Worship "In Spirit and Truth"

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Homer
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Worship "In Spirit and Truth"

Post by Homer » Tue Sep 02, 2008 11:57 pm

The following is a summary of an argument in a passage in the book "A Gathered People" by John Mark Hicks, et al.:

Worship of the Father in the new age will be "in Spirit and Truth".

In John 4:20-21, in his discussion with the Samaritan woman, the subject concerned the proper place of worship:

(All quotes from NASB)
20. "Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship."
21. Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.


Jesus replied that in the new age, worship would be located in neither place. Temple worship is here the dominant symbol, but which temple? Literally "in" (Grk en) this mountain or the one in Jerusalem?

Jesus has previously called attention to Himself as the new temple:

John 2:19-22
19. Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."
20. The Jews then said, "It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?"
21. But He was speaking of the temple of His body.
22. So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.
23. 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 worshippers.


In the new age, worship does not matter in a geographical sense. Worship will be located in "Spirit and Truth". Mt. Gerazim and Mount Zion are contrasted with Jesus. Jesus is not contrasting the physical, external or ritual worship with the spiritual, immaterial, or inward worship. The contrast is between the type, or shadow, (the temple) with the ultimate reality - the new temple - Jesus Christ.

The traditional and/or Reformed understanding of worship "in Spirit and Truth" takes it to mean worship in the inner person and according to scripture. But this does not contast with the worship of the Old Testament faithful such as Joshua, David, Josiah, et al. Who can argue that they never worshipped in "Spirit and Truth" according to the traditional understanding? That their worship never came from the heart?

In the new age, we come into God's presence through (or in) the new Temple:

.Hebrews 10:19-25
19.Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20. by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21. and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
22. let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
23. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;
24. and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,
25. not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but ncouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.


Hebrews 12:22-24

22. But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels,
23. to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,
24. and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.


So my question is this: Is "In Spirit and Truth" a reference to "in Christ, and/or in his body, the Church"? What scripture(s) would contradict their view and support the tradional reformed understanding?

SamIam
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Re: Worship "In Spirit and Truth"

Post by SamIam » Wed Sep 03, 2008 4:30 pm

Homer,

Consider that Jesus was contrasting the existing worship with the "true worship" that He was introducing.
The traditional and/or Reformed understanding of worship "in Spirit and Truth" takes it to mean worship in the inner person and according to scripture.
To take "worship in spirit and truth" to mean "worship must be genuine and according to scripture" does not recognize that Jesus was making any contrast at all. Has not God always expected worship to be genuine and as He as directed?

My reading of "worsip in spirit and truth" is worship in spirit, as opposed to the flesh, and worship in truth as opposed to symbol.

This reading takes note of a contrast with the Temple worship which was centered on physical activities (killing sacrifices, sprinking blood, burning incense, etc., these are all actions of the flesh) that were symbols and signs pointing to the future once for all sacrifice of Jesus.

The true worship that Jesus introduces is not a matter of physical activity (with the exception of the Lord's Supper, which is designed as proclamation of Jesus death) and is not symbolic of a future reality, but is based upon and centered around the finished sacrifice of Jesus.

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utahbill
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Re: Worship "In Spirit and Truth"

Post by utahbill » Tue Sep 16, 2008 4:41 pm

to add...

I have taken "spirit and truth" to be contrasted with ritualistic and hypocritical which is what worship had been reduced to in that day.

....my two cents
Love, Grace, Peace †

Paul
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Re: Worship "In Spirit and Truth"

Post by Paul » Mon Nov 10, 2008 11:22 am

Hello Neighbor,

If I am driving down the road and my kids are fighting in the back seat, I might turn around and say "Hey, don't touch your brother." A few minutes later I hear a scream and look back and see that the same child is hitting the other child with a stuffed animal. "Well" he would say,"I am not touching him." He would be following the letter of the law sort of speak. However, he would not be following the heart or the "spirit" of the law. So when Jesus says that according to the letter of the law you should not kill, but really you should not even hate your brother without a cause, I think he is explaining the "spirit" of what that law is all about. Likewise with adultery and many other OT principals.

mikew
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Re: Worship "In Spirit and Truth"

Post by mikew » Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:35 pm

A note about the word "worship"...

Something like "prosxuneo" (i'm not a Greek expert)
In John 4:20-21 the word "worship" actually points to the concept of fawning or crouching -- , or doing homage to a king (from e-sword's copy of strong's concordance on this word).

A different word is used for the temple service (Used in Phil 3:3) :
latreuo

There were some other words too. I think I only looked at these when studying about music in the Church. But neither of these words appear to speak about music.

And may I express my nervousness about mention of a "new age" -- especially as something coming in the future. Are you talking about the present Messianic era? or what sort of age/era are you talking about. I already have the music in my head "this is the dawning of the age of Aquarius, age of Aquariusssssssssssss"

Without looking too deeply
this passage mentions a quick transition saying "an hour is coming." So this passage has great likelihood to apply to the change in people at the Day of Pentecost.


One thing seen here is that Jesus was giving a rebuke to her about trying to please God with religious behavior outside of the scriptures and without the temple. Yet at the same time Jesus was speaking to a transition away from the temple. What seems central to the "new worship," in light of the preachings of Jesus is that we only come to the Father through Jesus -- this is the new worship.

The other passage of Isaiah quoted by Jesus is about them worshipping with the lips but their hearts are far away. So in correction of this Jesus would speak of worshipping in spirit and truth.
Mat 15:7-9 You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: (8) "'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; (9) in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'"
(see also Isa 29:13)

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Homer
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Re: Worship "In Spirit and Truth"

Post by Homer » Tue Nov 11, 2008 1:06 am

Hebrews 10:19-25
19.Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20. by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21. and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
22. let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.


But do we not have here a clear reference to the way made available, to those to whom the author of Hebrews was written (Jews who knew about the Holy of Holies, behind the veil, which was not accessible to them), and to all those in Christ, to enter into the presence of God?

Mikew wrote:
Yet at the same time Jesus was speaking to a transition away from the temple. What seems central to the "new worship," in light of the preachings of Jesus is that we only come to the Father through Jesus -- this is the new worship.
Which appears to be very close to what I am saying. We come to the father through, and in, Christ, who is the new temple. Jesus said His body was the new temple:

John 2:19-22
19. Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."
20. The Jews then said, "It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?"
21. But He was speaking of the temple of His body.


And yet He also spoke of the Church as His body, as Paul spoke of the Church as a temple:

1 Corinthians 3:16

Know ye not that you are the Temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?


The "you" is plural: the Church.

So would not worship in Spirit and truth be worship in Christ? Jesus is truth.

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Paidion
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Re: Worship "In Spirit and Truth"

Post by Paidion » Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:23 pm

Homer, thanks for sharing a thought that was brand new to me! It never occurred to me that when Jesus said, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up", that He might have been referring to the temple which we, the church form, and that "the temple of His body" may have referred the corporate Body of Christ. This would explain "In three days I will raise it up" for most references to His personal resurrection indicate that it was God who raised Him from the dead. So perhaps this refers to Jesus raising up His body (the Body of Christ) in three days, as you seem to suggest.

The only thing that keeps me from accepting this explanation is verse 22:

When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.

This seems to clearly state that it was the raising of His personal, physical body which reminded the disciples of these words, and that they understood this as the body which He would raise up.

Prior to this I had been thinking that since Jesus was a prophet, He was speaking prophetically when He said, "In three days I will raise it up". That is, He was speaking in the name of His Father ---- the One who would raise up Jesus' physical body, His changed, immortal physical body.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

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Homer
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Re: Worship "In Spirit and Truth"

Post by Homer » Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:34 am

Paidion, et al

I found in comments by John Peter Lange in his commentary on John the following:

John 2:19-22
19. Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."
20. The Jews then said, "It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?"
21. But He was speaking of the temple of His body.


1. The early fathers universally acknowleded v. 21 as Jesus' response. It has been supposed that as Jesus said this He actually pointed to His body. That seems very unlikely as that would have been the solution to the riddle, and neither the Jews nor the disciples understood Him at the time. Bengel and Meyer took this view but Meyer later assumed Jesus pointed to the temple and meant that His body was the antitype of the temple and the true dwelling of God.

2. Several nineteenth century theologians suggested that John misunderstood Jesus. Jesus is referring to the temple, citing Hosea 6:2. Jesus is speaking proverbially when He says "three days", meaning a short time.
Lange regards this as inadmissable.

3. Lange then gives a third view which adheres to the interpretation of John, but sees an element of truth in the second view, and connects the two. The temple on Zion was the symbolical dwelling of God; the body of Christ was the real dwelling of God (and hence more than the temple, see Matthew 12:6). There is a deeper meaning to Jesus' words. Destroy this temple, as they had begun to do with their desecration of it, destroy it entirely by putting the Messiah to death, and in three days I will build it new, i.e., not only rise from the dead, but also by the resurrection establish a new theocracy.
Lange cites Hengstenberg: "If ye once destroy the temple of my body, and with it this external temple, the symbol and pledge of the temple of God among you, I shall rebuild in three days the temple of My body and with it at the same time the substance of the external temple, the Kingdom of God."
The crucifixion of Christ involved as a necessary consequence the destruction of the temple and the O.T. worship: the resurrection of Christ, the creation of the church, and worship, of which the temple was the type and shadow.

I think the third view is correct, and seems to fit very well with the scriptures from Hebrews that I cited earlier in this thread.

KSS
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Re: Worship "In Spirit and Truth"

Post by KSS » Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:14 pm

Hello all,
I'm new here and just wanted to say something about this passage:
John 2:19-22
19. Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."
20. The Jews then said, "It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?"
21. But He was speaking of the temple of His body.

The phrase "I will raise it up" is written with the active voice in the Greek for the verb "will raise" which means that the subject (Jesus) will actively do the raising. All other instances that talk about Jesus being raised from the dead are in the middle or passive voice in the Greek. I think that the above comment by Jesus may be referring to the time just after Mary found Jesus alive outside the grave and He told her that He was...well read it here:

Joh 20:17
Jesus replied, “Do not touch me, for I have not yet ascended to my Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

Could this "ascending" be the raising up spoken of in John 2:19? This did happen on the third day after all.

Thanks,
kss

dorianleigh
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Re: Worship "In Spirit and Truth"

Post by dorianleigh » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:08 am

Here is my perception of the purest form of worship which is based upon what I've read in Scripture, as well as listening to His still small voice:

God the father uses our body (temple) as an instrument of righteousness when we submit to the Spirit within us. As we present our bodies as a "living sacrifice" the Holy Spirit (Spirit) and Jesus (Truth) within our temple give praise and adoration to the father. Worship in its purest form has nothing to do with a building or a physical place, but rather the honor and priviledge of a Holy God receiving our offering (human, living sacrifice rather than an animal) for HIS glory.

True worship is NOT about us, it is ALL about Him. Our role in this powerful human/Heaven connection, is simply obeying His call to offer ourselves to Him as His Spirit and Jesus worship the Father through us. True worship is not about musical instruments, but rather our bodies being the instrument of His righteousness He uses to glorify the Father.

Some people believe that satan used to have musical instruments attached to his body. Satan always has a counterfeit experience for every godly experience. Isn't it interesting that this theory seems to imply that satan's form of worship was all about self rather than submission and sacrifice?
Last edited by dorianleigh on Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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