I did this series in two parts because it follows up Part 1 well. The name is from John 4:
John 4:19 The woman *said to Him, “[d]Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.”
21 Jesus *said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.
Obviously, the superficial statement of Jesus’ words here is that it is not WHERE you worship but HOW you worship God.
In this, Jesus also forshadows that those who believe in Him after His death will receive the Holy Spirit which He also talks about in chapters of John 13-17. Believers will be able to worship God truly because we are born again with the Holy Spirit inside of us: through the Spirit we are able to truly do good and truly walk in His ways.
In the context of the previous post, it is important to realize that we can see this in other believers as well. Those that truly worship God will worship Him in the Spirit. That is they will manifest the fruits of the Spirit in their walk. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. They will also worship Him in Truth exposing sinful deeds for what they are and repenting of them.
This is the basis of Ephesians 5 up to the often misinterpreted “be subject to one another in fear of Christ”:
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved [a]you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God [b]as a fragrant aroma. 3 But immorality [c]or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among [d]saints; 4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know with certainty, that no [e]immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 [f]trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even [g]expose them; 12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things become visible when they are [h]exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. 14 For this reason [i]it says, “Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.”
15 Therefore [j]be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 [k]making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, [l]for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to [m]one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to [n]God, even the Father; 21 [o]and be subject to one another in the [p]fear of Christ.
It is better for those Christians who admit their walk is not good than those who try to cover it up by looking better. This is important for their own spiritual health, and it is important for vetting a Christian woman. It’s not about looking the part but walking clearly in the Truth of whatever circumstances you are in. In other words, those that admit the truth have the chance to do something about it: they can repent or put more time and effort into their relationship with God. But those Christian who conceal to look better only harm themselves because they put appearance and/or looking good for a potential spouse above God.
The manifestation of the Spirit leads to the fruits of the Spirit which Paul discusses to a further extent to lay our lives on the line as living sacrifices:
Romans 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, [a]acceptable to God, which is your [b]spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this [c]world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may [d]prove what the will of God is, that which is good and [e]acceptable and perfect.
This sums up what our lives are supposed to look like, but it also shows us the nature of how I vet a prospective wife:
- Evidence of a relationship with God
- Evidence of godly earthly relationships in reference to God
- Evidence of cultivated godly femininity
- Evidence of chastity in attitude and deed
- Evidence of attraction/chemistry
- Evidence of a willingness for family prioritization
All show a life lived through the Spirit. One that is not conformed to the world but instead conformed to God through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Living life in Spirit and in Truth is not just about you but also about potential relationships that you will invest in from a potential wife (or husband) to family, friends, believers, unbelievers, and others. There must be fruit. Don’t watch what people say but what they do and admonish and correct yourself and other Christians as necessary.