John 4:24 Commentary - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New TestamentGod is a Spirit; that is, he hath no body, nor bodily parts; he is not a bare spiritual substance: but a pure and perfect Spirit: and therefore his worshippers must worship him in spirit and in truth; where spirit is opposed to the legal ceremonies, and truth to the Jewish rites, not to hypocritical services: for the old patriarchs did worship God in spirit and in truth. As truth is taken for sincerity, they served him with a sincere conscience, and with a single heart. But our Saviour's business is to shew, that a worship without legal rites and Jewish ceremonies, is proper to the times of the gospel.
In these words, observe, 1. The nature of God declared; God is a Spirit.
2. The duty of man inferred; therefore they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth.
From the whole, note, 1. That God is a pure spiritual being. When bodily parts, hands, and eyes, &c. are ascribed to him, it is only in condescension to our weakness, and to signify those acts in God, which such members do perform in us.
Note, 2. That the worship due from the creature to God is spiritual worship, and ought to be spiritually performed; that is, we must worship him from spiritual principles, sincere love, and filial reverence; for spiritual ends, that we may please him, and promote his glory; and after a spiritual manner, with the whole heart, soul, and mind, and with a fervency of spirit. We must have awful apprehensions of him, suitable to the nature of his being; but above all we must endeavour to resemble him: then is God best worshipped by us, when we are most like to him.
The Jewsish ceremonial worship was abolished, to promote the spirituality of divine worshp; yet must not this be so understood, as if God rejected bodily worship, because he requires spiritual under the gospel: for Jesus Christ, the most spiritual worshipper, worshipped God with his body. Besides, God has created the body as well as the soul; and he will glorify the body as well as the soul: therefore it is our duty to worship and glorify God with our bodies, and with our spirits, which are his.
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Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament
William Burkitt (1650 - 1703) was a Church of England clergyman, bible expositor, and devotional writer.
Volume 1: Matthew - John, was published in 1700.
Volume 2: Acts - Revelation was published 1703.