INTRO: The last section of Genesis 26 is about wells and water. That world was different from ours in so many ways. When we want water, we go to the faucet, turn the handle and water immediately comes forth. Not so then. Water was scarce, and hostilities could quickly arise over the possession of a well of water. Household water had to be carried in jars from a central source to the house. So, the words we have found water are great news to Israel.
I. FINDING LIVING WATER
A. Jno 4:10-14
1. water was always considered Gods gift
2. but there were two kinds of water - cistern (stagnant, etc.) and spring (cold, fresh)
3. Jesus makes that distinction with a spiritual application
B. What Jesus said about the water He would give?
1. quenches thirst - permanently - answers mans greatest need
2. brings one to eternal life (Isa 12:3)
3. but so many are satisfied with cistern water when living water is accessible to them (Jer 2:13)
C. So, Jno 4:28,29 ... is not this the Christ?
1. I liken her words to those of Isaacs servants!
2. at Jno 4:41 wonderful words of life (Jno 6:63)
3. but there is something said at Gen 26:18 which may have spiritual application in view of Jno 4:14 .. the well can be stopped if we do not defend it - keep it in good repair!
II. FINDING WATER FOR BAPTISM
A. Acts 8:36
1. Philip had been preaching Christ to him
2. had he made reference to the words of Jesus recorded at Jno 3:3-5? born of water
3. in any case, the need for baptism was clear in this mans mind
B. Water now has a new purpose for this man
1. it becomes the medium in which obedient faith accomplishes its saving work!
2. Acts 22:16 helps us understand
3. or Eph 5:26
c. Have you found the water?
1. what I mean, of course, is the significance of baptism - its meaning? its necessity?
2. coming to this understanding and being baptized should bring joyful expression!
3. Acts 8:38,39
III. FINDING PURPOSE IN FLOWING RIVERS
A. Jno 7:37,38
1. the occasion was the Feast of Tabernacle (7:2)
2. a harvest feast in which thanksgiving for abundant outpouring of water was an important part
3. once again, water of the occasion becomes the great spiritual lesson from Jesus
B. This time he notes the outflowing water
1. one who has drunk the water of life becomes a giver of the water of life!
2. everywhere the river goes, there is life
3. Jesus never proposes damning up the stream for selfish uses ... He always proposed that the beneficiaries of His blessings should be givers of them!
4. so, purpose in Christ
CLOSE: Rev 21:6 and 22:17. I wonder this morning if there are any here who need to drink of the living water Jesus offers. If so, you need to find the water of baptism. And we invite you to come to that water now!
Cecil A. Hutson
15 August 1999
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)