Summary: This sermon invites those listening to partake of the Living Water that Jesus provides through the Holy Spirit.
A small boy is sent to bed by his father. Five minutes later...
“I’m thirsty. Can you bring drink of water?”
“No. You had your chance. Lights out.”
Five minutes later: “Da-aaaad...”
“I’m THIRSTY. Can I have a drink of water?”
“I told you NO!” If you ask again, I’ll have to spank you!!”
Five minutes later...”Daaaa-aaaad...”
“When you come in to spank me, can you bring a drink of water?”
The soft drink maker Sprite advertises their product with the slogan, “Obey Your Thirst!” This morning I want to encourage you to obey your thirst as well. What am I talking about? I am talking about the kind of thirst that comes in a Christian’s life – the thirst to be filled by the Spirit.
You see, the Holy Spirit would like to come into your life and transform you. When you are saved you are forgiven for the sins you have committed, yet, in your heart remains that sin nature you were born with. That nature is at war with you. However, God has provided the cure for you to have that nature removed and for you to be filled with the Living Waters of the Holy Spirit. He does this through what we refer to as Sanctification.
Entire Sanctification is, first, a second work of grace, that is, it can be obtained only by the Christian; second, it comes to the heart of the believer instantaneously; third, it frees from the sinful nature with which every person is born; fourth, it is attainable in this life when the necessary conditions are met; and fifth, it and the baptism with the Holy Spirit are simultaneous or occur at the same time. (1)
In our Scripture reading this morning we find Jesus was speaking on the great feast day, the Feast of the Firstfruits which we know as the Feast of Pentecost. This was the very day on which the Holy Spirit would later be given. It was on this last day of the Feast that they would go down to the pool at Siloam and scoop out some water and pour it at the foot of the altar. This all took place perhaps a year before the Holy Spirit came. As they are pouring out this water at the foot of the altar, Jesus stands up among the thousands of people who were attending this event and begins talking to the crowd about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Let’s take a closer look at what Jesus had to say.
I. The Invitation to those desiring the Holy Spirit
Jesus said, “If any man thirst.” (v.37)
Notice who Jesus gave this invitation to: He didn’t give this invitation to those who had prayed and fasted long enough. He didn’t give this invitation to those who had prayed loud enough. He didn’t give this invitation to those who had repeated phrases of praises enough. He didn’t give this invitation to those who had recently taken the sacraments. He simply gave this invitation to those who are thirsty.
Have you ever been really thirsty? When you’re really thirsty, you’ll about drink anything as long as it’s wet – because you’re thirsty.
I once read a newspaper article about how a criminal on the run gave himself up because he was thirsty. The police had apparently surrounded this man so that his options of getting away were no longer possible. The police used wisdom when it came to capturing this outlaw. They offered him a Pepsi. He took them up on their offer and came out of his hiding place. Yes, he got arrested, but he had his thirst quenched.
Well, Jesus has invited us to enjoy the well-springs of the Holy Spirit. All it takes is thirst – if you’re thirsty enough you can drink. When you begin to thirst hunger and thirst after God, you will do anything in order to taste the cool water of the Holy Spirit. We can be as close to God as we want to be. We can enjoy as much of the Holy Spirit as we want – we just have to get thirsty enough.
You may not know all of the theology. You may not know all there is to know about the Scriptures. But, if you know thirst, you can know the one who can quench the thirst.
Jesus gave an invitation to enjoy the Holy Spirit – to those who were thirsty.
II. The Instruction for receiving the Holy Spirit.
“Let him come to me and drink.” (v. 37)
Jesus gives us instructions. If we want to draw closer to Him, if we want to enjoy the refreshing water of the Holy Spirit, what do we have to do? Jesus didn’t say that we needed to read a bunch of books about the Holy Spirit – as helpful as they may be. He didn’t say that we needed to take seven laps around the church. He simply said “come to me.”