Sermon #63 Zechariah Series
Title: Come to the Fountain
Text: Zechariah 13:1
Subject: Christ Our Fountain
Date: Sunday Morning — August 12, 2007
Reading: John 5:1-9 and Zechariah 13:1-9
Tape # Zechariah #63
The word “fountain” is used in the Scriptures to speak of our blessed Savior as the constantly flowing spring and source of life and grace for our souls. He is called “the Fountain of life” (Psalm 36:9), “the Fountain of Israel” (Psalm 68:26), and “the Fountain of living waters” Jeremiah 2:13; 17:13). In the Song of Solomon, after the Lord Jesus speaks of his church as a fruitful and pleasant garden (4:12-14), she responds by turning praise to him, calling him “a Fountain of gardens, a well of living waters” (v. 15). And in Zechariah 13:1, the Lord Jesus is spoken of as “a Fountain opened,” opened by God and opened for sinners, “a fountain opened for sin and uncleanness.”
(Zechariah 13:1) “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.”
Christ is the Fountain in whom all fullness dwells, and from whom all the fulness of grace flows to our needy souls. Of his fulness we “receive grace for grace.” He is the Fountain from whence it all flows.
· All justifying grace flows from Christ our Fountain. In him alone is our justifying righteousness before God. By him alone we are justified from all things from which we could not be justified by the law of Moses.
· All sanctifying grace flows from Christ, the great Fountain of grace. We obtain from him both our justifying righteousness and a holy nature. Christ is both our Justification and our Sanctification. We look to him for both; and receive both from him.
· All the streams of pardoning grace flow to guilty sinners from Christ our Fountain, who shed his precious blood to obtain eternal redemption and he forgiveness of sins for us. We have redemption through his blood and the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of God’s free grace in him. Christ is “the Fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness.” It is his blood alone that “cleanseth us from all sin.”
· He is the Fountain of all the blessings and promises of the everlasting covenant. All light and life, all joy, comfort, and peace in believing, all the gifts of wisdom, grace and knowledge, all the gifts of his Spirit, all the gifts of salvation, all gifts for time and eternity, all the gifts of grace and all the gifts of glory, flow to chosen, redeemed sinners from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Fountain opened for us, the Fountain once opened than shall never be shut and can never run dry!
(Psalms 68:18-20) “Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them. (19) Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah. (20) He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord belong the issues from death.”
It is my prayer that God the Holy Spirit will graciously bring you to the Fountain, Christ Jesus. Forsake forever the broken cisterns of empty religion.
Come, plunge into the Fountain. Christ Jesus, wash and be clean. Drink and live. There is no fountain for our souls but Christ, our crucified Redeemer, from whose pierced side springs an unceasing fountain of blood and water for sin and uncleanness, both to justify and to sanctify poor, needy sinners.
Why does God the Holy Spirit use the word “fountain” to set Christ our Savior before us? Let me suggest a few reasons.
Perhaps our Lord Jesus is called a Fountain, because a fountain is pure. Its waters bubble from an unpolluted depth, free from defilement. Unlike water caught in a cistern, the waters of a fountain never need to be filtered or purified. Unlike a well dug in the earth, the waters of a fountain cannot be polluted with the dirty surface water from the contaminated soil of the earth. — Christ Jesus is a pure Fountain for our souls. He is purity; and he alone makes sinners pure. There is in Christ, there is in this Fountain an all-out cleansing from sin, an absolute remedy for uncleanness, a complete blotting out of all the transgression! Christ is the Fountain that cleanses us completely from all the uncleanness, all the filthiness, and all the corruption that springs our corrupt nature! There is in him a full, an entire, a complete doing away with sin and uncleanness by his precious blood.
Come to the Fountain, so rich and sweet;
Cast thy poor soul at the Savior’s feet;
Plunge in today and be made complete —
Glory to His name!
No matter how unclean you are, plunge into this Fountain, and you shall be clean! You will come out an entirely new creature, without sin before God (2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 Peter 3:18-4:1-2; 2 Peter 1:4; Colossians 1:12).
(1 Peter 3:18) “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.”
(1 Peter 4:1-2) “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; (2) That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.”
A fountain is always full. A cistern may be filled; but its fulness is ever diminishing. And it can be emptied quickly. But a fountain is always full, replenishing itself constantly. Its vast supplies cannot be drained by human hand, or checked by human effort. The fountain is not dried by the summer heat, and is never frozen by winter’s cold. Rivers and creeks dry up. Reservoirs may even be emptied. But a fountain, though used continually and used by many, it is always full. That is Christ, a Fountain ever full for our souls (Colossians 1:18-19).
(Colossians 1:18-19) “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. (19) For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.”
· Full of merit to justify guilty sinners by his blood and righteousness.
· Full of grace to cleanse and sanctify us by his Spirit.
· Full of life to give us life.
A fountain ever full is our blessed Savior. He is “the same yesterday, and today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is full of love, with no beginning and no end. He is full of mercy, which endures forever. He is full of grace, sufficient for our every need. Our Savior’s merit is as inexhaustible as his Deity. His righteousness can never be marred. His power is omnipotence forever. His intercession is relentless. His forgiveness is as perpetual as it is free.
None can come to this Fountain, at ant time, in any condition, and fail to find supply! Someone said, “Christ is heart to pity; ear to hear; hand to help; might to save!” In every age, in every climate, sinners have drawn near and found a Fountain always flowing with streams of salvation. He is a Fountain ever ready and ever full. Come, pitch you tent beside this Fountain, drink of this Water, and you will never thirst again!
A fountain has cleansing properties. Its pure stream has beneficial use. Corruption is its very atmosphere of fallen man. Sin is he air we breathe. Vileness spews from our hearts. Death is in the touch of our hands. Everywhere the leper’s cry resounds, “Unclean! Unclean!” We are all as an unclean thing! There is no remedy for uncleanness but washing, and no washing but by water, no washing but by the sanctification of the Holy Spirit in regeneration (Titus 3:3-7; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
(Titus 3:3-7) “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. (4) But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, (5) Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; (6) Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; (7) That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
(1 Corinthians 6:9-11) “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, (10) Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (11) And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
Uncleanness is what we are. Sin defiles our entire being. It renders us loathsome before God. Christ is the Fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness. He alone completely purifies. His atoning sacrifice removes sin, purges iniquity and takes it away. How precious is the word from our God, “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). His righteousness is the robe in which no accuser can detect a blemish. It is written, “Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment” (Zechariah 3:4). How solemn is the Savior’s warning, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me” (John 13:8).
I’ll tell you something else about a fountain. A fountain is refreshing. It quenches our thirst. Thirst is a common thing, so common that we seldom think about it. We seldom think about it because we always have abundance of water to quench our thirst. But thirst without water to quench it, thirst aggravated by extreme distress, scorching heat, constant labor, and burning fever is intense beyond description.
When the children of Israel thirsted for water in the wilderness and none could be found, they thought they were about to die. They tempted the Lord and were ready to kill Moses for bringing them out of Egypt (Exodus 17). Only when God commanded his servant Moses to strike the Rock was their thirst relieved (Exodus 17:4-6; Psalm 78:15-16; 1 Corinthians 10:1-4).
(Exodus 17:4-6) “And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me. (5) And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go. (6) Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.”
(Psalms 78:15-16) “He clave the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink as out of the great depths. (16) He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers.”
(1 Corinthians 10:1-4) “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; (2) And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; (3) And did all eat the same spiritual meat; (4) And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”
That event was a picture of the opening of Christ as a Fountain to our souls, of which Zechariah prophesied. Remember…
· Moses represents the law.
· The Rock smitten was Christ.
· And the Fountain was opened by the smiting of the Rock with the rod of the law.
Christ is the Fountain opened by divine justice, for sin and for uncleanness. And thirsty souls find refreshment for their souls nowhere but in him.
· Men and women at war are often weary, weak and thirsty. The Savior brings refreshing. Then the arms that hang down are lifted up and the bending knees are made straight, and we are renewed with strength.
· The pilgrim is exhausted in his sojourn through this world. Christ Jesus, the Fountain opened, supplies some sweet cordial of grace; and strength is restored.
· The sick believer is parched and languid. The Great Physician, our great Savior draws near, pours in a heavenly draught from the Fountain and cools our parched spirits. Then, David’s sigh is repressed, “Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate” (2 Samuel 23:15).
The spiritual Fountain is ever near. The children of Israel still drink “of that spiritual Rock that follows them; and that Rock is Christ.” That Rock still follows in full stream. Our Savior still cries, “If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drink” (John 7:37). Thanks be to God for the thirst slaking “Fountain of living waters!”
(John 4:13-14) “Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: (14) 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.”
An open fountain is a very fruitful thing. Its waters flow forth, watering the earth, and making it fruitful. That is a fruitful garden that has a fountain in it. That is precisely what God’s church is in this world, a fruitful garden because Christ is the Fountain opened in the midst of his church (Song of Solomon 4:12-16). The Lord Jesus describes us as his fruitful garden.
(Song of Songs 4:12-14) “A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. (13) Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard, (14) Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices.”
In verse 15 the bride takes attention away from herself and turns it to him.
(Song of Songs 4:15) “A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon.”
(Song of Songs 4:16) Christ speaks — “Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out.” The Bride speaks — “Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.”
(Song of Songs 5:1) Christ speaks again — “I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.”
In all this the Gospel here shines forth beautifully. The curse which fell upon earth fell heaviest upon the heart of man (Genesis 3:18-19).
(Genesis 3:18-19) “Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; (19) In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
In Christ Jesus the curse is removed and that which was a curse is made into blessing (Isaiah 27:2-3; 44:3-4; Hosea 14:7-9; Galatians 5:22-23).
(Isaiah 27:2-3) “In that day sing ye unto her, A vineyard of red wine. (3) I the LORD do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.”
(Isaiah 44:3-4) “For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: (4) And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses.”
(Hosea 14:7-9) “They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon. (8) Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found. (9) Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.”
(Galatians 5:22-23) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
God’s saints in this world are “trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified” (Isaiah 61:3), trees of righteousness richly laden with luxuriant fruit, made holy and pure in Christ, even as he is holy and pure, being justified from all sin by his blood and cleansed from all uncleanness by his Spirit. Without irrigation by the Fountain opened there could be no fruitfulness. But his presence implants grace and causes it to thrive abundantly. Thus the believer is made “like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not” (Isaiah 58:11; 55:13).
(Isaiah 55:13) “Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”
A fountain is in a dry and thirsty land is a precious thing. Its value is beyond description. Its benefits are unsearchable. All life depends upon it. All creation gives testimony to its worth. If water fails, life is gone. In lands where wells were scarce, they were the cause of constant and angry strife (Genesis 21:25; 26:20).
(Genesis 21:25) “And Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a well of water, which Abimelech’s servants had violently taken away.”
(Genesis 26:20) “And the herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaac’s herdmen, saying, The water is ours: and he called the name of the well Esek; because they strove with him.”
Truly precious is Christ our Fountain to our souls! — “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious” (1 Peter 2:7). What mind can grasp, what thought can conceive, what intellect can measure, what tongue can tell, what eloquence can state, what pen can portray, what figure can represent, the immensity of his preciousness? The riches of his grace are “unsearchable” (Ephesians 3:8). Oh, how precious Christ is! How unsearchable are the riches of his grace!
· How precious he is in his person! He is equal to the Father in his Godhead, and one with us in his manhood!
· How precious is the work he accomplished for us, redeeming countless souls from everlasting misery, and exalting us to heaven’s eternal bliss!
· Behold him now on the right hand of the Majesty on high, ever living as an Advocate to plead, as an Intercessor to obtain mercy, as a Surety to represent! Who can speak of the glory and brightness of his return and his triumph in the last day?
· What tongue can adequately speak of his love that “passeth knowledge” (Eph. 3:19)?
· His enchanting promises, so exceeding many, and great, and precious, have no measure and no end. He is precious in health and sickness, in every moment of time, in the hour of death, at the Day of Judgment, throughout the ever-rolling days of eternity.
“Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift,” for the precious “Fountain of living waters!”
A fountain must be open to be used. And Christ is the Fountain opened, opened for the healing of our souls. In John v. we read of a pool, called the pool of Bethesda, which was thought to have healing power. Christ is the true Pool of Bethesda. Like that poor soul by the pool of Bethesda, the Lord Jesus came to me and said, “Wilt thou be made whole?” But, like that man, I was impotent, and had no man to put me in the pool. But, blessed be his name, the Lord Jesus is both the Pool and the Man needed. He put me into the Pool and made me whole!
He is still “a Fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness!” And that which God has opened, no man can shut! There are no barriers to the Fountain! There is no flaming sword to prevent free access to him. God has opened the Fountain for sinners and bids needy souls to “take the water of life freely” (Isaiah 55:1; Revelation 22:17).
(Isaiah 55:1) “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”
(Revelation 22:17) “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”
These invitations and calls are free as the very air of heaven. Let the filthy come and wash, freely. Let the thirsty come and drink, freely. Let the weary come and be revived, freely. The Lord Jesus says, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink” (John 7:37). — “O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved” (Song of Solomon 5:1).
(Jeremiah 2:12-13) “Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the LORD. (13) For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.”
Can any folly be more foolish? Can any madness be more mad? Men still “love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil” (John 3:19). Will you choose sickness rather than health, the dungeon rather than a palace, slavery rather than freedom, deformity rather than beauty, ignorance rather than knowledge, blindness rather than sight, the storm rather than the haven, things fleeting rather than things eternal, the quicksand rather than the Rock, death rather than life, hell rather than heaven, dead religion rather the living Christ, empty and broken cisterns of your own making rather than Christ the “Fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness”?
I bid you come to the Fountain. Such is the hardness and depravity of your heart that you will never come to the Fountain and be made clean.
“Come to the Fountain, so rich and sweet;
Cast thy poor soul at the Savior’s feet;
Plunge in today and be made complete.”
But such is the hardness and depravity of your heart that I know you will never come, except God open the Fountain to you by his Spirit and plunge you into it. Such was the hardness and depravity of our hearts. But blessed be his name, he does for sinners what we will not and cannot do for ourselves! Christ is the “Fountain opened for sin and uncleanness.” Christ bids us come to the Fountain. And, “Glory to His name,” he plunges sinners into the Fountain by the omnipotent mercy and grace of his Spirit. May he do for you what he has done for these ransomed souls who are praying for you this hour. — He “loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood…To him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” (Revelation 1:5-6).
Illustration: Rolfe Barnard at Old Faithful
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