In Spirit and in Truth

Scripture: John 4:1-24, Luke 1:46-55, Luke 4:5-8
Date: 09/10/2011 
Lesson: 11
Part of Christ's mission was to demonstrate that the religious rituals were only a means to an end, and that true worship of God comes from the heart.
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Good morning and Happy Sabbath. Welcome to Sacramento central Seventh-day Adventist Church this bright, sunny Sabbath morning to worship with us. A very special welcome to you that are joining us here in our sanctuary. I'm so pleased to see you every Sabbath that you come and worship. A very special welcome to you that continually and faithfully join us every Sabbath morning to study God's Word, wherever you are, live on the internet this morning, all over the world.

We know that you will be blessed and that Jesus is in your heart because you are here to study and learn more about him. But let's sing together first, hymn 528, "a shelter in the time of storm." And this comes as a request from jizelle and malika in antigua and barbuda; aarde, mary and candace in barbados; elias, leon, betty and tim in California; charles-awah in camaroon; beverly and jill in Canada; brian and stephano in england; lorna and oswald in florida; bethel in germany; brent, louisa, deonne, jacqueline, zaria, Israel, naomi, Karen, molly, jane, neckles, marcus, linda, Karen, diana, damar and wilfred, all from grenada; ula in Hawaii; alex in hungry; alsunae and bettina and camoy in jamaica; nathalie in martinique; elizabeth and saintil in New York; matiu in new zealand; chiemela, David, kachi and victor in nigeria; vern, sandie, jamie, jenny in North Carolina; wallace in Oklahoma; abdias in saint kitts and nevis; melissa in Texas; luisa in thailand; kerina, kurlicia, alicia, anton, gideon in trinidad tobago; abila in venezuela; and chad, jim, Ruth, and ann in Washington. Hymn number 528, "a shelter in the time of storm." And we'll sing the first, second and the last verse. If you have a favorite song that you would like to sing with us in a coming Sabbath, as usual, just go to our website at, and there you can click on the "contact us" link. And you can request any hymn in our hymnal and we'd love to sing that with you on a coming Sabbath.

Our next hymn is "wonderful words of life," hymn number 286. This comes as a request from noreen in australia; kenneth in the british virgin islands; barbara and svetlana in California; franklin, lisette and dave in Canada; olinto in colombia; jane, elaine, heca and kari in england; alex in hungry; bob and Paula in Idaho; dave in Indiana; andrew in kenya; helina in New York; vern, sandy, jenny and jamie in North Carolina; marlon in the Philippines; tito and alma in South Dakota; jason in trinidad tobago; feriel in tunisia; and Michael in zambia. Hymn number 286, and we'll sing all 3 verses. Let's pray. Our kind Heavenly Father, Your Words are beautiful to us in this sin-sick world.

They promise us of a coming Savior, a king that will save us and take us to heaven. And we couldn't be more grateful. So this morning as we come to worship you on your holy Sabbath day, Lord, please accept us, our worship, our songs, our prayers, Lord, that they may uplift others around us and that they may glorify you, because you are only worthy to be glorified. So we ask your blessing on pastor steve this morning as he brings us Your Words, Lord, words of life. We just thank you for loving us so much that you gave everything.

We pray these things in your precious name, Jesus. Amen. Our study this morning will be brought to us by pastor steve allred, who's the youth pastor here at Sacramento central. Happy Sabbath. Good morning to you all.

Well, are you ready to get into God's Word today? We're on lesson number 11 today. It's the lesson that's entitled, "in spirit and in truth." And I'm really looking forward to studying this together today. You know, I always enjoy watching and sometimes talking to couples who've been married for quite a few years. You know, 20, 30, 40, 50, even 60 years. My grandparents before my grandmother passed away last year had been married for over 60 years.

And to be able to just soak in some of the wisdom from folks who had that much experience is pretty amazing. And you know, just--and especially when a couple who's been married for that long still likes each other. You know what I mean? It's a refreshing thing, isn't it? Because, you know, nowadays it seems like we don't have that going on as much, do we? And it's a sad thing because I think a lot of people today, they get into marriage, and marriage is kind of this thing that it's like, "well, let's try each other out for a while and if it works, it works; if it doesn't, 'hasta la vista, baby.'" Right? You know, I mean that's pretty much kind of our attitude. And nowadays it seems like you have maybe two different extremes, maybe more of one than the other though. On one hand, you have people who tend to see each other, and they say, "oh, he's so cute.

" And he says, "oh, she's just smoking hot," you know. And they see each other, and they're attracted. And so they get together, and they don't really get to know each other real well, right? I mean it might be a few months. It might be a year at the most maybe. Don't really necessarily have the deep conversations.

It's just more of instant attraction. Let's get together. This is meant to be. But of course those kind of relationships generally are kind of rocky. They don't last very long.

They can last long, of course, because it's all about commitment. But usually if you don't really know the other person's values or their personality or what their goals in life are, and you're just attracted to their, you know, physical appearance or whatever, it isn't a good foundation for a long-term relationship. And I see a lot of those going on in our world today. You probably do too. It seems like movie stars abound in those kinds of relationships, you know.

You're like, "wait, this person's on their sixth marriage now?" I mean it's just, it's ridiculous. Unfortunately that kind of thing is creeping into the Christian church, that attitude about marriage and relationships. I see it with my youth that I work with sometimes. Not a good thing. On the other hand, you know, we've all seen the other kind too where, you know, like who was the late princess diana and her husband, prince charles.

It was like they were supposed to get married, right? It was this thing they had to do because I don't know who told them to. And so they got married even though they didn't really like each other. And that marriage didn't seem to work out so well either. And there are marriages like that as well, right? They've got the maybe the right--it looks good on paper. You know what I mean? But yet, emotionally there just isn't anything there.

There's no attraction. And I'd like to suggest to you today, and I think you'd agree with me that a successful marriage requires both. Would you agree? Now again, again, just a disclaimer here. I'm not saying that if people got into marriage for the wrong reasons that it can't be fixed later on, or that it can't be a marriage that lasts. Because in fact, I think it can.

In fact, I think it ought to be a marriage that lasts, because God never meant for marriage to be a temporary thing. But I'm talking about, you know, from--looking at it from the front end. I think God wants marriage to be a thing that's both a match intellectually, personality-wise, values, goals, et cetera; as well as emotionally, people to be attracted to each other, to actually like each other. Right? That's a good thing. And that is what God really intended back in the beginning when he put adam and eve together, that first couple.

And ever since then, the devil has been trying to do everything he can to mess marriages up, because he knows it causes a lot of pain, not just to the people involved, but to also the people that oftentimes are around them, including children and other relatives. And so it's always nice to see a couple, they've been together for a long time and they tell you stories about how they still like each other. That is just a neat thing. And this week you might wonder why I'm even bringing that up, but this week we're talking about worshipping God, "in spirit and in truth." And have you ever seen--have you ever seen people who worship God and they've got all the rules down. It looks good on paper.

They're like, "yep, I can recite the 28 fundamental beliefs to you. I got my Bible. I know it backwards and forwards." But their religion stinks. I mean you can smell it a mile away. You can tell they're just doing it because they have to.

You know what I mean? They don't really love God, it doesn't seem like. And so on one hand, you have that kind of an experience of God some people have. On the other hand, you ever known someone who, man, it's just--it doesn't matter what you do or what you believe, it's just all about how I feel about God. And I'm going to church today to feel good and that's why I'm going to church. Right? And it seems like we kind of have--we can go into one ditch or the other.

But again, God says he wants us to worship both in spirit, that's the emotional connection aspect with God; and in truth, the intellectual, the what-do-i-believe, truth-matters aspect of worshipping God. And today we're going to be talking about that. So the lesson starts us out with our memory verse. Did you memorize it? Good. Do you want to say it for us? I'd have a microphone for you and have you do that, but the tv people might get upset with me if we do that here without a mic.

So if you find a mic though, we'll let her say it. Alright, I'll recite it for you right now. It says, "but the hour cometh and now is when the true worshippers shall," do what? (Worship) The Father how? (In spirit) "and in truth for The Father is seeking such to worship him." God is looking for, he's looking for people who both are in love with him and they're doing it for the right reasons, right? They're worshipping him in truth as well. I want to be that kind of a Christian, don't you? And as the lesson begins, it starts out with talking about the first angel's message, the call to proclaim the everlasting Gospel. You know where that's found? Where's it found? Revelation chapter what? 14:6-7, Beautiful.

That's the first angel's message. And the second and the third go on after that all the way down to verse 14, or down to verse 12 actually. So let's see, Revelation 14, the Bible talks about it there verse 6. "I saw another angel flying in heaven, having eternal Gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, every nation and tribe and tongue and people." And here's what it says in verse 7, "fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment has come; and--" do what? "Worship." Give God worship, "who made the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the springs of water." What a beautiful and clear message at the end of time, calling people to truly worship the true God, not just your version of God, right? Not just my version of Jesus, but the Bible's version of Jesus, the real one, right? The one who actually is the creator, the one who made the Sabbath. I mean these are, these are just things that are built right into this message here.

In fact that verse, verse 6, is almost like that last part is taken out of the fourth commandment there practically, right? Called to worship God in the right way, in truth, but also in spirit. So the lesson begins by saying, "isn't it amazing that the God who created this world, Jesus Christ himself, became incarnate. He came down into a human form. And the part that blows my mind and still is something I don't think I can wrap my mind around, I don't think it'll be something I can wrap my mind around for eternity, is the fact that he did not just temporarily take upon himself a human body and live down here for a little while--you know, I was just talking to someone this last week and we were comparing it to maybe like you or I becoming an ant, or some sort of an insect. And can you imagine that first of all? You know, it's like, alright, "I'm going to become an ant to go and save this ant colony.

" That's just crazy, isn't it? And then--but not just becoming an ant for a lifetime of an ant; it's a short lifetime, but becoming an ant for eternity. That is unreal, isn't it? Now I'm not saying that it's an exact comparison there between us and ants and God and us. But there is, I think, something very similar because Jesus, the infinite God who existed forever and ever in the past, and is self-existent, he could exist for eternity in the future, he will. He became a mortal, a human being, someone whose existence is limited to a human body now. He can't be omnipresent anymore.

And he's going to be that way for eternity. Is that amazing? That's just--that's amazing. That is a sacrifice, isn't it? This is incredible. And that's why, and they quote this, 1 Corinthians 1:18, "for the preaching of the cross is to them that perish," what? "Foolishness." "Why would someone do that? That is ridiculous. Why would a God, if there is such a God, do something like that.

I mean come on. That is ridiculous. We don't have that kind of love. Don't tell me that people do that kind of thing." That's what the worldly person says, because it just doesn't make sense to the carnal mind. The preaching of the cross is foolishness, right? And yet to us who are saved, it is the power of God.

I mean can you wrap your mind around it? This is why we are Christians, isn't it? This is what it's all about. It's because a God said, "listen, I will not let my creation, my children, suffer and die. I'm going to go down and redeem them. I'm going to do whatever it takes to save them." That is so beautiful. It is so profound, isn't it? And so we turn to our first lesson there on Sunday's lesson.

And we read about mary's song of praise and worship. Mary was the vessel through which God decided to reveal himself to this world. Now that is a mystery we will not comprehend. How God went from being God to being shrunk down to an embryo in the womb of mary. That is just, again, something that boggles our mind.

We don't know how it happens. And he began to grow in mary's womb. And finally he was born as a baby in this world. And as a result, now throughout centuries past, people said, "hey, if mary was the mother of God, she must have been a pretty special lady. Let's worship her.

" Right? And so you have some people who have mary as their patron saints or images of mary that they bow down to and things like that. But God never commanded us to do that to mary, did he? And yet we have to admit, even though we don't worship mary, we don't believe in venerating her like that, because the Bible does not teach that, it teaches that she was a sinner just like you and just like me. Yet she was undoubtedly a very special person, wasn't she, for God to choose her to be the mother of his son. She must have been boggled. Her mind must have been blown away.

When the angel, gabriel, showed up to her one day and he said, "hey mary, you're going to be the mother of God." "Me?" "You're the one. Whoever since eve--" you remember that promise back in Genesis 3 when God said, "I will put enmity between you, eve, and the serpent, between your seed and his seed." Every Jewish mother had wished that her son would be that Messiah. And so when the angel shows up, mary hears the news, she is just blown away. "Why me? Why am I the one who was chosen? I don't understand, God." And yet she believes and she accepts this. And so when she goes to visit--in fact, go to Luke 1 here, Gospel of Luke, Gospel of Luke 1.

When she goes to visit her cousin, elizabeth, who by the way was the mother of who? John the baptist, who was the forerunner of Christ. Interesting that these ladies were both chosen from the same family basically, kind of interesting, must have been a good family--that she is overwhelmed with joy as she meets elizabeth. And elizabeth says, "my spirit just testified within me in that what you're telling me is true, and the baby leapt within my womb when I saw you." And so mary, here's what she says in verse 46, Luke 1:46, this is her prayer of praise. She said, "my soul exalts the Lord." Verse 47, "my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior, for he has regard for the humble state of his bond slave. For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed for the mighty one has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

" And she goes on to say how God has lifted those who are of low esteem and made them to be the ones who will be regarded as blessed from now on. I mean just amazing stuff here. Now would you agree with me that mary's prayer or her hymn of praise here, did it involve some emotion, would you agree? Was she experiencing--what emotion was she experiencing here does it sound like? Gratitude, joy, happiness. Is it okay to be happy? Is it in fact a good thing to be joyful? You know, sometimes as Christians, and we're going to talk about this a little bit more later, but we can go again from one extreme to the other. We say, "well, because we don't want our religion to be based upon emotion, therefore we are going to suppress all emotion.

" But that is not what God wants us to do either, is it? So mary comes and she is jubilant. She is happy. She is excited. In the words of teenagers today, she is stoked, right? This is amazing. That was probably teenagers of about 10 years ago.

I don't know what they say today. It's always changing. You can never tell. I'm like, "what does this new word mean?" But mary is worshipping in spirit, would you agree? Joy, happiness. And yet there's also truth mixed in here.

She's saying God exalts those who are humble and poor. And he sends those who think that they're, you know, spiritually rich, he sends those people away empty handed. Verse 54 down there in Luke 1, "he has given help to Israel his servant and remembrance of his mercy as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever." Powerful stuff. Mary was overwhelmed with a sense of the miraculous in her life. You ever been there before? Where God has done something so incredible in your life that you are just overwhelmed.

Have you been there before? I can think back to a couple times in my life. After my wife said she would marry me, that was one of those times. I was like, "yes! Whoo!" I mean I was pumped, let me tell you. I was like--she wasn't my wife yet then of course, she was--i didn't know she was going to say yes, you know. That was miraculous.

That was awesome, right. I was praising God. Have you ever experienced something in your life where you were just, you knew it was a beautiful thing? And it's okay, it's okay to praise and worship God like that, isn't it? In fact, I think God wants us to do that. And so now we're going to go on to the next lesson here on Monday. And we kind of move on now to Jesus.

Jesus has been born. Mary, his mother, has brought him into this world. She raised him as a young man. God must have really, again, chosen well because she did a good job. Jesus wasn't just programmed by the way, I don't think, to you know, grow up a certain way.

Mary had a part to play in influencing who he became, right? And so he's raised as a young man. He becomes--he's baptized. And as soon as he's baptized, let's go to Luke 4. Here's what happens. The Bible doesn't tell us much about his childhood, not much at all.

It does say that he grew right in favor, in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and men. But if you go to Luke 4 now, we find that as soon as he's baptized, Jesus is taken out into the wilderness. And we're going to learn something else here about worship today. Now again, the whole lesson is all about worship. That's what we're talking about.

And so this is actually kind of coming back in again to that, Luke 4. Satan takes Jesus up onto a high mountain. Let's read verse 5, Luke 4 and let's see verse 5. Here's what it says, speaking of the devil. It says, "and he," the devil, "led him," Jesus, "up, and showed him all the Kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.

And the devil said to him, 'I will give you all this domain, and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.'" Verse 7, "therefore if you worship before me, it shall all be yours." Then verse 8 says, "and Jesus answered and said, 'it is written,' you shall worship the Lord your God and serve him only.'" Now there are a lot of things here we could talk about. We don't have the time to really get into this verse, but first of all, what's the setting here? Jesus had been fasting in the desert for how long? That's a long time. Anyone here done that before? Neither have i. Forty days without food. He is undoubtedly starving.

He's hungry. He's famished. He is--anything looks good at this point as far as food goes. And we already know that the devil came along and offered to, you know, have him turn stones into bread and do that kind of thing. So now as he looks out and he sees the panoramic view of the Kingdoms of the world that the devil showed before him, which by the way the devil can do, can't he? He can make his kingdom look nice and hide all the bad parts.

In fact, it seems like he does that a lot with us. So he shows him all the good stuff, and Jesus is--do you think he's tempted a little bit? Do you think it looks desirable, the las vegases of the world as he's stuck out in the desert there and he's famished. It's like, "man, I'd sure love to be there right now." I think it was a temptation. I don't think this was just a, you know, some sort of going through the motions ritual here. There was, you know, actual--Jesus probably felt like, "I'd like that right now.

" He was a human being. He had the same, the same desires that we have. And yet he responds with, "it is written," and then what does he say? "You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you," what? And so the lesson asks the question, very appropriate one I think. It says, "what is it about Jesus' response?" Why did he link worship with serving? Is there a connection between the two? What is the connection? What is the connection between those two things? And the lesson just brought it out. It says right here.

"We worship what we serve. We worship what we serve." Think about it for a minute. How do you know, first of all, what you worship? Now I haven't been with you this whole lesson, so I haven't gone through all of these. I'm hanging out with the youth and going through their lesson with them. But I assume you talked about what it means to worship, right? What does it mean to worship something? Can you worship--does worship involve giving your adoration to something? Does it involve giving your time to something? Does it involve giving your emotion to something? These are all elements of worship, aren't they? And so what it's saying here, Jesus is saying, "you shall worship the Lord your God, him only shall you serve.

" And we can draw out of this that if we are worshipping something--in other words, if something is consuming our time, if something is consuming our emotion, our energy, our adoration, that's worship; and therefore we're probably serving that thing. It's probably our master. Does that make sense? In other words, if our goals in life center around something to the point where it obsesses us, that could be something that's controlling our lives. I mean this is just a simple truth. It's all throughout the Bible, right? Jesus said, "hey, if you're preoccupied with making money, and that's the big thing in your life, and that comes before everything else in your life, you're serving mammon.

" Right? It could be a relationship, couldn't it? I mean we can become obsessed with certain relationships and to the point that that relationship becomes something that we worship in a way. And we serve that more than we serve God. It could be our reputation. We are so careful to just make sure that everybody thinks the right thing about us. We don't want anyone to, you know, 'cause it's our pride, right? That we are serving ourselves in that way.

And we have to be honest with ourselves. No one--you know, I can't come and tell you what you're worshipping necessarily. And neither can you do that to me. But this is something that we can do our own fearless, moral inventories about. Can't we? We can ask those questions and say, "hey, what is it that I spend my time doing?" You know, there's something that I read in the book, "steps to Christ," you might have read this before.

Listen to this. This is really--yikes, when I read this, it just cuts me to the heart every time, because I need this very often. I need to remember this. This is on "steps to Christ," powerful little book by the way, page 58. Here's the test of conversion.

Have you read this before? Here's the questions to ask: "who has the heart? With whom are our thoughts? Of whom do we love to converse? Who has our warmest affections and our best energies? If we are Christ's, our thoughts are with him. And our sweetest thoughts are of him. All we have and are is consecrated to him. We long to bear his image, breathe his spirit, do his will, and please him in all things. Who has the heart? With whom are our thoughts? Of whom do we love to converse?" That means talk about.

And I find myself so often talking about a lot of other things, lot of things other than Jesus. I want this to be more and more the case in my life, don't you? I really think this is the test of worship. Who do we worship? Is it, you know--i like to talk about other people. I don't know about you. Do you like to do that? Ah, sometimes people annoy me.

I'm just being honest with you. And I'm sure that you can identify with that. And I like to just, you know, not, you know, and sometimes I find that my conversation, it's spending a lot of time talking about other people. Now there's a time we got to address problems and deal with issues. But what's the default mode for my conversation? You know, when I just have nothing else to do, where do I go? Do I talk about that or am I talking about some other topic out there.

This is practical stuff, isn't it? So Jesus pretty much brings up a truth here. He says, "listen, worship and service are linked. Whoever you worship is who you will also serve." And that means that they're going to dictate what happens in your life. They're going to tell you what to do. And that's why it's so important that we only worship the Lord.

Would you agree? And so the lesson points this out. Look at the last paragraph on Monday's lesson. Here's what they say. They said, "thus we see a crucial point about worship. It is hard to imagine someone who worships the Lord in faith and surrender and humility and love and fear, while at the same time serving other Gods in whatever form they may come.

" It could be money. It could be our job. It could be our reputation. It could be a relationship, right? Other forms of Gods. "Worship then can be a protection for us against idolatry, the more we worship the Lord.

" In other words, this is kind of cool. It works in both ways. If you say, "you know what? I realize I'm serving money, because all my time is consumed with my job, and you know, climbing the corporate ladder," or whatever it might be. So here's what they're saying here, and I think it's true. Start to refocus your worship.

And say, "instead of worshipping my job, I'm going to start worshipping God more." Start thinking more about him. Start being more intentional about thinking about God. And it will actually help you to start, in other words, God will be become your master instead of your job. Isn't that good? That's good news, isn't it? It works in both ways. "The more we worship the Lord, even in our private devotion," that means spending time with God, you know, one-on-one with God, "the better protected we are against serving self, sin, and all the other forces vying for our influence.

" That is good news. It is true, I believe, by the way--i can testify for my own experience, when there was many years in my life where I did not have a very strong devotional life. I just, I don't know, it just wasn't happening. And then I realized that the reason was, at least for me, because I was not making it a priority. You know, I make appointments with people a priority.

I make, you know, time with my wife, you know, going on a date a priority. Right? If I'm supposed to be somewhere, I try to be there and make that a priority. But I found that my time with God, it just seemed like, you know, well, no one's really keeping me accountable here, so it just kind of slipped between the cracks. So what I had to do is actually put an appointment on my calendar, 'cause that's what I live by is my calendar, right? And I say, "this is when I'm going to spend time with God, first thing in the morning." That's what worked for me. And I found that as I do that, my attitude, my just desire to worship God, it grows the more I spend time with him.

It's a true story. It's a beautiful thing. I think you can identify with that. If you've experienced that. Okay, so let's see.

This is an interesting story. John 4, let's go there, John 4. Jesus--this is really a powerful story. I love this because it shows that God is a God who works with all of us no matter where we're at. That's the good news.

So Jesus is walking. He walked everywhere he went, it seems like. Except for a couple times he rode a donkey, right? And he's walking with the disciples. They are on their way to go to Galilee. And they walk through samaria and they're walking by a samaritan village and Jesus sits down by the well.

And he is asking his disciples to go into town and buy some food. And as he's sitting there by the well, we know what happens. A lady comes to the well. She's coming to draw her water from the well. It's in the middle of the day, usually people did this in the cooler part of the day.

But because she's kind of an outcast in the village apparently. She's someone who's ashamed of who she is. She comes when no one else is there. And so Jesus specializes in reaching people who feel like this. Have you noticed that? I mean just today have you noticed that the people, it seems like, that are most devoted to Jesus sometimes are the ones that society says, "you know what? You're not--you don't fit in.

" Right? And so this lady is one of those people. And so as she's sitting there, look what happens here. In verse 7 the--it says, "then came a woman of samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, 'give me a drink.'" "Could I have some water please?" And so the disciples, they're gone, and she says, "how is it that you being a jew ask me for a drink since I am a samaritan woman? We're not supposed to even be talking. I mean, come on, we're enemies.

" Now I don't know about you, i--we don't live in a place where we have people that we're enemies with on our borders or anything like that. But if you were to live in palestine today, this would kind of be like, you know, a Jewish person today asking someone from palestine, you know, for a drink of water. Kind of the same type of situation, right? They're fighting amongst themselves, and it's like, "hey let's be friendly." "What? I want to blow you up," or you know, whatever, right? I mean all this stuff going on over there, it's just really sad, isn't it? And so Jesus asks her for a drink. And she's just kind of baffled by this. And so they have this conversation where Jesus basically says, "listen, if you knew what I had to offer you, you'd ask me--you'd ask me for water.

" And she's like, "what are you talking about? You don't have anything here to draw with," you know. "Who do you think you are?" And, "you think you're greater than our father Jacob who dug this well?" Isn't that interesting? She connected the fact that that well was a great place with Jacob. Jacob had dug this well. And a lot of times we do that in religion today. We focus on outward forms, to make us feel like something is special.

You know what I mean? Some religions do it more than others. They say, "hey, if you have a pilgrimage to such and such a place, you will be blessed," you know. Some people make pilgrimages to sac central. You ever notice that? Yeah, I'm kidding, not really. But--so we can sprinkle them with holy water.

No, we don't do that. But people do that. And so she kind of felt like this was a special well. And the water must have been special. And Jesus said, "listen, I will give you water that will make it so that you will never thirst again.

" This water that I will give you will be a well of water inside of you, welling up to eternal life. And she said, "by all means, I'd like some of that water." And so you know what happens next. And so verse 15, the woman said to him, "sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty, nor come all the way here to draw." Verse 16, "he said to her, 'go, call your husband and come here.' And the woman answered and said, 'I have no husband.' And Jesus said to her, 'you have correctly said, 'I have no husband;' for you had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.'" I'm like, "whoa, Jesus, what's the relevance of this here? Why'd you have to bring this up in the middle of the conversation, right? I mean, come on, we're just talking about water. Now you're like, you're calling this lady out on how many husbands she's had and she's living with a guy now who's not her husband. What's going--come on!" Right? But you ever notice about Jesus, I love how gentle he is, don't you? He wasn't like, "woman, you're going to hell because you've, you know, you're living with somebody right now out of wedlock.

" He didn't say that, did he? He could have, maybe. But instead he said, "hey, let me, let me just try to help you to realize what it is in your life right now that's keeping you from truly experiencing my blessings." In a very gentle way, Jesus opened up her heart to see inside of her heart herself. How powerful is that? And so she said--the lady in verse 19, she's trying to change the subject now. She's getting uncomfortable. This guy knows way too much.

He must have done a background check down at the local, you know, fbi office or something here. She said, "sir, I perceive that you're a prophet. Let me ask you a question now that I've got you here. Let me ask you about something I've always wondered. Is it true that--is it true that at this mountain or at Jerusalem that people, you know, worship? Which is the true worship?" And Jesus kind of went with it.

He didn't say, "alright, you know, let's get back to the topic." He said, "alright, I'll go down that road with you." But instead of biting the bait. He didn't say, "nope, you got to go to Jerusalem to do the true worship." Although it was true that the jews had the oracles of God, true? Yeah, they had the truth. And so in a way--and had Jesus, himself established the temple worship at Jerusalem? Absolutely, right? But here's what he said, "woman, believe me. An hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship The Father." In other words, eventually it's not going to be about the place. It's about something else.

Look at verse 22, "you worship what you do not know." And boy, aren't there a lot of people in our world today who are doing that very same thing? They're sincere aren't they? They are sincere, but they don't know what they're worshipping. You know what I mean? You can tell, some of these people are more sincere than some of us, right? But they're worshipping a false God or no God at all. Jesus said, "we worship what we know." So there is an element here. Jesus said, "you're really sincere, but you don't know what you're worshipping." On the other hand, the jews, they know the truth. They know the truth.

But some of them aren't as sincere, are they? Some of them aren't really worshipping in spirit like you are. It says, "we worship what we know, because salvation comes from the jews." In other words, the jews have the truth. Verse 23, "but an hour is coming," this is so powerful, "and now is when the true worshippers will worship The Father," in what? "In spirit and in truth." In other words, it's not enough to just have the theory, the knowledge, to go to an evangelistic series and learn about the 2300 days. That's not enough. That is important though, isn't it? It is important.

But it's not enough, adventists. We've got to also worship with that sincerity, that spirit, like so many people in our world today have. You know, I mingle with people who are out in the world, like you do. I know that some of you have friends who are not Christians, who are not adventist. They don't know the truth that we know.

And some of these people are the most sincere, and some of them even Godly people. I believe that before it's all said and done, these people are going to come over to God's side, not just in spirit, but also in truth. And there are a lot of people out there like that. So before we're quick to hurl stones or whatever it is at those who don't agree with us out there we should remember that. Some of those people are going to be taking our spot if we're not faithful to God, right? God says, "I want people to worship me not just in theory, but in spirit as well.

" Worship is more than a form, would you agree? By pointing out some of her deepest secrets, Jesus got this lady's attention. Man. He'd get your attention too; he'd get my attention too. Wouldn't he? He then used that moment to point her to something better, the lesson says, than what she has. "Jesus said to her, 'woman, believe me,' in order to show her that true worship went far beyond the outward forms and places of worship.

He wanted her to see," I like this in the lesson, "that a personal relationship with her creator and redeemer was the foundation of worship, and that the forms and traditions of her faith, which had deviated from true religion of the jews--the true religion of the jews were certainly not." So in other words, it does matter how we worship. And it's a truism that God wants us to worship him, not just in spirit, but also in truth. Alright, let's go on to the next lesson here. I want to talk about this. This is powerful.

So we're going to really talk about that now. So look what he says here. "What do these two elements represent: spirit and truth? And how are we to apply this to our worship experience today?" Alright, first of all, spirit, again, going back to worshipping God with not just our intellect, but also with our heart. By the way, heart is what? What is our heart when we use that in the Bible term, biblical sense of the word? It is the mind, but it's more than that in a biblical sense because the Bible also--well, here's a good example. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy," what? "Heart and mind and soul.

" So why does the Bible--or it says, "heart and spirit," in some places. Why does the Bible separate heart and mind? Because in a way, yes they're the same. In a way though they're different. Mind, I think obviously we'd agree it refers to what we think about what we know. Right? Heart though is deeper.

And if you read the book of Psalms, you read the rest of the Bible, the Bible talks about our heart being the seed of our emotions and our affections, our love. Right? It's the place where we feel very deeply. Feeling is not a bad part of worship. Let's just say it again. Feeling is not a--did God create feelings? Now people can be ruled by their feelings.

People can be--make feeling a foundation of things that it shouldn't be. Again, going back to the marriage example I gave at the beginning. If a relationship is just based on, "oh, you know, I love her. She's so cute," or whatever; that's not a solid foundation. But it definitely needs to be a part of our worship, doesn't it? Emotion needs to be a part of our worship.

Not contrived emotion, but God is saying, "I want you to worship me in spirit and in truth." I like what Ellen white says in one place. She talks about this. She says that sometimes our hearts are hard. And we come and we start to worship God and it's kind of like, you know, everything God throws at us, it kind of hits our rock hard heart and it bounces off. And I'm--she doesn't say that exactly, I'm kind of paraphrasing.

But then she says this. She says sometimes that when we sing, and when we are involved with music, it opens up our heart. It kind of breaks open the well spring of emotion within us, and it helps us to actually experience that aspect of worship. In other words, emotion is a good thing, if it's within the context of worshipping God within truth as well. And music is a big part of that.

Music is about, a lot of it is about emotion, isn't it? Why do we sing instead of just--why don't we get up here and just recite the words of hymns? "Come thou fount of every blessing. Tune my heart to sing thy praise. Streams of mercy never ceasing. Call for songs of--" what is it? "Loudest praise." There you go. "Teach me ever to adore thee.

May I still thy--" I mean, does that have the same effect as, [singing] come thou fount of every blessing, right? Completely different. And the reason we sing is because it's very pleasant, well generally, right? If I were to sing you a solo, it would not be very pleasant. But it can be pleasing to our ears. It engages our emotions. Are emotions a good thing? Absolutely within the context of truth and true worship, absolutely.

The lesson here, I like what they say. They say, "Jesus is calling for a balanced form of worship." That word balanced could be abused, but I think it can be a good word too. "A worship that comes from the heart that is sincere and deeply felt, that comes from the love and the fear of God. There is nothing wrong with emotions in worship. After all our religion calls us to love God.

" And then they ask, "and how can love be separated from emotions?" Ask anyone who's been married for 50 years, and had a happy marriage, whether their love is separated from emotions. And if they say, "yes," they're lying to you about the happy marriage part, because it's not a happy marriage, is it, if love is separated from emotion. Because love and emotion have some overlap, big time. Don't they? Love is not all emotion, but it's not divorced from emotion either. And so God is saying we need to worship him in spirit.

I love this, it's beautiful. You know, you go back in the Bible, the old testament man, the Psalms, some of the Psalms, you can tell David was laying out on his face before God and saying, "God why?" And he's crying out with emotion. It's a prayer of not just a formulaic, repetitive, you know, outward form type of prayer. This is a heart-felt, gut-wrenching prayer that David is praying. I want an experience like that with God too, one that comes from deep, deep within me.

One that is from a transformed heart within me, don't you? Now, at the same time, God calls upon his true worshippers to worship him in what? In truth, right? God has revealed his truth, his law, his truth that we are expected to obey. Would you agree? And to say that we can worship God in spirit without worshipping him in truth is a lie, isn't it? In other words, if we're saying, "you know what? I'm going to go and--" you know, some people have forms of worship, that are just not biblical. They're saying, "you have to speak with--in tongues--" that are gibberish. I'm not trying to be disrespectful here. "And if you don't do that, you're not truly worshipping God.

" But that's not in the Bible. The gift of tongues that we see in the Bible was the gift of languages to communicate the truth to other people. And it was a powerful gift of the Holy Spirit. But it is not the only indication that someone has the Holy Spirit, far from it. In fact, there are many other gifts of the Spirit that are talked about in the Bible, and tongues is said to be one of the least of the gifts.

So the point being that if we are involved in false forms of worship, but yet we have a great flight of emotion with it, that's not from God either. Amen? If we're saying, "I believe in breaking one of God's commandments, and yet I'm still worshipping God in spirit, is that from God?" Absolutely not, that is not what the Bible teaches. Both matter. So here's the question to ask yourself. This is what I'm asking myself.

Is your worship more spirit than truth, or more truth than spirit? You ever thought about that? Interesting thing to think about, isn't it? You know, sometimes the way we do evangelism in our church, we attract people. We attract--we educate people I should say, in a way that says, "here this makes sense, doesn't it?" Because what we teach from the Bible I think makes a lot of sense. I haven't found anybody else out there teach anything that makes any more sense. Okay? It's really logical. It makes sense.

It's biblical. And so we tell people, "here, here it is. Here are the bullet points. Do you agree with this? Good, okay. We're going to baptize you, and you are now a Seventh-day Adventist Christian.

Praise the Lord." And that's a good thing. We need to ground people in the truth. I think we even ought to do it more than we do sometimes. But sometimes that can be divorced from any emotional aspect of experience with God. And it's something we need to be careful of because they both matter.

How can you and I learn to incorporate the balance of both these aspects in our worship? How can you do that? I'll leave that with you to think about. The story they end up with here in Luke 19 we won't read. Jesus was coming into Jerusalem with his disciples. And the multitude welcomed him. They're laying down their coats on the ground.

And the palm branches they're waving. They're saying, "hosanna to The Son of David!" And the scribes and the pharisees say, "tell them to be quiet. Why are you allowing them to praise you like this?" And Jesus said, "if they don't praise me, the very rocks are going to cry out. Nature itself has to recognize the fact that I am their creator." That's powerful stuff, isn't it? That's what worship is all about, isn't it? Have you experienced that kind of worship? Today our free offer is offer--an offer entitled, "life in the Spirit." And you can call the number on the screen. The number is 1-866-788-3966.

Again, once again, our free offer is, "life in the Spirit," a little booklet you can call in for. The number is 1-866-788-3966. Thank you for joining us for this broadcast. If you've missed any of our Amazing Facts programs, visit our website at There you'll find an archive of all our television and radio programs, including "Amazing Facts presents," "central study hour," "everlasting Gospel," "Bible answers live," and "wonders in the word.

" You'll also find a storehouse of biblical resources, geared towards answering some of your most difficult questions. And our online Bible school is just a click away. One location, so many possibilities, In six days, God created the heavens and the earth. For thousands of years, man has worshipped God on the seventh day of the week.

Now each week, millions of people worship on the first day. What happened? Why did God create a day of rest? Does it really matter what day we worship? Who is behind this great shift? Discover the truth behind God's law and how it was changed. Visit

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