In modern times we've introduced Capital letters into the Bible (Greek only used capitals to start a sentence or to indicate a person's proper name; "God", for instance, is lower-case "theos" in the original), in order to try to untangle misunderstandings. This is a huge generalization, overall God the Father is described by attributes (holy, gracious, mighty), Jesus the Son by the narratives about Him and His own speech (for instance, you don't hear Paul describing Jesus as "gracious" or "mighty", though He is. By the cross He is gracious and in judgment He is mighty. In the Old Testament, God's Spirit is everywhere (Psalm 139), but not in the way that Jesus describes is to be for us - indwelling us.
In John 4:23, most English Bibles use a small "s", reflecting the idea that our spirit honestly worshiping God is the right way for it to be -- and likely that "spirit" includes the idea that worship is not to be spiritless custom, but something that has life, that has personal meaning. Now this comes on the heels of the Nicodemus narrative. The Amplified in 3:8 says "what is born of the Spirit is spirit."
I thought that would sorta wrap it up, but really this big S and little s thing gets more like fishing line the more you stretch it out.
Love that analogy - fishing line. I'm not trying to deny that the point just for the sake of it, I'm just looking for solid scriptural proof. I still don't think you HAVE to have the Spirit (be a believer) to offer words of praise to God and mean it. But if there is a scripture out there that says otherwise, I'm there.
To approach this from the reverse: 1 John 4:2-3 "...every spirit (small s) which confesses that Jesus has come in the flesh is of God [and vice versa]". Now John's style of writing is full of implications. For instance, the Scribes and Pharisees made a big point that Jesus came in the flesh -- and they certainly weren't out to praise Him! If you take 1 John 2 super-literally, you would have to say that any statement, regardless of whether it is honest or comes from a hypocrite, is an exact representation of the heart-attitude of that person. Therefore, there is either 1) no such thing as a liar, or 2) some of the double-dealin'est, crooked, abusive, vile people you know are really total sold-out-to-God believers. And Matthew 25 tells us it just ain't that way. "Lord, Lord" is too often spoken with a goatish drawl.
The hardest part is your last three words, "...and mean it." What does "mean it" mean? How deep is the "meaning it"? Evangelicals typically say, "If it comes from the brain, it's not enough; it has to come from the heart." But the heart takes its orders from the brain, at least if I read Romans 12 right, and stayed awake during biology class.
Well, I think I just went back to cast that out and my fishing line is tangled up in the trees. But did that sequence of thought help at all?
Can you explain your interpretation of 'having' the Spirit? You say 'I still don't think you HAVE to have the Spirit (be a believer)' Are you saying that having the Spirit and being a believer are the same?
I believe in keeping things simple as much as I can. When Jesus was talking to Nicodemus He told him that one must be born of water (of the flesh) and of spirit/Spirit. When Adam fell our spirit man died, now in order to commune with God again, which to me the most intimate way we can do that is thru worship. Which, to me again involves our whole life"...the fruit of our lives is worship." and the "...the fruit of our lips is praise". As I stated earlier in the post I don't understand how this can be done with out the Spirit. Can someone be born again with out the Spirit? How many times has the Holy Spirit been compared to the breathe of God? God breathed into Adam the breath of life "...and man became a living soul." so, to me before God "breathed into" Adam, he had flesh and a soul but no spirit (life). So Greg you were right on when you asked earlier "...can we breathe with out the Spirit?" Truthfully we can counterfeit many if not all of the fruit of the Spirit but does that mean we are truly worshiping? Anything that is not of God or the Spirit (and since God, Jesus, and the Spirit are One) will be burned up with the hay and stuble. Only that which is of God will remain. I'm beginning to ramble so I'll bring it back to my orig. point. We must be born again to enter the kingdom of God. Jesus stated this plainly. I'm convinced this cannot happen with out the Spirit and our spirit cannot be rejuvinated/resurrected without the Spirit. So I contend, no we cannot worship without the spirit/Spirit.
Thanks Gerald, and for your other post too. Great points, and please don't think you are rambling it's all good stuff which makes good sense. I too, believe in keeping things simple........
Since starting the discussion I have asked quite a few people the very same question, and a couple have said yes, you can worship without the Holy Spirit, but most have said a definite 'No' then then gone on to say something along the lines of 'wait a minute' I'll have to think a bit more about it.........
I'm guessing the question is very general and people interpret it differently?????
Hence my desire to narrow it. Can we worship without the Spirit? That is the question.
No doubt, we cannot become believers or commune with God unless we are regenerated by the indwelling Spirit of God. But can a person utter words of praise to/about God and mean it without being indwelt by the Spirit? Does this require the Spirit? I don't see why it has to. I think there are plenty of "theists" out there without the Spirit who occasionally utter words of praise like, "God is good".
Maybe someone wants to say that even the unregenerate would have to be prompted by the Spirit to say such a thing? Perhaps that's the point?
I realised when I started the discussion it was a wide ranging question, but that was kinda intentional to provoke thought.......... plus you can't limit the Holy Spirit and put Him in a box.
I get your point. I really don't know if people can say praise words to God and mean it without having the Spirit, I tend to think not. They may well say 'God is good' but that could mean no more than saying 'God Bless you' when you sneeze.
I think we could take this back further and try to determine if there are people who are not fillied with the Holy Spirit, why wouldn't they be filled with the Spirit, at what point are people filled with the Spirit?
There seems to be an awful lot of questions flying around here........we just need the answers now then we're flying : )
In my own Fellowship, every December I check a box that says I still believe, among many other things, that there is an "initial physical evidence" involved with the filling of the Spirit; but even that statement does not come close to determining the spirit-filledness of a person. Now I go and visit other denominations with a different take on the "evidence", and I see, observing at least the way they say, sing, preach and live in Christ -- I see no significant difference except that some are noisier or quieter than others.
The fruit of the spirit is... wonderful, delicious (love, joy, peace...). Do you have to know when and by which bee the flower was pollinated to give that fruit its life?
Hey Greg, what you say about 'evidence' is very interesting. Is this done in most churches then? I have never come across this before, it may happen at some churches in the UK but I've never heard of it.