John 4:24, God is Spirit
God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.
These are the words of Jesus, to the woman of Samaria. She was asking whether it was correct to worship God at the holy place of the Jews or of the Samaritans. Jesus’ reply made it clear God would not be found “in” a place.
The above verse is from the NIV translation; let me give it to you again in our familiar King James version:
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
See the difference? How the KJV made assumptions about the nature of God, which the NIV corrected by retranslating the original Greek? God is not “a Spirit” (capital S), God is “spirit.” You don’t worship “him” in spirit, you merely worship in spirit. John’s Gospel, we all realize, is the most esoteric or spiritual of the four, and this is critical to understanding the Johannine writings.
God is not “a” love. God is love. God is not “a” light, or “a” life,” or “a” spirit, or “a” anything. God just is. Give up trying to point to him, because there is no “him” to point to. As The Shack would say, God is a verb.
In my opinion, grasping this basic difference will take you a long way to understanding John’s point of view.
The River of Life
The Way It Happened
|Revelation: A love story gone awry.||The Gospel: A love story set aright.|
What really happened 2,000 years ago? How did a persecuted minority of end-time believers known as Christians, with their dreams of Armageddon and a conquering Messiah named Jesus, evolve into the largest religion in the world? Author Lee Harmon explores the period in which the New Testament was written in his books about John's Gospel and Revelation.
(Bloggers: you may be eligible for a free review copy! Just contact us.)
The God Show
- Book review: Questioning Your Doubts
- Book review: Glimpsing Heaven
- Reframing a Relevant Faith
- A Man Called Jesus, A Novel
- Book review: The River of Life
- God of Fire: The Hope Reformation
- The Weight of a Feather: and Other Stories
- Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense
- Book review: You Don’t Understand the Bible Because You Are Christian
- Book review: The Way of Serenity
- Book review: The Beckoning
- Book review: The Two Faces of Christianity
- Book review: The Book of Revelation and the Coming Judgment
- Book review: True Paradox: How Christianity Makes Sense Of Our Complex World
- Book review: The Bible Tells Me So
- Book review: That Old Devil Called God Again
- Book review: Calvin for Armchair Theologians
- Book review: Wine and the Word
- Book review: postChristian
- Book review: The Eucharist
- Book review: The Synoptic Problem
- Book review: Lost Christianities
- Come Out of Her My People
- Book review: The Bible Tells Me So
- Book review: We Make the Road by Walking
- Book review: Lincoln’s Bishop
- Book review: Becoming the Son
- Book review: The Beautiful Scientist
- Book review: Healing Marks
- Book review: Make Christmas Real
- Luke 15:21-24 Who is the Prodigal Son?
- Matthew 13:45-46, The Dark Side of the Pearl
- Mark 14:62, The Son of Man
- Luke 24:44, What is the Tanakh?
- Genesis 9:25-27, The Curse of Ham
- Matthew 12:22-24, The Battle With Satan
- Matthew chapters 13, 20 and 22: Parables of the Kingdom
- Matthew 23:33, The Authoritarian God
- Luke 6:20, The First to Enjoy the Kingdom
- Matthew 5:39, Matthew’s Unique Jesus
- Galatians 4:30, Cast aside the Law
- 1 Corinthians 12:27, The Body of Christ
- Matthew 24:34, The Liberal’s Bible
- Mark 1:1 The Messianic Secret
- Mark 3:32-33, The House Church
- Acts 14:14, Paul the Apostle
- Matthew 3:2, Was Jesus a Disciple of John the Baptist?
- John 13:4-5, The Suffering Servant
- Deuteronomy 18:21, How To Know When God Is Speaking
- Exodus 20:4-5, One Calf Or Two? Part II of II
- Exodus 32:4, One Calf Or Two? Part I of II
- Matthew 25:33, What’s Wrong With Goats?
- Genesis 6:14, What Is An Ark?
- Genesis 29:26, Jacob Gets His Just Desserts
- Matthew 28:19-20, The REAL Great Commission
- Matthew 5:13, Doing Good: The Meaning of Christianity, Part II of II
- Matthew 25:33, Doing Good: The Meaning of Christianity, Part I of II
- Luke 17:34-35, The Fate of the Raptured
- Genesis 9:4, God Allows Eating Meat, Part II of II
- Genesis 1:29, God Allows Eating Meat, Part I of II
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