'In Spirit and Truth' ? Part 1

Part 3 - Worship series
By: John Herbert | Feb 24, 2008
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John 4:23 "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. 24 "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

This statement made here in John Chapter 4 by the Lord is crucial to our understanding of God?s perspective with regards to worship. And as such it will be our foundational scripture for the next few weeks of study. However, as we will realize this statement is not made in a vacuum, and the typology that is revealed in the context for the statement is truly instructive for us. It is this context that we will look at in today?s study.

Message Notes

Joh 4:23 "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. 24 "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

1). We have seen in our previous studies that worship within both an OT and NT context has to do with faithful obedience to the Word of God. And really has nothing at all to do with the singing of songs of themselves. Now this does not mean that music and song are unnecessary to our service before the Lord, but it does mean that we should not confuse the two.
a). We can sing a song that declares our worship of God, but the song itself does not constitute the act of worship.
b). We may in our song be making a statement concerning worship that is true or we may be lying , only that which is in our heart with regards to our attitude to obedience can determine which one it is. (Here I am to Worship)
c). And we have seen that our faithful obedience, our worship, on the one hand requires sacrifice and on the other a three day?s journey ? both of which speak of death and resurrection and are really just different facets of the same picture.
d). In other words our faithful obedience to the Word of God, subjecting ourselves to the will of God, must of necessity require us to die to our flesh.
e). Lu 9:23 Then He said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
f). Ro 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
g). This is how we need to see our act of worship.
h). Ro 12:1 ? I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.[latreia ? ministration of God ? worship]

2). For the most part it is much easier for us to do something for God rather than become something ? for example, it is much easier to sing a worship song than it is to die to self and thereby worship through obedience, and there is something within all of us that would rather sing the song than do the dying ? it may be that over the years ?church? has taught us that it is necessary to produce an outward ?performance? that can be seen by those around us as a demonstration of our spirituality or even our salvation, rather than an inward struggle that no one but the Lord sees.
a). But let?s remember what we found in Hebrews - Heb 10:5 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: "Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. 7 ? Then I said, 'Behold, I have come--In the volume of the book it is written of Me--To do Your will, O God.'" 8 Previously saying, "Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them" (which are offered according to the law), 9 then He said, "Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God." He takes away the first that He may establish the second.
b). Christ came in fulfillment of the Law and His sacrifice fulfilled all other sacrifices, and note the way in which Christ?s sacrifice is characterized for us here ? ?I have come to do Your will O God? ? the sacrifice of obedience as divine worship modeled by Christ replaces the performance of ritual ? dying to self supercedes the singing of the song as the act of worship. One is outward and the other is inward. In our example the singing of a song may denote no more than a ?metaschema?, an outward change that can be manufactured to suit the circumstances; whereas the act of worship through faithful obedience in dying to self can only be realized through the inward change ? the ?metamorphosis?.
i/ In the same way as the blood of bulls and goats could not take away sin in the OT economy, only the blood of Christ could achieve that, so our sin nature cannot be dealt with through ritual, but only by following Christ?s example in subjecting ourselves to the will of God, thereby producing the metamorphosis.
c). And as we have seen, from our perspective doing the will of God of necessity requires the death of our own will.
d). He has taken away the first, that typified by worship through religious ritual within the temple in Jerusalem ? that which is just outward show - and replaced it with doing the will of God, worship that is to take place within each individual, within the temple of God ? 1Co 3:16 ? Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
e). By the time of Christ?s earthly ministry the Glory of the Lord had long since departed from Israel?s Temple in Jerusalem.
f). Because of the nation?s continual disobedience, their refusal to subject themselves to the will of God, the presence of God left the Temple and will not return until the time of the Millennial Kingdom.
g). Interestingly the Lord, during His earthly ministry, God present amongst His people once again, never went beyond the outer courts of the Temple. He never entered the Temple itself.
h). When the veil was torn from top to bottom at the time of the crucifixion it revealed graphically that God was not there.
i). Yet despite Israel?s disobedience and lack of repentance and the departure of God?s presence, the performance of the religious rituals of the Law of Moses was continued.
j). Isn?t this really what we find in the Laodecian church of this dispensation, a church that believes itself to be rich and in need of nothing and yet is poor, blind, miserable and naked ? with Christ no longer present, but standing outside the door and knocking?
k). A church in disobedience to the commands of Christ and yet still going through the motions as if everything is OK.

3). The remedy for this situation is substantively what is being taught through the encounter of Christ and the Samaritan woman at Jacob?s well in John Chapter 4. This encounter is filled with significance for us and provides an invaluable insight into God?s desire for worship. It provides us with much to learn ? but we will begin though by setting some context for the verses which we began with today, which will be our foundation for the next few weeks of study.
a). Joh 4:3 He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. 4 ? But He needed to go through Samaria. 5 So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. 7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give Me a drink."
b). Let?s begin to notice some things here ? firstly the panoramic picture this scripture presents ? Jesus has left Judea in order to return to Galilee, but before He can go to Galilee He must pass through Samaria ? and the way this is written in the Greek language shows that His going to Samaria was necessary, in the sense of being binding upon Him. This was something He had to do.
i/ It may be interesting for us to note that the name Samaria has its root in the Hebrew word ? ?shamar? which we find first used in - Ge 2:15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep[shamar] it.
ii/ And it is just a few verses later in this same chapter in Genesis that God is building the Woman as a helper for Adam.
iii/ And here is the Lord, having to go to a place that derives its name from ?shamar? in order to meet a woman by a well.
c). So you can see the picture here, the Lord leaves the Jews because He has to spend time with the Gentiles, before returning to the Jews again ?
Joh 4:40 So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of His own word. 42 Then they said to the woman, "Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world." 43 ? Now after the two days He departed from there and went to Galilee.
d). He spends two days with the Samaritans and returns on the third day to Galilee ? He is spending two days now, two thousand years, amongst the Gentiles, and on the third day He will literally return to Israel, to Galilee, to deliver the Jews.
i/ Exactly the same picture given to us in the Matthew 13 parables where the Lord leaves the house and goes to the sea shore before returning to the house again.
ii/ And the same picture given through the resurrection of Lazarus.
e). And it is now, during this dispensation, that He is sitting by Jacob?s well, the scriptures given through Israel, the only ones to whom the word of God has been given - Ro 3:2b??.because to them were committed the oracles of God.
f). Waiting to have a conversation with those who will come to draw deeply from the well about living water and husbands - Re 3:20 "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

4). Secondly let?s take the same panoramic view and add another facet to the picture - when He comes to Samaria He comes to the city of Sychar and sits by Jacob?s well at the sixth hour ? which is one hour before the seventh hour. And within the numbers we can make a direct reference to the sixth day. And the Lord is wearied from His journey in the sense that it is now 6000 years, in respect of His dealing with Man, since it began.
a). The sixth day, in foundation in Genesis is the day that Adam, who is a type of Christ, is formed from the dust of the ground and the woman, who is to help him have dominion, is built from part of Adam?s body and removed from His side.
b). It is also at the end of the sixth day, the sixth thousand year period, that the Body of Christ, all those eternally saved from this dispensation will be gathered from the earth either by the rapture or by resurrection, and those who will be the Bride of Christ will be taken out of His Body. Having been built based on the blood and water that came from His side after His death on the cross ?
Php 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the [out] resurrection from the dead.
c). It is part of the same picture given at the end of - Ge 24:62 ? Now Isaac came from the way of Beer Lahai Roi, for he dwelt in the South. 63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening; and he lifted his eyes and looked, and there, the camels were coming. 64 Then Rebekah lifted her eyes, and when she saw Isaac she dismounted from her camel;
d). Abraham?s servant would have traveled from the south to go to Abraham?s family.
e). And Jesus would have to have traveled from the south in order to get from Judea to Samaria.

5). Then within the panoramic view our picture adds another dimension - the word Sychar, the name of the city of Samaria = being drunk with intoxicating drink.
a). Can you hear this from - Eph 5:18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,
b). He comes to a city of the Gentiles, the name of which means drunkenness and talks to the woman about drinking living water.
c). And water is a type of the Holy Spirit, who is the breath of God, who is the Word of God and is of course alive ? look what we find in Ephesians just a few verses later - Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
i/ Bringing us once again to the marriage relationship between Christ and His Bride.
d). Pr 4:20 ? My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. 21 Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; 22 For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh. 23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.
e). Joh 6:63 "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
f). Joh 4:13 Jesus answered and said to her, "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 "but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting[age lasting] life."
g). The Samaritan woman then has a connection with that associated with drunkenness and the Lord is now admonishing her with regards to taking living water, which would be, being filled with the Spirit, which of course is synonymous with being filled with the Word of God. And we know that being filled with the Spirit, from the companion scripture to our Ephesians 5:18 scripture, in Colossians, relates to something specific rather than the word of God in a generic sense ?
Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
h). It is the ?word of Christ? that which relates to Christ and His coming Kingdom, our inheritance and the salvation of our souls, that is to dwell in us richly in all wisdom ? it is receiving this word that constitutes being filled with the Spirit and this word that will become a fountain of water springing up into age lasting life ? this is the living water, that which is pictured for us in the water coming from His side when it is pierced after His death, and along with the blood, is the element by which the Bride of Christ will be built in the antitype of the Woman built from Adam?s rib - Jas 1:21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
i). It is the same thought as the extra supply of oil in the parable of the wise and foolish virgins and Ruth washing herself and anointing herself in preparation for meeting Boaz on his threshing floor.
j). Joh 7:37 ? On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.

6). Our scripture in John 4 then continues - Joh 4:15 The woman said to Him, "Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw." 16 Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here." 17 The woman answered and said, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You have well said, 'I have no husband,' 18 "for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly."
a). The woman asks for the living water and the Lord responds by asking her to go call her husband. She at this point does not have a husband, which is the very situation we find ourselves in.
b). The woman is not married to the man she is currently with, but numerically he is the sixth man with whom she has been involved.
c). Six is man?s number and I wonder if we might see in this the division of the church as she has followed the doctrines of men, whether they be conservative or liberal, or whatever they are rather than seeking the truth of scripture, from the author of scripture, for herself? - 2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;
Eph 4:14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine,
d). We know that in relation to the Samaritan woman - Joh 4:22 "You worship what you do not know;
e). And we see this written concerning the scribes and Pharisees in ?
Mr 7:7 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'
f). In both instances we see that the worship is ?in vain? ? it has no value in God?s eyes, and in our Mark scripture in particular we see that worship has no value because it is given through obedience to the commandments of men rather than obedience to the commandments of God.
d). Christ then, within the numerical picture, would be number seven and would be, as the number 7 would indicate, the only true and complete husband for those who would come to Him by drawing deeply from the well of living water ? those who would worship in a way that would have value through obedience to Christ with the salvation of their soul as their ultimate goal.

7). Now let?s review for a moment ? this encounter between the Lord and the Samaritan woman provides for us another facet of the picture of the Holy Spirit?s present ministry of searching out a Bride for God?s Son from amongst God?s family, which primarily in this dispensation is made up of those who were Gentiles. This we saw in foundation in Genesis with Abraham?s oldest servant going to Abraham?s family to find wife for Isaac and locating her by the well of water - Ge 24:42 "And this day I came to the well and said, 'O LORD God of my master Abraham, if You will now prosper the way in which I go, 43 'behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass that when the virgin comes out to draw water, and I say to her, "Please give me a little water from your pitcher to drink," 44 'and she says to me, "Drink, and I will draw for your camels also," -let her be the woman whom the LORD has appointed for my master's son.'
a). Do you remember that Jesus asked the Samaritan woman for a drink?
b). And that seen in here Genesis comes to pass in Acts with the sending of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost following the Lord?s resurrection.
c). The fact that we have a picture of the Holy Spirit in Genesis 24, the Holy Spirit being sent in Acts 2 and yet Jesus present in John 4 is not problematic ?
Joh 15:26 ? "But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.
d). Also Christ, the second person of the Trinity, is one and the same with the other two members - Col 2:9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;
e). This whole incident then must be built upon that which we have already seen with Adam and the Woman, with Rebekah, and with Ruth in anticipation of what we find with respect to the Bride of Christ in Acts and the Epistles.
f). And so with the preparation of the Bride clearly in view, we have a direct statement from the Lord with regards to worship which must be seen in this context.

8). Firstly the Samaritan woman speaks of worship in respect of location ?
Joh 4:20 "Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship."
a). This statement is more concerned with the form of worship rather than the substance.
b). And this is something that is prevalent within Christianity today and can be seen from both ends of the Christian spectrum, from the liturgical to the charismatic.
c). There has become a specified time and place in which worship is to take place, whether in the chronology of the church service or a specifically designated gathering and is seen as something that has a starting point and a conclusion.

9). The Lord?s statement in response to the woman though completely ignores form and concentrates entirely on substance - Joh 4:21 Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 "You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 "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. 24 "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
a). What we see here then, from the mouth of God Himself is that it is not the where of worship, but the how of worship that God is looking for.
b). God is seeking ?true worshippers? to worship Him ? and as we have noted previously, if there are true worshippers then there must of necessity also be false worshippers and both of these must be seen within the context of the eternally saved.
c). Those who are ?true worshippers? will worship in spirit and truth. Those who are false worshippers will worship apart from spirit and truth.
d). God ?seeking such to worship Him?, spoken by Jesus to the woman at the well, takes us back to Genesis 24 which itself points to the present ministry of the Holy Spirit amongst the eternally saved and would make the connection between the true worshippers and those who would be the Bride of Christ inevitable ? the Bride of Christ will comprise those who worship in spirit and truth.
e). Even with Ruth, one of our most significant types for the Bride of Christ, with respect to her action of gleaning in Boaz?s field we can see this. In order to glean, which is to pick up that which is on the ground she would have to bow herself low to the ground. - Ru 2:16 "Also let grain from the bundles fall purposely for her; leave it that she may glean, and do not rebuke her."
f). In this we would see a literal representation of what is contained in both the words, shachah, and proskuneo.
g). In other words, only as we worship, as we are faithfully obedient, prostrating ourselves in acceptance of the will of God, will we be able to walk in those good works that were prepared beforehand for us to walk in them, typified through Ruth?s gleaning - Eph 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
h). And these good works are the righteous acts of the saints that make up the wedding garment of the Bride in Re 19:7 "Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready." 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints..

10). Again, given our context, worship is an ongoing process of faithful obedience, and given the Lord?s statement in John chapter 4 this will be a process of faithful obedience with respect to the Spirit and faithful obedience with respect to the truth.
a). Both spirit and truth are inextricably linked together, but we shall for the sake of ease in our understanding deal with them separately.

11). But exactly what our obedience, our worship of God in Spirit and truth looks like will have to wait until next time.
Other messages from this series Audio Video PDF Study Notes
Part 1 - Here I Am To Worship
Part 2 - Here I Am To Worship
Part 3 - 'In Spirit and Truth' ? Part 1
Part 4 - 'In Spirit and Truth' ? Part 2
Part 5 - 'In Spirit and Truth' - Part 3
Part 6 - 'In Spirit and Truth' ? Part 4
Part 7 - 'In Spirit and Truth' - Part 5
Part 8 - 'In Spirit and Truth' ? Part 6
Part 9 - The Temple of God
Part 10 - Sing to the King ? Part One
Part 11 - Sing to the King ? Part Two