“But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life . . . . . . The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city,” John 4:14, 28.
Preached by Rev Ivan Foster when minister of Bethel Free Presbyterian Church, May 6th, 1973.
True conversion is never a matter of chance, no matter how it may appear so to men! It is no mere ‘fluke’ that brings about an encounter between the SINNER and the SAVIOUR. The Lord Jesus was ever SEEKING the lost. He, in His search, deliberately planned confrontations with sinners. This is plainly seen in the passage we read, (John 4:1-26, 39-42).
The Lord Jesus selected the PERSON. The Lord Jesus selected the SITUATION. The Lord Jesus selected the TIME. The Lord Jesus selected the CONVERSATION. The Lord Jesus chose to REVEAL HIMSELF. “Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he,” verse 26. FIRST and LAST salvation is of the Lord!
In His conversation with this woman, Christ pinpoints the two great areas of ignorance in mankind, verse 10. “Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” Mankind is IGNORANT of the GIFT and GIVER.
Tonight I wish to show what the Bible teaches us about the GIFT and GIVER.
God’s gift of salvation is likened unto a WELL OF WATER. “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life,” verse 14. By setting our thoughts upon such a familiar object as a well of water we can learn much about God’s salvation.
I. THE NECESSITY OF A WELL
We have been warned of the possibility of a drought this year (1973). This will mean hardship for we MUST have water. Life depends upon water. To a far greater extent mankind MUST have God’s salvation from sin to survive eternally.
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,” Romans 6:23.
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. . . . . And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire,” Revelation 20:12, 15.
A long time ago a man was found dead in the Australian desert with a note lying beside him: “Lost for want of water”!
II. THE PROPERTIES OF WATER
The great majority of wells send forth pure, cool and refreshing water. Water that is untainted by man’s additives, having been filtered by the wonderful process of passing through layers of sand, gravel and stone, created by the Lord in the beginning! It is unaffected by the heat of the sun and above all, it is exactly what the body requires. So it is with GOD’S SALVATION.
1. Salvation is PURE. It is from Heaven, as are the waters we drink, originating in the rain that falls upon the earth. Salvation comes from the hand of God.
2. Salvation is COOLING. It is unaffected by the changes in the ‘temperatures’ of man’s notions and desires which are as changeable as the weather!
3. Salvation is REFRESHING. It can do what no pub, dance, cinema, theatre or entertainment of man’s invention can do. “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst,” verse 14.
The ‘rich man’ (Luke 16:19, 22-24) feasted every day but in hell he thirsted for a mere drop of water!
The woman, when the well of salvation was revealed to her, left her waterpot and took home the ‘well’!
III. THE DESIRABILITY OF A WELL
“Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour,” John 4:5-6.
In times not that long past, a farm with a good well increased in value because of the presence of that well. The history of Jacob’s well at Sychar is instructive.
1. The purchase of the well. “And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padanaram; and pitched his tent before the city. And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for an hundred pieces of money,” Genesis 33:18-19. Such was considered a valuable possession in a land given to drought! How much more valuable is God’s salvation in a world which abides under His curse and judgment. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him,” John 3:36.
How valuable is God’s salvation? That is impossible to quantify but we can gauge its infinite worth when we remember it cost the blood of God’s dear Son. “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot,” 1 Peter 1:18-19.
Furthermore, we can understand its value in what it has purchased for us. “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: but now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ,” Ephesians 2:12-13.
The value of our eternal inheritance in heaven can be calculated in the currency of Christ’s precious blood. “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins,” Colossians 1:12-14.
2. The opposition to having such a possession. “And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die: but God shall be with you, and bring you again unto the land of your fathers. Moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow,” Genesis 48:21-22. This is the place called Sychar in our passage. “Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph,” John 4:5. The ‘Amorite’, the heathen occupier of the land of Canaan, was opposed to Jacob possessing God’s gift. So it is with salvation. The parable of the ‘Sower’ in Matthew 13, illustrates the opposition mounted to the sinner possessing God’s ‘well of salvation’!
“And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; and when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: and when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: but other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear,” Matthew 13:3-9.
The ratio of success was one in four! The Lord Jesus said: “Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it,” Matthew 7:14.
IV. THE PERPETUITY OF THE WELL
“But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life,” verse 14.
1. God’s salvation in the soul is a most powerful and unquenchable well of grace within the life.
The words “springing up” are wonderfully illustrated for us in other verses where the same Greek word appears. “Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God,” Acts 3:6-8.
“And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked: The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked,” Acts 14:8-10.
We can easily imagine the energy those men displayed as they enjoyed the wonderful healing God had wrought upon their bodies.
Likewise, it is with boundless energy God’s grace springs up in the heart and soul of the one redeemed by Christ and who becomes a possessor of the well of salvation.
2. It brings wonderful life to the soul of the converted sinner. As the men healed ‘leapt’ up and began to do that which they had NEVER done before, so the converted sinner lives as he has never lived before! “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new,” 2 Corinthians 5:17.
“If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness,” Ephesians 4:21-24.
What blessing that woman received that day at the well! How wonderfully was her life changed and the lives of those who heeded her testimony of Christ.
“Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? Then they went out of the city, and came unto him. . . . . And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. And many more believed because of his own word; And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world,” John 4:29-30, 39-42.
This evening, close with Christ, receive His gift of eternal salvation by drinking, by believing, the water of the words of life set forth in the gospel.