REVIVAL – THE LIVING WATER (1)
Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a sermon titled Revival – The Living Water (1). Her main text was taken from the Book of John. “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ… Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” … On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (Jn 1:16,17; 4:13,14; 7:37-39)
We shall revisit the subject of Revival. This time we shall seek God for the fullness of the Spirit, described as the Fountain of Living Waters. Our Lord teaches the Samaritan woman the meaning of true worship. We shall learn with her how to be filled with the Holy Spirit and how to participate in revival. The problem with many Christians is that they are too easily satisfied. When they are saved an ‘amount’ of the Holy Spirit is given to them. This is because without the Holy Spirit you cannot be born again. After that, they are supposed to press on closer to God, to receive the fullness of God’s Spirit. Our Lord describes that as ‘a fountain of Living Waters that springs up to everlasting life’. This fountain produces a peculiar water. It is the all-satisfying living water. The promise is that ‘you will never thirst again’. The word ‘never’ is categorical and definitive. Few believers press on until they arrive to that place of ‘never thirst again’. We should pay the price to experience the manifestation of this wonderful promise! The manifestation of revival is under the sovereign will of King Grace. May we please Him! “Let the Living Waters flow over my soul! Let the Holy Spirit come and take control!”
Jesus Christ came ‘full of Grace and Truth”. Out of His fulness we have received Grace and more Grace. The word ‘fulness’ means a container filled to the brim. There is no empty space. The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is a manifestation of His fulness, as the Lord of all. It affects every area of our lives. Both is quality and quantity Grace is eternally creative. “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Pet 4:10). This fullness of Grace is described as ‘manifold’. The word describes Grace as the colors of the rainbow, having many gifts and many blessings. There is no problem that the Grace of God cannot solve. Because we are born sinners, it is hard for us to imagine such a wonderful Grace. We are too stingy and too selfish to understand this revelation. We are too lazy to pray for revival. We need the Holy Spirit to understand and appreciate the Grace of God. Grace is a King helping His humble servants just because He takes pleasure in helping. Because of this fullness of Grace in Christ, we can never lose our salvation! Christ in us the Hope of Glory! Halleluiah!
Revival is always connected with Grace. Revival is the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit, blessing many believers at the same time. The unbelievers become attracted by this powerful life working in the Christians. The result is that they become converted. Many people look down on the Church. This is because they do not see much difference in behavior between the worldly people and the so-called believers. Once the Holy Spirit convicts the religious people of sin, true repentance and conversion happens. The believers will manifest the fruits of repentance. The world notices that. The Church has authority over the world only when the children of God pay the price for sanctification and the fulness in Christ. Like butterflies come to the light, so the unbelievers are attracted to truth and love, manifested in their fulness, in the lives of the believers. Lukewarm Christians are a hindrance to revival. This is a good question: Since you became saved, do you experience this fullness of life? Are you truly filled with the Holy Spirit? Is the fountain of Living Water springing up in your spirit? Is your spirit ‘bubbling’ life? Is your testimony changing others around you? Have you experienced this Niagara Falls-like ‘Glorious Rich Grace’ (Eph 1:6,7)? God wants us full of His Spirit so that “He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:7). Grace manifests as Kindness. Do people know you as an extremely kind person? Kindness is a weapon of Grace that never fails!
LESSONS AT THE WELL
Our Lord has a conversation with a Samaritan woman at the well. John chapter 4 is special because it is the longest recorded conversation in the Bible between our Lord and a sinner. There are so many lessons for us to learn. We shall focus on the promised water of life, the Gift of God. We shall seek God for the fullness of the Spirit and revival, in our lives, our families, our church and our Geographical area. You can see that Jesus arrives first at the well. He is waiting for the woman. You see that it is not the woman seeking God, but it is God seeking for worshippers who will worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.
*The Lord reveals Himself for the first time as the Messiah! Not to His disciples, but to a Gentile sinful woman! “The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” (Jn 4:25, 26).
*The Living Water our Lord is talking about is not found in Jacob’s well. No human bucket can locate it. This is the Living Water of the Holy Spirit. It is the fulness of the Holy Spirit in the heart of man. This Living Water, once you drink it, it settles in your spirit and becomes a flowing fountain. The water is under pressure, cleansing everything in its way. It changes you inside and outside. It flows to eternity. It never stops. It is the source of revival. It is for the glory of God and for the blessings of men. The water of the world quenches the thirst only for a short time. But this Living Water kills the thirst, the restlessness of seeking and not finding. This Living Water satisfies your body, soul, and spirit! The Lord Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit is the only source of this fountain of Living Waters. This Water, like Grace too, it is a Gift of God. You must know it and you must ask for it. These are the conditions for receiving it. “Jesus answered and said to her, “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.” (Jn 4:10). The woman was still thinking in the natural but slowly she knew that this Man is a Prophet. She knew something from the promise of the Gift of God He offers to her. Then, she asked for the Water, fulfilling the two conditions: “The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” (Jn 4:15). Later, our Lord directs the discussion towards sin. The woman needs to acknowledge that she is a thirsty needy sinner. She needs to taste the bitter news of sin and death before she can receive and rejoice in the Good News of Grace and Life. Against all odds, she did it! She is the first person truly saved and Spirit filled in the ministry of our Lord. What an amazing Grace!
*The Lord Jesus plans His encounters with His people. Nothing is accidental with the Lord. He never makes mistakes.
We are told that our Lord “left Judea and departed again to Galilee. But He needed to go through Samaria” (Jn 4:3, 4). The Jews never passed thru Samaria. They used a longer roundabout road to go to Galilee. They did this because they hated the Samaritans. But Jesus does not discriminate people. He went thru Samaria because He planned to save a Samaritan woman and to anoint her as an evangelist. After a long journey, our Lord was tired and sat by Jacob’s well. His disciples went to look for food. He wanted to be alone with this woman who came to draw water in the heat of the day. Salvation and deliverance are personal. You must expect the Lord to come for you alone. Do not reject your hope of glory! The brethren can pray for you, can help you as much as they can. But they cannot save your soul. They cannot fill you with the Holy Spirit! Wait on God alone and you shall not be disappointed. He who saved the dying thief, will save and help you! Do you see how God is in charge of your circumstances? Salvation is planned and executed by the Lord! He said: “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Lk 19:10). Jesus knows the location of all His lost sheep. He seeks them, He finds them, and He saves them, one by one. He knows each of His own before the foundation of the world! That is why we are confident in saying that we can never lose our salvation! Can you appreciate The Lord’s constant care and love for you? He feels your pains! He will locate you in your loneliness! He is never too early to save you and never too late to help you! King Grace is always in control! Glory to God!
*God is sovereign in the way He blesses people. The Lord talks to the Samaritan woman. He reveals to her deep revelations about God, about her needs, about the worship of God. What are some lessons here for us? In the previous chapter (John 3), our Lord revealed the way of salvation to Nicodemus, a theologian, and a religious ruler in Jerusalem. He came to see Jesus by night. He was a Jew, a man, a wealthy man, and a religious teacher. You may say that he had all the credentials to be blessed by fresh revelation. But in the next chapter, our Lord saves this woman who socially, is the opposite of Nicodemus. Just imagine the scene… Our Lord does Bible study with a simple illiterate woman, an adulterous woman. Nicodemus is named but this woman is unnamed. She represents us, the Gentiles, who are saved by Grace, thru faith. The Jews reject the Samaritans. This woman has nothing to recommend herself to the Lord. But Jesus wants her, to save her soul. He gently leads her to Himself. King Grace saves her soul, not because she merits anything, but because of God’s eternal plan of salvation. This is how she became saved. Nicodemus was afraid of the public opinion. That is why he came to see Jesus in the night. But this woman talked to Jesus in the light and in the public. Our Lord patiently teaches her one of the greatest doctrines in the Bible, about the true worship of God in Spirit and in Truth. Our Lord reveals Himself as the Messiah to her. She believes Him! Salvation is always by Grace and thru faith! He justifies her and freely gives her the gift of an evangelist. She starts her ministry that day. Our Lord breaks all barriers of race, gender, and social status. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28). As you can see, King Grace is in charge!
*The God of all Grace surprises humble people. You can never predict or manipulate King Grace! We should live by expectant faith!
Nicodemus decided to go and meet with Jesus. But this woman did not know that she will have an encounter with King Grace that day. The women in the town draw water in the evening when the weather is cooler. She comes at noontime, alone, to draw water, so that none will see her. She avoids the people because of her life of sin. She is ashamed. That day was an ordinary day. She did not know that her life will change that day. King Grace surprises people with salvation and blessings when they least expect. This woman translates from nothing to fullness! From Zero to Hero! Your past of sin is not a hindrance to the Lord! He died as your Substitute. He paid the penalty for your sins with His Blood. Come to Jesus, as you are right now! You cannot wash yourself. His Blood with wash you and make you clean! You should live in this expectation of an encounter. Be ready to repent easily! Live by faith and not by sight! Expect God! The resurrected Christ passed thru the walls. He still does that up till today. Nothing hinders Him when He comes to visit you. Each time you come to church, expect an encounter with the only Living God. Do not be tired of waiting on God! Let it be your lifestyle. Selah! To God be all the glory!