We were made to worship. We “get in the game” spiritually when we worship God. Giving, reading God’s Word, and telling others about Jesus are all aspects of worship. Today, we will look at John 4 and see all that worship celebrates.
Sovereignty not Self
John 4:23-24 says, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” Real worship is not optional. The Holy Spirit puts the desire in you. It is not about you; real worship is all about God!
God is Spirit. He is not “a” spirit, one among many gods. He is Spirit with a capital “S”. He is the one and only God, invisible and eternal. Worship is our response to the revealed greatness of God.
Truth not Tradition
The end of verse 24 says that we must worship in truth. The Bible is not up for vote. Earlier in this chapter, we read how Jesus, a Jew, met with a Samaritan woman. The context is hunger, thirst, racial and gender prejudice. Jews would not normally go through Samaria; they stayed away from those people. In regards to prejudice, you may say, “Well, that is the way I was raised.” You were raised wrong! The Bible is the final authority for faith and practice.
Feeling not Formality
We also read in verse 24 that we must worship in spirit, with a lowercase “s”. “In spirit” means that we must feel something when we worship. “In truth” means we must know something when we worship. “In spirit” means that we must worship with our heart. “In truth” means that we must worship with our head. “In spirit” means we worship with doxology. “In truth” means we worship with theology. Whatever the expression, it is not empty. Biblical worship is verbal (“Amen,” “Glory,” “Hallelujah,” etc.) and it’s visual (clapping, kneeling, dancing, etc.). It is personal and it is an expression of who God is. Is God dull, boring, cold, impersonal, or dead? Then why should worship be?!
Presence not Preference
Another thing that worship celebrates is the presence of God, not personal preference. It is not about your seat or your parking place! Worship is not about a place, but about a person. That person is Jesus, not you!
Look at John 4:25-26: “The woman said to Him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming’ (who is called Christ). ‘When He comes, He will tell us all things.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am He.’” Can’t you see it? God says, “I am He! I am here!” In the Old Testament, His presence was the cloud and the fire. He was shade in the day and heat at night. God knows what you need. The goal is for people to leave church saying, “We have been in the presence of God!”
Relationship not Religion
Finally, worship celebrates our relationship with Jesus. The woman at the well admitted her sin. There is no conversion without confession. Jesus was patient with her. She left her water pot and her old lifestyle and God used her to win an entire village. In John 3, Jesus told Nicodemus, “You must be born again.” One of these people is a man, the other a woman. One a Jew, the other a Samaritan. One moral, the other immoral. It took just as much grace to save one as the other. Have you believed for yourself? Do you have a relationship with Jesus? Have you been born again? Are you celebrating God’s worship?