The God We Worship
"…The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, I perceive that
You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain; and you
Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to
worship. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming
when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship
the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship,
for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is
coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the
Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship
Him. God is spirit; and those who worship Him must
worship in spirit and truth.’". John 4:19-24
To the adulterous woman of Sychar, Jesus
revealed Himself as Christ and Savior. He also revealed that true
worshippers worship God in spirit and truth. To worship God we must
worship Him from the core of our being which is spirit. We must also
worship Him in truth…a basic knowledge of the one true God. Let us
consider that truth about God revealed in the scriptures.
GOD IS CREATOR
In the beginning God created the heavens and
the earth." Genesis 1:1. Whenever the material universe began God was already
there. Everything material came into existence by the creation of
God…in all the heavens as well as in all the earth. Genesis proceeds
to tell us that the original creation was formless and void. It does
not tell us how long it remained in this state…whether a few seconds
or longer. It simply states that during this time the Spirit of God
was moving over the surface of the waters.
We are told that the creation as we experience it
was formed in six literal days identified by an evening and a
morning making each day. On these six days God formulated:
light and darkness / the waters of earth and the
expanse of the heavens
dry land with vegetation / the appearance of the
sun, moon, and stars
the creatures that swim in the sea and the
fowls that fly in the air
animals, insects, and man / On the seventh day,
Creation did not create itself. Creation was
created by the Creator Who is the One True God. We are also informed
about Jesus, "All things were made through Him and without Him nothing
was made that was made".
GOD IS SPIRIT
We are told many things about "the Spirit of God"
in Old Testament scriptures, but it is the clear statement of Jesus
to the woman of Sychar that gives us the fullest understanding. "God
is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and
truth." John 4:24. Theologians are not very good at telling what
"spirit" is. "A non-material personal being, self-conscious and
self-determining" is about as good as they do. It is difficult to
understand that God is a living person Who thinks and acts without
having a material body. Part of man is also spirit for Jesus said we
must worship God in spirit and truth. That spiritual nature of man
died to God through the sin of Adam and Eve. Man’s spirit is made
alive to God by being born again by the Holy Spirit.
GOD IS A TRINITY
"Trinity" is a condensed version of "Tri-unity".
It means there is one God, but this God has revealed Himself in
three personalities, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The trinitarian
nature of God can be seen in the Genesis account of creation. The
Hebrew word for God is Elohim, "the strong One". Elohim is used as a
singular noun even though it ends in the plural "him", a plurality
of three or more. God is revealed as holding counsel with Himself
through the process of creation "Then God said, let Us make man
in Our image…" Genesis 1:26; "Then the Lord God
said, Behold the man has
become like one of Us…" Genesis 3:22. Some other statements are: "Let
Us go down, and there confound their language." Genesis 11:7
"Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Isaiah 6:8
Christians also see the trinity in these
words of Isaiah, "Come near to Me, hear this: I have not spoken
in secret from the beginning; From the time it was, I was
there. And now the Lord God and His Spirit have sent Me."
At the baptism of Jesus the Son is baptized; the
Father speaks from heaven and the Holy Spirit descends on Jesus in
the form of a dove. (Matthew 3:16,17).
In the Great Commission, Jesus stated the formula
for baptism is, "…baptizing them in the name (singular)
of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. "
The apostolic blessing given by the apostle Paul
reads, "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of
God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all."
2 Corinthians 13:14
When Stephen was being stoned to death we read, "But
he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the
glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God."
We worship and serve one true God Who has
revealed Himself in three persons –Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
GOD IS INFINITE, ETERNAL AND UNCHANGING
By infinite we understand that God is
beyond all measure or comprehension. Man is finite and has all
manner of limits and bounds. But not so, God.
By eternal we understand that God is
without beginning or end. There never was a time in the past when
God did not exist and there will never be a time in the future when
He ceases to exist. Jesus spoke of Himself as, "…the Alpha and
the Omega, the beginning and the end." Revelation 1:8; "I
am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End..."
Revelation 21:6; "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the
Beginning and the End, the First and the Last." Revelation 22:13
By unchangeable we glimpse the perfect
self-consistency of God that never needs to change. "For I,
Lord, I do not change; therefore you are not
consumed, O Sons of Jacob." Malachi 3:6. In every age God is the same and never
changes. Over the centuries God has given progressive revelation
about Himself, but He has not changed. In His dealings with man God
has "appeared" to have changed. But the true fact is that all
changes are on man’s side. The same man may experience the
chastening of God (for sin) and the favor of God (for faith and
obedience). Man changes. God remains the same.
The character qualities of God are referred to by
theologians as His attributes. It is important to remember that the
infinite, eternal, unchangeable nature of God is active in all His
God Is Present Everywhere.
Everything everywhere is immediately in God’s
presence. David was impressed with this truth when he wrote "Where
can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If
I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell,
behold You are there." Psalm 139:7,8. The writer of Hebrews, in
chapter 4:13 reminds us "And there is no creature hidden from His
sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to
whom we must give account." The prophet, Jonah, tried to flee from the
presence of God, but found it impossible…even in the depth of the
God Knows Everything
God’s knowledge never increases or decreases. He
knows everything with full and perfect knowledge. He knows the
future with just as full and perfect knowledge as He knows the past.
Nothing ever catches God by surprise. He has never said, "Oops!" and
He never will.
God Possesses All Power
When we fully accept the truth that God spoke the
building blocks of all things material into existence in an instant
of time and brought all things into their present order in six days
we begin to grasp something of the infinite power of God. Creation
of the universe is no more of an accomplishment to God than laying
out a baseball diamond is to us…and He takes far better care of His
universe than we do baseball diamonds. There is no limit to God’s
God Is Perfect In Holiness, Justice and Goodness
These words describe God’s moral qualities:
Holiness refers to the infinite purity of God that requires Him
to withdraw from all that is sinful or defiles. In the Song of Moses
we are informed that God is "glorious (or Majestic)
in holiness" - Exodus 15:11. Through the Old Testament we learn
that God’s name is holy; His Spirit is holy; His scriptures are
holy; His acts are holy and places and things are made holy by His
presence. Jesus instructed His disciples to pray that God’s name be
reverenced as holy. Matthew 6:9 Demonic spirits recognized Jesus as
"the Holy One of God!" Mark 1:24. True believers in Christ
are referred to as "the elect of God, holy, and beloved."
Colossians 3:12. The church is referred to as "the bride
of Christ, holy and without blemish" Ephesians 5:27. The church is
also referred to as a "holy temple and a holy nation".
Ephesians 2:21 and 1 Peter 2:9. Peter reminds believers that God has
commanded "You shall be holy for I am holy". 1 Peter 1:16.
refers to that quality of God that
requires Him to be perfectly right in all His dealings with man,
angels and fallen spirits. His punishment and rewards in this life
and eternity are perfectly right. "And He shall judge the world in
righteousness; And He shall administer judgment for the peoples in
includes God’s loving nature spoken
of so eloquently by Jesus, "For God so loved the world, that
He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should
not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16. God’s goodness
includes His common grace in causing "His sun to rise on the
evil and the good and sends rain on the just and the unjust".
Matthew 5:45. The redeemed of God can be especially grateful for
God’s special grace in saving them from their lost condition and
bringing them into His family as His dear children.
God Is Perfect In Truth
"It is impossible for
God to lie" - Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18. When God states any matter to be fact, it can be
relied on to be true. When God makes a promise and man meets the
conditions of receiving the benefits of the promise, God cannot do
otherwise than fulfill the promise. When God prophesies a future
event, it is certain that the event will be fulfilled at the proper
time. All the laws of mathematics, logic, chemical, and physical
science are expressions of God’s perfect truth.
God Is Perfect in Love, Compassion, Mercy
"God is love"
we read in 1st John 4:8 and 16. From the lips of Jesus
came those beautiful words, "For God so loved the world, that He
gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not
perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16.
"...For the Lord your God is a merciful
God" was revealed to Israel through Moses.
Deuteronomy 4:31. Four time we read in Psalms that God is "full
A phrase that often occurs throughout the Psalms is
"...the LORD is good for His mercy (or
loving kindness) endures forever." Indeed,
the theme of God's mercy pervades both the Old and New Testaments.
Mercy is God withholding the just punishment of our sins because of
His lovingkindness. God can be merciful because of the
sacrifice for our sins by Jesus one the cross.
God is a God of Grace. The
fullness of this truth was revealed in the coming into the world of
His Son, Jesus. "And the Word (Jesus) became flesh,
and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the
only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth..." "For
the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through
Jesus Christ." John 1:14 and 17
To the Samaritan woman the most important factor
in worship was location. "Our fathers worshiped in this mountain;
and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to
worship." That still seems to be the most important factor with
people today. "We must worship in a building that is connected with
a certain denomination." "We must worship in a building that has a
certain form of architecture and has a certain form of service."
Jesus stated that with His coming the time had begun when location
had no importance at all. "Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming
when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, shall you worship
the Father…But an hour is coming, and now is when the true
worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth…" As far
as location we can do that anywhere.
To properly worship the Father we must worship
Him with our spirit that has been made alive to God through
spiritual birth by the Holy Spirit. We receive this spiritual birth
when we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior. The Holy Spirit comes to
dwell within us (See John 16:16,17) and helps our spirit to worship
God. We must also worship God in truth. Few of us need to be told
that the false ideas mankind has about God are numberless. In this
message we have presented the basic truth God has revealed about
Himself. As we embrace this truth and come into agreement with this
truth we meet the requirements to become a true worshiper of God.
May each of us strive to worship God in spirit
and in truth.
Copyright © 2002 Thomas E Berry
All Scriptures quoted from NKJV unless otherwise noted
Copyright © 2008 Truth Helpers Inc.