Worship In The Spirit & In Truth
John 4:19-24 NIV
“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” (John 4:19-24)
After the death of King Solomon, the kingdom of Israel was divided into the Northern and Southern Kingdoms, ruled by Jeroboam and Rehoboam respectively. To discourage his people from going to Jerusalem in the south to worship, Jeroboam set up altars at Dan and Bethel. When the Assyrians conquered the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 721B.C., many of the Israelites were deported. Assyrians were also deliberately brought in, to dilute Israel’s identity through inter-marriages, producing the Samaritans.
The Jews despised the Samaritans for worshiping on Mount Gerizim as they insisted that Jerusalem was the right place to worship, and the Samaritan woman asked Jesus about that dispute. Jesus answered her “a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.”
Jesus was talking about what’s going to happen after his death on the cross. His death was the ultimate sacrifice, and no other sacrifice or offering would be required after. The only sacrifices we need to make are ourselves – our time, our money, our energy, and our devotion. This not limited to only what we do in the church building, but what we do everyday of our lives.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. (Romans 12:1 NIV)
Jesus said, “You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.” The Samaritans believed only in following the five Books of Moses but not other books in the Old Testament. Jesus continued saying, “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.”
God seeks those who worship Him in the Spirit and in truth. “The Spirit” is God, who dwells in us Christians, God’s temple. And “Truth” is simply the truth that is found in the Bible. Living in truth that is holy and pleasing to God, is true worship.
Andy is the head of compliance for an international bank and is happily married, with three daughters. He became a disciple of Christ three decades ago, and studies God's Word passionately. He desires to be constantly led by the Spirit. Andy joined the Central Christian Church in 1990.