HANDOUT FOR SERMON: ARE YOU A TRUE WORSHIPPER? John 4:23-24
Introduction: You may be a churchgoer, but not a true worshipper. You may sing or even lead the singing, you may lead a prayer or even bow your head and close your eyes, yet not be a true worshipper of God. Even the preacher may not be a true worshipper of God. It is not up to mankind or any religious organization to determine if others are true worshippers of God, because God has already defined such and He is the true judge!
In John 4:23-24 Jesus tells us who are His people and who are in His Kingdom. The first thing Jesus says is my people are those who worship in spirit. It is important that your individual spirit, character, emotion, and attitude are as Jesus states. We are to worship “in spirit” to be true worshippers. However, that is not all that He says. His people will also worship ”in truth.” Truth is objective. Things outside of you. Truth is God, the Son of God and the teachings, commandments, and principles of God.
Man is described as body, soul, and spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Hebrews 4:12
Worship means: to show reverence, honor, and devotion. We all do this to someone or to something. Unfortunately, in our world there are many “self-worshippers.” God’s word is actually very clear on who the “true worshippers” are. Whose responsibility is it to determine this? Only God!
Read: John 4:9-26 Jesus and the woman at the well.
1.BALANCING SPIRIT AND TRUTH. Which one of these items is more important? Should we even entertain that thought? God is seeking people who will worship Him both in spirit and in truth. It is alarming that many people have no truth, and some have no spirit about them in their worship. They are like ships moving without sails with no help nor direction and who worship a God they truly do not know nor understand. If mankind did truly know God and understand Him they would worship Him in spirit and in truth.
Spirit is subjective. It is inside of you. “In spirit” refers to “your spirit,” your individuality, correct emotions, and attitude. The word spirit means the rational spirit of emotion and character. It is your inner self, your mind, heart and will. It includes your thoughts, desires, and passion. It is the nonphysical part of a person which is the seat of emotion.
Truth is objective. Things outside of you. The truth of God, about God and the Son of God and the word of God. True worshippers balance both the subjective and objective items that God addresses. Human beings are not good at balancing things. When they are different it is difficult to know how to balance them. We end up emphasizing one over the other. The way we reverence and honor God with our lives is “in spirit and in truth!” Neither is more important than the other! Yet mankind still wants to say: “Well, if you had to pick one which one is more important?” The answer is NEITHER!
- Collective worship.
- Day of Pentecost & Peter’s sermon. Acts 2
- Jesus teaching, sermon on the mount Matthew 5-7
- What about Old Testament examples, such as David and moving the ark of covenant. 1 Chronicles 13-15, 2 Samuel 6
2.WHAT IS THE RIGHT WAY TO WORSHIP GOD?
God has given us His answer: “in spirit and in truth.”
Scripture: Matthew 28:20 & Matthew 16:24, 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, Revelation 2:1-7, Psalm 63
ADMONITION TO US ALL:
- Both matter, God wants balance from those who worship Him.
- He wants your spirit and the truth.
- Objective truth is important.
- Subjective spirit is important.
- Let us be careful how we use “truth” to criticize and attack other believers for their expression of their joy and devotion to God.
- Let us not try to judge the heart or motives of others. You would not want others to do this about you!
- Do not be convinced of your own understanding of the truth! Be slow to speak and react.
- Are we not learning all the time?
- Be honest, have you not changed your mind on anything over the last 5 years?