Worship in Spirit and Truth (John 4:19-26)
Topic: John Scripture: John 4:19–4:26
First Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 5:6-21; Matthew 22:34-40
Second Scripture Reading: Romans 12:1-21
Sermon Text: John 4:19-26
As Reformed Christians, we believe that the Bible alone regulates how we are to worship God. We refer to this as the regulative principle. While God encourages us to use our imagination and our ability to innovate in work and in daily life, he discourages us from doing so in our worship of him. He has given us a guide explaining how to worship him and we must not deviate from it. Ligon Duncan explains why:
In contrast to all human creativity and initiative, the Bible is to be our rule for how we worship God, because the Bible is our rule for how we are to think about God—and how we worship God in turn impacts our concept of God. Put another way: how we worship determines whom we worship. That is why both the medium and the message, both the means and the object, must be attended to in true worship. So, the Bible (God’s own revelation regarding himself and his worship)—and not our own innovations, imaginations, experiences, opinions, and representations—is to determine how we worship God…There must be scriptural warrant for all we do. That warrant may come in the form of explicit directives, implicit requirements, the general principles of Scripture, positive commands, examples, and things derived from good and necessary consequences.
- For review, read John 4:15-19. Why did Jesus bring up the Samaritan woman’s sin? What are the uses of the moral law in the Christian life?
- Read John 4:20-21. What was Jesus referring to when he spoke of the coming “hour”? Where should Christians worship today?
- Read John 4:22. What is the connection between knowing Scripture and approaching God in true worship? What was Jesus explaining to the Samaritan woman about the theological errors of the Samaritans?
- Read John 4:23-24. What does it mean to worship God “in spirit and in truth”? What is the connection between this and Jesus’ explanation that “God is spirit”?
- What is the significance of the way Jesus identified himself to the Samaritan woman in verse 26? What is the connection with Exodus 3:13-15?
- In preparation for next week, read John 4:27-45. What led the Samaritan woman to profess her faith in Jesus to others in the town she lived in?