The Gift Of Living Water

by Rev Charles Bronson
(Jackson, Ms)

Key Verse: John (4:10-14)


INTRODUCTION:

1. When Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well, He spoke of "living water"...

  • He approached her for a drink on His way to Galilee - Jn 4:3-8

  • She was amazed that He, a Jew, would speak to her, a Samaritan woman - Jn 4:9
-- Jesus used the opportunity to tell her about "living water" - Jn 4:10-14

2. Questions abound about "the gift of God" and "living water" in this passage...
  • What is "the gift of God"?
    1) Many say it refers to Jesus
    2) Others believe it refers to the salvation He offers

  • What is the "living water" Jesus offers?
    1) Many say it is a figure for salvation or eternal life
    2) Others apply it to the Holy Spirit, because of Jn 7:37-39
-- Are they two different things, or one and the same?

3. Like others, I believe "the gift of God" and "living water" are one and the same...
  • "Now it is quite clear that our Lord means the same thing, whatever it may be, by the two expressions, 'the gift of God' and 'the living water.'" - Maclaren

  • "When Jesus spoke about 'the gift of God,' He meant 'living water.'" - Hendriksen
-- Though I can appreciate why many believe "the gift of God" is Jesus - cf. Jn 3:16

4. Like others, I tend to think "living water" in this passage may refer to the Holy Spirit...
  • "By this living water is meant the Spirit..." - Matthew Henry

  • "From Jn 7:37-39 it is plain, that our Savior here by the living water he speaks of understood the Holy Spirit." - Poole
That "living water" in Jn 4:10-14 may be an allusion to the gift of the Holy Spirit comes from examining the nature of this "living water" described by Jesus both here and in Jn 7. For example...

I. THE LIVING WATER MUST BE DRUNK
  1. AS EXPRESSED BY JESUS...

    1. "...whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst" - Jn 4:14

    2. "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink" - Jn 7:37

  2. DO WE "DRINK" THE HOLY SPIRIT...?

    1. Yes, upon our conversion

    • Those who repent and are baptized receive the gift of the Spirit - Ac 2:38-39

    • Those who are baptized are made to "drink" of the Spirit - 1Co 12:13

    2. Yes, as we continue to seek to be filled with the Spirit

    • We are not to be drunk with wine, but filled with the Spirit - Ep 5:18-19

    • The implication may be that filling comes through "drinking"

    • How do we continue to drink of the Spirit? I would suggest in these ways:
      1) Singing and making melody in our heart - Ep 5:18-19
      2) Feeding upon the Word of God, which is the sword of the Spirit - Ep 6:17
      3) Praying for strength through the Spirit - Ep 3:16; cf. Lk 11:13
Thus we see a similarity between the "living water" of Jesus and what is said concerning the Spirit and the Christian. The similarity continues...

II. THE LIVING WATER QUENCHES THIRST
  1. AS EXPRESSED BY JESUS...

    1. "but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst." - Jn 4:14

    2. "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink." - Jn 7:37

  2. DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT "QUENCH THIRST"...?

    1. Yes, as prophesied by Isaiah - cf. Isa 44:3

    2. Yes, if by quenching our thirst one means meeting our spiritual needs

    • Such as our need for the love of God - cf. Ro 5:5

    • Such as our need for our love for God - cf. Ro 8:15; Ga 4:6

    • Such as our need to mortify the flesh - cf. Ro 8:12-13

    • Such as our need to abound in hope - cf. Ro 15:13

    • Such as our need for inner strength - cf. Ep 3:16
In many ways the Spirit quenches our spiritual thirst! As we continue to note the similarity between "living water" and the Spirit in the life of the Christian, we next observe...

III. THE LIVING WATER IS IN YOU
  1. AS EXPRESSED BY JESUS...

    1. "the water that I shall give him will become in him..." - Jn 4:14

    2. "out of his heart..." - Jn 7:38

  2. IS THE HOLY SPIRIT "IN" US...?

    1. Yes, our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit - 1Co 6:19

    2. Yes, for the Spirit dwells in us if we are Christ's - Ro 8:9,11
How the Holy Spirit indwells the Christian may be a mystery; that He does, there is no doubt. Note another similarity between "living water" and the Spirit in the life of the Christian...

IV. THE LIVING WATER SPRINGS UP
  1. AS EXPRESSED BY JESUS...

    1. "a fountain of water springing up" - Jn 4:14

    2. "will flow rivers of living water" - Jn 7:38

  2. DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT "SPRING UP"...?

    1. Yes, by moving the Christian to "cry out" Abba, Father - Ro 8:15; Ga 4:6

    2. Yes, by helping the Christian to "abound" in hope - Ro 15:13

    3. Yes, by producing "fruit" in the life of the Christian - Ga 5:22-23
The fruit of the Spirit truly refreshes the soul of the Christian as "living water" does the thirsty soul. Finally, note one more similarity between "living water" and the Spirit in the life of the Christian...

V. THE LIVING WATER RESULTS IN ETERNAL LIFE
  1. AS EXPRESSED BY JESUS...

    1. "a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life." - Jn 4:14

    2. Note: the "living water" is not everlasting life itself, rather it results in everlasting life

  2. DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT "RESULT IN ETERNAL LIFE"...?

    1. Yes, for through the Spirit we wait for the hope of
    righteousness - Ga 5:5

    2. That hope, of course, is eternal life - Tit 1:2

    3. By the Spirit whom God poured out on us abundantly through Jesus...

    • We are renewed and justified by God's grace - Tit 3:5-6

    • Thus made heirs according to the hope of eternal life - Ti 3:5-7

    • And sowing to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life - Ga 6:8
CONCLUSION:

1. While the "living water" in Jn 4:10-14 may pertain to salvation, I believe it has particular reference to the gift of the Spirit in the life of the Christian...
  • Salvation involves both justification and sanctification

  • The Holy Spirit certainly plays a role in both - cf. 1Co 6:11; Ti 3:4-7

  • And the Spirit is given to those who become Christians - Ac 2:38-39; 5:32; Ga 4:6
-- It certainly has such reference in Jn 7:37-39

2. If so, then we might understand Jesus' words to the Samaritan woman as follows...
  • "If you knew the gift of God" - If you knew what God is willing to give you (i.e., the Spirit)

  • "...and who it is who says to you..." - That He is the Messiah, the one who will pour out the Spirit on all flesh - cf. Jn 1:33; Ac 2:33

  • "...He would have given you living water..." - i.e., the Holy Spirit
    1) The same promise made to all believers in Jn 7:37-39
    2) Though not fully given until He was glorified (after His resurrection and ascension)
3. Are we enjoying the benefits of "The Gift Of Living Water" that Jesus offers...?
  • It begins by responding to Christ in baptism - cf. Ac 2:38; 1Co 12:13

  • It continues by being careful not to "quench" the Spirit - cf. 1Th 5:19; e.g., Ac 7:51
May our attitude be like that of the Samaritan woman: "Sir, give me this water..." - Jn 4:15

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