I believe it is important for us, as believers, to fully understand how we, in the New Covenant, have become the temple of God. John 4:23-24 always left with me questions. I want to share with you the gold I found. Let’s start with the scripture that many of us have heard quoted, even in songs:
““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.“” NASB
I have bolded the words that stick out for me and below are the questions I have had. Maybe some of these same question you have also had. I have always wondered:
- Am I a true worshiper?
- Do I worship Him in spirit and in truth?
- Am I doing a good enough job doing this?
- How do I worship Him in spirit and truth?
- How do I become a true worshiper?
- Is there something I must do to do this?
- Am I doing enough to get to the throne?
- Can He hear me?
Some of these questions I have answered in the blog post How to Pray…Unceasingly. But this is about worship and maybe like another layer of an onion that I just couldn’t keep to myself. First, we are comprised of three areas: the body, the soul and the spirit. But we are even more intricate than that. We have a heart and a mind and each of these areas have connection with God and involve faith (pistis). But I am getting ahead of myself. Oh and when Paul talks about the word of God dividing the soul and spirit it doesn’t mean what many think it means ie: the spirit is good and the soul is bad…..and they need to be separated but that is for another blog another time. Back to the above scripture. The scripture above is actually Jesus answering a statement the woman at the well had said. This puts what Jesus said into a bigger perspective or into context. Here is what she said:
“……”Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.”” John 4:19-20 NASB
Jesus lets her know salvation is to come from the Jews and worship will be changing the way it has been done for this season. He also, by the end of their private conversation, lets her know the Messiah is actually HIM. Now that we have some background let’s dig into some Greek from John 4:23-24 and we will find the gold that will set you and I free.
true= 228-alethinos= an adjective, derived from the other adjective of the same root/alēth-, 227 /alēthḗs, “true to fact”) – properly, true (real), emphasizing the organic connection (authentic unity) between what is true (228 /alēthinós) and its source or origin (note the -inos suffix). See 225 (alētheia).
I believe truth has an organic source and I also believe the organic source is Jesus Christ which is the word true. True defines how truth is tied to the organic source, who is Jesus.
worshipers= 4353 proskunetes= a worshiper see 4352
worship= 4352 proskuneo= from 4314 /prós, “towards” and kyneo, “to kiss“) – properly, to kiss the ground when prostrating before a superior; to worship, ready “to fall down/prostrate oneself to adore on one’s knees” (DNTT); to “do obeisance” (BAGD).[“The basic meaning of 4352 (proskynéō), in the opinion of most scholars, is to kiss. . . . On Egyptian reliefs worshipers are represented with outstretched hand throwing a kiss to (pros-) the deity” (DNTT, 2, 875,876). 4352 (proskyneō) has been (metaphorically) described as “the kissing-ground” between believers (the Bride) and Christ (the heavenly Bridegroom). While this is true, 4352 (proskynéō) suggests the willingness to make all necessary physical gestures of obeisance.]—(Obeisance means expressing deferential (high regard due to a superior or elder) respect).
The noun worshipers (you and I) become worshipers where the “kissing ground” is. The adjective TRUE describes the noun Worshippers. The description of the worshipers are those that see or believe or know—-what can no longer be concealed and has been revealed to man the authentic truth organically connected to it’s origin or source. Simply said: They know Who Jesus is and that He is the Truth. Plain and simple. When we exercise the faith God has given us and believe in Who Jesus is there is a place inside us that first not only perceives the truth but secondly opens the place where the Holy Spirit comes to dwell, which is known as the:
spirit=4151 pneuma= properly, spirit (Spirit), wind, or breath. The most frequent meaning (translation) of 4151 (pneúma) in the NT is “spirit” (“Spirit“). Only the context however determines which sense(s) is meant. Here this is the spirit of man: the vital principle by which the body is animated; the power by which a human being feels, thinks, wills, decides; is the rational part of man, the power of perceiving and grasping divine and eternal things, and upon which the Spirit of God exerts its influence; (πνεῦμα, says Luther, “is the highest and noblest part of man, which qualifies him to lay [h]bold of incomprehensible, invisible, eternal things; in short, it is the house where Faith and God’s word are at home”
truth= 225-alethea= Truth, but not merely as spoken; truth of idea, reality, sincerely, truth in moral sphere, divine truth revealed to man. True to fact-REALITY.
True worshipers who worship in spirit and in REALITY.
The Greek word “en 1722” which is translated as “in” has a deep meaning which I have spoken of before but I want to highlight it once again. This word means: the condition (state) in which something operates from the inside (within). Within our spirit is where we meet with God through His Holy Spirit. Those worshippers that have Truth within them are the True Worshippers who meet with God (Holy Spirit) within their spirit and this is true or the reality.
seeks= 2212 zeteo= properly, to seek by inquiring; to investigate to reach a binding(terminal) resolution; to search, “getting to the bottom of a matter.”
What I desire for believers to understand is exactly Who is living inside them and how easy it is to hear God, worship God, be changed by God, talk to God and have a relationship with Him. I can not emphasize enough how much He greatly desires to have relationship with you, more than you can even imagine. His desire is ALWAYS towards you. When you are more able to see God for Who He truly is, not what man has portrayed Him to be, you will understand just how close He is and just how prayer and worship actually works.
It is simple and easy. All of my questions were answered when I understood the Greek. So let’s unwrap John 4:23-24 with what we saw above:
On the other hand a season, a specific time period, now exists when worshipers know Me (Jesus) as the source and origin of truth and they will come towards to kiss the Father within the place where the body is animated (the Spirit exerts its influence (man-spirit)) and this is the reality; also indeed the Father seeks such a kind as this who will come towards and kiss Him.
Worship is actually coming towards to kiss someone you know to be your superior or elder. God is our superior. Worship for me is knowing how much God did for me, understanding how much He loves me, how much He in His superiority gave His Son, how His Son gave all of Himself for me and I can’t help as my spirit responds to that much love with…love inside of me towards Him. Jesus was making it known to the woman at the well that He would be the One to make the way for everyone to approach God within themselves. This is what it means to worship God in spirit and truth. We would not have to go to a specific place anymore because it would be inside us, ALL THE TIME. We have made worship to mean singing just coming together as a group of believers or singing to God by ourselves but this isn’t all that Jesus wanted ton convey when He was talking to the woman at the well because the words He choose in the Greek were much more than that. Does this mean we can’t or shouldn’t do this???? Of course I am not saying this. What I want you to understand and for me to understand is ALL of what God did through His Son, Jesus. What He had planned for us IS the closeness of Him inside us right now as a believer. God IS the Provider of all we are able to do. Plus, this helped me answer those questions I had above.
- Am I true worshiper? YES
- Do I worship Him in spirit and in truth? YES
- Am I doing a good enough job doing this? THANKFULLY HE DID THE JOB FOR ME
- How do I worship Him in spirit and truth? I JUST DO; MY SPIRIT WAS CREATED BY HIM TO BE WITH HIM
- How do I become a true worshiper? AGAIN, THANKFULLY JESUS DID THIS FOR ME
- Is there something I must do to do this? FAITH IN WHO JESUS IS
- Am I doing enough to get to the throne? HAHA, AGAIN JESUS MADE THE WAY FOR ME TO BOLDLY APPROACH THE THRONE
- Can He hear me? SINCE HE LIVES IN ME HE HEARS ME ALL THE TIME, I MEAN ALL THE TIME
Is worship always outwardly shown, no. Is it ever present within my spirit, YES. Do I “worship” enough? As a human response, no; yet as spirit, yes. I am not always aware of it but I know my spirit leaps with freedom and salvation and because of this worship is continuous in that place within me because of Him not me. Remember the only way we can worship Him is the condition in which something operates from the inside (within) where the power of perceiving and grasping divine and eternal things occur and upon which the Spirit of God exerts its influence and this is the reality we live in within this season God has called here on earth.
My worship isn’t to prove I love God. Worship is the natural outcome of the TRUTH living inside my spirit. God within me.
This is true joy. Do I always have an outward response, no; but it ALWAYS changes me from the inside out.
* all definitions of Greek come from biblehub.com