Summary: “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘give me a drink’, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water” John 4:10.
Theme: The Living Water
Text: Ex. 17:3-7; Jn. 4:5-15
We are just about to enter the rainy season and many of us especially at the Covenant Presbyterian Church are worried because of the many flooding that we have experienced here. It’s simply not possible for it to rain and there be no effects from it. In a similar way it is not possible to have a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ and remain the same. How can you encounter God and remain the same? Moses encountered God and stayed in His presence without food and water for forty day and forty nights. During that encounter God revealed His name to Moses as “I Am who I Am”. The revelation of God’s name was only fully revealed when Jesus referred to Himself with the words “I am the bread of life; I am the true vine; I am the door; I am the way, the truth, and the life; I am the resurrection and the life; I am the Good Shepherd; I am the Living Water”. The Living Water must be something very valuable indeed. We all know that normal water is essential for life. A human being can survive almost two months without food, but he cannot survive a week without water. Water withheld from a plant in rich soil will make the plant whither and die. It takes the water to make the nutrients of the soil available to the plant. Without water, fish die. Without water all living things will eventually die. Water is essential for human life. We know this because there are many people in our country without access to good drinking water and we know what they go through just to obtain a little water. Water was also a problem in Palestine around the time of Jesus. Because of the extremely dry conditions of the land of Palestine, water was a precious commodity, available in plentiful supply only during the rainy season of the year. During that time, the Hebrews would collect water in cisterns, large vats carved into the rocks, so that when the rainy season ended, they would still have water. Just as the physical body needs physical food and water to survive, so the spiritual body needs spiritual food and living water, a personal communion with the Lord. Failing to spend time with the Lord and doing things in our own strength will not only weaken us but eventually also result in our death. Without the living Water, without personal fellowship with the Lord, our soul can get no nourishment. It is only as we fellowship with the Lord that we can be changed into His likeness by the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ offers us what we need - we need the Living Water.
The Living Water is a reference to the gift of Christ – the gift of the Holy Spirit. Receiving Jesus Christ into your life begins a new life – a saved life. Salvation is not something we do but something Jesus does when we receive Him. There is no way we can save ourselves. It is much the same as a drowning man trying to save himself. We need the help of someone else. This is what Jesus has done for us. He has rescued us from a life of sin and eternal damnation and brought us into God’s Kingdom of eternal life.
Real life begins when living under Christ’s control. To explain this Jesus Christ uses birth as an illustration to picture the experience of coming alive to God in the realm of the Spirit. A baby has no knowledge or contact with the outside world before it is born. In the same way every individual who has not been born of the Spirit of God has no knowledge or contact with God, and with the things of heaven and eternity. For nine months before a baby is born, it is alive and has all the potential of life without the ability to use it. It has eyes but it cannot see. There is another eyesight lying dormant in each one of us, waiting to be turned on by the Spirit of God. It is the ability to understand the things of God. Imagine if two unborn babies could communicate with each other, and one said to the other, ‘I don’t believe in what I have heard about this life after birth’. To us that may seem ridiculous when we realize all the tremendous possibilities that lie before a young life as it is born into the world. But the same thing is true of spiritual life. The unborn baby has ears but it cannot hear and a mouth but it cannot speak. It has the potential of hearing and speech before it is born but has no ability to communicate. In the same way there is the ability to hear God through spiritual ears and communicate with Him. God has always desired to communicate with us so He makes us alive in the Spirit so that we can hear Him and talk to Him. The first thing a baby does when it is born is cry. It breathes air for the first time. In the same way when we receive Christ God breathes His Spirit into us. And just as a baby is washed after birth, so also after spiritual birth a cleansing takes place in our souls. All the dirt is washed away and we are clothed with new garments – garments of righteousness. An eternal transaction took place as Jesus died on the cross. God’s righteous judgement had pronounced us guilty of sin but His great love had sent His Son to take the punishment we deserved instead. When we receive Jesus Christ into our life this is the wonderful exchange that takes place. “God took the sinless Christ and poured into Him our sins. Then in exchange He poured God’s goodness into us.”