“He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. But He needed to go through Samaria. So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, ‘Give Me a drink.’ For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, ‘How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?’ For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.’ The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?’ Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.’ The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Go, call your husband, and come here.’ The woman answered and said, ‘I have no husband.’ Jesus said to her, ‘You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.’ The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.’ The woman said to Him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming’ (who is called Christ). ‘When He comes, He will tell us all things.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am He.’”
I intend to preach for a short time today. My voice isn’t hoarse from speaking at the Nathanael Training Conference; it’s hoarse because I yelled a lot when I went fishing. I know it’s not comfortable for your listening, but I hope you understand me. We made the daycare room well, didn’t we? We made it well, so the saints in the room can see me without any problem. Did you have a good dinner this evening? I have no time to warm up my voice for the sermon. We are all very busy today. Time seems to fly; today will be over before we know it.
Some people may have heard the Word in John 4 countless times. Jesus came to pass through a village called Samaria, and it says that Jacob’s well was there. A Samaritan woman came to draw water when Jesus sat at the well because He was tired from the road, and He asked her to give Him some water. But the relationship between Jews and Samaritans at the time was hostile. Since Jews thought Samaritans were a dirty people, the Samaritan woman could not understand why Jesus who was a Jew would ask her for water.
So, Jesus said this to the doubting woman, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water” (John 4:10). And He continued to say these words that the woman could not understand: “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:13-14). It talks about the drinking water and the everlasting water here.
Then, Jesus spoke about this woman’s husbands. The woman knew from the outset that Jesus was not an ordinary person and said, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship” (John 4:19-20).
As I mentioned earlier, the Jews and the Samaritans were not on good terms. The Samaritans and Jews especially clashed over the issue of the place of worship, and since the Jews despised the Samaritans, the Samaritans were excluded from worshipping in the Temple in Jerusalem. So, they built their own temple on Mount Gerizim that was far away from Jerusalem. The Jews thought that the true sacrifice could only be offered up in the Temple at Jerusalem, and they despised the Samaritans who worshipped on Mount Gerizim even more. Therefore, the Samaritan woman doubted Jesus who came all the way to Samaria from Jerusalem even more.
Jesus knew this and said, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:21-24). He made her realize that the place of worship is not important.
The important thing is how to worship God, and Jesus said that the time to worship Him in spirit and truth is coming. Since the Samaritans had been serving God also, they knew that the Messiah would come. Therefore, the woman said that she, too, knew that the Messiah would come, and Jesus clarified that He was that Messiah.
Our True Savior
Dear fellow believers, when is the time for us to worship in spirit and truth? What is the spring water that we drink to have the eternal life? Just as He gave the Samaritan woman the water that gave the everlasting life, God gave us the overflowing spring water that gives everlasting life. The Lord told her who believed in God according to her own thoughts that He will give her the overflowing spring water of everlasting life and that the hour will come when she will worship Him in spirit and truth.
What does it mean that God gave us the same overflowing spring water that gives everlasting life? This means that He has resolved our problem of sin. Heaven is a place where one cannot go if he has even the slightest amount of sin. But since our Lord resolved all our sins through His death on the Cross, we are able to go to Heaven. God’s Word of the gospel of the water and the Spirit has become the overflowing spring water inside us that gives the everlasting life and permitted our souls to go to Heaven.
There isn’t any kind of water in the world that can water our souls. If we set aside our thoughts since they are evil and of no real benefit, but pay attention to what God says to us, the spring water which makes us never thirst again overflows in our heart to give us the everlasting life. This water that God spoke of and nothing else makes us receive the remission of sins, and all the Words He has spoken become the overflowing spring water that makes us never thirst again and gives us everlasting life. When we believe in God in our hearts, our hearts are immersed into His Word, and we become refreshed, rich, and prosperous. We become prosperous by the water that makes us never thirst again.
We saints are frequently bound by our thoughts, so we follow God according to them. There are also many saints who are bound by their own thoughts so they can’t drink spring water but instead drink muddy water. Our soul must have the overflowing spring water that gives everlasting life as the foundation of life inside us by believing in our heart the Word of God that is not mixed with our thoughts or spiritual yeast. If one does not know what the life of living by faith is and what the spiritual life of living in the midst of joy is after receiving the remission of sins, he will be drinking filthy water tomorrow even if he drank clean water today. Aren’t there times when you become annoyed at believing in Jesus because you have made water filthy by your thoughts, because your body has gone out to the world, and because your mind also has gone out and become a filthy ditch? If there are times like that, you are not worshipping before the presence of God in spirit and truth. Instead, you are judging God and contaminating with your thoughts the clean water that springs up to give the everlasting life. Therefore, brothers and sisters! I hope you to set aside your thoughts.
I gave this sermon at the last discipleship training camp, and I will continue to give it until it is imprinted on your hearts and spirits. That is because our hearts are instantly bound to the world and changed as it becomes irritated, and the Word we heard yesterday changes into a mere theory in no time if we follow our thoughts. If one believes in the Lord and receives the remission of sins but thinks, “It’s fine to just receive the remission of sins,” that becomes a mere theory that is not faith, and there is no joy in his heart. This is what happens when the born-again go forth with their carnal thoughts. But if you believe in your heart and truly offer up praise when you read the Word and listen to it, except the times when you have to think about worldly things, the Holy Spirit in your heart overflows with joy like a fountain in your heart.
Why do people not live out their faith? That is because they go to the chapel bringing only their Bibles without being born again. There are Sunday angels. On that day only, they don’t say evil things and they endure well. But when they come out of church and live in the world, they return to their real nature. We must not become this kind of Sunday angel.
Brothers and sisters, we must put aside our thoughts everyday when we go before the presence of God. Isn’t the first thing that comes from the thoughts of man evil thought? Thoughts of humans are so evil that people even attend church from a selfish motive. When one thinks of faith cognitively, he calculates the positives and negatives of their church life. If there is a negative, he says, “What? What is this!” and he becomes angry and makes sure that he does not take even a little loss, and he judges the other person, thinking, “What’s that guy’s problem?” and all kinds of war and commotion erupt in his heart. The peace in his heart is broken in no time.
Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” The first thing is denying oneself. I am not sure how many times I have said this to the brothers and sisters in Chuncheon Church so far. He said to deny yourself and take up your Cross and follow the Lord everyday. You must deny yourselves everyday. Even if you put aside your thoughts and were drenched in grace yesterday, fleshly thoughts arise again when you wake up again today. We are the people who follow after God. Faith is looking at the Lord and seeking after Him; we must deny ourselves again when we get up and follow after Him in order to have fullness of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and the Word comes inside us and dwells in our hearts. The Word has to find place in our hearts to become the overflowing spring water that gives everlasting life. If we are entrenched in our thoughts, hell comes to us again.
“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him” (John 4:23). The Lord told us that He is seeking such people. He said this to us, the born-again. He said, “Now is the hour” and now is the time for you to deny yourselves and to be born again by believing in the Word of the water and the Spirit. In other words, when we deny our thoughts of the flesh, think of and believe in the Word of the gospel of the water and the Spirit that God bestowed on us in order to eliminate our sins, and worship in faith while being thankful for the gift of salvation, we worship in spirit and truth.
Some people worship God in spirit and truth and some people have useless thoughts of the flesh during worship time and then leave. Brothers and sisters, I hope that we are thankful for the gospel of the water and the Spirit that God has given us and immerse ourselves in it instead of asking for something visible from Him. We have peace and true joy in our hearts when we do this. This is the true key to leading a proper life of faith.
The spring water that continues to overflow in our hearts comes when, after being born again, we don’t admit our own thoughts and only believe in the righteousness of God. When we admit only the righteousness of God, it becomes the overflowing spring water in our hearts. If we acknowledge our own thoughts, the gushing spring water dries out; our soul becomes filthy; and our faith cannot be true and it becomes just a theory. That is why we happen to live our spiritual life in theory only. People who don’t believe that the Lord will give an answer whenever they pray don’t wait for the answer to their prayer even though they pray to God. Even though they have been born again, their faith does not bloom in their hearts because they follow the Lord with their own thinking and make judgments on the Word by the yardsticks of their own thoughts.
However, people of faith deny their fleshly thoughts. We will not suffer any loss by believing in the Word of God. If we believe in the Word of God, that Word becomes the living water to us. The Word of God gives us strength, richness, and blessings. This Word of God is God Himself to us. There is no loss we can incur by having the Word of God in our hearts. There is no loss we can incur by serving God in our hearts and following Him by faith.
Beloved saints, God is looking for the people who are worshiping Him in spirit and truth. So, do we go before Him in spirit and truth? Or, do we go before Him by fleshly thoughts? Brothers and sisters, do you truly revere God by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit in the center of your heart? Or are you saying that you revere Him only forcibly because you’ve tried to understand His salvation by fleshly thoughts but could not? God is still looking for the people who worship Him in spirit and truth.
Brothers and sisters, do you come before the presence of the Lord and worship Him by believing in the righteousness of our God in your hearts? Brothers and sisters, please inspect the righteousness of God in your heart once more to confirm it. Do you really believe it? I am telling you to encourage your hearts that believed in the righteousness of God and check if you are sure that it is right and you still believe in it. I hope that you always come to God by believing in His righteousness when you come before Him. Then, surprising strength and joy will arise. This is the power of the gospel of the water and the Spirit that springs up forever to give the everlasting life.
On the contrary, even though we who have been born again believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we become empty the moment we return to the thoughts of the flesh after we were led by the guidance of the Spirit. If we suppress our thoughts of the flesh, we have the spiritual water. We must cover the well of our hearts. Our Lord asked us to make sure that the scrap and dust do not go inside it. And He made the gospel of the water and the Spirit so that we could remove the scrap when it gets inside our heart.
Dear fellow believer! Please follow the Lord with heart by faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Please believe it and go before the Lord. Please deny your fleshly thoughts. If you go before the presence of God with your fleshly thoughts, your heart will be uncomfortable. If we follow our fleshly thoughts, we soon discover that we are going down the wrong path even though it seems right at first. Brothers and sisters, do you understand? Your fleshly thoughts are that dangerous.
The Samaritan woman said, “I know that Messiah is coming. When He comes, He will tell us all things.” Just as our Lord then said, “I who speak to you am He,” He is the Lord who gives us the gospel of the water and the Spirit, our Redeemer, and the Water of everlasting life. There is nothing else that we need. We only need Jesus Christ who came by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. As we meditate His Word by faith in our heart, the Lord dwells in our heart and springs forth the water that saturates our heart and gives eternal life. The Lord already gave us the gospel of the water and the Spirit. He gave the overflowing spring water that gives everlasting life. And while there are people who let that continue to spring up, there are people who have problems because they block it with their fleshly thoughts. If we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, its power is conveyed in our hearts and applied in our lives. If we don’t believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and instead block it with our thoughts and just calculate whether to do this or that, even if there is spring water, it becomes the undrinkable water, and the Lord cannot take charge of our lives and our lives cannot become abundant. That happens because our fleshly thoughts have obstructed the Truth.
If you want a truly abundant life, you cannot obstruct the will of God with your fleshly thoughts. Our Lord has already come inside us as the fountain of water that springs forth the eternal life through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Just as it is written in Acts 3:19, we receive the Holy Spirit as a gift the moment we receive the remission of our sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If we go forth by believing in the Word of God, He gives us the power to do anything and power to follow Him even if we do not do anything but believe. It does not happen by us doing something forcibly.
Our fleshly thoughts are our enemies. Our enemies are our own fleshly thoughts. Those enemies don’t just come once; they come to us every day. Our Lord gave us the overflowing spring water that gives everlasting life. I am grateful beyond description today, tomorrow, and forever that the Lord became the Lord of my salvation, eliminated all my sins once and for all through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, became my Shepherd, became my refuge, and became my God. There is nothing different that holds up my faith today or tomorrow. I am thankful beyond description that our Lord is God who completely eliminated all my sins, completely blotted out all my faults, and that this God leads me and always waters me so that I never dry up.
The Lord comes into our hearts through the gospel of the water and the Spirit and never leaves again. He did not make our hearts dry like a rice paddy cracked from a long drought. He always waters our heart, gives joy in our heart, and makes the flower of joy bloom. After our Lord comes to us, He is in us as the spring water that never dries up. Brothers and sisters, do you believe?
Be grateful and give praise to the Lord. Then, your lives will become prosperous and rich. I hope that you set aside your thoughts. The thoughts of man are like excrement. Do you understand?
Let’s praise the Lord who has come to us and become the spring water of salvation and let’s keep this water of the righteousness of God and worship the Lord. And I hope you preach the gospel and live prosperous lives by praying for your lives before the presence of the Lord. Hallelujah!