As for John 4:24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
Spirit small letters and the Spirit capital letter.
They interpret the story about coming times, where Holy Spirit known to be one of the Gods will fill their body with truth. They interpret it as after Jesus no longer being on earth, Holy Spirit of Truth will resume duty by filling the body of Christians and Churches to give them guidance.
This is another demonstration of how Christianity is a bankrupt false and man-made religion. Like the pagans, they must limit GOD Almighty and confine Him into something that He is infinitely Greater than. GOD Almighty is not a Spirit. There is none like Unto Him. Allah Almighty Said in the Glorious Quran:
“They ask thee concerning the Spirit (of inspiration). Say: “The Spirit (cometh) by command of my Lord: of knowledge it is only a little that is communicated to you, (O men!)” (The Noble Quran, 17:85)”
“Say: He is God, the One and Only; God, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him. (The Noble Quran, 112:1-4)”
The Spirit comes from the World of Command. In Islam there are three Realms:
1- Allah Almighty.
2- The World of Command.
This is where the invisible Mighty Beings come from, such as the Angels, the Word, the Spirit, and everything that is created from the Word and Spirit and any other Beings that may exist. Remember “…of knowledge it is only a little that is communicated to you….” (The Noble Quran, 17:85).
3- The World of Creations.
This is the dust and water, and flesh and blood. This is us and our finite Universe and all of the other Universes that exist out there.
And to all Muslims and non-Muslims reading, I suggest when we confront those who like to limit GOD Almighty to not accept any term or phrase that limits GOD Almighty. So, in this case, instead of saying “GOD is like a Spirit”, just say GOD Almighty is Allah. He is infinitely Greater than the Spirit.
So instead of saying “Spirit”, “Man” or anything like that about GOD Almighty, just say He is Allah Almighty. And what is or who is “Allah” if you were asked? Say He is the Infinite Sovereign Creator and LORD of everything. We can’t define Him nor confine Him. He is Allah Almighty.
Also, important note, when Jesus said God is spirit in John 4:24 he was referring to Father from the previous verse not himself. That means Jesus whom was supposed to be a human god from the Hellenistic interpretation of Roman Christians was indirectly telling to the readers that human god is not worthy to be worshipped.
As in the verse before it 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.
Nothing to do about worshiping human god, its just about worshiping the Creator the Father.
The New Testament did not exist as a single compiled revelation. There were scattered among many other Greek books consist of stories about Jesus. 300 years later, they took and began selecting which shall be declared as canon & heresy.
Christians are not going to listen to the word of the Quran. So we need something from the bible, something solid!
Who are called ‘spirits’?
“Who makes the angels ‘spirits’, and His minister a flame of fire…”
Angels are called ‘Spirits’, and the main angel Gabriel is called ‘Holy Spirit’.
Also, in the gospels, demons are referred as ‘Evil spirits’…. So yet, spirits.
So what difference does that make? Yep. It does!
“Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me,” (Isaiah 46:9)
This is one of my favorite verses from the OT. As it sounds much like Sura Ikhlas, and also says ‘There is none like God’! So how can God be ‘Spirit’ if there is none like Him? He created the angels, the demons and us, our ‘spirits’. So how can He be like us?
So according the bible itself, ‘God can’t be a spirit’.
Now for your question- Is it a pagan idea?
Yeah, it is.
The Hindus believe in a ‘Param-atma’. ‘Param’ means ‘Most, Super, Grand’ etc and ‘Atma’ means spirit. This Param-atma or Super Spirit is believed to be God, who is everywhere, and everything in him. That’s why they believe in everything is God, so worship anything. They also believe that our spirits are part of God’s spirit, and you can become one with the param-atma through deep meditation, and this is called ‘Nirban’.
Actually. From ancient times pagans believe that God is a spirit. For example, in the movie ‘The Message’, a pagan Arab says in front Najjashi in Abyssinia’ “We don’t worship the form, but the spirit that dwells within the form’. (I don’t know if he really said that, but it’s just one example how pagans believed that God is a spirit)
Later, the Sufis adopted this idea. As Gazzali says in his book ‘Qimia-e-Sa’adat’- “As a spirit is all over the body, Allah is all over the world”. Almost all Sufis believe that Allah is a ‘Super-spirit’ and the goal in their life is to be lost in the essence of God, or to be one with Allah, which is known as ‘Fanafillah’.
Like Christians believe, Sufis also believe that when someone becomes one with Allah, Allah speaks through him, like being filled with the ‘Holy spirit’. A sufi named Al-Hallaz thought he became one with the ‘The spirit of God’ and started to say ‘Anal Haqq’ or ‘I am the Truth’.
Only Islam teaches pure monotheism while other religions teach anthropomorphism or teachings like ‘God is spirit’. Nothing is like Allah (Sura Shura:11) and so He is not a spirit.
Allah knows Best.