Summary: Worship Invites the Glory of God; Introduces Salvation; and Initiates Victory.
1. Secret to Soul Winning
One of the most zealous soul-winners of yesteryear was Colonel George Clarke, who established the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago, but he wasn't a polished speaker. Dr. R. A. Torrey once wrote, "I used to go and hear Col. Clarke talk and he seemed to me to be one of the dullest talkers I ever heard in my life. He would ramble along and yet these five or six hundred men would lean over and listen spellbound.... I could not understand it."
But Torrey discovered his answer. "I found the secret. It was because they knew Col. Clarke loved them, and nothing conquers like love."
We may not be trained speakers, gifted salesmen, or educated preachers or teachers. But if we're empowered with the Spirit's love, we'll be effective. We can't win others through our personalities, persuasive techniques, or promotional campaigns. The real secret is the Spirit-empowered love and power, and a sound mind that presents a hope-filled Gospel to a downtrodden world.
2. The conversation began with a request for water -- John 4.7
a. Jewish man; Samaritan woman
b. Jesus came to Samaria with a spiritual purpose
3. The Conversation continued with His prophetic Insights
a. Noon -- Lonely woman -- 5 Husbands -- No Husband
b. "Prophet" (v.19) -- Samaritans had the 5 books of Moses; "A prophet like me."
c. Initial understanding of who Jesus is
4. The Conversation Concludes with Worship
a. Worship is not dependent on location -- Gerizim or Zion
b. Worship is not about our thoughts and insights -- (23-24)
* Superstitions in Athens -- Acts 18 -- "unknown god"
* The difference between knowing and not knowing -- Revelation
o Written Word -- Isaiah 55.8-11
o Living Word -- "Salvation" (Yeshua) from Jews, seen in Jesus --John 14.9 Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
c. Jesus declares his identity and the woman becomes an evangelist (28-30)
5. Worship is a time we seek the God who has been seeking us (4.23; Ecclesiastes 3.11)
I. Worship Invites the Manifest Presence of God
A. God is Everywhere (Psalm 139); A Special Focus in the Assembly
1. One of the reasons for Hebrews 10.25
2. Tabernacle and Temple -- Most Holy Place
B. Question: "Do we want his presence?"
1. Tabernacle/Temple were nothing without it -- 2 Chronicles 7.1-3
As soon as Solomon finished his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. 2 And the priests could not enter the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD filled the LORD's house. 3 When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the LORD on the temple, they bowed down with their faces to the ground on the pavement and worshiped and gave thanks to the LORD, saying, "For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever."
The Roman general POMPEY noticed how the Jews fought to defend their temple. He was anxious to see what was in their most sacred room, the Holy of Holies. He was surprised to see that it was empty. He wondered why they fought to so hard to defend an empty room! But the Jews understood that the dynamic presence of God is not dependent upon physicality. Psalm 115:1-3 says, "Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness! Why should the nations say, 'Where is their God?' Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases."