John 4:4-10; 19-22 We Have Met to Worship Worship—That is a term we use a lot in the Christian world. We have worship services and worship and praise teams. We speak of salvation and its ability to grant us access to God and worship. Preachers preach on worship, singers sing about it, and Christians are supposed to be practicing it, but what is worship? Most Christians would be hard pressed to define worship. 1. Some might say, "It is going to church." (Might be where…) 2. It is singing, praising, and feeling the Spirit. (Might be part of worship.) 3. Some might say it is preaching. (Might lead to worship.) 4. Others might say it is people getting saved. (Might happen in conjunction with worship.) What is worship? A simple definition of worship is "adoring God." I would add, "Worship is the believers’ God-lead adoration to God," emphasizing the "God-lead." Why emphasize that? The Bible makes it clear that not everything that is called worship is worship. John 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. Acts 17:23 …Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. The unnamed woman in this account was asking about worship and Jesus answered her. The word "worship" is used 10 in one form or another in these verses, Jesus using the word more than the woman. However, for this woman to worship, she also needed to be saved. I think the requirements to worship are very similar to the requirements for being saved so let’s find out what is necessary for us to worship God. I. We must reject falsehoods. John 4:20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. A. The woman was speaking of "her" religion. 1. She was a Samaritan. a. Samaritans were a mix nationality. (1) When the Jews had been removed from their land, other nations were both brought in and filtered into that vacuum. (2) They married with the Jews who were left in the land and became the Samaritans. b. The Samaritans took the Jewish Bible and rewrote it, replacing their people as the blessed of God and naming their land and landmarks as the places God had sanctified. 2. This woman was raised a Samaritan and so had been raised with those falsehoods. 3. The problem was she did not recognize the falsehoods as lies. She thought what she had been taught about worship was correct. B. So it is with people. 1. We always believe that we are right and everyone else is wrong, not only in worship but in everything! 2. Today that is more true than at any time in my life. 3. People have opinions about everything. a. Salvation - Is there a God? Does He judge sin? Are all religions the same? b. Politics - Which is the lesser of two evils? c. Morality - Is it a baby or a mass of cells? Are people born homosexual? d. Practice - Is it acceptable to kneel during the national anthem? 4. The problem is and always will be that our opinions don’t matter. a. They don’t matter because you and I sinners with wrapped minds seeing things through a wrapped and very limited perspective. b. The only way we are ever going to know what is correct is for God to tell it to us. C. That is just what Jesus did for this woman! II. \\#John 4:22-24\\ We must learn truth. A. Jesus corrected her. John 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 1. In short, Jesus told the woman that she did not know WHAT she worshipped. a. The woman had asked about WHERE to worship. b. Jesus’ answer revealed that her worship was so wrong that she was not even worshipping the right WHO or WHAT. 2. One would have thought that hearing that would have bothered the woman more than it apparently did. a. I would expect an argument or at the very least an objection. (1) That is certainly what people do today. (2) The woman gave none. (3) I wonder if she already sensed that what she was taught was wrong. Maybe? Why? b. Because false worship doesn’t work. (1) Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs; however everyone’s beliefs simply will not satisfy. (2) The only thing worse than no religion is a broke religion. (3) I ask our people, If your religion won’t get you to church on Sunday morning what makes you think it will get you to haven when you die?" B. After Jesus corrected her, He taught her the truth. John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. 1. \\#23\\ He taught her about a new relationship with God. John 4:23 …for the Father seeketh such to worship him. a. God was known by many names in the Old Testament. (1) Each name taught something about Him. (2) Jesus introduced a completely new name, "Father." b. "Father" implies love, forgiveness, help, comfort. (1) This woman was not going to worship the Creator, the Strong One, the Self-Existing One, the Judge, the God of Peace, the Provider, or any of the other titles given to Him. (2) She was going to worship the "Father." (1) The One who loved her. (2) The One who would forgive her. (3) The One who would help her. (4) The One who would comfort her. 2. \\#23\\ A change in worship was at hand. a. That might bother some people but while the means of salvation has never changed (it has always been by faith and repentance), the means of worship has changed several times. (1) In the beginning, worship was unobstructed fellowship with God. (Adam and Eve walked with God in the cool of the evening.) (2) After sin, worship was offering sacrifices to God around a homemade altar. (There was a man-slain sacrifice for man-made sin on a home-made altar.) (3) Once the law came, worship was very formal requiring much attention and obedience. (Very formal requiring certain participants with certain possession at a certain place follow a certain procedure.) (4) Today worship is done through the Holy Spirit and based on having, believing, and obeying the truth. (5) When we get to heaven, worship will be unobstructed praise and adoration of God. b. The change was happening right "now," even as Jesus was living. 3. \\#24\\ Today, God’s appointed method of worship is in the Holy Spirit and build on truth. a. The only way to worship God is from your spirit through His Holy Spirit. (1) No people, places, possessions, or procedures are needed to worship God. (2) A saved soul, a clean heart, and the Holy Ghost will produce worship every time! (3) That is not to say we ought to abandon the house of God for God warned against that \\#Heb 10:25\\. (4) However, Christians can and should worship God at all times in all places. b. The only altar to worship on is truth. (1) Neither falsehoods nor ignorance are acceptable to God today. (2) The truth has been written in the Bible; Bibles have been published in many of today’s languages; Evangelists and missionaries have carried the truth far and wide; Churches have been established across the globe; Radio and television waves beamed the truth around the world. (3) There really is no excuse for error or ignorance. (4) Every individual is responsible for making certain that would they believe is what the Bible teaches. 4. To worship certainly requires that we forsake falsehoods about God, worship, sin, salvation, and ourselves. It also requires that we find and accept the truth. III. We must repent of sin. John 4:16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. 17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: 18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. A. Why did Jesus bring up the fact that this woman was living with a man who was not her husband? 1. Because adultery is sinful. 2. Sin must be repented of in order to be saved or to worship. B. The same sin that keeps lost people out of heaven will keep saved people from worship. 1. Whenever we chose to sin, we are doing the same thing the Old Testament folk did when they worshipped a false god. 2. We are choosing to love a person, possession, or an event more than God. C. Repent means to turn away from. 1. It means to quit following sin and start following Jesus. 2. Sin separates from God. a. It separates unsaved people. b. It also separates saved people—not like it separates the unsaved but it does break our fellowship with God. 3. You cannot worship God if there is sin in your life. a. You are choosing your sin and rebellion over God and that is as wicked as worshipping any idol. b. Turn from it back to God! IV. We must recognize the Sovereign. John 4:25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. 26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he. A. Once falsehoods are removed and truth is learned, we can see Jesus as who He is, God. 1. There is no worship before that and there can be no abiding worship if that process is not continuously repeated. 2. Isn’t it interesting that Jesus was standing right in front of her and she did not know who He was? 3. God was in the flesh talking to her and she did not recognize Him! B. Why? How is that possible? 1. It is possible because God decided that salvation for the lost and worship for the saved would be by man’s desire and choice, not His. 2. God could force Himself on someone who doesn’t want Him. a. God has that power, but God will not. b. In both salvation and worship, God waits for you to want Him. V. We must receive the Savior. A. There is no verse that tells us when this woman actually welcomed Jesus as her Savior. 1. \\#26\\ Jesus told her who He was. 2. \\#28\\ The woman has left her water pot and gone to tell the people who Jesus is. 3. I believe somewhere between those two actions, this woman received Jesus as her Savior. B. There should be a point in time when you with though and deliberation asked Jesus to forgive you of your sins. VI. We will reveal the story. John 4:28 The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, 29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? 30 Then they went out of the city, and came unto him. A. Most feel this woman was coming to the well at noon because she knew it would be empty. 1. She was an adulteress living in a small village. 2. But she left her water and pot to run through the streets of her village telling people about Jesus. B. Once we find the Savior, no force on this earth will stop us from revealing the story.
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