The heartbeat of God’s Word is worship. Today Jesus defines believers as WORSHIPPERS! So the driving message of salvation is worship. Jesus tells us the only thing God seeks is worship. So, the purpose of salvation is worshiping the God of Heaven.
- The Scriptures open in Genesis with God walking and talking with His Worshippers.
- The next book Exodus contains elaborate plans for a tent whose sole purpose was to bring worshippers to God.
- The longest book at the heart of God’s Word is a manual on ways to Worship the God of the Universe.
- The rest of the Old Testament is a series of prophets lamenting the neglect and abandonment of worship by God’s people who were to be a kingdom of Worshippers (priests).
- The Gospels open with the God of Heaven on earth seeking creatures who would be willing to be Worshippers.
- The Book of Acts records what happens when average people from every walk of life, every strata of society and every depth of sin are bound together with a common passion of being life long Worshippers.
- The Epistles are a manual on how to grow as worshippers.
- And God’s Word closes with all of God’s Worshippers at last Home with their Creator and Worshiping HIM!
Is your heart the heart of a worshipper? The word worship is full of meaning, expressing the idea of falling down, prostrating oneself, and kissing the feet or the hem of the garment of the one honored. We should ponder William Temple’s definition of worship :
“[Worship is] to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open up the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God.”
Listen again to Jesus in John 4:10, 14, and 24.
What possibly has happened to us? Someone once said, “The immense tragedy of the contemporary church is that most people worship their work, work at their play, and play at their worship”.
- W. Tozer (1897-1963), a pastorfor 44 years across the USA was a prophet to the modern church. This is what he preached:
We have lost our spirit of worship and our ability to withdraw inwardly to meet God in adoring silence. Modern Christianity is simply not producing the kind of Christian who can appreciate or experience the life in the Spirit. The words, “Be still, and know that I am God,” mean next to nothing to the self-confident, bustling worshiper in this middle period of the twentieth century.
This type of worship that focuses on God and God alone is true spiritual worship. Worship that is energized by the Spirit of God.
How do we know we are operating in the power of the Holy Spirit? Here is a test.
- When Spirit reigns, believers relate to the Word – this is Spirit filled teaching;
- Where the Spirit reigns, believers relate to each other – this is Spirit filled fellowship;
- Where the Spirit reigns, believers relate to God – this is Spirit filled worship;
- Where the Spirit reigns, believers relate to the world – this is Spirit filled evangelism;
THE WOMAN AT THE WELL IS THE BACKDROP FOR ONE OF THE GREATEST PASSAGES ON HOW TO WORSHIP THE LORD. Verse 24. God is a Spirit
- God is the cause of all things-the fountain of all perfection-without parts or dimensions, for he is eternal-filling the heavens and the earth-pervading, governing, and upholding all things: for he is an infinitespirit!
- God can be pleased only with that which resembles himself: therefore he must hate sin and sinfulness; and can delight in those only who are made partakers of his own Divine nature. As all creatures were made by him, so all owe him obedience and reverence; but, to be acceptable to this infinite Spirit, the worship must be of a spiritual nature-must spring from the heart, through the influence of the Holy Ghost: and it must be in truth, not only in sincerity, but performed according to that Divine revelation which he has given men of himself.
- God is worshipped in spirit, when, under the influence of the Holy Ghost, believers bring all their affections, appetites, and desires to the throne of God; and God is worshipped in truth, when God’s Word guides every purpose and passion of a believer’s heart, and regulates every act of a believer’s worship.
THE WOMAN AT THE WELL WAS TAUGHT THE ESSENCE OF WORSHIP IS SPIRITUAL
- The location of worship is no longer the main concern, He told the woman. The issue is not where you worship, but rather whom you worship and how you worship. God is an immortal, invisible, and omnipresent spirit. He cannot be seen or touched, and He cannot be represented by an idol or any kind of likeness. Father was Jesus’ favorite title for God.
- The gospels record about seventy times when Jesus spoke to God, and every time He called Him Father, except when He was on the cross, bearing the judgment for man’s sin. Then He said, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46).
- Three times in John 4, Jesus spoke of worshiping “the Father.” But only once does Jesus refer to God as “our Father” and that was not a direct address to God, but a sample prayer, as the content of the prayer shows, for Jesus would not have asked for forgiveness (Matthew 6:9).
THE WOMAN AT THE WELL NEEDED A LESSON IN WHAT REAL WORSHIP WAS ALL ABOUT!
The woman at the well was looking for the proper method of worship, but she saw only two options—the Samaritan method and the Jewish method.
|Samaritan Worship||Jewish Worship||True Worship|
|Done in ignorance||Done strictly||Flows from God’s Spirit within us.|
|Samaritan spiritual knowledge was limited because they rejected all of the Old Testament except the Pentateuch||Jews were full of knowledge and accepted all the books of the Old Testament||When God’s Word Honored, and God’s Spirit is Honored, God is pleased with the Worship.|
|Warm heresy is enthusiastic worship without proper information||Cold Orthodoxy is dead worship with the right information.||Eager, excited, enthusiastic heartfelt devotion to the Truth of God is Worship that flows from the inside out.|
|They worshiped in spirit, but not in truth. That is why Jesus said, “You worship that which you do not know” (v. 22).||They worshiped in truth but lacked the spirit.||God seeks those who will worship in Spirit and in Truth.|
|Enthusiastic heresy is heat without light.||Barren orthodoxy is light without heat.||Worship is not an external activity for which an environment must be created.|
|Sincerity, enthusiasm, and aggressiveness are important, but they must be based on truth||Truth is foundational, but if it doesn’t result in an eager, excited, enthusiastic heart, it is deficient||It takes place on the inside, in the spirit. Psalm 45:1 is the expression of David’s worshiping heart: “My heart overflows with a good theme.”|
|worship that occurred on Mount Gerazim was enthusiastic heresy||worship offered at Jerusalem was barren, lifeless orthodoxy||The same two extremes are still with us today.|
|Gerazim had the spirit but not the truth||Jerusalem had the truth but not the spirit||Jesus rebuked both styles of worship when He said, “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth” (v. 24).|
WORSHIP IS AN EVIDENCE OF SALVATION.
- TRUE WORSHIP OF GOD MUST BE PROMPTED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. Philippians 3.3 One who is not saved cannot truly worship. And one who is truly saved will be motivated by the indwelling Holy Spirit to worship. It is fair, then, to examine ourselves on the basis of our worship. If you have trouble worshiping, maybe you’re not saved. If you get bored in church, or if you don’t mind missing church altogether, it may be because the Holy Spirit isn’t in you prompting your heart. If He is there, we must yield our will to His power.
- TRUE WORSHIP OF GOD MUST BE FOUNDED ON GOD’S WORD. Col. 3.15-17 Second, if we are to worship in spirit, our thoughts must be centered on God. Worship is the overflow of a mind renewed by God’s truth.
- TRUE WORSHIP OF GOD MUST BE CLEARED OF SIN. James 4; Ephesians 4.30 If I regard iniquity/ grieve not. Finally, we must be repentant. All sin must be dealt with. When we talk about worship we must talk about cleansing, purging, purifying, confessing, repenting—because the only person who can enter into communion with an utterly holy God is one whose sin is dealt with. Maybe the reason we have difficulty really abandoning ourselves in worship to God, the reason we do not experience the nearness of God, is that we have areas of our lives that are not pure in the sight of God. There is only one hindrance to worshiping in spirit—self. It can come in all kinds of packages, but the result is the same: when we set ourselves in front of God, we cannot worship Him properly. We can blame it on a lack of time, or too many distractions—but we find the time to do the projects and activities we genuinely want to do. The real problem with the one who uses those excuses is that he is too selfish—too lazy and too self-indulgent—to align his priorities properly.
Welcome to the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
The Master’s Message in John is watching Jesus through the eyes and ears of the Apostle John. We are doing this study because Jesus is the One who sent us to go and preach His gospel.
Jesus is the best One to summarize the message He wants us to share in His name. What is the Gospel? Christ Jesus answers through the eyes and ears of the Apostle that He loved – John.
John has 26 powerful scenes where our Lord Jesus Christ explains the truth about salvation, and identifies those who are saved. We have come to the third of 26 beautiful moments in Christ’s Ministry.
John captures Jesus describing believers as those who:
- Possess Jesus Christ (1.12);
- Understand salvation is only by substitution (1.29);
- Have been overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit (1.33);
- Hang on to Christ alone (2.11);
- Get to start life over again –only this time brand new and in the right way with no wrath of God to ever fear (3.1-36);
- Drinks water of life because they are convinced that Christ is their only hope (4.1-42);
||believerS possess Christ; Believers become God’s Children; BELIEVERS HAVE A Salvation THAT is only by a Supernatural event.
||BELIEVERS UNDERSTAND THAT salvation is only by substitution John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”Behold the lamb of God”. There before John stood the One whom all the sacrifices of Old Testament times had foreshadowed. It is exceedingly striking to observe the progressive order followed by God in the teaching of Scripture concerning “the lamb”. The Gospel as explained by Paul in I Cor 15:3-4 explains this so clearly Christ died for sin|
||a believer is overwhelmed by the holy spirit John 1:33 I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ God’s Holy Spirit comes and invades every part of our being, standing by to transform, deliver, heal, and protect. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the washing away of our sins, the supernatural implantation of a new heart, and the beginning of God’s work in our lives. It is instantaneous and supernatural. So in a sense, baptism does save us, baptism does wash away all sin, but the baptism that does that is only performed once and only performed by God the Holy Spirit!|
||A BELIEVER GETS salvation only by hanging on to Christ ALONE John 2:11 This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him. Salvation is a person, and He is our substitute, and we cling to him!|
||a believer get to start life over again (brand new and the right way!); a believer LOOKS AT Christ AS THEIR ONLY HOPE; a believer lives the truth; a believer loves the light Now mark these with me in your Bibles:
||A BELIEVER DRINKS CHRIST’S WATER OF LIFE; A BELIEVER HAS A SUPERNATURAL SOURCE OF LIVING WATER; DRINKERS ARE WORSHIPERS; & CHRIST IS OUR ONLY HOPE
||a believer takes Christ at his word John 4:50, 53 Jesus replied, “You may go. Your son will live.” The man took Jesus at his wordand departed. 53 Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and all his household believed.|
||a believer hears, believes, crosses over, and does good John 5:21, 24, 28-29 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. 24 “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes himwho sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed GET GREEK WORD? over from death to life. 28 “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and come out—those who have done goodwill rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.|
||a believer is one who securely comes to jesus, looking to jesus, believing jesus, drawn to jesus, PARTAKES (eats) jesus, drinks jesus, stays in jesus (Salvation equals abiding in Christ) John 6:27,29,35,37,39-40,44,47,51,54,56
||a believer has spiritual life; a believer comes to Christ John 6:63,65–66 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. 65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him.” 66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.|
||a believer chooses to do the will of god John 7:17 If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.|
||a believer has a life that is overflowing with god’s spirit in their life John 7:30,37-39 At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come. 37 On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.|
||a believer worships jesus because he knows he was blind and Christ gave him sight John 9:35,38-39,41 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” 41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.|
||a believer enters through jesus; a believer hears Christ’s voice; a believer has been saved by jesus; a believer finds pasture; a believer has an abundnat life; a believer trusts in Christ’s life laid down for their sins; a believer is known by jesus and personally knows jesus
||a believer believes in jesus John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in him.|
||a believer hates the world; a believer serves god and trusts the light; a believer is a son of light John 12:25-26,36 The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. 36 Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them. Ephesisans 5; I John 5|
||a believer believes in god the father and god the son John 12:41,43-44 Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him. 43 for they loved praise from men more than praise from God. 44 Then Jesus cried out, “When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me.|
||a believer has been bathed by god because he lets Christ wash him John 13:8,10 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” 10 Jesus answered, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.”|
||a believer has supernatural love for others John 13:35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”|
||a believer comes to Christ, are drawn by Christ, obey Christ, Love Christ, and be indwelt by god the father and son John 14:1-2,6,10,12,20,23 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.|
||a believer bears fruit;
a believer gets pruned;
a believer is chosen, appointed, fruitful, and asking John 15:2-4,6,8,16 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. If the vine speaks of all of life as one growing season, then we should get more fruit filled the older we get (ala Psalm 92), if it is many seasons then life is a succession of growing/pruning/bearing/resting and then growing/pruning…
||a believer knows god intimately John 17:2-3,6,9,20,26 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal lifeto all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 6 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”|
||a believer responds to God’s Word John18:37 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.”|
With heart quickened by God’s Word ponder William Temple’s definition of worship again only this time and measure our personal worship temperature and health:
“[Worship is] to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God,
to feed the mind with the truth of God,
to purge the imagination by the beauty of God,
to open up the heart to the love of God,
to devote the will to the purpose of God.”
Maybe we are in such a hurry on Sundays we don’t pause in our hearts, and look upward into the face of God? How could we start? Try these simple steps:
- When you come in, find a seat and then immediately stop and offer to the Lord a prayer reflecting on how much you love and adore Him.
- Then try to preview some of the hymns to prepare your heart to meaningfully ascribe them to God.
- During the preaching of God’s Word ask the Lord to speak to your heart through His Word, say ‘Speak Lord, Thy servant is listening!’
 MacArthur, John F., The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, (Chicago: Moody Press) 1983.
 Hughes, Acts, p. 50.
 Hughes, Acts, p. 50.
 Clarke, Adam, Clarke’s Commentary: John, (Albany, OR: Ages Software, Inc.) 1999.
 MacArthur, John, Jr., The Ultimate Priority, (Chicago: Moody Press) 1998.
 MacArthur, John, Jr., The Ultimate Priority, (Chicago: Moody Press) 1998.
 MacArthur, John, Jr., The Ultimate Priority, (Chicago: Moody Press) 1998.
 Pink, Arthur, W., Exposition of the Gospel of John Volume 1. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1945, p. 65.