Again, as always, our hearts are greatly encouraged in the testimonies that we hear from those who are confessing their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. And I was reminded, as I was listening again, of the text of Luke 15 where our Lord Himself talks about the joy of God in heaven when one sinner repents. Heaven celebrates that glorious conversion, and so should we. It is the supreme experience of the church to see the fruit of gospel effort here in the very life of the church. What a great joy. Makes these Sunday nights so special because of every testimony being so unique.
Well let's open our Bibles again to a text that has become familiar to us over these Sunday nights, John chapter 4 verses 20 through 24. This is a conversation between Jesus and a Samaritan woman. And in this conversation it gets around to the subject of worship.
She says in verse 20, "Our fathers worshiped in this mountain," referring to Mount Gerizim in Samaria where the Samaritans worshiped. "You people...meaning the Jews...say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship."
She realizes that she needs to get right with God. She needs to worship the true God in the true way. Jesus has basically unmasked her sin, told her everything about her without knowing her. She understands that He's a prophet. She wants to make things right with God. She wants to become a true worshiper that God will accept. And she asks the very basic question, "Where do I go to do this? Is it in Mount Gerizim where Samaritans worship? Or is it in Jerusalem where the Jews worship?"
That gives our Lord the opportunity to give a very, very important answer. Verse 21, "Jesus said to her, 'Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem shall you worship the Father. You worship that which you do not know, we worship that which we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming and now is when the true worshipers shall 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.'"
Jesus identifies here the elements of true worship. And we have been looking at them over the last four messages. We discussed the importance of worship and I laid out a list of things that are revealed in Scripture that indicate to us that worship is the number one priority....
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