Shepherds’ Conference 2019 Session 7 Notes

Session 7

Ligon Duncan

John 4:1-26

Faithfulness in Worship

before the passage

5 things that show us why concern for our worship and for congregational worship is so important.

  1. You cannot commend what you do not treasure.

Your Lord is more important than anything. If you do not worship God that way, you cannot commend him to others in that way.

  1. You cannot proclaim and worship the one true and living God unless you worship him as he is.

He must be known by his own truth, his own self-revelation, his own word.

  1. What you do together as a congregation on the Lord’s Day is formative.

The Puritans knew that they could not be protestant with Roman Catholic worship, even with protestant theology in the sermon.

The whole worship must be founded on the word of god and set forth explicitly the finished work of Christ.

Watch out for the move to entertainment in worship.

Be careful not to say one thing and demonstrate another by the service.

Hear and do the word.

You will always believe what you do more than what you hear.

  1. There is a theme across the whole of Scripture that you become what you worship.

Don’t worship idols; you’ll become like them.

You need to worship the one true and living God.

  1. You become how you worship.

Often how you worship determines who you worship.

Now to the text…

Two-part outline:

Who? (7-15)

How? (16-26)

What happens after “Give me a drink” is amazing.

This is better than “These are not the droids you are looking for.”

She rebuffs Jesus.

The whole first part of this conversation is about who we ought to value more than anything else.

If you knew who was asking you, you would have asked him for living water.

If you knew the gift of God and who was talking to you, you would have asked him.

Jesus is inviting her into a prophetic conversation.

Look to Jeremiah 2:13.

They have rejected me, the fountain of living water, and turned to broken cisterns.

Jesus is identifying himself as the living water.

John 6, Jesus is the bread of life.

But he also says that whoever comes to him will never thirst.

Here is the first and most important question of all our lives: whom do you worship?

Jesus said he is the living water.

She asks, in verse 15, for that water.

He told her she should have said, give me this water.”

In verse 15, she says, ‘Give me this water.”

Awkward interlude follows.

Go call your husband.

I have no husband.

Jesus puts his finger on her idolatry.

The Pharisees frowned on remarriage three times or more.

And this woman is living with a man right now.

Perhaps she needed security.

Jesus puts his finger right on her false security.

The big question, Whom do you worship, whom do you value, who meets your needs?

You have had 5 husbands.

You must be a prophet.

She raises a topic of some argument between Jews and Samaritans.

And she walks right into what Jesus wants to talk about.

How? (15-26)

How do you worship that who?

Verse 20, This mountain or that mountain?

Jeroboam led the Samaritans into unbiblical worship.

They even changed the Pentateuch to fit their practice.

Interesting, when the woman feels threatened, she goes from singular to plural.

She talks about your people and her people.

Jesus moves her right back to the singular with the word, woman.

That was not disrespectful.

He called his mother, woman, after all.

He is respectful to an obstinate sinner.

Jesus is letting her know that she is going to worship the Father.

Your theological problem is that you have worshipped not according to the word.

The Jews have worshipped according to the word.

An hour is coming when true worshippers will worship in spirit and truth.

That is what the Father seeks.

There seems to be a change in location of where you will worship.

That is coming.

Her response is interesting.

We do not think this is normal for Samaritans.

She is dialed in to the promise of the coming of Messiah.

Messiah will reveal God to us.

Then Jesus says, “I am.”

The Messiah is talking to her.

She believes right there.

The living word speaks the word to her, she believes, she worships right there.

Could this be the Messiah?

Messiah, word, faith, worship

If God is spirit, there is only one way you can worship God who is Spirit, and that is how he tells you to.

Otherwise, how would you know how to worship a spirit?

How would you know how to approach a Spirit.

You cannot see a spirit.

How do you approach a spirit?

However he tells you to.

Spirit and truth are not two separate categories.

HE is spirit, that is true.

The only way you can worship God, who is spirit, is according to his word.

Worship is engaging with God on the terms that he proposes and in the way that he alone makes possible.

You engage with a spirit only on the terms he promises.

What are those terms?

His word.

And only in the way he makes possible.

No man comes to the Father except through the Son.

Our worship must be formed and filled by the word.

If we want the people to get God in the service, the service must be filled with the word.

The structure and the substance, the form and content, of our service must be filled with the word.

Read, preach, pray, sing, and see the word.

The word is more important than your sermon.

Read the Scripture.

Preach the word.

The word is not your tool to reach the people of God.

You are the word’s tool to deliver a message to the people of God about God and godliness.

Pray the word.

You always know you are praying in the will of God when you pray his word back to him.

Your people will believe what they sing more than what you preach.

See the word.

Baptism and Lord’s Supper show us the promises of God in Christ visibly displayed.

If we want to bring people to God, the only way to do that is by the word.

We need the word in every aspect of worship.

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