Come to the Water

Scripture Passage: 
John 7:37-39
Attached audio files: 

Introduction: His Closing Message in the Temple (John 7:37-53); the Feast of Tabernacles (John 7:1-2); The time of rest when the Lord will make His tabernacle with men (Leviticus 23:40; Leviticus 26:11-12; Revelation 21:3).

  1. THE THREE MEN
    1. The Thirsty Man – Lost (John 7:37; John 4:10; Isaiah 55:1-2; Revelation 22:17)
      1. Elected According to Choice – William Bell Riley (1861-1947) served for many years as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Minneapolis, Minnesota (from 1897 to 1943). He was also a key figure in the early independent Baptist church movement. While recognizing the sovereignty of God, he “also set forth his position on the freeness of the gospel and man’s freeness in responding thereto: ‘The impression that prevails with some people that God only calls a few of His favorites is absolutely false. Isaiah, speaking for God, said, “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.” [Isaiah 55:1] …No man ever hears the gospel, no matter who he is and to what stock he belongs, but God is calling to him… Every promise of salvation made by the Son of God is His call to the sinner… The soul’s election depends upon the soul’s choice. Thou, my friend, art the only person who can settle this question of election. It is not settled in Heaven; it is settled on earth. It is not settled of the Lord; it is settled by man.’ ( The Bible of the Expositor and the Evangelist New Testament, Vol.9, pp.152-153, 155, 158)” –from Divine Sovereignty and Human Freedom by Samuel Fisk (page 15).
    2. The Quenched Man – Saved (John 7:37-38; John 4:13-14; John 6:35)
    3. The Overflowing Man (John 7:38; John 10:10)
      1. Life and Life More Abundant – “Christ says, ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly .’ [John 10:10]. Christ for us, appropriated by faith is the source of life; Christ within us through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the source of more abundant life; the one fact secures our salvation; the other enables us to glorify God in the salvation of others. How distinctly these two stages of spiritual life are set forth in our Lord’s discourse about the water of life! The first effect upon the believer of drinking this water is, ‘he shall never thirst: but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.’ [John 4:14]. That is, the soul receives salvation, and the perennial joy and peace which accompany salvation. But the second stage is this: ‘He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake he of the Spirit which they that believe on him should receive .’ [John 7:38-39]. Here is the divine life going out in service and testimony and blessing through the Holy Ghost.” –from The Twofold Life by A. J. Gordon (pages 9-10).
  2. THE LIVING WATER (John 7:38)
    1. Note: living water is a phrase that can refer to a spring because the spring flows up from the earth on its own and does not have to be drawn as water is drawn from a well (Jeremiah 2:13).
    2. From Jerusalem (Psalm 46:4-5Joel 3:18; Zechariah 14:8)
    3. From the Heart (Psalm 1:3; Isaiah 58:11; John 4:10-11)
  3. THE PRESENCE OF THE SPIRIT
    1. Spirit Above and Spirits Below – David Benedict, in his 50 Years Among the Baptists (page 74), tells of the state of Baptist church buildings in the early 1800’s in America. Some would share buildings with other churches or schools. “In other cases, you might see stores and warehouses underneath them. In the basement of one of these buildings a grocery store was in full operation, in which, according to former custom, the ardent article [that is, alcoholic beverages] constituted no small part of the trade. This gave occasion for some wag to place on the building the following lines:  "There’s a spirit above and a spirit below, A spirit of joy and a spirit of woe; The spirit above is the spirit divine, The spirit below is the spirit of wine."
    2. With You (John 14:16-17)
    3. In You (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
    4. Filling You (Ephesians 5:18-21)
      1. Seeking God; Not the Experience – E. M. Bounds, the author of many books on prayer, observed a revival during the years 1904-1905. “As the revival ebbed in 1905, many churches focused on activities directed toward self rather than submission to God. Forum and programs became the hallmark of the day instead of submission, obedience, and sacrifice. Church leadership began to try to emulate what God had done through the Great Awakening and to duplicate the experiences. Yet they were unable to duplicate the movement of the Spirit of almighty God. Bounds challenged Christians to the command of Christ to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness [Matthew 6:33]. The will of God is not geographical but positional. Standing ‘holy and acceptable before God is our reasonable service’ and is the perfect will of God for our lives. Otherwise, church ‘activities’ will be just that rather than the result of fresh anointing and empowerment.” –from E. M. Bounds by Darrel D. King (pages 139-140).
  4. THE WORK OF THE SPIRIT
    1. We Live in the Spirit (Romans 8:5-13; Galatians 5:25)
      1. Life Through the Spirit – “Too much emphasis cannot be placed on the fact that, since God has proposed the impossible rule of life and provided the sufficient Spirit, the believer’s responsibility is thereby changed from being a struggle of the flesh to being a reliance on the Spirit. Grace thus introduces a new problem for the believer’s life which is wholly foreign to every aspect of the law. It is the problem of the adjustment of the heart to the holy presence of the Spirit, and of maintaining the unbroken attitude of dependence on the Spirit. The new principle of achievement consists in getting things accomplished in the believer’s life and service by trusting the power of Another, rather than by trusting the energy of the flesh.” –from Grace: The Glorious Theme by Lewis Sperry Chafer (pages 207-208).
    2. We Walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-24; Romans 8:1-4)
      1. Secret of All Ministry – “The true secret of all ministry is spiritual power. It is not man’s genius, or man’s intellect, or man’s energy; but simply the power of the Spirit of God. This was true in the days of Moses, and it is true now. ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts’ (Zechariah 4:6). It is well for all ministers to bear this ever in mind. It will sustain the heart and give constant freshness to their ministry. A ministry which flows from abiding dependence upon the Holy Ghost can never become barren. If a man is drawing upon his own resources, he will soon run dry. It matters not what his powers may be, or how extensive his reading, or how vast his stores of information; if the Holy Ghost be not the spring and power of his ministry, it must, sooner or later, lose its freshness and its effectiveness.” –from Notes on the Pentateuch by C. H. Mackintosh (page 498).
    3. We are Led by the Spirit (Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:18)

Conclusion: Protected by the Great Spirit – In “1742, Count von Zinzendorf, the famous Moravian leader, made a trip to the American colonies and became interested in spreading the gospel among the Shawnee, about whom he had heard so much. The Shawnee in turn resented his intrusion and conspired to kill him. One September evening, when Zinzendorf was busily attending his journal, a rattlesnake that slithered into his warm tent passed undetected over one of the man’s legs:

“ ‘At this moment, the Indians softly approached the door of his tent, and slightly removing the curtain, contemplated the venerable man, too deeply engaged in the subject of his thoughts, to notice either their approach, or the snake which lay before him. At a sight like this, even the heart of the savages shrunk from the idea of committing so horrid an act; and, quitting the spot, they hastily returned to the town, and informed their companions, that the great spirit protected the white man, for they had found him with no door but a blanket, and had seen a large rattlesnake crawl over his legs without attempting to injure him.’ ” –from Faithful Volunteers: The History of Religion in Tennessee by Stephen Mansfield and George Grant (pages 14-15); second paragraph quote from Life of Tecumseh by Benjamin Drake.

There’s a spirit above and a spirit below,
A spirit of joy and a spirit of woe;
The spirit above is the spirit divine,
The spirit below is the spirit of wine.
David Reagan