Thursday, October 8, 2015

Worship + Salvation

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You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. (John 4:22)
Jesus was in Samaria and tired from his journey, so he sat down and asked a woman to draw some water for him. They have an interesting discourse where Jesus says some revealing things about the woman, things he would not know unless he were a "prophet," as she calls him. She then makes an off-topic comment saying something religious, and the quote above is Jesus' reply.
There is a ton going on in this conversation, but what I noticed today, something I've never noticed, is the correlation between worship and salvation.
Jesus says the Jews worship what they know, for (because) salvation is from the Jews. To me, that means we worship because we have been saved. This has a few implications: first, to truly worship, we must recognize our need of a savior. This requires brokenness to some degree, for who needs saving if he or she is not in some sort of trouble? And if you're wondering if that's you, Romans answers the question pretty well:
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
Since we are human and have missed God's standard, we need some kind of savior, which leads to the second point: we worship what saves us. Some people worship their jobs, their spouses, their kids, football...whatever provides fulfillment and/or escape from drudgery. The problem is that these things will never fully satisfy. So we need to ask ourselves: are we worshiping the right thing/person?
I would argue, based on scripture and experience, that Jesus Christ is worth worshiping, because he is God and because of what he did.
The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us." Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am He." (John 4:25-26)
In a loud voice they were saying: "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!" (Revelation 5:12)
And so, when we've recognized Jesus as our Savior, we've taken the most important step in worshiping what is true and in the right way. In "spirit and truth," as Jesus says, the way God designed it and desires.

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