Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Monday, 4 November 19:
John 4:22-24 – “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Many people claim they believe in God and claim to be “spiritual.” However, dedicated, committed worship can be unspiritual and untrue. In today’s readings, Jesus speaks with a Samaritan woman. The Samaritans were Israelites who had intermarried with non-Israelites, developed their own theology, worshiped at Mount Gerizim vice the temple, and edited the five books of Moses to align with their own beliefs. Jesus explains this worship is unspiritual and untrue, despite the convictions of the Samaritans. True, spiritual worship can only begin with salvation through grace by faith in Jesus Christ, not with mere religious activities. True worship is empowered by the Holy Spirit, which is provided in salvation, and bears the fruit of repentance and obedience to God – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” (Galatians 5:22-26) True worship is not merely formalism and good deeds; it is giving God all that we are, loving and glorifying Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength; in our love we desperately desire to obey all Jesus commanded. (Matthew 28:18-20) To obey out of love, we must have hearts that desire to know and understand God’s word. Those inspired by God’s love find growth in good doctrinal teaching, which is essential for discipleship. Those who don’t worship in spirit and in truth turn doctrine into legalism. All worship which isn’t Christ-centered and grounded on His grace is unspiritual and untrue. Note, many Samaritans who worshipped what they did not know, were more responsive to Jesus than many Jews – “The Father is seeking such people to worship Him… in spirit and truth.”
– John 14:6 — “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
– 2 John 1:9 — Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.
– 1 Corinthians 9:16 — Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 4 November 19: Share the Gospel today with someone who worships what they don’t know.