“He Seeks Those Who Worship in Spirit” (John 4:23-24

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I. Introduction. A. Orientation. When God looks to and fro What is He looking for? Many things: Love, Fear/obey, Humility, Faith. For virtues found in His Son – Predestined to be conformed to His image, That might be useable. The more like Him, the more useable. B. Preview. Our passage this morning Gives another He’s looking for: He seeks true worshipers.

That’s why He made us: to worship Him – Not ourselves, Not to seek our own glory, Or others, to wonder at theirs,

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But to seek His.

He wants us to worship/glorify Him Narrowly: Meet with Him, His people, on Lord’s Day/Son’s resurrection, Publicly, to thank/praise Him;

And broadly: With whole lives – In all we think, say, do, In important and less important things.

There’s a lot of “worship” going on – In local churches, By professing Christians – But how much is acceptable to Him?

What’s He looking for? What will He accept? Jesus says, He’s seeking those Who worship in spirit and truth.

This morning, we’ll consider He’s looking for those who worship in spirit. This evening, in truth.

Let’s consider first,

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He looks for those who worship in Spirit. What does that mean? It means two things: 1. Where we worship doesn’t matter. 2. How we worship does. II. Sermon. A. It means first, doesn’t matter where worship. He doesn’t look in particular places.

The S. woman said our fathers w. in this mountain. By fathers, meant not only S. descendants, But J. ones: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

S. were half-bloods, Result of partial relocation plan Under Assyria. Some J. were moved to other places. Some were left there, But others moved in.

They worshipped at Mount Gerizim – That was mountain she pointed to – Which could be seen from Sychar Where they were.

4 Many traditions developed about this mountain That made them conclude This where God wanted worship, Among which That waters of Flood never covered it, And that it was there Abraham offered Isaac, Both of which aren’t true.

What was true, though, was Abraham built an altar there (Gen. 12:6, 7), Jacob bought it from Hamor and built an altar there (Gen. 33:18-20), And it was mountain where tribes Stood to pronounce blessing When Israel entered land (Deu. 27:12).

Jews, on other hand, say Jerusalem where worship. Of course, were right. This where Lord commanded temple built, Where Jews were bring sacrifices, And their men were to appear three times year.

However, even this no longer case. “Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father’” (v. 21).

5 “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (vv. 23-24).

B. In other words, With coming of NC, Doesn’t matter any longer where worship, All matters now is how.

The Lord not looking at our location, But at our hearts.

Jesus says, God is spirit, And those worship must in spirit.

He’s not talking about Holy Spirit/God is the Spirit, Though Spirit is God. Instead refers to moral nature of God – God is spirit, opposite of flesh – He is pure holiness/righteousness/love. There is no variation or shifting shadow in Him (James 1:17).

Those who approach Him Must approach in particular way:

Not a matter of location – Or rituals –

6 Ceremonial Law – Or many words, Man-made ceremonies, Or Christian celebrities and entertainment. All of these matters of form.

It’s really a matter of spirit – “Those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (v. 24). Must be referring to Holy Spirit.

Can’t mean merely our own spirit. We do have human spirit – We are body and soul/spirit – Spirit refers to personality, heart/affections, reason, will – But if unconverted, can’t please Him in our spirit, Because our heart polluted, affections evil, We reason wrongly/sinfully, We choose sin – Heart must be changed by Spirit Before what do acceptable.

Jesus fixes this: Through His work, gives Spirit.

In NC, Holy Spirit writes Law on heart (Heb. 8),

7 So love God, We reason and choose in way pleasing. As Paul writes, without love, nothing we do pleases (1 Cor. 13), But with love everything pleasing, Through Mediator, Jesus.

The only worship acceptable to God Is that by Spirit. This kind of worshiper He’s looking for.

What kind of worshipper are you? Is He looking for you? Let’s find out.

Why did you come this morning? Fact came is good – He’s looking for someone Who will set aside time to worship. We are not to forsake our gathering together (Heb. 10:25).

But why did you come? To be entertained? Probably not, Unless find worship entertaining. Did you come because of your friends?

8 Or did you come for Him?

If you came for Him, is it Because love Him, Want to thank Him, Honor Him, Because of who is?

Is it Him you love Rather than only what He gives – Salvation, Things for this life – We should love Him for these, But we should love Him for more than these.

Do you love Him for His Truth, Holiness, Because He hates sin, Loves righteousness? Did you come to show Him that love? If so, He’s looking for you.

Why are you doing the things you do with your life? Is it out of love for Him?

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Are you working just for money – We need money – Or seeking to serve and please Him?

Are you loving others – Wife, husband, brothers and sisters, children, friends – So you can be loved back, Or because you want to show your love to Him When He tells you to love others? If so, He’s looking for you.

As you young people think about your future – Where you might go to college, What you might do for living, Where live, Whom marry – Are you making your choices Based on what think best for you, Or how might best love/serve God? If it’s love for God, You’re the one He’s looking for.

Our hearts all divided to some degree – They’re not perfect.

10 But more you are filled w/Spirit – The more you love God and do what do from love for Him – The more He will take note of you And use you for His kingdom.

God is spirit. He seeks those who worship in Spirit – Who really love Him And want to honor Him in all they do.

Seek then to be filled with Spirit (Eph. 5:18). Immerse yourself in Word. Discipline self to pray. Cut off things that feed sin. Walk in the narrow path, Don’t turn to left or right. Spend time with other believer, Not the people of the world. Talk about spiritual things, Not the things of the world. If do, will be filled with Spirit, Filled with love, Better able to worship in Spirit, And more visible to God.

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This evening, See more of what this looks like – You not only to worship in Spirit, But also in truth.

In closing, If didn’t come out of love, If don’t do what do because you love Him But some other reason; He’s still looking for you, But for another reason: He wants you to turn from sin And believe in His Son, That you might be saved, And then use your life To honor Him If you haven’t, turn to Him today. Amen.

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