But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth…
I. THE NATURE OF GOD. "God is a Spirit."
1. How little we know about spirit. We can only contrast it with matter. "The Egyptians are men," etc. "A spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see Me have."
2. The heathen entertained sensual views of God, and "changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image like to corruptible man," etc.
3. But God is a Spirit, and therefore —
(1) Omnipotent. A body can only occupy a certain space.
(2) Unchangeable and eternal. Bodies are finite and mutable.
4. As we can understand so little about God as a Spirit, we are grateful for His revelation.
(1) In nature.
(2) In His Word.
(3) In His Son, through whom God's Spirit is brought near in our own nature, that we may the better understand, love, and serve Him.
II. THE SERVICE HE REQUIRES.
1. Sincere. However fair the impression and imposing the ceremonial, formality is abhorent to Him. We scorn insincere professions and friendships, and an earthly monarch would repel the adulation of a traitor.
2. Spiritual: the homage of the heart. God's complaint of His ancient people was that they drew nigh with their lips only. To this a spiritual state is necessary, for "the carnal mind is enmity against God"; and also renewal of the Holy Spirit, "praying in the Holy Ghost."
3. Elevation and enlargement in contrast to the Samaritan worship "in the mountain" and to that of the Jews at Jerusalem. No creature was allowed to be offered to God, "except such as could run and fly."
4. God will not reject the tremulous and broken utterances of a contrite heart.
III. HIS WILLINGNESS TO RECEIVE THIS WORSHIP.
IV. THE BLESSINGS IT WILL CONFER ON OURSELVES.
1. Deepened gratitude.
2. Elevated affections.
3. Relief from care.
4. Preparation for heaven.
Parallel VersesKJV: But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.