those good and best decisions for God’s glory and our eternal joy in Christ.

What is “worship in truth”?

Worship in truth is worship in the truth about God.

  • Know God. Engage in doctrinal study.

Worship in truth is worship in the truth about us.

  • Informed by Scripture, know who you are, what you were made for and engage in that with all your might.

Worship in truth is worship that is in the truth about what worship is.

  • Live to please God as a living sacrifice.
  • Proverbs 29:25 (ESV) The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.

 

 

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