Classic Christianity – Book of John Part 14 (04-30-19)
Bob George shared from John chapter 4 on Jesus encounter with a Samaritan woman. The Jews hated the Samaritans and the Samaritans hated the Jews. It was not customary for a Jew to even go through Samaria let alone talk to a Samaritan. But Jesus would meet with a Samaritan woman. After talking about living water, she asked Jesus to give her this living water. Jesus told to her to get her husband and come back. When she said she had no husband, Jesus told her she has had five husbands and the man she is living with now is not her husband.
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
She said to Jesus, “You are a prophet for how could you know these things. Then, being ashamed, changed the subject. We, Samaritans, worship on this mountain called Mount Gerizim. Yet, you Jews worship on Jerusalem. In today’s language, it would be like saying: “You people claim you have the only church but we have a church too.”
Jesus is essentially telling her: “Do not make up a religion that did not come from the Jews.”
21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.
Jesus came into this world, the Jewish world, was born of a Jewish mother and Jewish step-father. The Messiah had to be born through the line of David. The New Covenant is going to come through Jesus, through the Jewish people. The new Covenant does not exclude the non-Jews but the Jews are the source through which the New Covenant would come.
23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
True worshipers worship Him in truth and spirit. I pray in the Spirit. What is the opposite of praying in the spirit? Praying in the flesh. This is not complicated. Walking in the Spirit is walking to satisfy the love of God. It to walk according to His will and not my will. Jesus walked in the spirit as a man. When he prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, he knew the agonizing death he would face and chose to make that painful choice to accomplish the will of his Father.
41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
Walking in the Spirit is not a mystical thing. It is the opposite of walking in the flesh. Walking in the spirit is walking in love rather than selfishness and pride. So to worship Him in truth is not some man-made mambo-jumbo called Christianity. Walk in accordance with the Spirit that leads you. Can you have flesh that appears to do religious things? Yes, just as you can have religious people doing fleshly things. I am not talking about dressed up in robes like a holy man. I do not need a collar to be holy. I cannot be made holy by outward dress. You are a pastor if God has called you to be one. No one is called to preach. You may be sent to preach but you are not called to preach. You are called to Him, unto Jesus, and then he sends you where to go. This is what walking in the Spirit and in truth is. It is not something I like to do or want to do to bring glory to myself. It is an assignment he has called you to do. Does God send you into the marketplace as a businessman? Yes. How is Jesus going to be there if you are not there? A professional tennis player once asked, “Do you think God wants me on the tennis court?” Bob replied: “Do you think God wants to be on the tennis court? How is he going to be there if you are not there?” Wherever God sends you, and you respond to that, then you are walking in the Spirit. Does God send a woman to be a housewife and mother? Yes. You are called unto Jesus. That calling is a result of coming unto Him in Spirit and in truth. The assignment he has for you may not be the same assignment as he has for me. Rejoice on those truths. You cannot do that if paying attention to what other people are doing. It is great to be nice and kind. An older person says to you, “You are so nice and kind. Oh, you ought to be a pastor?” Are you listening to the pressure of people telling you what you should do or become or are you listening to what the Spirit of God is saying to you?
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Not discrediting things that may be manifested through you as seen outwardly, such raising of hands or getting goose bumps, but to discern that such things may not be indicators of someone walking in the Spirit. You do not have to be saved to get goose bumps when listening to a Christian song. You do not have to be saved to raise your arms in a church service. You just have to have arms to do that. You do not have to be saved to do those things. You have to be saved to make yourself available to have the living Christ live in you and through you.
25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming.
When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
Jesus told her that he is the promised Messiah. He identified himself as the source of salvation. Part of salvation in the Old Testament was belief in the promised Messiah. They believed as if on a credit card. The debt is not paid in full until Jesus paid the debt of sin, which is death, when he died on the cross.
27 Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?” 28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him.
When the disciples heard Jesus say, “I have food you know nothing about”, the disciples thought he was talking about physical things. Jesus often spoke spiritual truth by speaking in terms of natural things of this world that man can see and understand. Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me”. What Jesus meant was that he came to do and finish that work of dying on the cross. Jesus completed the assignment he received from God.
We have been given an assignment by God and we get discouraged at times and even stop walking in the Spirit. There is a race that God wants us to finish and cross the finish line. So we have these doubts, “I might as well give up because nobody is listening to me anyway.”
When Bob George first came to Christ, he got into evangelism immediately. Bob got weary of talking about Jesus. “I am tired of talking about Christ.” He said in his heart he would not talk about Christ. Bob had a luncheon with a credit manager through whom he was purchasing materials from. Driving there Bob continued in thinking, “God, I a not going talk to him about you. I will focus on the business.” When he got there, they started off with a casual conversation, and Bob simply asked him how he was doing. He said he was not doing well. So Bob asked further questions as to why. In the end, Bob ended up leading him to the Lord over the luncheon. God gives you an opportunity and it overrides your flesh. You say to God, “This is your business and not mine.”
We are to walk by total dependence on the Spirit of God and let Him lead us in what he wants us to do or say. Yet, in the natural flesh, we tend to worry and seek after things to satisfy our flesh. They can be good things, even to meet our basic needs, but instead of trusting God, we fall into the sin trap of worry.
31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Our attitude toward spiritual things is often the left overs. You think in your heart, “If I have time left over, then I will seek the kingdom of God.” Is that what we typically do? We tend to think of seeking something else. If you go out into the marketplace with the attitude of servitude, not to make money, but to serve people, you will find that your needs are supplied as well with no lack of joy with it. If you seek money, that is all you will get is money and it will enslave and destroy you. If you serve others, the money will follow and you will be blessed along the way in the lives of men whose lives have been touched.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
When Jesus endured the cross, he cried out quoting from Psalm 22,
fulfilling prophecy, the plan of His Father before the foundation of the world.
Purchase Today: Faith That Pleases God
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
As you read the entire Psalms, you will see the results of the obedience of Christ, the joy that was set before him (verses 27-31), and events that unfolded precisely as the psalmist wrote, as you read verses 16-18, for example:
27 All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, 28 for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations. 29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him — those who cannot keep themselves alive. 30 Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord. 31 They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!
16 Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet. 17 All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. 18 They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.
Jesus spoke from Psalm 22 on the cross, “Why have you forsaken me?” This is not an accident, but a part of a plan. Jesus will finish the race. He finished the work God gave him to do, to suffer and die to take away the sins of the world. That is what finishing the race meant for Jesus.
Jesus spoke to the crowds, “If you have ears to hear, listen”. The physical will take care of itself. When Jesus spoke to a crowd of 5000 who came to him to hear truth, their needs were provided for. They were following him. When Jesus fed the 5000, what were they there for? To get food? No, to get a message from God. When he went to the other side, what did the others come for? Not to get a message from God. Jesus, in essence, is saying this to them. “You saw me feed those people over there and saw they got fed. You are not coming to get me. You want a gift or a healing or a manifestation or wealth but not to get Christ. You are after feelings and manifestations. You are not after me. You are not one of mine.”
The most awful words to hear when you pass this life are these words
from Jesus. “I do not know who you are.”
22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work. Finishing the work God has sent you and me to do is to be what you and me are to be singularly focused on.
And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my
church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
God says, “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not overcome it”. Man says, “heck you will, I will build it” with wood, hay and stubble. All kinds of principles to build a church bigger, buildings with coffee shops full of lost people, people who do not even know who Jesus is. Church building programs as entertainment centers is all you got. Bob George as a young man was attending a Presbyterian church, unsaved like the rest of the youth. The church building had basketball courts and ping pong tables. That town drew kids. There were evangelical looking kids walking down aisles who never came to Christ. They attracted kids alright with one devastating problem. The pastor himself, with a seminary degree was also not a believer, and could not share what he did not know and have. He did not know how to give the gospel message but he drew kids with activities. Kids were busy. Would you want your kids busy or saved? If you can get saved, busy kinds, okay. But if just get busy kids not saved then when kids go to college, they turn to all kinds of sinful behavior. Bob can testify of many kids who later in life got aids. Busy alright as a kid but not saved.