- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 14, 2004

The following are excerpts of a sermon given yesterday by the Rev. Charles M. Galbreath at the Bowie New Life Church:

In the fourth chapter of John, Jesus said that he had to go through Samaria. As He goes through, He sends His disciples ahead and He is going to rest.

As He is there, a woman comes out to draw water and Jesus asks for a drink. She is surprised because she is a Samaritan and Jews in that day avoided Samaritans. …

“Jesus saith unto her, ‘Woman, believe me, the hour cometh when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what. We know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 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. God is a spirit and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.’”

God is a spirit. He is big. He is the great I Am.

He said in Exodus 3:14, “God said unto Moses, ‘I Am that I Am’ and He said, ‘Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.’

Where did God come from? He always existed. It is a mystery.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

God is a spirit. Jesus explained to Nicodemus that things of the spirit are difficult to understand. He said, “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is everyone that is born of the spirit.”

But the text in John 4 speaks of “They that worship him.” Who worships him? Those who choose to be saved. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Haim should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Who worships him? Those who choose to speak in tongues as the spirit gives utterance. “What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.” (1 Corinthians 14:15).

Who worships? Those who choose to worship.

“I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth, for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name” (Psalms 138:2). …

Finally, those who choose to forgive are worshipping God.

“Jesus saith unto him, ‘I say not unto thee, until seven times: but until seventy times seven.’” That is how much we should forgive, according to Matthew 18:22.

But how are we to worship? We are to worship in spirit. The Gospel of Luke said in chapter 23, verse 46, “When Jesus had carried with a loud voice, He said, ‘Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit,’ and having said thus, He gave up the ghost,” Again in Luke it says, “The angel answered and said unto her, ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the highest shall overshadow thee, therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.’”

And the writer of Romans tells us that the “Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his spirit that dwelleth in you.” How else are we to worship? We are to worship in truth.

We are to be honest with God and tell him what we need.

“Therefore, Sarah laughed within herself, saying, ‘After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?’ And the Lord said unto Abraham, ‘Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed, I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.’ Then Sarah denied, saying, ‘I laughed not,’ for she was afraid. And He said, ‘Nay, but though didst laugh,’” (Genesis 18:12-15). Be honest. What do you need from God?

Keep one thing forever in view — the truth; and if you do this, though it may seem to lead you away from the opinion of men, it will assuredly conduct you to the throne of God.

Do not put God in a box. God is a big God. God’s center is everywhere and His bounties are nowhere.

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