'In Spirit and Truth' ? Part 4

Part 6 - Worship series
By: John Herbert | Mar 16, 2008
John 4:24 "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

We had seen in our study last week the importance of knowing exactly what scripture means by the word truth. And simply speaking scripture is truth. This being so it is equally important that we understand what scripture says so that we may practice the truth. This will be the focus of our study today.

Message Notes

1). 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."

2). As we studied last week on worshipping in truth we saw the necessity for understanding exactly what is being talked about when scripture uses the word truth.
a). And from a scriptural perspective, which is God?s perspective, truth is very simple ? it is the scriptures.
b). Psalm 119:142b And Your law is truth
c). Psalm 119:151b And all your commandments are truth
d). Psalm 119:160a The entirety of Your word is truth
e). John 17:17b Your word is truth
f). And of course when we are dealing with truth from God?s perspective we are dealing with an absolute, something that is constant and that never changes and is not compromised - Nu 23:19 "God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
g). Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

3). Jesus the Christ is the word made flesh, and in this respect He is the embodiment of absolute truth ? Joh 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life.
Absolute truth that is made very clear for us in the Lord?s interchange with Pilate in - Joh 18:36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here." 37 Pilate therefore said to Him, "Are You a king then?" Jesus answered, "You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."
a). Let?s just note what we see here concerning truth ?
i/ Christ?s Kingdom is not of this world, literally this age.
ii/ It is for the purpose of being the King in His Kingdom, which is not of this age, that He was born
iii/ It is for the purpose of being the King in His Kingdom, which is not of this age, that He came into the world.
iv/ His coming into the world is a witness to this truth which is embodied in Him ? He was born a King. And His Kingdom will be established in the age to come.
b). The earthly portion of His Kingdom, in the age to come, has been given to the nation of Israel ? the physical descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob - Ge 17:8 "Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God."
c). The heavenly portion of His Kingdom, in the age to come, was offered to Israel at His first advent - Mt 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
d). This portion of the Kingdom was then taken from Israel, because of their unbelief, in order to be given to a new nation who would be the descendants of Abraham through faith and would be primarily Gentile in their origin, who would receive this portion of the Kingdom as an inheritance within a marriage relationship ? Mt 21:43 "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.
e). This new nation and the marriage relationship was already typified in the Woman and Adam in the first chapters of Genesis, already detailed in the account of Abraham?s oldest servant and Rebekah and Isaac in Genesis 24, Joseph?s marriage to Asenath, Moses marriage to Zipporah, and the superlative account of Ruth and Boaz in the Book of Ruth.
f). This is the truth that Jesus came into the world to be a witness to ? truth that is absolute and unalterable, but not yet manifest within the boundaries of time.
g). Mic 4:1 ? Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD'S house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And peoples shall flow to it.
h). Lu 24:44 Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me."
i). Re 11:15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!"
j). 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. 9 Then he said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!'" And he said to me, "These are the true sayings of God."
k). As we wait for the manifestation of Christ?s Kingdom within the boundaries of time, the age to come, the truth teaches us that this cannot happen until the 6000 years of Man?s Day - Typified in the 6 days of restoration in Genesis Chapter 1 are complete, and the search for the Bride of Christ, begun at Pentecost after the Lord?s resurrection is also complete ? The search for the Bride finishing at the end of this dispensation with the rapture / resurrection of the church ? and Man?s Day coming to an end at the conclusion of this age following the 7 years of the Great tribulation, the time of Jacob?s trouble.

4). We also see in our Revelation 19 scripture that in readiness for the marriage supper of the Lamb the Bride has made herself ready by performing acts of righteousness and within the detail given to us in Ruth, this has to do with making a journey, working in the right field, washing herself, anointing herself and putting on her best garment. This is all part of the truth that Christ came to be a witness to.
a). And the only way this is accomplished in the Book of Ruth is by Ruth following absolutely what Naomi, her mother-in-law tells her to do - Ru 3:5 And she said to her, "All that you say to me I will do."
b). Naomi as we have seen many times before is a type of the nation of Israel and specifically with respect to the church who Ruth typifies, the scriptures, the word of God, the truth, that was given to them by God.
c). And for ourselves, in the antitype of Ruth?s experience, our participation in the marriage supper of the Lamb is conditioned on our faithful obedience to the word of truth ? doing all that the word of God says to us to do in respect of making the journey, working in the field, washing ourselves, anointing ourselves and putting on our best garment.

5). All of this then, brings us to the point at which we closed last week, that of realizing that in order to worship in truth we must submit ourselves wholeheartedly to God?s purpose concerning the Kingdom which is to come ? this must be our starting point. However, it is not enough just to know what God says concerning the coming Kingdom ? we also have to know what the word of truth says concerning the conditions by which we may enter into the Kingdom as a coheir with Christ. - Ro 8:17 ? and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
a). However, it is also not enough just to know what preparations we are to
make in order to get there ? in order to worship, to be faithfully obedient we must also take what we know and put it into practice in our lives. Being that living sacrifice as we continually die to self.
b). Note what the Apostle Paul says in - 1Co 9:27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
c). It is probable that God has not afforded anyone a greater revelation of the mystery that had been hidden for ages and then revealed to His saints, than has been given to Paul ? and yet here in our scripture, by inspiration of the Spirit, Paul acknowledges the possibility that he could be disqualified from a position in the Kingdom unless he disciplines his body ? he knew that his knowledge of the truth of God was not enough - 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,
d). He knew that he lived in the body of this death and because of that it required action on his part, as a result of what he had received, and that God would judge him in that day based on his works ? the things he did, not the things he said - without partiality.

6). Disqualification, despite having knowledge of the truth after a mature fashion, is something that we see in respect of Israel - Jer 7:23 "But this is what I commanded them, saying, 'Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.' 24 "Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but followed the counsels and the dictates of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward. 25 "Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have even sent to you all My servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them. 26 "Yet they did not obey Me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck. They did worse than their fathers. 27 "Therefore you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not obey you. You shall also call to them, but they will not answer you. 28 "So you shall say to them, 'This is a nation that does not obey the voice of the LORD their God nor receive correction. Truth has perished and has been cut off from their mouth.
a). And the very same thing we see with respect to Christians, recorded in scripture, concerning those in Galatia - Ga 3:1 ? O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth,
b). Ga 5:7 You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?
c). That such a thing could happen to Israel, who are our example, should cause us to pause and the fact that it happened to Christians who had a mature knowledge of the truth in Galatia should get our attention.
d). Not only that, but we also have this warning given to us in the Book of Hebrews - Heb 2:1 ? Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, 4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?
e). The truth is there for all to see within the pages of scripture ? we also have the ministry of the apostles, prophets, evangelists and pastors and teachers to bring us to maturity in respect of the truth and it remains incumbent upon ourselves not to drift away from this.
f). The word drift implies a gradual movement away from and the word in the original language literally means to let carelessly pass.
g). And this we can do if we allow anything but the truth of the word to be our absolute standard in every area of our life.

7). And this many times can be difficult for us because it would be more comfortable to believe something other than that which scripture says ? how often have you heard someone say, ?My God wouldn?t do that? despite the clear evidence of scripture to the contrary?
a). Look at what we see in - 1Jo 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
b). We can easily believe that by the very fact of being a Christian we are automatically in constant fellowship with the Lord and yet our scripture here clearly says that if we say we have fellowship with Him, but do not come to Him for cleansing then we lie and do not practice the truth. Our fellowship with Him comes from walking in the light as He is in the light ? drawing on the typology of the tabernacle and the Levitical priesthood.
c). This is one facet of the truth of what fellowship with Christ looks like.

8). The lie that was first used in the Garden remains alive and well even today
a). Ge 3:2 And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 "but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'"
4 Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die.
b). The Woman reiterates the command of God, with the consequence for disobedience and the lie is ? you can disobey the word of God, because you won?t die ? it is an attractive alternative to the truth, but it remains a lie with deadly consequences.
c). Note what God says to His redeemed people because of their disobedience - Jer 21:5 "I Myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger and fury and great wrath.
d). So does God?s truth change because of the cross? No - Heb 10:26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.
e). We need to settle once and for all, if we haven?t done so already, the seriousness with which God looks on unfaithful disobedience on the part of the believer.
f). 1Jo 2:3 ? Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
g). We need to realize that it is not the words that come from our mouth, but our actions that determine whether the truth is in us.

9). With this in mind let?s ask ourselves the question, ?Is it possible to knowingly continue in sin and yet still love the Lord??
a). I remember an example from many years ago when one person was telling me of another?s immoral lifestyle. Yet despite the immorality and thereby sinfulness of this lifestyle there was the assertion that ?they really love the Lord? ? the assumption being that the depth of their love for the Lord somehow counterbalances the sin in their life.
b). But what does scripture say about loving the Lord? - Joh 14:21 "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him." 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, "Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?" 23 Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 "He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me.
c). According to the scripture, the reality of our love for God is not expressed through our words or the experience of an emotion, but by our faithful obedience in every circumstance of our day to day existence.
d). If the truth is in us, if the work of the Spirit is bringing about the metamorphosis, the inward change, through the renewing of our mind then we will know the truth and won?t be deceived into thinking something else.
e). And notice the glorious promise given in v23 - "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. ? our love for God, expressed in our faithful obedience , leads straight to the New Jerusalem.

10). Then see this in - Joh 15:10 "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.
a). Keeping His commandments not only demonstrates the reality of our love for Him it also results in our abiding in His love ? and please note the means by which the Son abides in the Father?s love ? through keeping the Father?s commandments.
b). And why is this of such significance for us? Because of the preceding 9 verses - Joh 15:1 ? "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. 9 ? "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.
c). Here is truth ? only by keeping His commandments can we abide in Him and only by abiding in Him can we produce fruit and only by producing fruit can we have an inheritance in the Kingdom.
d). And for those who are Christians who do not abide in Him because they do not obey His commandments ? well v6 makes the end of the matter pretty clear. It is the ?fiery indignation? of Hebrews 10.
e). Perhaps as we look at these scriptures again with respect to worshipping in truth we will begin to see both the subtlety and the deadliness of the lie that we can love God apart from obedience.
f). What does the scripture say? - Joh 8:31 ? Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
32 "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
g). It is the truth that will free us from every lie, breaking in pieces the bondage of sin that may still ensnare us as a result of what we have come to believe.

11). We have seen then from our scriptures that loving the Lord and keeping His commandments are one and the same thing ? and by extension, loving the Lord, keeping His commandments and worshipping in truth are the same thing.
a). Keeping this in mind we find this as we read on in John 15 ?
Joh 15:17 "These things I command you, that you love one another.
b). Joh 13:34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
c). 2Jo 1:5 ? And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another. 6 This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.
d). 1Pe 1:22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,

12). And just as we saw with loving God, we can be deceived about what loving each other looks like ? again the reality of our love for one another is not expressed through what comes out of our mouths, but rather through how we relate to one another through the circumcision of our heart - 1Jo 3:14 ? We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. 15 Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. 19 And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. 20 ? For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. 22 And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. 23 ? And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. 24 Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
a). Now please let us realize that when we are talking about our brother or the brethren we are talking about fellow believers, not everyone we come into contact with.
b). Now exactly what the love we are commanded to have for one another looks like is in a scripture we have looked at many times before and that we shall look at again today just to refresh our memories. And just to repeat one more time, loving one another according to the scriptures, is a commandment ? this is how we have to do it - 1Co 13:1 ? Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. 4 ? Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 ? Love never fails.
c). As we consider all these things let us bring to mind again that this is truth. This is to be the reality of the love we have for each other. Anything that we want to call love that is outside of the scope of our scriptural definition is not love, rather it is deception.
d). It is as the scriptures say - 1Jo 4:20 If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?
e). To put this simply ? loving our brother after the fashion described in 1 Corinthians 13 is a command ? if we don?t love our brother we are not keeping the command therefore we cannot love God.
f). Or to put it another way, if we love God we will faithfully keep His commandments and in doing so we will love our brother as described in 1 Corinthians 13.

13). As we close for today we can realize that worshipping God in truth will be the faithful application of His commands in our life and that our faithful obedience cannot be more keenly demonstrated and more positively expressed than in the way that we relate to one another. We will see then that our worship of God in truth and how we relate to each other cannot be separated.
a). And all of this is process and we are all at different stages within the process - Php 3:16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.
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