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Posted By Nan

John 4:4-26 part 2
In the last blog I talked about how we risk not receiving salvation if we try to water down our faith in God through Jesus Christ. Today I am going to talk about v23-24 when Jesus said “.. a time is coming and has now come when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the king of worshippers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
This statement had followed a comment by the women about the dispute between the Samaritans and the Jews about where it was proper to worship God. Jesus’ answer to this question was that the place of worship did not matter. There are many who think they can only worship in church. But that is not so, Jesus says that when two or more are gathered in His name then He is there with them (Matthew 18:20). He does not say whenever two or more are gathered in a properly consecrated building in my name. What is of prime importance to God in our worship is to worship the Father in spirit and truth (v23). As Jesus then went on to say “they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks” (v23).
Spirit and truth. What does worship in spirit and truth look like? This ties in strongly with John 14:6 when Jesus says he is the way and the truth and the life and that no one can come to the Father except through Him. Jesus is truth, so therefore our worship must include Jesus.
God is spirit so therefore we must worship in spirit. That is a challenge in our highly analytical world where everything must be tested and proven. But the spirit cannot be tested or proven with any human test. That is hard to accept in a world where the security of certainty is worshipped. Spirit, that is something difficult, nebulous, it suggests danger and things we cannot control. It means letting go of that need to control and giving the control to God.
So part of worship in spirit and truth is including Jesus in our worship and handing over control of our lives to God. There is a lot more to it than that. What do you think should be included in worship in spirit and truth?

Posted By Nan

John 4:4-26
This passage contains a lot of information, which I will not discuss here. This is the passage where Jesus stops at a well in Samaria and asks a Samaritan woman for some water. The woman is surprised because Jews did not associate with Samaritans. It is interesting that in several places in the gospels we read of Jesus either interacting with, or telling stories about Samaritans (the obvious one is the parable of the Good Samaritan [Luke 10:25-37]). To the Jews, associating with Samaritans made them ceremonially unclean. This little tradition was not followed by Jesus. Many commentaries make much of Jesus telling the woman that he could give her living water and of him pointing out to her how many husbands she had had and of her conversion to faith in him. I am not going to talk about that. I am going to talk about two things. One will be discussed today, and the second in my next blog.
The first point that I want to highlight from this passage is v22 when Jesus says “You Samaritans worship what you do not know”. Samaritan religion involved a faith in God, but they only accepted some of the scriptures, not all of them. Even though they worshipped the true God, they did not accept much of His revelation so they did not know him and were not saved by their faith. In the same way, many today say they believe in God but do not embrace all of the Bible. When Jesus said “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) He wasn’t saying it was OK to not believe in Him, or to only pick some aspects of God to believe and reject the rest. He was saying there is only one way to God and that is through Him. If you want proof, His statement in v22 is quite clear. The Samaritans worshipped God but only some aspects of Him. In Jesus', and therefore God’s, eyes that meant they were not saved.  Anyone who does not worship the living God, even Christians who pick and choose which parts of the Bible to believe, are not saved.
There is a great tendency in today’s world to water down our faith to make it more acceptable to others. Be careful. In watering down your faith, you may lose it.

Posted By Nan

The link I posted the other day does not lead to the article I intended. Mind you, the article is a great one and I think it is great to read, but this one is really great too.

This link should work.


Posted By Nan

John 4:1-3
This is a funny little passage. It states that the Pharisees, who no doubt were keeping a close eye on this new preacher Jesus, heard that Jesus was baptising more people than John the Baptist. John here is quick to point out that the disciples were actually the ones who were baptising. When Jesus learned of this, he left Judea and returned to Galilee.
In a way, this passage is a bridge from the events of John 3 to the discussion Jesus has with the Samaritan woman. It does not relate Jesus fleeing from trouble, but it does talk about Him making the decision to move on. There are many opinions as to why this happened. One is that Jesus’ time had not yet come so he continued his ministry elsewhere until his time did come. There is also the instruction Jesus gave his disciples in Luke 10:8-12 when he sent them out to witness to people. He told them that if their message was rejected in a town, to leave that town and go somewhere else. So I suspect He was doing just that. This reminds me of a man who used to stake out a street corner in Sydney where I once worked. This man would berate the masses of office workers stuck at traffic lights about the fires of hell and so on. I knew so many people who were pushed away from faith in God because of this man’s insistent and extremely negative words. As a Christian I used to feel particularly angry at the way he was pushing people away from God. I think in his eyes he was doing the right thing, but I doubt he ever asked God whether it was right. I have always been instructed to not push, to just witness to others through my life and give the occasional word about my faith. I will often be lead to pray for people and many times I have been blessed by seeing them come to faith in Jesus. I wonder how many people that man on the street corner brought to faith?

Posted By Nan

I have just read this article. It is so encouraging and faith inducing. It really makes clear our worship priorities. If you would like to read it the link is below.







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