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Sunday, September 23, 2012

In Spirit and in Truth

Jesus told the woman at the well, "God is Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24).

What spirit?

Jesus said, "This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me; in vain do they worship Me" (Matt 15:8). Worship, then, is from the heart. Prayer, praise, confessions, and sermons without heart are vain. Valid worship is a heart issue.

"God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6). Worship is from humility, not pride. Humility is the universal response and the natural human response of those who come into the presence of the Living God. Isaiah was "undone" (Isa 6:5). Peter begged for distance (Luke 5:8). It made the disciples "very much afraid" (Mark 4:41).

What truth?

The truth is that Jesus wanted to get across the nature of God. "God is Spirit." The first truth required in valid worship, then, is the real God. Not some version you drum up. Not some unbiblical God who promises you only pleasantness or prosperity. Not some kindly old gentleman who would never intervene or some remote God who isn't concerned about sin. Not any God of our own making, but the One revealed in Scripture. Since God is Spirit, the truth is that we must worship Him as He is.

Genuine worship comes from a spirit inspired by the true nature of God. Worship fueled by a heart impassioned for God by God is true worship. This is a product of knowing who God is truly and in responding to His Spirit within us.

And true worship is contagious.

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