Gift of God
John 4:1-14 Summary
Jesus had a divine appointment with a woman at a well one day. She was from Samaria. (Samaritans were not liked by the Jews). He asked the woman for some water. She was surprised that he, a Jew, would ask her, a Samaritan woman, for a drink of water. Jesus told her that if she knew the gift of God, and who it was that was asking her for a drink, that she would have asked him, and he would have given her living water.
She was still thinking of literal water, so Jesus told her that everyone who drinks of the well water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that he will give them will never be thirsty again. For, the water that he will give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
Gift of God
Jesus was referring to himself as the gift of God, plus God’s grace to us, in sending Jesus (God the Son) to die on a cross for our sins, is the gift of God, as is the God-given faith necessary for us to be saved from our sins, as is our salvation from sin. Plus, eternal life with God is also the gift of God to all who are believing in Him with God-given faith (Eph. 2:8-10; Rom. 6:23).
If she only knew who it was who was asking her for a drink. And, who did he later then reveal who he was to her? He told her that he was the Messiah (the Christ), the promised seed of Abraham, the Savior of the world that the Jews had been told was coming, and that they had been anticipating. If she only knew that it was the Christ who was asking her for a drink, she would have asked him for living water.
And, what is this living water? It is the Holy Spirit, and it is our salvation from sin, and it is our eternal life with God, and it is our new lives in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
For, when we believe in Jesus with God-gifted faith, which submits to him as Lord, and which turns from sin to walk in obedience to him, then we are translated of the Spirit of God from death to life. We are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are resurrected with Christ in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Eph. 4:17-24).
And, then the Holy Spirit of God comes to live within us, and the life we now live in these flesh bodies we live by faith in Jesus Christ and empowered of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 2:20).
And, that faith is realized in what we do in obedience to our Lord. So daily, by the Spirit, we die to sin and self, and daily we take up our cross and follow Jesus Christ wherever he leads us in doing whatever it is he commands us to do (Lu. 9:23-26; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Jn. 2:3-6).
And, he fills us to overflowing with his presence, and with his love, and with his strength, knowledge, and empowerment to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to God. And, he also enables us to resist Satan, to flee temptation, and to draw near to God in full assurance of faith (Rom. 12:1-2).
And, for those who follow our Lord in obedience, and in surrender to his will, and who are walking with him, as a matter of practice, according to the Spirit of God, and who are not living their lives to please the flesh, they will have eternal life with God (Lu. 9:23-26; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
In Spirit and Truth
John 4:15-24 Summary
The woman then asked Jesus for this living water, although she was still thinking of physical water.
But, Jesus had a very curious response to her request. He told her to go call her husband and then to come back there. She admitted she had no husband. And, then Jesus acknowledged the correctness of her statement. But, then he added that she had had five husbands and that the man she was now with was not her husband.
To this the woman responded that she perceived that Jesus was a prophet. But, then she went on to talk about some differences between the Jews and the Samaritans with regard to their worship of God, although I believe that the Samaritans mixed the Jewish faith with idolatry, but then the Jews were known for that, too, throughout their history.
But, Jesus made it clear to her that their worship of God was lacking in knowledge and understanding of who He truly was and of what was required of them in their worship of him. So, it wasn’t true worship of God. But, he said, that a day was coming, and was there, when true worshipers of God would and must worship him in spirit and in truth.
True Worship of God
So, what was the message Jesus was giving to her, and to us? It was that worship of God is not outward only. It is not a formula or some religious performance. And, it is not man-made and self-determined. And, it is not restricted to a particular physical location. For, we can’t determine for ourselves how and where we would worship God. God determines those things, and it is up to us to comply with Him.
In modern day Christianity and in institutional churches they have something called “worship services” in buildings built by human hands which they call “church” and which are usually under the auspices of church denominations, and in America, under the government, too.
And, they have their routines that they often follow. Even those who are a little looser regarding structure still basically follow a specific formula of what they call worship. In some of these churches, their worship services are very formal and liturgical. Others are very loosely structured, but again, are consistent in what they do. And, then there are those who are somewhere in between, not too stiff, but not loose, either.
But, does the structure or the lack thereof, or the specific formula or routine of these “worship services” constitute true worship of God? No! Not in themselves they don’t. So, what determines if we are truly worshiping God or not? Scripture says our spiritual worship of God is giving ourselves to our Lord as “living sacrifices,” holy and pleasing to God, no longer conformed to the pattern of this world (Rom. 12:1-2).
So, we can go through all the routines of worship in something called “worship services” inside buildings called “church” and not worship God at all. We could be worshiping God, providing what we are doing is not contrary to God’s Word and his divine will for us, and providing our hearts are in the right place, and that we are living holy lives, pleasing to him. But, the routines themselves do not constitute true worship of God.
In Spirit and Truth
So, to worship God in spirit, is inward, not outward, although it may be expressed outwardly in some respects. And, it is of the heart, not of outward form or ritual. And, it is lives surrendered to Jesus Christ to walks of obedience to him, who are living separate (unlike, different) from the world in the way that we think and act and speak. And, it is of the Spirit of God and not of the flesh of man.
And, to worship him in truth is to not be hypocritical or showy or to just follow a formula, but it is to be sincere and honest in our worship of God by repenting of sin and walking in obedience to him daily, and by living lives which are separate from this sinful world and which are pure, trustworthy, faithful, moral, and upright, for the glory of God.
And, we don’t have to go to a “worship service” at a building called “church” to worship God, either, individually or collectively.
If the Holy Spirit is living within us, we are God’s temple, his house. God now lives within us, so we can worship him anywhere at any day in the week at any hour of the day or night. A group of us could meet together at a coffee house or in a parking lot or at a grocery store and together we can worship God by our lives committed to him, in obedience to him in doing what he says to do.
And, together that involves us encouraging one another in our walks of faith to obedience to Christ. And, it involves us using the gifts God has given to us to the building up of the body of Christ to maturity in Christ, our Lord. And, it includes us serving one another in the areas of ministry to which God has assigned us for the mutual encouragement of one another.
In all these ways we are worshiping God in spirit and in truth, because we are living holy lives, pleasing to God, surrendered to our Lord, which is our spiritual worship of him. And, we are no longer living after the ways of this sinful world, but we are walking by the Spirit of God, instead. And then our worship of him can also be expressed outwardly in praise, in singing, in prayer and in thanksgiving to our God for all that he has done for us.
Do You Know My Jesus?
William F. Lakey, 1956
V.B. Vep Ellis, 1957
Do you know my Jesus?
Do you know my friend,
Have you heard He loves you,
And that He will abide till the end?
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