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Heregoes
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Date Posted:27/10/2009 9:07 PMCopy HTML

Hi all

John 4 v 24: 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth."

I have heard many many sermons about this scripture both in revival and in other churches since revival and EVERYONE says it means something different. I woud be interested in any and all thoughts on what this scripture actually does mean.

HG
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Re:In Spirit and in truth

Date Posted:27/10/2009 11:23 PMCopy HTML

Hi HG

You look so lonely here on your own post with nobody else.

I'll start off with this:

When this was said by Jesus to the Samaritan woman, it was immediately after the Nicodemus chapter 3 story about being born from above, and prior to that John in chapter 1 does this wonderful summary of who Jesus is (word made flesh) - a summary of his entire mission, really.

My point is that this was a new concept to worship from what the old testament law provided. So now, in chapter 4, the Father is seeking this sort of worship of himself. Not a physical but a spiritual worship. I'm not sure it means the Holy Spirit as such in this particular verse (though maybe it does) but I take it to mean a complete change about of what went before.

I'll leave it there before I make a complete fool of myself when others who know step in ha ha.

Chips
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Re:In Spirit and in truth

Date Posted:28/10/2009 12:31 AMCopy HTML

HG

I've been thinking more about this .... Jesus was offering a woman like her HOPE - where she had none before. Because the new worship was a profound change, maybe he was pointing to the inclusiveness of the gospel compared to the exclusive nature of the old worship. Firstly talking to a Pharisee (top notch) and then the same message to the Samaritan.

Haven't touch on the 'truth' bit I know.

Now you've gone and made me think.

Chips

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Re:In Spirit and in truth

Date Posted:28/10/2009 2:34 AMCopy HTML

Hi, HG.

Are you really interested in hearing everyone's personal thoughts on what John 4:24 supposedly means, or are you interested in learning what it actually means?

Blessings,

Ian

email: didaktikon@gmail.com
Heregoes Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #4
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Re:In Spirit and in truth

Date Posted:28/10/2009 2:40 AMCopy HTML

Thanks all.

Ian: I would LOVE to know what it actually means!!

HG
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Re:In Spirit and in truth

Date Posted:28/10/2009 10:00 PMCopy HTML

Good morning, all.

A very brief summary of the most pertinent issues might help.

To begin with we need to consider John 4:24 in it's immediate literary setting, before we start reflecting on it's theological meaning. John chapter 4 presents Jesus leaving Judea in order to avoid conflict with the Pharisees; his route to Galilee taking him through Samaria. At Sychar he rests beside Jacob's Well, and encounters a Samaritan woman. John 4:4-20 covers Jesus' further use of the "misunderstood statement" as a vehicle for teaching (consider Nicodemus in the previous chapter as an earlier example of this pedagogical method), with the woman eventually realising that Jesus was the long anticipated Taheb (the Samaritan concept of the "Messiah"). In verses 21 and 22 the statement is made that the worshiping of "God" very soon would no longer be an issue of ethnicity (hence Jesus' reference to geography, coupled with his statement about ignorance), but of correctly understanding whom it is that one worships.

Consider: (1) Jesus left Judea because the Pharisees refused to accept that he taught correctly about himself and God. (2) He stopped at Samaria, a region populated by people despised by Jews, largely because the Jews believed that they failed to worship God correctly. (3) The Samaritan woman had spiritual insight enough to identify what the Jewish religious leaders failed to see: that Jesus was the Messiah! (4) In spite of this, Jesus chastened the woman for being part of a group that didn't understand  correctly who it was that they sought to worship!

In verse 23 Jesus states: "But a time is coming–and now is here–when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such people to be his worshipers" (αλλ' ερχεται ωρα και νυν εστιν οτε οι αληθινοι προσκυνηται προσκυνησουσιν τω πατρι εν πνευματι και αληθεια και γαρ ο πατηρ τοιουτους ζητει τους προσκυνουντας αυτον). First, Jesus very clearly stated that the time for correctly worshiping God had arrived. The time had arrived because Jesus had arrived. Second, that such worship would consist in "spirit and truth", and not with [the] "Spirit and truth". The distinction is qualitative: Revivalism promotes the mistaken idea that the verse teaches about the indwelling Holy Spirit (or more correctly from their perspective, "tongues") being the primary idea. However the following verse dismisses this possibility: "God is spirit, and the people who worship him must worship in spirit and truth" (πνευμα ο θεος και τους προσκυνουντας αυτον εν πνευματι και αληθεια δει προσκυνειν). Grammatically the word "spirit" (πνευμα) is a qualitative predicate nominative, whilst "God" (θεος), having the article, is the subject of the passage. In other words, being "spirit" is a quality of God, and of him alone. To worship God in spirit and truth (the conjunction "and" functions in a copulative rather than a cumulative sense) is to correctly acknowledge his rights and prerogatives to being God; it is to
correctly understand whom it is that one worships!

Revivalism has, at best, abstract conceptions regarding both God and Jesus. So too did the Samaritans, and like the Samaritans, such an inadequate understanding ensures that the worship is similarly inadequate.

This is but a general summary of the issue. We can certainly tease out the particulars should people wish to consider the detail, in detail


Blessings,

Ian

email: didaktikon@gmail.com
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Re:In Spirit and in truth

Date Posted:29/10/2009 12:57 AMCopy HTML

Thanks Ian, certainly a lot to think about there!  No worries Epi.

Now, here's what I've heard in the last 2 weeks.  I've been to 2 church services (different ones) in the last 2 weeks, and they have both spoken about this scripture.  The first one basically said it meant shouting and dancing, and the 2nd one said it meant 'our hearts linking and beating as one with God'.  Both very weak and nothing intertpretations I thought. I could barely sit there.

HG
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Re:In Spirit and in truth

Date Posted:29/10/2009 1:11 AMCopy HTML

Good morning, HG.

Well, were I in your place, I would've been "shouting and dancing" quite vocally as I departed through the door, mid service, from what I can only assume was some sort of a Pente or charismatic gathering! As for the second interpretation, it's a slightly better (and partly correct) albeit somewhat anaemic, application of the passage. The important thing to bear in mind; however, is not to confuse "meant" for "means", or "sense" for "significance". One needs to understand what the passage says before one attempts to make an application of it for us, today smiley12

Blessings,

Ian

email: didaktikon@gmail.com
Didaktikon Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #8
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Re:In Spirit and in truth

Date Posted:29/10/2009 1:35 AMCopy HTML

Epi, gratia et pax.

You're welcome. Now I'm happy to delve into the detail, but I'd rather not have to draft another 40 page exegetical essay to cover all the bases! Feel free to ask me relevant questions of interest, and I'll respond succinctly (well, as succinctly as it's possible for me to be!)

Blessings,

Ian

email: didaktikon@gmail.com
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Re:In Spirit and in truth

Date Posted:29/10/2009 1:42 AMCopy HTML

My densenness is showing through again. Let me see if I am getting this right.  To worship God in spirit and truth. The 'spirit and truth' bit of the sentence pertains to God, not to us?? 
Didaktikon Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #10
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Re:In Spirit and in truth

Date Posted:29/10/2009 2:01 AMCopy HTML

Hi, HG.

Nope. To worship in spirit and truth is to simply acknowledge who God is; to have a correct appreciation of him.

Blessings,

Ian

email: didaktikon@gmail.com
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