June / July 2018 - Vol. 98
                                                          Spirit and
.“Worship the Father In Spirit and Truth”
– John 4:23 

Intro to this issue

"I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh" - Joel 2:28
When the Lord Jesus encountered the Samaritan woman at the well of Jacob, he offered her the living water of the Holy Spirit (John 4:1-42) This water satisfies thirsty hearts and barren souls who long for God and the abundant life and fruit of his kingdom - everlasting peace, joy, happiness, and friendship with God who made us in love for love.

This Samaritan was shunned by her own people, and despised by the Jews who regarded all Samaritans as heretics who did not worship God properly as they did. Unworthy as she was, Jesus filled her with the overflowing love and mercy of God. He offered here a new life and she accepted it and went back to her village a changed person. Her testimony brought the whole village to the feet of Jesus and they believed because of the word he brought them from the Father in heaven.

Jesus came to reconcile sinners - Jews, Samaritans, and unbelievers - with an all merciful and righteous God. He came to fulfill what the prophets had foretold long ago, "I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh" (Joel 2:28). Today we witness a new Pentecost - a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all peoples, nations, and tribes.

When the charismatic renewal began in the 1960s and '70s, no one expected it to spread like wildfire through the mainstream churches and denominations around the world (its origins came from the Pentecostal movement which began in 1901). And yet it did spread and continues to grow today. The Lord promised that he would restore much of what had been lost to his broken and divided people - the body of Christ.

Through the gift and outpouring of the Holy Spirit today we are witnessing a new work of ecumenism, spiritual renewal, healing and reconciliation between Christians who have been divided for centuries, and a new outpouring of spiritual gifts and evangelism. One of the principal fruits of this renewal is the restoration of charismatic worship - the kind of worship which Jesus promised to the Samaritan woman:  
The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ); when he comes, he will show us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.” - John 4:23-26
Worshiping God with reverence and awe
How is the Holy Spirit bringing about a restoration of Spirit-filled (charismatic) worship today. This issue features some of the pioneers of charismatic renewal, Steve Clark, Jim Cavnar, Carlos Mantica, Mark Kinzer. They explain what it means to "worship in Spirit and Truth" and why this gift is needed today.

Carlos Mantica, one of the founding leaders of charismatic renewal in Latin America and the Sword of the Spirit, writes:
Whenever God invites his people to draw nearer to his presence, he also expects them to relate to him in a manner worthy of his glory and greatness. Even when he embraces us with his tender love and kindness, there is still something in his glory and majesty that compels us to give him adoration, and to approach him with awe and reverence. We cannot continue to relate to him simply as we might have done in the past - simply as a benefactor who gives us good things when we ask for his help. 

Whenever we gather to worship God together with other Christians, and when we each seek him alone in our private prayer, he wants us to acknowledge him both as a tender and merciful Father and as the Lord and Ruler of the universe. That is why we must always love him with gratitude, reverence, and awe. This attitude of reverence is necessary if we want to enter more deeply into his presence and to experience his immediacy.
Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Lord Jesus makes it possible for us to grow in our knowledge of God, in our personal encounter with him through his life-giving word in the Scriptures, and through our personal and corporate worship together. May this issue inspire us to be men and women who seek to worship the Father in Spirit and Truth.

Sincerely in Christ,
Don Schwager

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