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May 24, 2022 4:00 am
To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God to feed the mind with the truth of God to open the heart to the love of God and to devote the will to the purpose of God is all of us in response is we are rightly made the right heart attitude and what's the pattern. One of the steps to follow.
Find out with John MacArthur today on grace to you. He'll return to a study called true worship in just a few moments, but John before we get to the lesson. I know that one way we can worship God is by giving him praise and you have a letter in front of you from a man who was overflowing with praise and thanksgiving to God and I found this letter very encouraging.
I think our listeners will to so would you read that for us, I'd be glad to fill this letter comes from a man named Cory and he writes I first heard your preaching a little over seven years ago while commuting to work. I was at the lowest point in my life. I came across the grace to radio broadcast on a local station that services where I live in a rural county. I will admit I was a nominal Christian and I thought I was safe for many years.
Once tuned in, I realized quickly that I had never heard anyone preach and teach the word of God so carefully and thoroughly like you do. I knew I was hearing God speak from his word. After several weeks of listening to your broadcast. I actually understood what the gospel really was and by God's grace came to understand the saving power of Jesus Christ in my life has been forever changed. I thought that.
Was the worst experience I could possibly bear. But in hindsight it was absolutely the best thing that could ever have happened to me. He was on for your faithful service to the church show you've equip me and built me up to effectively minister to others and I've experienced the indescribable joy of leaving my wife, my children, my father and my friends to Christ in the last eight months the Lord has called me to go even deeper and follow Jesus into the ministry, my home church is very supportive of my calling and my pastor is given me the opportunity of pastoring our churches youth ministry where I'm learning and gaining experience in ministry. In this regard. You have been a major influence and role model to me personally. What's the point of all this to say thank you and show you the personal impact that your obedience to his call has had on my life. I can't begin to even thank you enough for everything that I've learned from you. May the Lord continue to bless you. Keep your make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you the signs your brother in the Lord. Cory that is why we do what we do because God's word accomplishes his divine miracle of salvation. Thank you Cory.
Yes, that letter is a great example of how God's word can transform a person's life and friend if you'd like to help bring life-changing truth to people in your community and beyond. You can do that today.
More details after the lesson, but right now, stay here as John continues his series.
True worship. Again, if you will. I'd like to ask you to open your Bible to the fourth chapter of John the gospel of John chapter 4 in our text verses 20 through 24.
Jesus here is in conversation with a woman of Samaria. The woman that he met at the well in the middle of their conversation. The matter of worship comes up.
She desires to worship God rightly. She has had her sin exposed. The Lord is unmasked. Her many adulteries and I believe that in the perception that he is a prophet from God, and later on that he even may be the Messiah. She feels a great sense of sinfulness and desires to worship God desires to come before God and set her life right in the question that comes into her mind is where did she go to do that as a Samaritan. She has worship God on Mount Garrison as a Jew. They worship God in Jerusalem and because she wants to do it right. She seeks an answer as to which is the proper place and so she speaks in verse 20 our fathers worshiped in this mountain and he say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship Jesus at thunder or woman.
Believe me, the hour, when he shall neither in this mountain nor yet Jerusalem worship the father you worship, you know not what we know what we worship for salvation is of the Jews, but the hour, then now is when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the father seek such to worship him.
God is a spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. This is the heart of the text in verse 21 Jesus says the time is going to come when it won't be at Garrison minute won't be a Jerusalem we've already discussed that the abolishing of the ceremonial system and the fact that we are called upon to worship God everywhere at all times and so forth, and particularly in the Senate in the assembly of his redeemed people.
But then in verse 22 the Lord becomes very specific in defining the nature of worship, the nature of worship. The essence what worship really is at its very heart William Temple. Years ago to find worship this way to 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 the heart to the love of God and to devote the will to the purpose of God is all of us in response to all of him is all that we are reacting rightly to all that he is now. We talked about the importance of worship have we said that the father seeks true worshipers.
Verse 23 and that makes worship very important.
That is the end and of God's redemptive plan. God seeks people to worship and that's why you're saved to worship God. That's why it's the most important more important than service more important than ministry is worship and we tried to see the importance of worship as God sees.
Worship is not what we received but it's what we give. Evelyn Underhill, writing in 1928 to a conference of clergy and the Church of England said this, we are drifting toward a religion which consciously or unconsciously keeps its eye on humanity rather than deity. The great state we are drifting toward a religion which consciously or unconsciously keeps its eye on humanity rather than deity. Even the church of Jesus Christ even evangelical church finds itself prone to be man centered, where such a consumptive society such a pragmatic society. Such a man centered society that we tend to turn everything on ourselves. We talk of men.
We talk of the needs of men. The problems of men we think and talk about our own needs and our own problems. We talk about the programs of men.
The methods of men the efforts of men. The sermons of men. The songs of men. The books of men. The churches of men. The organizations of men and somehow in all that talk.
We very often lose sight of the fact that we are to be conscious of God, far more than of men. So we talked about how important it is that we worship is a way of life. We talked about the source of worship. Generally, we said the source of worship is salvation. The seeking of the father in verse 23 is efficacious in other words, he seeks and redeems those he seeks and he seeks and redeems them to worship, so that when you were redeemed you became a worshiper. As one writer said you will awaken from your moral slumber in the morning of your regeneration to begin to worship God. And that's what Christian is Philippians 33 a worshiper of God.
We talked about the object of worship. The fact that when we come together. It is to focus on God and worship him and him alone and he is to be worshiped as spirit and is the father of our Lord Jesus Christ right we worship God then in his Trinitarian fullness. We do not evaluate worship on the basis of what it does for us. We do not come to get a blessing. We do not come to receive something we do not come asking how's it going to lift me up. How is it going to meet my need is a going to give me a good feeling was going to inspire me. I was going to bless me to do that is to substitute some active affection for object of trust, we come to give to God to worship it. He's the object in our talk today about the spirit worship just for a brief moment. We just need to clear this up in our minds is a brief review. The spirit worship Jesus indicated it's not to be in Jerusalem it's knocking to be in Mount Garrison and then in verse 24 says God is a spirit, therefore, worship is not restricted any location but it is to be done where everywhere everywhere, and yet we said there is still a temple where God meets his people and what is the corporate assembly of the living church right so while we worship God everywhere and at all times. There is still the uniqueness of the living stones a come together to be an habitation for the spirit and that's why first Corinthians 1120 Paul says they met together in one place that's for that looks cool. That little Gail that special unified formal worship when God's redeemed people come together you need to worship God everywhere and at all times, but also in the corporate assembly was redeemed people, and forsake not that assembly of yourselves together. Now, but look at the nature of worship, the nature of worship and it's simply stated in this passage. Verse 22. Let's start you worship. You know not what I want to see me but he says to a Samaritan woman you don't know what you worship. Now, first of all is acknowledging that she worships right you worship, you just don't know what you're worshiping and that is characteristic of the Samaritans, why listen now because they only accepted the first five books of the Old Testament is the only accepted the Pentateuch is from God and so their knowledge was limited, so the Lord says to them you don't know what you worship. I mean you have the pin to Ken that tells you some things about God, but not enough to have the full salvation Revelation right so you really don't know the fullness of what you're worshiping and here's what we have with the Samaritans we have enthusiastic worship without proper information.
You have the aggressive, enthusiastic, excited, faithful worship of these people but they don't assume have the right content so we would say to begin with, that they worship in spirit that there into it right.
In fact, I hear we are several thousand years later and would you like to know the Samaritans will be up on Mount Garrison doing their thing. They dip down about hundred and 70 of them a couple years ago. Now they've started reproducing again that if you were to go to Mount terrorism on their holy days you would see them slicing up animals just exactly as in the Mosaic economy they're still out and they will not give it up there enthusiastic about but they'll have the right information for very limited in terms of what they understand, limited to the first five books of the Old Testament in alleys and 61 books they haven't considered.
In the Bible.
Now, they do have enough information to know about the Messiah because he appears in Genesis doesn't it the seed of the woman. The scepter, so they have some information but it isn't enough.
And so the Lord says to them you worship in spirit but you lack the truth right you lack the information of the content, it's necessary. But back in verse 22. Not speaking of the Jews. We know what we worship for salvation is of the Jews. Now the Jews are the very opposite situation.
They accepted all of the Old Testament books all 39 books accepted all of the revelation of God. They had the truth but lacked what the spirit when you read Matthew six and it says that when the Pharisees prayed and when they gave alms.
And when they fasted their hearts were in it. Jesus says you are hypocrites you are phoning your hearts are involved in it. How many times the Jesus say to the people what was an Old Testament truth. You follow after me with the forms but your hearts on what did Paul say you have you have left out the basics and you're going through religious motions indicted the Jews again and again.
For now there were some Jews who had a zeal for God, there were some Jews who really were zealous inside, but the basic existing religion of Jerusalem, the stuff that was going on up there on Mariah was truth based on what the Bible said, but the hearts were empty. They had even pumped full of the traditions of men. So the Lord says Jerusalem has the truth but not the spirit. Garrison has the spirit but not the truth. I hear the two poles of worship. On the one hand you have Mount terrorism which is enthusiastic heresy. On the other hand, you have Jerusalem, which is barren, lifeless orthodoxy and that's what Jesus sees as he talks to the woman and may I add that that's what we see today you can see the same two extremes in the church today.
On the one hand, you've got over here that the sort of charismatic Pentecostal people who are who are just really gone that I mean they worship maybe four hours maybe all night long there pulled Manson swaying back and forth, singing songs and speaking in ecstatic language and doing whatever they're doing and we look at them and we say all all heresy. Heresy. But we can't mock their enthusiasm means. Some of them are even falling over and rolling around in all kinds of singing songs and we got them there and orthodoxy, which is closer to where we are we at all of the truth, and the right compartments. We just can't get turned on about we just don't get that excited about if aggregate board in about 30 minutes during the service were looking at her watch her counting the ease in the bulletin are so nice to do when I was little, or checking out the spots on her dresser looking at her husband and soon I been with a guy for 20 years he still is a policy choosing on me know so many so many, many districts, we got all the content and we don't know how that turned loose the heart. Those are the two poles. Truth is the balance and so he says lack, the hour is coming when the true worshipers are going to worship God in both ways in spirit and in truth right with the truth and the heart. That's what he's after the Jews had all the accurate data and no heart to kill the Messiah. The Samaritans had all the data I mean all the heart and none of the data did know the Messiah truths in the spirit both speeder the two enemies of true worship are terrorism and Jerusalem can't have one without the other brothers and balance sincerity. That's great enthusiasm.
It's great aggressive worship.
That's great, but it must be based on truth, truth, that's great dozen issuing an eager anxious thrilled Phil heart it's missing you so often have light without heat or heat without light. Jesus is the father seeks both books as a pastor and East Coast within Val Martin. He is a good statement. I think it speaks to my heart and I'm sure two years. He said this, men have worship with open Bibles and with the name of Christ and the Bible on their lips while whole congregations before them have been held in the grip of barrenness and lifelessness and powerlessness where it has been weeks and months and years since hearts have been ravished with the site of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ years since any human has been sung with abandonment years since the tears trickle down the face of a worshiper years since I hallelujah flowed out of a bursting heart." And we are guilty on that barren Orthodox side sitting here with our Bibles open all of the theology known and indifferent to the spirit of worship was talk about spirit in verse 23 and 24 it says we must worship the Father in spirit now if Jesus says we need to do this than we need to do and if you want to do. We need to know what it means how you worship the Lord in spirit but does it mean to worship in spirit. This refers to the human spirit. It basically refers to the inner person you are worship from the inside out from the inside out is not a matter of being someplace in the right place and the right time the right words the right demeanor, the right close the right formalities the right activity. The right music, the right mood now is it is the inside, the spirit in Romans 19 Paul says a very important statement.
He says God is my witness and listen to this, whom I worship with my spirit looks fool you worship God with the spirit and I love Psalm 103 note well says bless the Lord, oh my, what soul and all that is where within me, bless his holy name. That's what it's talking about. It's talking about glorifying God from within, from within only give you what I think is a very beautiful illustration of this in the 51st Psalm, you can just listen to it, write it down for reference in Psalm 51.
David comes with what I'll call the worship of repentance, but he says in verse 15 and I just think this is so wonderful. Oh Lord, open thou my lips and my mouth will show forth thy praise for thou desire is to not sacrifice else would I give it down the line is not in burnt offering the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit of broken and a contrite heart of God, thou wilt not despise Davises. I know you don't want the external stuff. I know that's not the issue that was just a symbol of the fact that you want the heart and so I ask you this, open my lips, and my mouth will show forth thy praise. I know that's is that pictures to me, a man whose heart is filled with praise and all he needs is to get his mouth open. I will come out and that's that's the worship of the spirit.
That's what it's inside and Davises my circumstances are such that I just don't have the strength to open my mouth if you will just open my mouth. It'll all come out where great picture that's what it means to worship in spirit to have a heart that is literally overflowing.
Psalm 45 want bubbling over with a good thing when the mouth is pried open just gushes out worship and praise now and get practical. How can we do this, how can we have that in us and how can we let it out of us so that we worship in spirit so that were not like the Jews who have all the facts and all the data in cold hearts board in different how can we do that, your trips number one you be several principles. First of all, you must possess the Holy Spirit, you must possess the Holy Spirit before you can worship God in your spirit, the Holy Spirit has to be there to prompt that for no man.
First Corinthians 2 says know what the things of God except the Spirit of God. And if you don't have the spirit of God within you, prompting your heart. Motivating your heart cleansing your heart instructing your heart is not going to happen. You cannot worship God without God energizing in his spirit that that's just basic that's just the bottom line is if pyridine can be saved, when you say the Holy Spirit comes with in your heart, and the Holy Spirit point you to God point you to God prods you pokes you pushes you instructs you purges you so that you may worship that's his ministry. So it all begins in with the resident holy spirit effect in Philippians 33 where it says we worship God in the spirit. Some of the manuscripts indicate we worship God in the Holy Spirit. You could either go either way. Worship God in the human spirit because we are prompted by the holy spirit. You see, no one can say Jesus is Lord prescriptions 12 except by what the spirit of God you can affirm the Lordship of Christ. You can't worship him as sovereign except by the Holy Spirit and you receive the Holy Spirit upon the reception of Jesus Christ the Savior more so you begin their look at your heart.
If you have trouble worship. Remember not say maybe the reason you get bored in church and maybe the reason you're ready to leave in 1/2 and are maybe the reason you soon miss church altogether is because you just can't get into the thing and the reason you can't get into it is because the Holy Spirit is and then you prompting your heart's fair question is you need to ask it of yourself. Score was second. The second principle I think this is so important is that thoughts must be centered on God thoughts must be centered on God is very simple, but it's a very profound worship is an overflow of the mind renewed by the truth of God. Contemplating God is the trigger that sets off worship.
It's the it's the motor that turns the flywheel that energizes the emotion you must be thinking. Thoughts of God. Now I can translate into a very familiar word that's the word meditation true worship comes forth out of meditation meditation. I forget everything you ever heard in the world about meditation.
Transcendental or any other retailer.
Meditation meets residence focusing your whole mind on one subject is basically focusing your whole mind on one subject that's a MacArthur definition, but I think it works to meditate is to focus your whole mind on one subject nephew find that hard.
It's fairly normal.
It's hard to do that is what we live in a distracted world a distracted, you know we have today just because of our exposure to media me more stuff in our brain. I think any civilization. Every May we are supposed to so much stuff. The thing is so cluttered up that our attention span is very limited, very limited, but to meditate is to concentrate your whole mind on one subject and let me taste something that is good. She too. Effective worship without question your reason, your imagination, your emotions are all concentrating on one reality. So it all begins with lots centered on God which come out of prayer and Bible study and discovery, and out of that discovery comes meditation.
Meditation works for me. I make it very simple.
No discovery, no meditation, no meditation, no worship is his grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us. John calls this study. True worship and it's really one of our classic studies and before the lesson John read a letter from a listener named Cory who was filled with thankfulness because this radio program helped him understand the gospel for the first time and friend. It's because of the support of people like you that we are able to connect with God's people in biblical truth. If you'd like to help us reach people in your community and beyond.
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