IN SPIRIT AND IN REALITY
When the Lord Jesus was talking to the Samaritan woman in John 4, she subtly changed the subject from the matter of her husband to the matter of the worship of God. She said, "Our fathers worshipped in this mountain, and you say that in Jerusalem is the place where men must worship" (John 4:20). Her word indicated that she still held to the old concept found in Deuteronomy. The Lord Jesus answered, "An hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and reality" (John 4:23). The Lord’s word about an hour coming indicates that the age has changed. The former age was the age of type, but now is the age of fulfillment. In type, Jerusalem was a figure of our human spirit, and the sacrifices used in the worship of God were figures of Christ. Christ is the reality of all these figures. For this reason, the Lord Jesus told the Samaritan woman that today we must worship God in our spirit and in reality. In the ancient times the people of God worshipped God in Jerusalem with the sacrifices, which typified Christ. But now we must worship God in spirit with Christ as the reality. Now we can understand that the worship of God must be in spirit and in reality.
If our worship is proper, we shall be in spirit and we shall offer Christ to God as the firstlings and firstfruits for God’s satisfaction and for our satisfaction in the presence of God. This is real worship, the worship by feasting on Christ in the presence of God. Here in the spirit we maintain our oneness, and here we have no opinion, because we are not in the mind, but in the spirit. When we turn to our spirit, we have the presence of God, and we enjoy the riches of Christ. This is the proper worship in the unique place of worship, which is our spirit.
Our spirit is the only place where we can be one. Do you realize that in the spirit you have no opinion or dissension? In the spirit there is oneness. In our spirit there is the all-inclusive Spirit who is the oneness of the Body. If we would touch this oneness, we must turn to our spirit and remain in our spirit.
Today’s Jerusalem is our spirit, and today’s offerings are Christ as the reality. Thus, we need to worship God in our spirit and in the reality, which is Christ as all the offerings we present to God for His satisfaction. These offerings also satisfy us. In the spirit we have genuine worship and we maintain the unique oneness. This is the ground of the Lord’s recovery, the site on which we can build the Body life, the ground on which the Body life can be practiced.
(The Spirit and the Body, Chapter 19, by Witness Lee)