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enjoyed the site.
John 4:22-24 "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."
It is important to read this in the context (like everything).
Jesus said this to the Samaritan woman. They had their own location
(Mount Gerazim) and laws concerning worship which differed from those
given to the Jews (whose worship was through the temple in Jerusalem).
The Samaritan's had a form of worship but it wasn't based on truth
('You worship what you do not know'). The Jews had the truth of
how/where to worship (for that time) but had turned in into rituals
and a religious exercise that were devoid of the heart and the leading
of His Spirit.
So Jesus said that the time had come when true
worshipers will worship in spirit and in truth. So what does that
Well, in the context in means that worship would no longer be in a set
place, a set time, with set rituals. The Jews and Samaritans had a
'place' to worship - We are called to enter into God's presence
wherever we are and this is a spiritual reality. True worship is 'in
spirit' which means spirit led and from the heart... not from some
religious compulsion or law (like for example the worship of Islam)
but wherever we are when moved in heart to give honor and glory to the
King of Kings. It would also be based in truth. That is, it is based
on God's word and Him who is truth - Jesus Christ. Worship in truth
also involves being free from hypocrisy. So we don't worship to be
seen by others like the Pharisees did (or from other impure motives).
So it is from a true heart and through the leading of God's
Spirit, normally when some aspect of God and truth is revealed to our
hearts (whether it is seeing ourselves and own need once again, or
seeing what Jesus has done for us once again, or seeing the majesty of
God once again)... The Spirit of God works in our heart to
spontaneously give something back to the One who is due all honour and
glory and majesty - Our Saviour Jesus Christ.
that I've just looked at what Ray Stedman said on this passage as I
normally like what he has to say. I'll include that below as it should
probably give extra insight.
Hope this helps!
Pastor Ray Stedman on John 4:21-24
says three remarkable things:
First, he says, in effect, "Your
question about where to worship is soon going to be entirely
irrelevant. The hour is coming when geography will no more be an
issue. Temples or buildings will not be necessary to worship God. God
is going to, and has already provided, that your body is the temple;
that is where he wants his worship to go on." By his death and
resurrection, Jesus knew that he was going to destroy all the symbols
of worship on earth. So temples, buildings and geographical locations
are no longer significant. Your own body, your own person is the place
where God wants worship.
Secondly, he said to her, "Your
knowledge is incomplete. You have been the victim of garbled truth.
You have some truth but there is much error mingled with it; you have
been misled." This often happens. Most of the cults teach garbled
Christian truth mixed with error. But Jesus says, "The Jews know more.
They at least know where is the proper place to carry on worship by
symbol because they are part of God's plan. 'Salvation is of the
Jews.' " Jesus does not deny it. He himself speaks as a Jew. He
recognizes that Israel is indeed part of God's program to bring
salvation to the world, and he does not set it aside.
Jesus says, "Here is what true worship is: true worship is done in
your human spirit." It is what we call worshipping from the heart. And
it must be in truth. It must be honest, not a put-on. It is not
something you do with your body while your mind is somewhere else.
Worship is what you mean with all your heart. When we sing hymns, God
is not interested in our just mouthing words. He is interested in our
hearts meaning what we sing. Most of our hymns are hymns of worship,
prayer and praise addressed to God. They are to come from the heart,
so we are to sing with meaning. God is seeking such to worship him. In
every congregation God is looking for those who mean what they are
singing, who, from the heart, are saying these things to him. That is
what worship is. And the reason it is worship is because it is in line
with God's own nature. God himself is a Spirit, he is invisible; and
we too are spirit, in the innermost part of our being. Therefore,
worship is the joining together of Spirit with spirit. How true are
the words of the old hymn,
Speak to Him then for he heareth,
And Spirit with spirit can meet.
Closer is He than breathing,
Nearer than hands and feet.