Monday, August 8, 2022

The Spirituality of God (John 4:1-26)

"God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24).

We live in an age spawned by the Enlightenment and its criticism of the spiritual realm. With the rise of scientific discovery, man began to reject beliefs grounded in a spiritual reality. They chose, rather, to believe only in those things that could be empirically proven. As our culture banished spirituality, God became unimportant—an idle fantasy of undeveloped cultures.

Despite this attempt to overthrow belief in the spiritual, society has seen a resurgence of spiritual things through the New Age, superstition, and witchcraft. This new interest in spirituality is a telling sign that people are empty. The naturalistic legacy left by the Enlightenment created a vacuum in our society. Because man is more than a physical being, people eventually turn to spiritual matters. We are made in God’s image with a spiritual dimension just as real as our physical nature.

In our study of God’s attributes, we have learned that He is eternal and infinite. These are qualities only given to a spirit, not a physical being. Though God has manifested Himself in a variety of physical forms, He is not physical, but pure spirit. “In theology the spirituality of God stresses that God has a substantial Being all His own and distinct from the world, and that this substantial Being is immaterial, invisible, and without composition or extension,” Louis Berkhof wrote. “By ascribing spirituality to God we also affirm that He has none of the properties belonging to matter, and that He cannot be discerned by the bodily senses.” Being a spirit does not mean He is a gas or an energy force, for these have a physical dimension; they also are devoid of personality. The best analogy to a spirit is the mind. The mind is distinct from the brain. It has no physical dimension, it is spiritual. God, as a spirit, can be everywhere at once, eternal and infinite.

When we worship God, we do not worship Him according to the flesh but according to the spirit. This means that we should not be overly concerned with outward things, but with the heart. Knowing that God is spirit and that He is concerned about the inward man gives us great comfort, for as our bodies pass away, our spirits are being renewed day by day.

Think about what it means to worship God in spirit and in truth. Look up Scripture passages that may help. Throughout the week think of specific things you can do to make your worship service next Sunday more spiritual. Apply these ideas to your worship not only this week but every week.