Thursday, March 10, 2016, 5:00 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song, “Unless You Are Born Again.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read John 4:1-42 (ESV).
Living Water (vv. 4-15)
And he had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.
A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
Jesus, on his way from Judea to Galilee, had to physically travel through Samaria. Yet, I believe the “had to” also had to do with a divine appointment with a woman at a well.
The Samaritans were a mixed breed of Jews and Gentiles who also had a blended religion of the God of the Jews and that of other gods. They were an idolatrous people, and despised by the Jews. The Jews, thus, had no associations with Samaritans, which is why the woman was surprised when Jesus spoke with her. Yet, Jesus came to save sinners, and she was a sinner, as all people are born sinners, so he presented to her how she could have the hope of eternal life with God, i.e. he shared with her the gospel.
He spoke with her about “the gift of God” and of himself, that if she had known these, she would have asked Jesus for living water. So, what did he mean by this? Well, Jesus himself was certainly “the gift of God” to the world, as well as was God’s grace to us in sending his Son to die for our sins, although Jesus had not yet died. Our salvation is a free gift of God, as is even the faith to believe in Jesus for salvation (See: Eph. 2:8-10). The eternal life we receive, when we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, is also a gift of God to us. We can do nothing to earn or to deserve our own salvation or God’ grace to us in forgiving us of our sins. He even grants us the repentance necessary for salvation (See: Ac. 11:18). We can’t even come to faith in Jesus Christ unless the Father first draws us to Christ. All of this is the working of the Spirit in our lives, yet it is a gift we must willingly receive.
So, what is this spring of water welling up to eternal life? What is this living water? Well, for us, when we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, of the Spirit, and we are resurrected with Christ in newness of life, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” In other words, we are born again, of the Spirit, in spiritual birth. The old life of living for sin and self is put to death, and we now have new lives to be lived in the Spirit to righteousness, free from slavery to sin, and free to now become the Lord’s servants. We are new creations in Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit comes to live within us, and he encourages, strengthens, counsels, directs, leads, instructs and empowers us to live for God and to walk in Christ’s holiness. The Spirit within us, and this new life in Christ Jesus, which is eternal life, is this spring of water, this living water, welling up to eternal life.
In Spirit and Truth (vv. 16-26)
Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”
I am so thankful for God’s grace, aren’t you? No matter where we have been, or what we have done, if we trust in Jesus to be Lord (owner/master) and Savior of our lives, he forgives us our sins, and he gives us completely new lives in the Spirit free from slavery to sin, and free to come under the control of righteousness. Amen! I am so glad that the Father drew me to Jesus Christ, and that he chose to give me new life in his Spirit, i.e. to give me new birth. I am so thankful to God that, although I was steeped in sin from birth, that his love lifted me out of that slimy pit, and that he has given me a firm place to stand by faith in him.
Many people follow a religion, but this living water is not a religion, it is a relationship. When we come to faith in Jesus Christ, we now have access to the Father in heaven through the blood of Jesus shed on the cross for our sins, Jesus becomes Lord (owner/master) of our lives, and our husband, and we become his bride. And, the Holy Spirit indwells us. Our worship of God is not in form only, nor is it following a set of rites and rituals, but we have a personal relationship with Almighty God to where we can talk with him, and him with us, throughout our day. We can hear him speaking his truths to our hearts and, in the power of the Spirit, walk in obedience to our Lord and in surrender to his will for our lives. We don’t have to go to a particular building on a specific day of the week to worship God, either. We can worship him anywhere at any time both individually and with other believers in Jesus Christ. The early church met daily in the temple courts and from house to house.
We Believe (vv. 27-30, 39-42)
Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” They went out of the town and were coming to him…
Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”
The woman believed Jesus’ words, although she may not have understood all of them at that moment. Yet, she took what she knew and understood, and she shared it with others, and they came and heard Jesus, too, and many put their faith in Jesus Christ.
We don’t have to have a Bible college degree, or to have memorized a whole lot of scriptures in order to give our testimony of what Jesus Christ did in our lives. The man that Jesus healed who had been born blind didn’t understand everything that had happened to him. He didn’t know the man who healed him, and yet he gave testimony to the fact that once he was blind, but now he could see. Amen! The woman shared what she knew, and what she understood, and because of her testimony, many came to faith in Jesus Christ. I love the story, too, of the calling of the disciples, for many of them, as soon as they followed Jesus, went and told their friends or relatives to come and see Jesus, too.
When we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, and we have been turned from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, and we receive forgiveness of sins, and we are born anew of the Spirit of God, and we are freed from our slavery to sin, we, too, should want to tell others what Jesus did for us.
Unless You Are Born Again
An Original Work / November 3, 2013
Based off John 3:1-21
Nicodemus came to Jesus.
He acknowledged God was with Him.
Jesus said, “You can’t see heaven
Unless you are born again.”
“How can a man be born when he’s old?
Can he enter into his mother’s womb?”
Jesus answered, “Flesh is flesh,
So of the Spirit, you must be.”
Jesus said to Nicodemus,
“You’re a teacher, and yet you don’t
Understand of what I tell you,
Because you will not believe.
“For God so loved the world that He gave
His one and His only Son for your sin.
So, whoever believes in Him
Has eternal life in heav’n.
“Light has come into the world,
But human beings love the darkness,
Because their deeds are so evil,
So in truth, they stand condemned.
“Everyone who practices evil
Fears that the Light will expose his sin.
Yet, whoever lives his life by the Light
Does so through his God.”