True Worshipers



 In John 4:19-20, the Samaritan women said to Jesus, (after he told her information about her life) “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.”

In response Jesus says to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 

Samaria was a part of Israel that many Jews avoided. They would go around on a longer journey rather than through Samaria when going to Jerusalem from Galilee. 

The Samaritans were Israelites from northern Israel who historically were part of the Assyrian captivity. (2 Kings 17:24-29) They had intermarried with settlers from other nations who occupied northern Israel.

The Samaritans were not thought of as Israelites by the Judeans, but rather as “people of the Mesopotamian city of Kutha/כותה‎’, which refers in itself to a certain reception of the passage 2 Kings 17.24, Josephus’ Antiquities.)

While holding to many Jewish beliefs and customs which included looking for the Messiah, the Samaritans believed that because they had come to live on Mount Gerizim they were called (because of Moses), to protect it as a sacred mountain.

The Samaritans also held different theological and political beliefs than the Judaeans in the south of Israel. While the Samaritans worshipped YHWH they had competing temples. Mt. Gerizim was the Samaritan sanctuary while the Judeans worshipped in the temple built by King Solomon in Jerusalem.

They also had different religious texts. The Samaritans had 5 books of the Torah in their Samaritan Pentateuch with a Samaritan twist, including the Mount Gerizim doctrine. The Samaritans rejected much of the Hebrew Masoretic text  consisting of 24 books.

The Samaritan women at the well was told by Jesus that the Samaritans did not know what they worshiped but the Judeans knew what they worshipped. This was due to the fact that the Samaritans had little knowledge of God because they rejected much of the Hebrew text but also because many Samaritans mixed Hellenistic ideology into their culture. (The idea of reasoning, science, moral ethics based on human standards.)

After the conquest by Alexander the Great in 332 BC, the Samaritans, like all other people groups in the region, came under the influence of Greek culture. The Samaritans in time developed their own form of Hellenism.

Fragments of Samaritan literature in Greek, as well as a number of Greco-Samaritan inscriptions ( In Palestine and the diaspora) testify to this. The Ancient Samaritans and Greek Culture Pieter W. van der Horst Faculty of Theology, Utrecht University (Emeritus), 3512 JE Utrecht, The Netherlands

The Hebrew text confirms the temple of Jerusalem as the place where YHWY was to be worshipped. That is why Jesus said, “we know what we worship.”  

“The Lord said to him: ‘I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.” 1 Kings 9:2-4

The Samaritans rejected the Judean authority of scriptures and their oral law.

Jesus made it clear to the Samaritan woman that the hour would come when neither on Mount Gerizim nor in Jerusalem would the Father be worshiped. For two reasons. Both temples would eventually be destroyed but also after Jesus’ death and resurrection those who were true worshippers of YHWY would now worship Him in spirit and in truth.

No longer would those two temples be necessary anymore because after Jesus’ death and resurrection the temple veil in Jerusalem was ripped in two, giving direct access to God for his worshippers. Jesus would now be the high priest and intercessor of his people.

Jesus told the Samaritan women that God is a Spirit and requires his worshipers to worship him from a spiritual perspective. Not from a religious perspective based on a physical temple.

YHWY no longer lives in a temple made by hands. Those who are born of God by his Holy Spirit are God’s temple. He resides in the born again spirit of his elect, chosen from the foundation of the world. Ephesians 1:4

 Jesus said, “You must be born again to enter the kingdom of God.” John 3:3


Jesus continues in John 3, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So, it is with everyone born of the Spirit”

To be born again is to be born of God, born of his Holy Spirit. (Regenerated into a new spiritual person.) Mark 1:15;  Acts 2:38

How can one become born again in order to become a child of God and enter his kingdom?

Consider the following scriptures.

The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel. Mark 1:15

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. John 3:36

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.” John 5:1        

The Gift of God!

When someone offers a free gift automatically we ask, “What’s in it for you?”

Human nature is not so trusting. Most of us have not fallen off the turnip truck yesterday! Something free usually has a benefit for the giver in there some where.

I would like to point out that God’s free gift has no benefit for the giver at all. In fact quite the opposite. All the benefits go to the recipient!

What could one possibly give to the God who made everything and owns everything? Ever try to buy a rich friend a gift? Quite impossible actually. Even if you gave a home made card all you have given is sentiment. Nice to know they are thought about but still you can’t measure up. They can get anything they want for themselves!

God has given a gift to the world in the person of Jesus Christ. Everyone who puts their trust in him for salvation will be given eternal life. They will pass from death to life.

This free gift of God’s salvation is motivated by his love and is an expression of his mercy. This free gift of salvation is God’s undeserved unmerited gift.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, but it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9)

The gift of God is not earned! We can’t work for it! We don’t need to do penitence or any kind of work or ritual to get it. A gift is simply received! That’s it!

The great thing about receiving God’s free gift is that not only are we saved by grace or undeserved mercy BUT a part of the gift is the empowerment to live a life that pleases God! He gives us the ability by his power to endure all trials and tribulations in this world because we have the assurance of an eternity spent with him.

He provides all our needs because he is our all in all! God gives us his free gift of salvation and he takes care of us while we are in this world as well!

“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me,” 2 Corinthians 12:9

 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

God’s grace saves us and also empowers us to live a life that pleases him! As we walk in the power of the Holy Spirit we are blessed with God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.

Saved by grace is different than being saved by faith as some in error preach. They put the cart before the horse!

This difference is very important. If we are saved by faith we make the salvation experience about our own effort, our own ability, but God has chosen grace because it involves no effort on our part at all.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that NOT OF YOURSELVES; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

If we had anything at all to do with our salvation we might have reason to boast but God has made salvation a free gift to those who receive (through faith) this gift of his mercy.

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. John 15:16

Not only does God give us grace to be saved but he also gives us grace to stay saved!

Are you trusting in God’s grace through Jesus Christ for his salvation? All you have to do is ask! Turn to Jesus with all your heart for he is mighty to save!

There is No One Righteous!

According to scriptures, no one is righteousness. All men ,“are under sin.” (Romans 3:9; 5:12)

What is sin? According to the Bible definition, sin is evil offensive behavior contrary to God’s nature. That is behaviour perverse, crooked, or twisted from God’s original intent.

Sin is also rebellion against God’s authority. That is breaking away from, revolting and arguing against God’s laws which leads to straying away from him and his ways as defined by scripture.

Resulting in being defiled, unclean, unjust, wicked, lawless, a wanderer, seduced and having gone astray.

That pretty much sums it up.

The Bible says that if we offend in just one point of the law of God, we have fallen short of his righteous standards and are on the naughty list. This includes all of us. (James 2:10)

Scriptures tell us that all have sinned. All fall short of God’s law and all are declared to be sinners. (Romans 3:19) (Romans 5:12).

Since we are all sinners, astray from God we need a remedy. None of us can save ourselves. We are quiet the lost cause without some one to save us from our predicament!

But “I’m not that bad,” you may say. After all I have not committed anything so horrendous as to be considered wicked. On the contrary, God considers you wicked indeed! (Romans 3:10-18)

Let me explain. If I own an expensive silk shirt and I get a stain on it that cannot be removed by natural means, as it is quiet ground in, my shirt is soiled. Now it many not be dirty and grimy as some silk shirts but nevertheless it is still not fit to dress a King! Would you offer your soiled silk shirt to the King of kings? Of course not! (Isaiah 64:6).

All have broken God’s law according to the Bible. Jesus said that if you have anger in your heart towards any person then you have sinned. Hate in God’s eyes is the same thing as murder. If you look at a person lustfully, just a look mind you, then you have committed adultery in your heart!  

I would say that we all have a stain on our silk shirts!

 “For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20)

The standard of God’s law is absolute perfect obedience. Outside of God, no one qualifies as righteous. Now for my point. Since we are all declared sinners and headed to destruction, we really do need a remedy. (Romans 6:23).

What some people do not realized is that God’s mercy trumps over his judgment. (James 2:3) According to scriptures God so wants to save us from the consequences of sin that he sacrificially gave his life for ours!   

 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved). (Ephesians 2:4-5)

 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6)  

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, being God’s heir, also deity, took on flesh and gave up his life as a sacrifice for our sins. In other words, the Son of God paid the penalty for our sins. He took our place, paid our punishment. (Romans 5:6-21)

This is good news! Only one condition. A condition? Yes, there is a condition. You see this great salvation only applies to those who receive it. Wait a minute, I thought you said God gave his life in exchange for mine? He did.

He paid a price to redeem you to himself. Not so you could continue in your sin. Oh, no that is not the exchange here. He gave his life up for you and in exchange you give your life to him. (Titus 2:14)

 When you recognize your need and receive God’s great salvation by receiving the sacrifice for your sin through Jesus Christ the Savior, then God will supernaturally make you his child, having no sin accredited to your account. He will birth you into his kingdom as a brand-new babe by his Spirit.    

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)    

Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:3, 5-6) 

Then you can rejoice in God’s goodness to you! As his child the Lord will now lead you, provide for you, and bless you as you continue to walk with him even to the end of your life.  

Search me O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24) 

O my soul, you have said to the Lord, “You are my Lord, my goodness is nothing apart from You.” (Psalm 16:2)

But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30)