Sermon #1390 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: “I AM HE”
Text: John 4:26-27
Subject: Christ’s Reveals Himself to the Samaritan Woman
Date: Sunday Morning – February 6, 2000
Tape # V-68a
Reading: Isaiah 52:1-13
There is a day appointed by God for the salvation of his elect, a day fixed from eternity when grace will come to the chosen sinner, an hour determined before the world began when the Good Shepherd will seek out and find his lost sheep. There is a time fixed before time began, called “the time of love,” when the predestined child, the elect sinner, redeemed by the blood of Christ, must be saved. At that hour, salvation must and shall come to the soul loved of God with an everlasting love.
It is my heart’s prayer that this is the hour appointed of God for some of you. I have been praying for some of you with unusual urgency this week, and for many others scattered around the country. Because the Lord has given me the burden to pray, I fully expect that this shall be a day of great in gathering in the kingdom. O Spirit of God, come here, and gather sinners to the Savior by your almighty, omnipotent, irresistible grace, for Christ’s sake!
Some of you, I am sure, are in such a state of mind that you are already asking yourself, perhaps you have been asking for some time, “If God is pleased to save me, if he is pleased to grant me life and grace in Christ, how will I know? How will I know when the Lord has saved me? How will I know that God has performed his work of grace in me?”
If you will turn with me to John chapter four, I will show you. But before I give you my message, a word of warning is needful. While there clearly is a pattern of grace revealed in Holy Scripture, it is only a pattern. There are several, specific things God does in and for sinners when he saves them by his grace. But the experience of grace differs widely. With some of God’s elect, conversion is a climatic, revolutionary experience. With others, it is a very gradual thing. We must never judge the validity of a person’s faith by the yardstick of our experience, or the validity of our faith by the yardstick of another’s experience. We examine our faith by the Word of God alone.
Illustration: “I found myself believing.”
– Pastor David Simpson
One other word of caution. – It is a mistake to make the order in which we experience the various aspects of God’s grace a matter of great concern. Our perception of things in the experience of them is often very different from reality. For example: There is no question that the new birth is the cause of faith; but we know we are born again only after we believe. Repentance and faith are so closely mingled that it is impossible to distinguish one from the other, though they are separate graces.
So, as I show you what happens when God saves a sinner, while I will give you five distinct things, do not concern yourself with the order of these things, just with the reality of them.
Proposition: When the Lord Jesus Christ comes to save a sinner by the power and grace of his Spirit, he does for that sinner exactly what he did for the Samaritan woman in John 4.
I do not know whether you will ever be saved or not; but I do know this – If ever you are saved, you must and shall be saved by God’s work, not your own, by God’s will, not your own, by God’s doing, not your own (Rom. 9:16). And if God almighty ever saves you by his grace, some how or another, he will do these five things for you and in you.
1. If the Lord Jesus Christ ever saves you by his grace, he will cross your path.
What a wonder! – The Son of God came to Samaria to seek out a fallen woman from Sychar! This woman could not and would not come to Christ. He came to her! The name of God’s church is “Sought Out!”
Salvation does not begin with man seeking God, but with God seeking man. You will never be saved, unless and until God almighty steps in your way, crosses your path, and stops you in your mad rush for hell.
2. I do not know whether you will ever have an interest in spiritual things or not, whether you will ever be concerned about sin and righteousness, grace and eternal life, salvation and the things of God. But I do know this – You will never have an interest in these things unless the Lord God creates an interest in you.
That is what our Lord did for this Samaritan woman. When she came out to Jacob’s well, she had no interest in him, in the glory of God, or in eternal life. Oh, she was interested in religion and in staying out of hell; but she had no interest in the things of God, until the Lord Jesus made her interested.
In verses 7-15, the Master got her interested in water. No doubt, she was at first only interested in water for selfish, carnal reasons. Yet, there was such spiritual truth in what the Master said that she could not put it out of her mind. I can almost hear her.
· “Who is this man?”
· “What is this living water?”
· “Where does he have this water?”
· “How can he give it to me?”
· “I sure would like to have whatever it is he is talking about.”
3. But something must also be done. If God ever saves you, if the Lord ever has mercy on your soul, if ever the grace of God that brings salvation comes to you, the Lord God will expose your sin. – “Go, call thy husband.” – “I perceive that thou art a prophet.” (vv. 16-19).
Painful as it is, and it is painful, you are going to have to face, deal with, and honestly confess your sin before the holy Lord God. It is painful business for God to stick his finger in your heart and rip it open; but if he never rips it open, he will never bind it up.
· He wounds first. Then he heals.
· He strips. Then he clothes.
· He slays. Then he makes alive.
· He takes away. Then he gives.
· He creates a thirst. Then he quenches it.
· He makes you hungry. Then he feeds you!
4. I do not know whether you will ever flee to Christ for refuge or not; but I do know this – You will never flee to him for refuge, until he destroys your false refuge.
I do not know what your refuge of lies is; but I know you have one; and you will never forsake until God destroys it.
Before the Lord saved this Samaritan harlot, he destroyed her religious refuge (vv. 19-24).
Now, I want you to look at verses 25-26. Here is the thing I have been working up to.
5. I do not know whether you will ever be saved or not; but I do know this – If ever the Lord God saves you, if ever you come to know and trust the Son of God, he must reveal himself to you and in you.
Salvation comes by revelation. You cannot trust an unknown Christ. And you can never know him until he makes himself known to you.
Never did the Lord Jesus, while he walked upon the earth, make himself known to anyone more clearly and fully than he did here to this Samaritan sinner. Here, Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled. The Master declares to this woman his great name _ “I AM HE.”
Three things are obvious here. Let me give them to you, and I will be done.
I. When the Savior said, “I AM HE,” he was saying to this woman, I am he of whom the Scriptures speak.
We must never underestimate the faith and knowledge of God’s saints in the Old Testament. God's elect were saved in the Old Testament in exactly the same way they are today. God has only one way of saving sinners. That way, as you know is Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone. Christ was the Object of all true faith in the Old Testament, just as he is today. What amount of knowledge those Old Testament believers had, I cannot tell. It is not clearly revealed. Yet, we do know that…
· Eve understood the promise that the Redeemer would be a man of the woman's seed (Gen. 3:15).
· Abel knew about blood atonement (Gen. 4).
· Abraham knew that the Redeemer would be God incarnate (Gen. 22:8).
· David clearly understood that forgiveness is sure through the blood atonement of a crucified Substitute (Ps. 22; 32, 51).
· Enoch even spoke plainly about the Lord's second advent (Jude 14).
· Even Job, probably the first book written in the Inspired Volume, describes Christ as our Redeemer and speaks of the resurrection at the last day (Job 19:25-27).
· Isaiah understood that the sinner's Substitute is both God and man in one person, whose work of redemption and grace must be effectual to the salvation of chosen sinners (Isa. 7:14; 9:6-9; 52:13-53:1-12).
Numerous other references could be given. These are, truly, only a few; and they were randomly selected. Yet, they will suffice to make my point irrefutable. Old Testament saints knew and trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as their effectual, almighty, crucified, risen, reigning Savior.
It is also clear, to even a casual reader of Holy Scripture, that the saints of the Mosaic era clearly understood and rejoiced in the doctrines of God's free and sovereign grace in Christ. –
· Divine Sovereignty (Ps. 115:3; 135:6; Dan. 4:35-37; Isa. 46:9-11)
· Total Depravity (Ps. 14)
· Unconditional Election (Ps. 65:4; 2 Sam. 23:5)
· Limited Atonement (Isa. 53:8-11)
· Irresistible Grace (Ps. 65:4; 110:3)
· Perseverance of the Saints (Ps. 23:6)
In a word, God gave those saints in the Old Testament faith just as he gives us faith, by supernatural revelation, by revealing Christ to and in chosen sinners. Obviously, the Revelation of God in Scripture was not as full in Job's day as it was in Moses', or in Moses' day as it was in Malachi's, or in Malachi's day as it was in John the Baptist's, or in John the Baptist's day as it was in Paul's.
Yet, I must personally acknowledge that I have never begun to experience the quality of faith that Noah exhibited in building the ark, Abraham exhibited on Mt. Moriah, or Moses exhibited in dealing with Pharaoh and Israel. Those men believed God. They knew, worshipped, and trusted the Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the Scriptures of the Old Testament speak.
The Book of God is all about the Son of God.
II. When the Lord Jesus said to this Samaritan woman, “I AM HE,” he was declaring himself to be God incarnate, the great “I AM” in human flesh.
We lose much in our English translation of this 26th verse. It would be far more accurate to translate the Master’s words, “I AM.” This was the Old Testament name by which God revealed himself to Moses, “JEHOVAH.” This was a name no Scribe would write, without first bathing himself. Yet, here is a man, standing in front of a sinner in need of mercy, declaring himself to be the “I AM.”!
Our Lord Jesus Christ made this claim no less than fourteen times in John’s gospel. Fourteen times he publicly took to himself this title which belongs to none but God (4:6; 6:20; 8:24,28,58; 13:19; 18:5). He said “I AM…
· “the Bread of Life.” (6:35)
· “the Light of the World.” (8:12; 9:5)
· “the Door.” (10:7,9)
· “the Good Shepherd.” (10:11, 14)
· “the Resurrection and the Life.” (11:25)
· “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” (14:9)
· “the Vine.” (15:1,5)
This name – “I AM” – is our Savior’s declaration that he is God come to save! He made himself known to this sinner as the One of whom the Scriptures speak, and as God in human flesh.
III. And when our Master said, “I AM HE,” he was declaring to this woman that he is the Messiah promised long before.
The word Messiah means “Anointed.” It means exactly the same thing as the word “Christ.” As it was used among both the Jews and the Samaritans, had three basic. They expected the Messiah to be a man, anointed, chosen, set apart, consecrated by God and to God, in whom all the divinely appointed offices of the Old Testament would be fulfilled. Prophet, Priest, and King.
The Lord Jesus declared to this woman that he is that man, and that he is God as well!
· A Prophet like Moses (Deut. 18:18) – To show us all things.
· A Priest Like Melchizedek – To bring us to God.
· A King Like David – To deliver us from all our enemies, to rule us, to protect us, to provide for us.
Application: This man, the man who died at Calvary, the man who is the Christ, the man who now sits in glory, this man who is the Savior of the world, says to you and me – “I AM HE.”
· He of whom the Scriptures speak.
· God incarnate - the I AM!
· The Christ – The Messiah, the Salvation of Israel!
 Wichita Falls, TX 02/16/00