Sermon #1383                                           Miscellaneous Notes


          Title:            Whence Hast Thou

That Living Water?

          Text:            John 4:11

          Reading:      Revelation 21:1-6 and 22:1-17

          Subject:       Christ Alone – The Source of Grace and Life

          Date:            Sunday Morning – December 5, 1999

          Tape #         V-58a



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.    The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?  (John 4:10-11)


·        What a blessed gift – “Living Water!”

·        What a wondrous Giver – The Lord Jesus Christ!

·        What delightful terms – “Ask, and ye shall receive!”


Proposition: The text you have before to you was inspired and written here, in the Book of God, specifically to teach us that the Lord Jesus Christ has all grace, salvation, and eternal life in himself, -- that he has it for sinners, to give away freely, -- and that he gives it to every sinner who ask him for it.


This is the doctrine of the gospel, the message of the Bible. Oh, may God cause you this day to come to Christ, and ask him to give you this living water. If you ask, you will leave here today with God’s grace and Spirit in you, “a well of water, springing up into everlasting life.”


          When our Lord Jesus spoke to eternity bound sinners, he had no interest in impressing his hearers with his oratorical skills. His object was to get convince men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. Therefore he spoke to hearts, in plain, simple terms.


I fear that far too much preaching is designed to impress men, not to convert them. May God save us from such!


I want, by the wisdom, grace, and power that only God can give, to speak to your hearts for the glory of God and your souls’ everlasting good. May God the Holy Spirit give me your hearts’ attention, as I endeavor to answer the question which this poor sinner put to the Son of God. – Whence hast thou that living water?”


          The Lord Jesus told this woman plainly that, if she had known the gift of God and who he was, she would have asked of him, and he would have given her living water. I fully realize that she did not know the full implication of what he had said; but she obviously understood that he was talking about something different from the waters which gathered in Jacob’s well. He was talking about water bubbling with life from a constantly renewed and renewing source, an artesian well of water. Therefore, she asked a very reasonable question. – She said, Whence hast thou that living water?”


I.                  Our Lord Jesus here uses the words “living Water” to describe His gift of grace, salvation, and eternal life by the Holy Spirit.


In fact, this is the way God’s salvation is often described in the Word of God.


In the last day, that great [day] of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.    He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.  (John 7:37-38)


  And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.  (Revelation 21:6)


  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.  (Revelation 22:17)


  Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.  (Isaiah 12:3)


  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:  (Isaiah 44:3)


  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.  (Zechariah 13:1)


          Without question, the word “water” is sometimes used to refer to the Word of God, and sometimes to the Spirit of God; but here, our Lord specifically uses the words “living water” to describe the whole work and gift of God’s grace in salvation. As he uses it here, it is a very suggestive term. Let me show you some reasons why “water” is a most appropriate word to describe God’s salvation, the gift of God in Christ.


A.   Water is a gift of God.


It is something no man can create. If we have water, God must give it. So it is with God’s salvation (Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:8).


B.    Water is vital.


      This is not an optional, add on luxury. Water is indispensable to life. No one can survive without it. Without it we die. Again, the comparison is obvious. Without God’s grace, God’s salvation, God’s Spirit, we must forever perish under the wrath of God.


C.   Water meets a universal need.


Water is not the requirement of some men, but of all men. All the sons and daughters of Adam stand upon equal footing here. It matters not how rich or poor we are, how learned or illiterate, we must have water. It matters not whether we are male or female, black or white, water is something we all must have. It meets the needs of all men alike. So it is with God’s salvation. All who are without Christ are lost. All who have Christ are saved. All who are without grace, are without hope. All who have the grace of God in Christ have life.


D.   Water comes down from heaven.


It is not of the earth and earthly, but from heaven and heavenly. Again, this is true of God’s grace and salvation in Christ. “Salvation is of the Lord!”


E.    God’s salvation is well described by the word “water” because water, like salvation, is a gift has multiple benefits.


·        It cleanses the filthy.

·        It cools the fevered brow.

·        It quenches the thirsty.

·        It refreshes the weary.

·        It satisfies the soul of a man.


F.    Water is something of which we never tire.


You may get tired of city water, with all its human corruptions. You may tire of yuppie, bottled water, with its stale, stagnancy. But I defy anyone to walk by a cool, mountain spring, gushing out of a hillside, on a hot summer day, without stopping for a drink. So, too, those who drink of this water will never tire of it.


·        Chosen sinners never tire of electing love.

·        Redeemed sinners never tire of blood atonement.

·        Forgiven sinners never tire of divine pardon.

·        Saved sinners never tire of saving grace.


G.   Water is sovereignly distributed.


In some places, it is abundant. In other places, it is scarce. In some places, it comes seasonally. In other places, it seems to fall freely at all seasons. So it is with God’s salvation. In some places, God sends the dew of heaven occasionally. In some places, he opens the windows of heaven and rains grace every day! In some places, he sends not so much as a cloud.


II.               This water, this “living water,” comes to sinners only from Christ.


If you would have this water, you must get it from him. Let me show you just two things here, and I will move on to my next point.


A.    Grace, salvation, and eternal life are in Christ, only in Christ, and in Christ in infinite abundance.


·        Not the Church – Christ!

·        Not Sacraments – Christ!

·        Not Religious Ritualism – Christ!

·        Not Moral Reformation – Christ!

·        Not a Decision – Christ!

·        Not Experience – Christ!

·        Not Feelings – Christ!


And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.    For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.  (John 1:16-17)


  For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;  (Colossians 1:19)


  For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.    And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:  (Colossians 2:9-10)


  But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:    That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.  (1 Corinthians 1:30-31)


          A form of godliness will do you no good. You must have Christ! A religious experience, without Christ, is a damning experience. You must have Christ!


B.    Salvation is the gift of God!


I gladly run the risk of appearing redundant. I repeat myself deliberately. How I want you to see this! Salvation is God’s free gift to sinners in Christ.


·        It cannot be bought.

·        It cannot be earned.

·        It cannot be given by someone else.

·        It cannot be inherited from your relatives.

·        It is the gift of God!


Now, I come to the question this woman asked.


III.           How is it that Christ alone has this gift?


“Whence then hast thou that living water?” How is it that Christ alone has grace, salvation, and eternal life in himself to give to needy sinners, and no one else and nothing else does?


It is true, salvation is the work of the triune God. The Father chose us. The Son redeemed us. The Holy Spirit converts us. But God the Father will not and cannot give us this living water without Christ. And God the Spirit cannot give us this living water without Christ. How is it that Christ alone has this living water to give to poor, needy, thirsty sinners? “Whence then hast thou that living water?”


A.   He has it because he is the only fit person to have it.


God could never come down to man. Man could never rise to God. If ever the two come together they must meet in a Mediator, a Daysman, who can lay hold of both God and man. That Daysman, that Mediator is the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ alone is the Mediator between God and men.


For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;  (1 Timothy 2:5)


  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)


          Did you ever notice how careful the writers of Holy Scripture were to refer to the Lord Jesus Christ, almost always, in the most reverent, worshipful terms. Seldom did any speak of him only by his earthly name, “Jesus.” He is often called by his title, “Christ,” and by the term, “the Lord.” But he is most commonly he is called, “the Lord Jesus Christ,” because all that he is is essential to our salvation by him.


But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.  (Galatians 6:14)


  If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.  (1 Corinthians 16:22)


1.    He has all salvation in himself because he is “the Lord.” Who should have it, but “the Lord”?


“The salvation of the righteous is of the Lord!” “Salvation is of the Lord!” “Stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord!” “Salvation is the Lord’s!”


2.    Salvation is his to give because he is “Jesus,” who came into this world to save his people from their sins (Matt. 1:21).


3.    He has salvation in himself to give to sinners because he is “Christ,” the Christ of God.


He is the Anointed One, sent from God to be our Savior! On the day of his immersion in the river Jordan to fulfil all righteousness, the Spirit of God descended upon him in the form of a dove, and abode on him. God gave the Spirit to him, without measure. He was anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows. This is exactly what he announced to the Jews in the temple, when he began his public ministry (Lk. 4:16-21).


16.          And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

17.          And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,

18.          The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

19.          To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

20.          And he closed the book, and he gave [it] again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

21.          And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.  (Luke 4:16-21)


He has this “living water” of salvation, grace, and eternal life to give to sinners because he is the Lord Jesus Christ.


B.    He also has this “living water” by divine purpose.


Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:    Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;    To declare, [I say], at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.  (Romans 3:24-26)


  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:    Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,  (1 Peter 1:18-20)


          The Lord Jesus Christ is authorized of God to be our Savior. He came here by divine appointment, to bestow upon needy sinners all the blessings of grace, given to us in him before the world began.


C.   Christ has this “living water” in himself to give to sinners because he obtained it by his blood.


He earned it by his obedience to his Father’s will as our Mediator, Representative, Surety, and Substitute. And he bought it with his blood!


When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.  (John 19:30)


  Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption [for us].  (Hebrews 9:12)


          This is the reward which his Father promised him and gave him, as the result of his accomplishments as our Mediator.


10.             Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put [him] to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see [his] seed, he shall prolong [his] days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

11.             He shall see of the travail of his soul, [and] shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

12.             Therefore will I divide him [a portion] with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.  (Isaiah 53:10-12)


  As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.  (John 17:2)


          Look up yonder, there upon the throne of God sits that Man who died in the place of sinners two thousand years ago. He ascended up on high and received gifts for men, yea, for the rebellious also; that the Lord God might dwell among men!


          The Lord Jesus Christ has this “living water” in himself to give to us poor sinners because of who he is, because his Father purposed it, because of what he did to obtain it; and…


D.   The Lord Jesus Christ has grace, salvation, eternal life, “living water” for poor, needy sinners because of his intercession in heaven as the sinners’ Advocate and great High Priest.


25.             Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

26.             For such an high priest became us, [who is] holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;

27.             Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.  (Hebrews 7:25-27)




1.                 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

2.                 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world.  (1 John 2:1-2)


Now, I want you to hear one more thing. Oh, may God enable you to hear it, believe it, and act upon it, for Christ’s sake.


IV.            THIS LIVING water is yours for the asking!


“Ask, and you shall receive.” Is that not what our Lord told this Samaritan woman?


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.  (John 4:10)


          He does not have grace, salvation, eternal life, peace, pardon, atonement, forgiveness, and righteousness for himself. He needs none of these things. He has grace, in all its fulness, that he may give it away!


A.    Christ has living water, the living water of salvation and grace, for thirsty sinners.


B.     He has this living water in an inexhaustible fulness.


C.    He promises to give it to all who ask him for it!


D.    He needs nothing from you – not even your water pot!


E.     Come, O poor, needy sinner, come -- Come, O my soul, come – Come, O my brothers and sisters, come to the Fountain and drink!


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.  (Revelation 22:17)