Image: Worship at the Lynchburg Reformed Baptist Mission (10.8.17)
Note: Devotion take from sermon on John 4:24-42 on October 1, 2017.
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).
The conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well continues in v. 24 as Jesus announces the spirituality of God: God is a Spirit.
This verse is a key prooftext in chapter 2, paragraph 1 of our Second London Baptist confession which affirms that God is “a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions.”
Contrary to the ancient pagan religions which saw the gods as creaturely beings, and contrary to modern religions, like Mormonism, which claim that God has “a body of flesh and bones” as we do, Jesus says that God is a Spirit.
What about the incarnation, the Word made flesh? Does not the second person of the Godhead, even now, inhabit a resurrection body? Yes, but remember Christ is one person with two natures, fully God and fully man. With respect to his humanity he has a body, but this, in no way, invalidates the truth that God the Father is a Spirit.
Jesus reiterates the point made in v. 23: that God is to be worshipped in spirit and in truth. Worship is spiritual. The focus in worship is not in the physical. There are no “holy places.” God can be worshipped in a church meeting house, or in a storefront, or in a field. We do not need the props of external stimuli to worship God. In fact, such things might well mislead.
Worship is also in truth. That is, it is guided by true belief, true doctrine. The standard for true worship is not sincerity. One can be very sincere about false beliefs. What matters is truth. God is not only honored but also glorified, rightly worshipped, when his people embrace his truth. God is glorified by orthodoxy.
God is a Spirit; let us worship him in spirit and in truth.
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle
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