5. The MUSTS Of Christianity: we MUST Worship In Spirit and in Truth (A.K.A. “This Is That”)


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John 4:23-24 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Acts 2:16 … But this is that …

God put two sermons on my heart for this morning. Now don’t be frightened or disturbed, for this won’t be overly long. The sermon is entitled “This is That”. You’ll understand the title in just a few moments. Let’s start in John Chapter 4.

In John 4 Jesus has been traveling. When Jesus came to this earth from Heaven, He came on a serious mission. Jesus represented the Father as He traveled. The Father had a message for all people. Not just for Israel, but for the Gentiles as well. Jesus left Judea and headed toward Galilee (John 4:4). In order to get to where the Father wanted Him to be, Jesus must needs go through Samaria. Now Samaria is a part of the Promised Land, the Land that God gave to Abraham and His children. Yet Samaria is racially hated by the Jews. The Samaritans have two strikes against them.

  1. The people of Samaria are descended from the Ten Northern Tribes of Israel. When King Solomon died the throne of Israel passed to his son Rehoboam (1 Kings 11:43). Rehoboam was a foolish king. When the ten northern tribes asked that he lessen their tax burden, Rehoboam ignored the advise of his elder counselors, leading to civil war in Israel. The Ten Northern tribes departed from Israel, and began to worship not in the Temple (which was in Jerusalem) but in the mountains around Samaria.
  2. The people of Samaria are of mixed heritage. When Assyria overthrew Northern Israel the invading army intermixed with the conquered Israelites. The resultant children were not considered Jews but Gentiles.

Jesus was traveling through an area considered by Israel to be a Gentile (or worse) dominated place.

When Jesus meets a woman of Samaria at Jacob’s Well, the Jews would have considered her to be a Gentile, and perhaps lower than a Gentile. Jesus and this unnamed Gentile woman are meeting at a place called Jacob’s Well. Now let me talk about Jacob’s Well for a minute. Jacob’s Well is only mentioned ONCE in the Bible, in the text we are reading today.

Jacob’s Well stands at a crossroads five miles or so outside of the town of Sychar, a suburb of Samaria.

Jacob, the patriarch of the nation Israel, is the Grandson of Abraham, his father being Isaac. Jewish tradition teaches that Jacob purchased this land and gave it to his son Joseph (Genesis 33:19; John 4:5), the son responsible for saving Israel from destruction by famine. I am sure you all remember the story of Joseph and the coat of many colors (Genesis 37-50). The Woman of Samaria tells Jesus that:

John 4:12 … our father Jacob gave us the well

This woman that was considered a Gentile by the Jews nonetheless considered herself and her people as part of the family of Jacob. She thinks she is right with God because of her association with Jacob.

This woman did not worship in the Temple, nor did her family worship in the Temple. She worshiped where her family traditionally worshiped. The woman told Jesus:

John 4:20 Our fathers worshiped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.

The Samaritans had, from the time of Rehoboam, worshiped not in Jerusalem at the Temple, but in the mountains of Samaria. They used as their justification their revolt against a bad king Rehoboam. As this woman of Samaria stood talking with Jesus at the crossroads where Jacob’s Well is,

this is a picture of the Gentile Church.

God has an Old Testament people, and a New Testament people.
God has an Old Covenant people, and a New Covenant people.

This woman says “Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, but YOU JEWS say (for that’s what she means) in JERUSALEM is the only place you are to worship.

It Is Not Worship If It Is Not Done God’s Way

Who sets the standard as to what “Worship” is?
Do I? Do you? OR DOES GOD?

It was not the Jews who established worship of God in the Temple in Jerusalem. It was God Himself Who set that standard. God specifically told Israel under the Old Covenant:

Deuteronomy 12:1-5 … These are the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land {O Israel}, which the Lord God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth. 2 Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree: 3 And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place. 4 Ye shall not do so unto the Lord your God. 5 But UNTO THE PLACE WHICH THE LORD YOUR GOD SHALL CHOOSE OUT OF ALL YOUR TRIBES TO PUT HIS NAME THERE, EVEN UNTO HIS HABITATION SHALL YE SEEK, and thither thou shalt come:

God was very specific – in fact, God is always very specific with what He says to do. God told His Israel “you WILL NOT worship in the mountains. You WILL worship where I tell you top worship. You will go to the Temple, and the Temple is in Jerusalem. There you will worship. There you will worship.”

This woman is a perfect picture of many today who are in the Church of Christ. She is enjoying the blessings of God’s Israel. She is drinking at Jacob’s Well (you could call it “Israel’s Well). Yet she and her ancestors set about establishing what THEY thought was worship. Jesus corrected her, saying,

Salvation is of the Jews” (vs 22)

Salvation is of the Jews. God promised salvation through Abraham, the father of faith. From Abraham would come a nation one day to be called Israel. Out of Israel the Messiah, the Savior of the world, will come. Jesus Christ would come unto Israel first, because God promised Messiah would come of the lineage of Abraham, and of the lineage of Jacob, and of the lineage of David. God had a plan, and the Messiah would come according to that plan. But God came to THE JEW FIRST. Messiah went to Israel FIRST. Jesus Christ was born to the virgin Mary, a Jew, and to a stepfather Joseph, a Jew. As the Archangel told Joseph in a dream:

Matthew 1:20-21 … Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21 And {Mary} shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for {Jesus} shall save HIS PEOPLE from their sins.

Jesus Christ came unto HIS PEOPLE first. What did John tell us?

John 1:11 {Jesus} came unto his OWN, and HIS OWN received Him not.

Jesus told His disciples when His ministry began,

Matthew 10:5 … GO NOT into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not, but GO RATHER TO THE LOST SHEEP OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL.

Our Lord’s ministry began with Israel. Why? “Because salvation is of the Jews”. God promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God keeps His promises. But God had not forgotten the Gentiles. The Gentiles were not worshiping God in the way He prescribed. God told Israel to worship Him not in the mountains, but in Jerusalem at the Temple. Ten tribes of Israel revolted against Rehoboam, and then used this revolt to turn against the god Who loved them. This poor woman is like so many throughout history. God has said,

Do it this way”,

and her ancestors and she herself said,

But we’ll do it our way!”

What does God think of this? What does our Lord Jesus say about this? He says:

John 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: WE KNOW WHAT WE WORSHIP: for salvation is of the Jews.

Jesus knows what He worships. Jesus comes from the Father.

John 8:42 … If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but {the Father} sent me.

John 6:38-39 … I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me…

Jesus Christ came from the Father. He and the righteous Jews who believed on Him know what they worship. They worship in the right place, the place mandated by God. They may not understand that the entirety of the Old Testament scripture, including the sacrifices, the things of the Temple, and even the location of the Temple taught of Jesus. Jesus said that. He tells the Pharisees in the next chapter:

John 5:45-47 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. 46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for {Moses} wrote of me. 47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

Moses wrote of Christ. The Old Testament Scriptures speak of the Messiah Who was coming from Israel, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Luke 24:27 And beginning at MOSES AND ALL THE PROPHETS, {Jesus} expounded unto them in ALL THE SCRIPTURES the things concerning himself.

The Scriptures – the Old Testament text at this time in history – established the truths about Jesus Christ. It was NOT optional that God’s Old Covenant people worship in Jerusalem at the Temple. It was NOT optional that they keep the feasts, the Passovers, the atonements in Jerusalem at the Temple. God had a pattern, a truth that He was illustrating by the Law and the Prophets. These truths were to be upheld until the day that Christ Jesus was revealed, the Messiah, the only Savior of the world (John 3:16). Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit of God, preached this great truth that many have departed from:

Acts 4:10-12 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is NONE OTHER NAME UNDER HEAVEN GIVEN AMONG MEN, WHEREBY WE MUST BE SAVED.

Many, like the Samaritans and this dear Samaritan woman, have departed from the revealed truths of the Bible.

2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy {Spirit}.

The Word of God was not optional the day that Jesus stood preaching to this Samaritan woman, and the Word of God is not optional now. You cannot rewrite the Holy Book to suit the feelings of people, nor to satisfy an unsanctioned revolt against an unwise and foolish king Rehoboam.

You cannot depart from the written Word of God and expect the Living Word of God to bless you. This Book is the Written Word of God. This Jesus Christ is the Living Word of God, the Word of God Who was
IN THE BEGINNING both WITH God and WAS God (John 1:1-3)

There can be no worship of God without what Jesus said. Look at His Words to us, dear Church.

John 4:23-24 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

The Father must be worshiped in Spirit and in truth. Some Churches worship in Spirit, but have departed from the Word of God. They are not worshiping Gods. Other Churches worship in truth, but have departed from the Spirit of God. They are not worshiping. Good intentions does not make it worship. God is a Spirit, high above us. If we are to worship Him, we must worship Him in Spirit and in truth. We must be Bible based, but we must be Spirit empowered. We must not operate in the realm of the flesh, or in the power of the flesh, but in the power of God’s Holy Spirit.

The woman at the well had a face to face chat with Jesus. We as Christians need to get on our knees and have a face to face chat with Jesus. We as Churches need to humble ourselves, and tell Jesus we are listening. What is Jesus telling us to do? Can we, like the little Prophet Samuel, become like that little Child and say:

1 Samuel 3:9 … Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth.

The woman didn’t just hold a conversation with Jesus – she LISTENED to Jesus. She said:

John 4:25 … I know that Messiah cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.

Jesus told this precious Gentile Woman – the forerunner of His Church in whom there …

Galatians 3:28 … is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

As soon as Jesus told her “I that speak unto thee am {the Messiah}” the woman immediately left her water pot – and Jesus – to run out and tell others about Him. Her message was based on her personal meeting with Jesus:

John 4:29 … Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?

The Church that serves Jesus must worship God in Spirit and in Truth – else it is not a Church, nor is it even worship.

Is “This”, “That”?
Is What We Are Doing “Worship”?

After Jesus Christ died for our sins on the Cross of Calvary, our Lord rose from the grave. Jesus then told His disciples:

Acts 1:4 {do not leave Jerusalem, but} “wait for the Promise of the Father, which you have heard of Me”

Jesus went on to say Acts 1:8 “You shall receive power, after that the Holy {Spirit} is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me …”

The purpose of the reception of the Holy Spirit was not just to chatter in tongues, nor to be emotionally exhilarated. The Spirit would empower the Church that Jesus died for to witness to power and light of God to a powerless and defeated world. Jesus told His people to “wait”. Not to do nothing, but to “wait”. The Bible says:

Psalm 25:20-22 O {Lord} keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in Thee. 21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on Thee. 22 Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.

Psalm 27:13-14 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

Psalm 37:34 Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.

Jesus told His disciples to W-A-I-T. To WAIT does not mean to do nothing. It means to seek God’s face, to heed His direction.

Proverbs 20:22 … Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the Lord, and he shall save thee.

The Church that Jesus died for began to wait on the Lord. They went off into an upper room, and there they waited on God.

The first Church did what God told them to do, and prayed, waiting for God to show them what to do next. They knew that God sought out a people who would worship Him in SPIRIT and in TRUTH. They waited and prayed. They heeded The Holy Spirit AND The Word. The Church DESPERATELY needs
the Holy Spirit And the Word!

The time from the Passover to the Day of Pentecost was fifty days. Jesus died for our sins on the Passover. Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us (1 Corinthians 5:7). Jesus rose from the grave on the third day after Passover (Matthew 16:21; 17:23; 20:19; Acts 10:40; 1 Corinthians 15:4). The Church was not to immediately go out after Jesus rose from the dead. The Church was to wait on God. To pray. To seek God’s direction. To get into one accord.

Then Pentecost came, and God showed up! “They were all FILLED with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:4). As the disciples went out the multitude was confounded, because every man HEARD THEN SPEAK IN THEIR OWN LANGUAGE (Acts 2:6). God allowed everyone to hear the Gospel. These Galileans were speaking at least twelve different human languages … if not more. Some in the crowd mocked them.

Acts 2:13 “These men are full of new wine!”

Then Peter began to preach.

Acts 2:14-16 “Hearken to my words. These are not drunken like you suppose, but THIS IS THAT…”.

This is not drunkenness. THIS is THAT.

THIS is the fulfillment of THAT Promise God made, a promise God made in Isaiah 44:3 and

Joel 2:28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that {God said} I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:

This is that. Not drunkenness, not foolishness, but people hearing the Gospel.

Beloved, God shut down many Church buildings during the Coronavirus Pandemic. We as a Church were shut down – in compliance with the Law – for several weeks. During that time I asked our members to be in prayer, to wait on God, to seek His face. We were not supposed to be wasting this time, but were supposed to, as the first Church did, pray until the Power of God be endued on us from on high.

Is “This”, “That”? Are we the Church that Jesus Christ wants us to be? Are we relying on Him, and on the Spirit of God to do Christ’s Business, or are we doing so in our own power? Peter told the crowd that day “This is That”. This is the Church that Christ inhabits. This is the people that followed the Lord. And now we, as His people, share this message with the world.

Acts 2:16-21 this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come: 21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

And saved they were. About 3000 joined the Church that day, people of various languages and cultures. God reached them. God reached them. God will not reach the world through us if we do not worship Him in Spirit AND in truth.

God’s Word is TRUE (John 17:17).
God’s Spirit was given to guide us into God’s Truth (John 16:13).

Let us come together under God’s Word and following His Spirit so that “This” will be “That”. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen and Amen. May God touch your hearts through His Word and His Spirit.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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