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The Scriptorium

It's about Salvation

It's not about religion.

The Gospel of John: John 4.16-26

Read and meditate on John 4.21, 22.

Jesus lets the woman play her religion card, then He summarily dismisses her claim by refocusing the conversation, not on religion, but on salvation. That is an important distinction.

                              21Then Jesus said, “This know:
an hour comes when, not at this mountain, nor
Jerusalem will God be worshiped. 22For
you worship what you do not know; but we
know what we worship. For salvation, free
and full, is from the Jews.”

- John 4.21, 22

1.  The issue, Jesus says, is not where or how you worship, but whether you are saved. What does it mean to have salvation? Complete this prayer: I thank You, Lord, for the gift of salvation, because…

2.  People who do not know the Lord still think about “salvation,” even though they might not use that term. How did this woman seem to envision “salvation”? Lord, when people are wrong about what they believe, they will seek salvation in…

3.  Jesus flatly tells this woman that she is wrong about her worship. Do people who do not worship God worship anything? Meditate on Romans 1.18-23. How would Paul answer that question? What does it mean to “worship” something? Lord, people I know and see each day worship…

4.  Because people are made in the image of God, they will worship something. Wrong worship is not a viable option to true worship. Jesus said to this woman, “You worship what you do not know…” Do people today do the same thing? How can we help them to see what they worship? Lord, I want to help lost people see You and worship You, but…

5.  What did Jesus mean by saying, “salvation is of the Jews”? Should we be able to explain salvation, and the way to it, from the Old Testament? Could you? Bring together into one your prayers from questions 1-4.

“Everywhere, beloved, we have need of faith. Faith is the mother of all good, the medicine of salvation in order to obtain any real good. Without it, it is impossible to possess any of the great doctrines. Those who try anything without it are like those who venture on the sea without a boat and are drowned because they can barely swim.… Similarly, those who try to figure things out before they have learned anything are prone to suffer shipwreck.… To insure that this does not happen to us, let us hold fast to the sacred anchor by which Christ brings over the Samaritan woman now.” John Chrysostom (344-407 AD)

Everyone worships something. Everyone has some idea of the greatest good, the most beautiful and desirable thing or circumstances, and the truest ideas. And everyone orients their lives toward these, no matter how they define them. The worship what they do not now; their worship is false. Our job is to call them to true worship. Can we expect to succeed in this if it appears, in any way, that we worship the same things they do? Explain.

Closing Prayer
Why should the Gentiles say,
“So where is their God?”
But our God is in heaven;
He does whatever He pleases.
Their idols are silver and gold,
The work of men’s hands.
They have mouths, but they do not speak;
Eyes they have, but they do not see;
They have ears, but they do not hear;
Noses they have, but they do not smell;
They have hands, but they do not handle;
Feet they have, but they do not walk;
Nor do they mutter through their throat.
Those who make them are like them;
So is everyone who trusts in them.
O Israel, trust in the LORD;
He is their help and their shield.

Psalm 115.2-9

Psalm 115.4-11 (Plainfield: Nothing but the Blood of Jesus)
Idols made by men’s own hand – ever to Your Name be glory –
See nor hear nor understand – ever to Your Name be glory!
They neither feel nor walk, nor can they speak or talk;
All those who serve them fall – but unto Your Name be glory!

All who trust in Jesus yield – ever to His Name be glory! –
Find in Him their help and shield – ever to Your Name be glory!
O Israel, trust the Lord! He helps us evermore!
Fear Him, obey His Word – ever to Your Name be glory!           

T. M. Moore

Visit The Ailbe Seminary, where our course, One in Twelve: Introduction to Christian Worldview, can show you how Jesus is central to all aspects of life in the world – and beyond! Our course is free, and you can study at your own pace, watching videos and using the free materials provided.

We are happy to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in our series on the Gospel of John by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series IV a and b: John, edited by Joel C. Elowsky, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006. Verse translation of John by T. M. Moore.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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