07 January 2014

THE PROMISE OF LIVING WATER


John 7:37-39

Water is the basic component of life. Think about it; life cannot be sustained without water. Human beings are made largely of water. All forms of life die in the absence of water. When scientists want to investigate the existence of life they look for the existence of water. In order to determine whether life exists on Mars they have been probing to find water. Do you know the importance of water to our physical bodies? When our bodies fail to retain the right amount of water, dehydration sets in. It is the water in our body that determines the vitality, strength, and energy associated with daily living. Think about these facts associated with our body and water:
  • The human body is ⅔ water.
  • The body absorbs cold water faster than hot water.
  • By the time you are 70-years-old, you will have required 1½ million gallons of water.
  • Studies show that increasing water consumption can decrease fat deposits. 
  • Water is a natural appetite suppressant.
  • If you loose 2% of your body’s water supply, your energy will decrease by 20%. A 10% decrease in water, you will be unable to walk, and a 20% decrease – you’re dead.

Water is therefore essential to life! I think we get the importance of water! So what is true of the physical is also true of the spiritual. Before we get that we need to understand the significance of why Jesus said what He said! Its feast time! At the heart of the Feast was a daily procession. Priests carrying Golden Pitchers would lead a parade or procession through the city to the pool of Siloam singing the words of Isaiah 12:3, "Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation." The great crowd of people would parade back to the Temple and the Priests would pour the water from the pool of Siloam down upon the Altar and the people would shout and wave palm branches. This procedure went on for seven days, but on the last day the procedure was repeated with two significant exceptions. First, when the parade of people returned from the pool of Siloam, the Priests would march around the Altar seven times com­memorating Joshua's victory at Jericho. Secondly, the Priests would raise the gold­en pitcher over the silver funnels as they had done each day previously, but this time there was no water — only an empty pitch­er. This signified the disobedient genera­tion that died in the Wilderness. Instead of a shout and the waving of palm branches as the people had done each day, they now stood in silence.

It was in the moment of silence — this moment of bewilderment, emptiness and meaninglessness that ………..Jesus cried out the offer of salvation to those who are thirsty. See, who are those who are thirsty? Because “thirst” is refereeing to……….anxiety of soul, conviction of sin, desire for pardon, longing after peace of conscience. Just as they poured the empty pitcher this would have spoken to broken hearts over the disobedience of there people. We need to understand, spiritual thirst is what Jesus has in mind and what he is concerned with! The same  kind of thirst David had while wandering in the wilderness of Judah, as recorded in Psalm 63:1 “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” We find a similar account of spiritual thirst in Psalm 42:1-2 where we read “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” Here we see a promise that will quench our thirst forever! The question is………….Are you thirsty? Jesus said, "If anyone thirsts…"
  • Thirst is a consciousness of an unsatisfied need.
  • Thirst expresses desperation.
  • Thirst will kill faster than hunger.
  • One can go weeks without food, but only days without water.

Are you thirsty?  Are you truly thirsty for God? Can you honestly say you have or have said this morning as the Philippian jailer “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" Sadly many today thirst after other things than the salvation offered by Jesus. Some seek.....
  • Other religions that fit their lifestyle and wants
  • Money and fame
  • The pleasures of this world to fill the void in their heart
  • Honor and rank
  • Self-indulgences or lust of the heart

It’s no wonder the bible declares the natural man or woman as “blind”, “asleep” or a “dead” This is what makes the gospel so beautiful! It is the power of God to wake the dead to sight to the blind and what those who sleep and slumber in their sin. Look what Jesus says “Let him come to me” Instead of depending on this ceremony of drawing water let him come to me, the Messiah, and he shall find an ever-abundant supply for all the wants of his soul. Jesus is the foundation and supplier for our spiritual necessities. Jesus is the reliever and delivers for our souls from judgement and Hell. See to come to Christ is to believe and to believe in Him is to come. This is our only remedy for spiritual thirst.......You will never find satisfaction or relief in anything else whether its worldly or anther religion. Remember what Peter said to the Sandhedrin? Act 4:8-12 “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the 'STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED BY YOU BUILDERS, WHICH HAS BECOME THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE.' Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."  

J C Ryle penned these words which I think summarizes this invitation to come! “The remedy may seem a very simple one, too simple to be true. But there is no other remedy that this; and all the wisdom of the world can never find a flaw in it, or devise a better. To use this grand prescription of Christ is the secret of all saving Christianity. The saints of God in every age have been men and women who drank of this foundation by faith and were relieved. They felt their guilt and emptiness, and thirsted for deliverance. They heard of a full supply of pardon, mercy and grace in Christ crucified for all penitent believers. They believed the good news and acted upon it. They cast aside all confidence in their own goodness and worthiness, and came to Christ by faith as sinners.”This is what Jesus is refereeing to when He said “let him come to me” Again, this is what makes the gospel so precious and beautiful! He doesn’t stop their! He seals this truth with a promise! This promise comes with a Helper who will seal you in Christ! Who is this Helper? Jesus answers this question in the verse that follows……..”the Spirit” As the scriptures say in Isaiah 44:3 “For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.” Ezekiel 39:29 says “And I will not hide my face anymore from them, when I pour out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, declares the Lord GOD.” The Holy Spirit plays a pivotal role in your salvation and in your sanctification! Without Him we would be still dead in our sins and trespasses.

THE HOLY SPIRIT BRINGS CONVICTION INTO THE SINNER’S HEART.

I like how Charles Ryrie explains this “Man needs first to see his state of sin, then he needs to have proof of the righteousness of the Savior who can save him from that sin, and finally he needs to be reminded that if he refuses to receive the Savior he will face certain judgment and condemnation." The Spirit illuminates our sinfulness to our conscience (John 16:8; Acts 2:37-38; Rom 1:19-20). What does the Spirit use to convict our sinful hearts? (Rom 3:20; Gal 3:24; Luke 24:32)

HOLY SPIRIT REGENERATES (CONVERTS) THE SINNER’S HEART.

It is important to remember that it is God through the work of the Holy Spirit who graciously grants us salvation. (Titus 3:5; 1 Cor 6:11). The Holy Spirit is the primary agent through which we are reborn. The Holy Spirit produces in the soul, making one a new man or woman (2 Cor 5:17; Eph 4:23-24)

THE HOLY SPIRIT RESIDES IN THE BELIEVER PERMANENTLY.

The Holy Spirit in Old Testament times was temporary in nature....for example Ps 51:11. The Holy Spirit in the New Testament permanently takes up residence within the believer at the moment of salvation. John 14:16-18; Rom 8:9....15-16; 1 John 2:27

THE HOLY SPIRIT BAPTIZES THE BELIEVER

The believer is baptized by the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation, which means that that he has a new life with Christ once for all. (Rom 6:1-4; 1 Cor 12:13; Eph 4:4-6)

THE HOLY SPIRIT SEALS THE BELIEVER

The sealing of the Holy Spirit is God’s guarantee of eternal redemption for the believer. This sealing speaks of a finished transaction in which God has implied ownership of the believer.  (1 Cor 6:19-20; 2 Cor 1:22; Eph 1:13 and 4:30). The Spirit as a sealing shows ownership, a completed transaction, authentication, authority and security.

THE HOLY SPIRIT FILLS THE BELIEVER

The filling of the Spirit in the life of the child of God is one of the most important issues. Why? It depends on our complete yielding to the Spirit that dwells in us. (Eph 5:18). We can quench (1 Thess 5:19), we can grieve (Eph 4:30) but we must walk in the Spirit (Gal 5:25). The filling of the Holy Spirit ultimately results in: Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), Joyful and sharing hearts (Ephesians 5:19), Thankfulness (Ephesians 5:20), Submissiveness (Ephesians 5:21). 

See salvation or this living water is more than a drink! It’s everlasting and it comes with a promise! Again sadly many miss this truth!
  • People have a problem in quenching the spiritual thirst.
  • They fail to see and recognize that thirsty soul in themselves.
  • They know the emptiness is there but don’t know why.
  • They fail to realize that only God can quench that thirst.

Jesus did not promise a trickle or a stream or a flow…He promised a river. Can you get your mind around this? The Holy Spirit is like a mighty rushing river…a life-giving river. He is like the mighty river found in Ezekiel 47 that produces life wherever it flows. Think about it! The mighty Amazon River finds its origin above the freeze line of the Andes Mountains in South America. There, little trickles of water emerge from the frozen ground and flow down the mountain. One little stream flowing into another little stream until a majestic river is formed. As the river flows it picks up speed and power. It flows for 3,600 miles before it reaches the Atlantic Ocean, where it hits the ocean at a rate of 1.4 million gallons of water per sec­ond and with such force that it pushes fresh water some 60 miles out into the Atlantic ocean. What power! That’s the same power the gospel has when a person embraces Christ!

Jesus did not promise a trickle or a stream or a flow… He promised a river. He promised us the third person of the Trinity. The gospel is a life transforming on going action as He brings you home! That’s what it means to never thirst again! Jesus is enough and it comes with a promise! Maybe this illustration will help? The story is told of a young student who went to his spiritual teacher and asked the question, "Master, how can I truly find God?"  The teacher asked the student to accompany him to the river which ran by the village and invited him to go into the water.  When they got to the middle of the stream, the teacher said, "Please immerse yourself in the water." The student did as he was instructed, whereupon the teacher put his hands on the young man's head and held him under the water.  Presently the student began to struggle.   The master held him under still.  A moment passed and the student was thrashing and beating the water and air with his arms. Still, the master held him under the water.  Finally, the student was released and shot up from the water, lungs aching and gasping for air.  The teacher waited for a few moments and then said, "When you desire God as truly as you desired to breathe the air you just breathed -- then you shall find God." So let me ask you again! Are you thirsty for this water?


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