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May 17, 2022 4:00 am
The Lord says look isn't the place of worship lady. It isn't the place of worship. It's who you worship that is worship God as spirit. The fact is, can and often do devote enormous time and money and physical effort and mental energy to people and things in effect worshiping those things as a way of life instead of worshiping God and God alone. So how do you avoid that how you make God the sole object of your worship and keep other things from pulling your focus from where it needs to be. John MacArthur tackles those questions today as he shows you up biblical roadmap to true worship that's the title of his series on grace to you.
True worship. And now with the lesson here is John we have discussed quite a link. The idea of the importance of worship and I have told you that. Basically there are four reasons why worship is important.
First of all, because Scripture is literally filled with the truth about worship.
Secondly, because destiny is marked by worship. Thirdly, because the major theme of eternity and redemptive history. Included is worship and fourthly, because Christ commanded us to worship Scripture, destiny, eternity in the very command of Christ, tell us the importance of worship and in order to try to sum up our thinking, and draw what we've said together before we go on to the next major point in the text.
I would again have you note verse 23 that God seeks true worshipers. That's the thrust of that most important verse, and what it tells us is the very important truth that the goal of salvation is worship you to write that down somewhere. The goal of salvation is worship now to see if I can set the scene for chapter 4 verse four.
He must needs go through Samaria.
There was a divine appointment with a special woman. This was a woman, God was seeking to be a true worshiper, and as I said, God's seeking is efficacious and he sought her out sending Jesus out of the normal route to go through Samaria to a place called sidecar near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph Jacob's well was there, Jesus therefore being wearied with his journey set by the well. It was about the sixth hour by Roman time that it would be 6 o'clock in the evening there, the woman of Samaria to draw water.
Jesus said in her give me to drink first disciples gone away into the city to buy food and set the woman of Samaria and him how easy that being that you would ask us drink of me, who am a woman of Samaria for literally the Jews don't use the same vessels as the summer Jews don't drink out of our cups. We don't have any relations with Jews.
There why she asking a question to you why she's asking the question because of what just went on to verse 10 Jesus Sen. if you knew the gift of God and who it is that Seth did he give me a drink, you would've asked of him and he would've given you living water lady if you know who was talking to you and what he could give you Univest and the woman said to him since there is nothing to draw with in the well is deep from where they had asked out at a living water.
We go to get are you greater than our father Jacob who gave us the well and drank from it himself and his sons and his cattle and others of you got some kind of water that's better than this water. Are you greater than Jacob Jesus answered and Sen. who serve or drink. As of this water shall thirst again but whosoever drink of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.
But the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life eternal and the woman said, give me this water that I thirst not, neither come here to draw and then he went to the heart of the matter. I could give you this but you got a problem here. So I brought the problem, go, call your husband and the woman said I Jesus said to her you said it, you have no husband. You said it will for you have had husband's and the one you have now is not your husband you really said it lady. The woman said in him, sir. I perceive that you are good thinking why she proceeded to reasons. Number one. He spoke of supernatural truth. That's why believe, although she appears to be answering him in the literal sense. I think she understood what he was saying to some extent he is speaking about eternal things you speaking about spiritual things. Secondly, because he went right to the core and indicted her 4% and you could even add 1/3 because he knew secrets that only God could reveal. Here's a man who speaks of spiritual realities. Here is a man who deals with sin and here is a man who knows things that only God can reveal that my friend is a prophet. Her first reaction was, I gotta get my life right that's what I believe the implication is, I think she may have even felt deeply profound conviction. At this point because I think when Jesus said something to someone on a one-to-one basis, it would be a little tough to evade. Get a totally commanding presence and I think her response was I want to get my life right I want to worship like a nasty basic course were go right. I don't know where to go to worship. I mean my people say to for fear in your people say to go down there where why worship nieces lady, just a little while there is going to be up here in a down there so that is not the issue. The issue is that you worship the father in spirit and in what truth and that is the picture that sweeps us in to this marvelous teaching on true spiritual worship. Her conscience was prepped. Her soul was pure and she had to acknowledge her sin and she wanted to deal with what you know how to believe like the rest of the people in that shallow religious day. That worship is something you do someplace at some time a prescribed place and a set time, and she wasn't sure what place was the right place and so he launches into this great state that the first thing I want you to notice. We look at verses 20 to 24 is the object of worship.
Watch carefully what the text says, verse 21 the end of the first three words worship the father Miller's 23. Three words worship the father. Verse 24 mHz worship you will worship the father.
The father worship him which is more than it tells us in verse 24, who is God is spirit now beloved that uses two aspects to the object of worship. One God as spirit to God as father get those to worship God is spirit worship God as father not listen very carefully one speaks of his essential nature one speaks of his essential relationship is essential nature is that he is what spirit is essential relationship is that he is what father and both of those are basic to true worship but start out with the first one God as spirit in his essential nature and I think you'll find this tremendously exciting and believe me, when you start to try to describe God as spirit you really find yourself without words, take a wild stab and see what we can do we worship them. First of all God as spirit. God is spirit.
The one glorious spirit. Verse 24.
Again, the literal Greek in this verse is very interesting is what it says spirit, the God spirit, the God it just those two together spirit the God God the Spirit making one equal to the other. God is spirit spirit, the God one glorious spirit was a spirit what Jesus said spirit hath not what flesh and bones spirit hath not flesh and bones be promoted. Isaiah chapter 40 Isaiah chapter 40 verse 18. I think this will help us to understand what were talking about with God's spirit. Verse 18, to whom then will you liken God. In other words, if you can't deal with God is spirit, and you're going to reduce God into something else to make this can be like.
Can you draw a picture of spirit can you carve an image of a spirit can you melt down silver and make it into a formation of a spirit when you gonna make it like what like missing a comparative the workman melt some casts an image in the Goldsmith spreads it over with golden cast silver chains even is so impoverished that he hath no ablation chooses the tree that will not ROTC get the skillful workman to prepare a carved image that shall not be moved takes a tree and tries to carve the tree.
I do not know. Have you not heard it not been told you from the beginning you not understood from the foundations of the earth is he who sits on the circle of the earth. I'm here trying to reduce the eternal God, and the inhabitants of the or the like grasshoppers or stretch out the heavens stretches out the heavens like a curtain and spreads them out like a tent dwelling. This is the God of the universe in your poor little deal in a pot, carve a little piece of wood he maketh verse 23 the princes to become nothing.
He maketh the judges of the earth is vanity day they shall not be planted. Yea, they shall not be so nearly their stock shall not take root in the earth, and he shall also blow upon them initial with her in the world, when shall take them away like stubble. In other words, he says the princes are the chief people are the most important people are the most powerful people in the world are nothing when compared to God. So verse 25 to whom then will you liken me or shall I be equal. Set the holy one, lift up your eyes on high and behold who has created these things who bring about their host by number. He called them all by name is by the greatness of his might read as strong in power not one failed.
Then he goes on to talk about how the God doesn't think it's weary, never so in other words, when you conceive of and you draw in your minds eye or in theological terms biblical terms, the concept of God, you cannot reduce into an image he cannot be reduced to a building he cannot be reduced to a statue to anything is spirit must be worship in the fullness of the infinity of his eternal spirit was that knew immediately that immediately said you don't have to go to the place at a time.
The drawing I am the God, the shorter catechism says God is a spirit, infinite, eternal and unchangeable, and is being some of the cults teach that God is a man that's a lie right out of the pit. God is not a man got a spirit. Jeremiah 2323 am I God at hand set the Lord and not a God far-off was what he saying is Elizabeth, I am God. Someplace know God is not a God someplace.
He is a God everyplace you cannot confine me get any hide himself in secret places not see and I love this. Do not, I feel heaven and earth set the Lord listens.
God is not an idle confined to a place God is the infinite place. He cannot be confined to a specific place for a specific time to see how important that is in worship we go somewhere because God is there and were going there to worship at the heathen believe that God was someplace in first Samuel chapter 5, you know the Philistines had a temple and Heather God I got in there and when they stole the ark of the covenant, they thought that was the representation of the God of the Israelites. They took the ark of the covenant and they stuck it in the temple day and they figured that's where God's live over in the place of the stuffing room the next morning came back in their God agon, who was that fish God was dumped over bowing down to the ark of the covenant sleepily back up next to the came back was dumped over again only this time his hands in his head were cut God perform some supernatural surgery on that idle. But the point was the associated that God without place was the whole point. But God is a spirit and what he saying to the woman is the issue is in error. There because God is in here or there is a spirit spirit knuckle back to John chapter 4 for a moment and let's see how he's specifically responding to this lady. Verse 21, our fathers worshiped in this mountain, she says and you say in Jerusalem where is God's got appears he down there. I mean I want to get my life straight toward what many verse 21 Jesus said thunder woman. Believe me, I'm telling you the truth.
The hour comes when you shall neither in this mountain nor yet at Jerusalem. Worship the father, that statement is so loaded you can interpret with her with a sort of telescopic thought.
If you take it individually if you take it individually. It could be saying lady you're about to enter into a relationship with God through me.
That's gonna make it so you don't even worship God in either place, but in your heart. It could be saying historically, the time is coming when the destruction of Jerusalem will wipe out that place and you got nothing up on that mountain. Anyway, it could be taken in its widest possible significance that he is saying. I will bring a bow about redemptive work on the cross of Calvary that will eliminate all that is even in any way associated with the old covenant for I really think what he saying is lady. There is an end to those systems coming very very fast in a very real sense Jesus says in verse 23, the hour comes in now is that's a fascinating statement its future and yet present really mean it comes in. Yet now it he was saying.
I'm standing in the transition in one hand about the old covenant and the other had to get the new covenant. The hours coming and it's already here because here I when this is a God new covenant is here and in that new covenant.
There's no place Jerusalem and eventually got confused in 70 A.D. God just wiped out Jerusalem just wiped out and so worship is the worship of God is spirit, and as a spirit he is everywhere he is everywhere and listen to this is everywhere available to a true worship everywhere. He is predicting the end of the ceremonial system and I think he dramatizes so marvelously with one great climactic event that occurred when Jesus died on the cross was what happened to the veil of the temple rent from the top to the bottom and the whole system was over, the holy of holies was exposed the ceremonial system was ended and that I think is what our Lord really had in mind when he talked to this woman in Hebrews 10, verse 19 in the language of this marvelous book is because of what Christ is done that we have a new kind of worship. This is so beautiful. The 10th chapter talks about verse four.
This not possible for the blood of bulls and goats take away sin.
The sacrificial system couldn't do it. No way to do it but I love this verse 12. But this man to verse 11 says that those priests over and over the same sacrifice, never take away sin, but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God was immunity set down it means that he sat down because his work was what in verse 14 for by one offering he perfected for ever them that are sanctified and this is the new covenant.
Verse 16 says this is the covenant that God said I will write on their hearts, their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. And where there is this kind of total remission. There is no more need for any other offering right the sacrificial system was over what Christ he perfected everything. Verse 90 having there for.
Therefore, therefore, therefore, to make the transition because of what Christ is doing brother have mass to test all manager wouldn't go near the holiest be afraid to be dead.
You just don't know what is verse 20 by a living way, not the dead way of dead animals, not the old way of ceremonies living way which he consecrated thrust of the veil. It is to say/having a high priest over the house of God left us drawl dear Negri Road near see it's because again of the work of Christ on the cross that we become a worshiping people isn't an mountaineers. It isn't a Jerusalem those old ceremonial systems are gone and there is no place today for a special elite priest and there's no place today for alternatives and sacrificial masses and burning candles and smoking in the sentence that Judaism and paganism dragged across ignoring the new and living way, the priesthood of all believers.
That system is over.
So, our Lord says look. It isn't the place of worship lady. It isn't the place of worship. It's who you worship. That is the right it's who you worship and first of all, you worship God as spirit is she single Johnny, how can you say that God was to be worship and spirit everywhere when they had the temple listen to me.
The temple was only a resident present suitable location to start really worship as a way of life you don't understand it missed the whole point of the temple temples are symbols, not realities we sailed the Shekinah glory of God will between the wings of the chirping of the top of the mercy seat, the ark of the covenant in the holy publisher but you think God was only there and it was all it was was right in their disdain at Lieut. that was a symbol of his presence and only the ignorant Jews really can find God to the temple alone.
He may express himself in a place he may reveal himself in a place, for example. Very often, God would meet one of the patriarchs in a unique place in the patriarch built an altar there would but just because God was in one place at one time for one special reason doesn't mean he wasn't everywhere else seemed to know the temple was just to stimulate a life of worship to him.
So what is it where you worship his name and when you worship effective. Apostle Paul says I don't. I just want to tell you don't need anymore.
New moons and feast days and Sabbath days and all that.
Galatians 410, Colossians 216.
That's not the issue. God is a spirit, is to be worshiped in a spiritual way. This is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us. John is a pastor for over 50 years and he's the Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary, I trust you were encouraged today by his look at true worship. Now you could say that today's lesson was about the freedom believers have to worship God wherever and whenever they can.
That you don't need a specific space and time to draw near to God and so John, I'm wondering, how does that affect my involvement in the church if I'm worshiping all the time no matter where I am. Can that supersede my need to come and worship the church.
No, because the New Testament is crystal clear, and even the Old Testament, you have the pattern given in the nation Israel worship is not only an individual experiences and responsibility and spiritual duty.
It is a corporate one. That is why Paul says things like, to the church speak to yourselves plural in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.
You can't have worship without truth and that's another feature of coming together with the church when the word of God is taught when the word of God is preached, it becomes the truth that fuels your worship and there is obviously a high priority to the corporate expression of worship.
In fact Paul tickling first Corinthians regulates corporate expressions of worship in and confront the things that shouldn't be there, and identifies the things that should be there so what happens is your personal life long worship is enriched and in enhanced and expanded in the corporate worship of the church and that is highly necessary and powerfully blesses the life of a believer in that setting.
There's a lot about that in a book I wrote some years back called the Masters plan for the church. It talks about leadership in the church elders, deacons, it talks about the marks of an effective church. It talks about the nature of worship or talks about the nature of church discipline. The dangers church must avoid. And this all comes together to help us to see biblically how the church first of all, should worship and then should minister the title of the book. Again, the Masters plan for the church. The master courses our Lord Jesus. Great great resource for any church leader and especially those of you who are young, maybe aspire to be a pastor one day for limited time, our books all available 25% off the regular price and you can order a copy of the Masters plan for the church today, yes and if you have questions about what to look for in a local congregation or how your church can be effective in serving Christ.
John's book the Masters plan for the church can help to get a copy at 25% off the normal price. Contact us today.
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