The Gift of God

John 4:10-15  Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knew the gift of God, and who it is that say to thee, Give me to drink; thou would have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman say unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drink of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drink 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. The woman say unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. 

‘The gift of God’ according to the Word is Christ (2Cor. 9:15; Heb. 6:4; Rom. 8:32); the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38-39; 8:20; 10:45; 11:17); Spiritual gifts (Rom. 1:11; 11:29; 12:6; Eph. 3:7; 4:7); Salvation (Rom. 5:15-21; Acts 4:12; Eph.2:8-9); Eternal life (Rom. 6:23; John 10:27-29); Divine call (1Cor. 7:7; Rom. 12:3-6; Eph. 3:7; 4:7); Good gifts (Jas. 1:17; Mat. 7:11); Ministers (Eph. 4:8-11).

‘The living water’ – ten gifts of this Gospel: Grace and truth (John 1:17); the Living Water (John 4:10); the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-39; 14:16); a perfect example (John 13:15); God’s Word (John 13:34; 17:8, 14); the glory of God (John 17:22); the true bread (John 6:32); Eternal life (John 6:33; 10:27-29); Peace (John 14:27); and answers to prayer (John 15:16; 16:23). The woman did request for this gift of God that was here the living water that Christ offered to her.

Eastern travellers frequently carry a leather bucket with which to draw water from public wells. This well was about 32 metres deep, 2.7m in diameter and had 4.5m of water. It was cut out of solid rock and showed the engineering skill of ancient times.

God is True!

John 3:30-33 He must increase, but I must decrease. He that come from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaks of the earth: he that comes from heaven is above all. And what he has seen and heard, that he testify; and no man receive his testimony. He that has received his testimony has set to his seal that God is true. 

‘He must increase, but I must decrease’ Jesus must be exalted in our lives above all else.  We are not to be arrogant and self-important, but to take a sane view of ourselves: that we cannot be complete without Him.

Christ that comes from above is above all, and He testified of what He has seen and heard, but men did not receive His testimony.

‘Set to his seal’ the Greek word sphragizo means to stamp, confirm, place beyond doubt. So for those who do accept Christ’s testimony, will confirm beyond doubt that God is true!

Friend of the Bridegroom

John 3:28 You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. He that has the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which stand and hear him, rejoice greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. 

The friend of the bridegroom is the one who played an important part in the wedding ceremonies, and sometimes conducted the negotiations between the bride and groom. The friend, at the time of the first meeting of the bride and groom, stands just outside the door to hear how delighted the groom is about his bride.

‘This my joy, therefore, is fulfilled’ This does not mean John was not to be a member of the future bride of Christ, for he will be. The heavenly city, the New Jerusalem, is the bride of Christ (Rev. 21:2, 9-10). All Old Testament saints (Heb. 11:10-16) and all New Testament saints will go there (Heb. 13:14; John 14:1-3). This includes John the Baptist and other saints of all ages from Abel to the end of the first resurrection (1Cor. 15:23, 51-58; 1Thess. 4:16; Rev. 20:4-6). All John expresses here is the fact that he is not the bridegroom, but his friend, as are all saints who are friends of the bridegroom (John 15:13-15). As John invited people to Christ, so do all the members of the bride (Rev. 22:17).

All Things

John 3:22-27 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized. And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized. For John was not yet cast into prison. Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying. And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptize, and all men come to him. John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. 

Jesus left Jerusalem after the Passover and was either back in Samaria or Galilee (John 2:13). According to John 4:2, Jesus himself did not baptize, but His disciple did.

John the Baptist was baptizing in Aenon (Greek word Ainon which means springs), a town on the west of Jordan, about 87 km northeast of Jerusalem in Samaria. There was much water because of the many springs and streams that were suitable for baptizing.

The question that arose between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying, was whether John’s baptism or the legal ceremonies of the Jews were the most effectual to purify sin ceremonially.

John’s answer: “A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.” How literally true! We earn and deserve nothing, but God gives us all things that pertain to life and godliness – now and hereafter (2Pet. 1:3-11; 2Cor. 1:20).

Do Truth

John 3:19-21 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that do evil hate the light, neither come to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that do truth come to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. 

The word ‘condemnation’ is krisis in Greek and means judgment, or basis of judgment, and not the result of it. Those who loved darkness rather than light are the lovers of sin (Job 15:16; Pro. 2:14-15; 2Pet. 2:20-22).

The ‘evil’ things they do are worthless, base things (Greek: phaulos). Those who sin hate the light because the light brings reprove (rebuke, reprimand) to their actions, and evildoers do not want to stop living in sin.

He that does truth will actively produce gospel fruit by being a doer of the Word (Jas. 1:22-27; 2:14-26; Mat. 5:16; 7:15-20) because he came to the light that his deeds might be manifest. “You shall know them by their fruits.” Mat 7:16

Faith

John 3:15  That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 

‘Whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life’ this verse states the reason for the crucifixion (John 3:15-17, 36; 5:24). There is no exception – all can be saved (John 3:15-17; 1Tit. 2:4; 2Pet. 3:9).

The word ‘believeth’ denotes the act and process of faith. It comes from the Greek verb pisteuo which occurs 248 times in the New Testament. This use of the present tense indicates that faith must be continued in to receive its benefits (Acts 14:22; Eph. 6:16; Col. 1:23; 1Tim. 2:15; 3:9; 6:12; 2Tim. 3:8; 4:7; Tit. 1:13; 2Pet. 1:5-10). Faith can be lost (1Tim. 1:19; 4:1; 5:8, 12; 6:10, 21; 2Tim. 2:18; 3:8).

Faith means: To be persuaded of (Rom. 4:17-22; 8:38-39; 2Tim. 1:12); to place confidence in (Eph. 3:12; Php. 1:6; Heb. 3:6, 12-14; 10:35; 1Jn. 3:21; 5:14); it is the substance or conviction of things hoped for, the assurance of things not seen (Heb. 10:19-38; 11:1, 6; Rom. 4:17; 8:24); it is an absolute dependence upon and reliance in the Word of God and of Christ (Matt. 8:8-10; 15:28; Rom. 10:17; Heb. 11:1-12:3); it means to fully surrender, yield, and have obedience to all known truth (Rom. 1:5; 6:11-23; 16:26; Jas. 2:14-26; 2Cor. 10:4-7; Heb. 11:6); to trust wholly and unreservedly in the faithfulness of God (Matt. 6:25-34; 12:21; 1Tim. 4:11; 6:17; 1Cor. 10:13); to give one’s self over to a new way of life (Rom. 1:17; 6:11-23; 8:1-16; Tit. 2:11-14; Heb. 12:1-15; 1Jn. 1:7; 2:6; 3:8-10; 4:17; 5:1-5, 18); it is the attribute of God and restored faculty of man whereby both can bring into existence things that are unseen (Rom. 4:17; Gal. 5:22; Matt. 17:20; 21:22; Mark 9:23; 11:22-24; Lk. 17:6; Heb. 11:1-40); it is the whole body of revealed truth (Rom. 10:17; 1Tim. 4:1, 6; 6:10; 2Tim. 3:16-17); to have joyful faith in, and acceptance of Christ as the substitute for sin and our Savior whereby one receives salvation (Mark 16:16; Acts 4:12; 10:43; Rom. 1:16; 3:24-31); have access to grace (Rom. 5:2); fulfillment of the promises (Heb. 6:12); the Holy Spirit (Gal. 3:14); righteousness (Rom. 4:1-25; 9:30, 32; 10:6; Php. 3:9); sonship (Gal. 3:26); healing (Jas. 5:14-16; 1Pet. 2:24); eternal life (John 3:15-18, 36; 5:24; 6:47); and answers to every prayer (Mat. 7:7-11; 21:21; John 14:12-15; 15:7, 16).

The Greek word for ‘perish’ is apollumi, which means to destroy (Matt. 10:28); lose (Matt. 10:39); die (John 18:14); be lost (2Cor. 4:3); be marred (Mark 2:22); and perish (Matt. 8:25; 18:14; Heb. 1:11). It never means annihilation. Here it simply means the loss of the souls in eternal hell.

The Word

John 1:1-5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shine in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 

‘In the beginning’ refers to the dateless past (Pro. 8:23) and the Word refers to Christ (John 1:14; Rev. 19:13) and proves His pre-existence (Mic. 5:1-2; Rev. 1:8, 11; 2:8). He is an eternal Being as are also the Father and the Holy Spirit (Ps. 90:1-2; Heb. 9:14). They are the Divine Trinity as described in 1John 5:7. Not only was the Word with God, but He was God and always will be as much divine as the other two members of the Trinity (Isa. 9:6-7; Heb. 1:8-12; Rev. 22:13-16). God created all things by Jesus Christ (Eph. 3:9; Col. 1:15-18; Heb. 1:1-2). Not only were all things created by Him, but redemption of creation is by Him (John 17:2; Col. 1:20). As all creation came by the Son, through the Holy Spirit, so all redemption comes the same way. It was what Christ did on the cross that made it possible for God to redeem through the power of the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-5; Tit. 3:5). When we walk in Christ (1Pet. 2:21-23) who is life and the light of men, we can begin to shine as the light of the world, as a city that is set on a hill that cannot be hid. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:14-16).

The Greek word for comprehended is katalambano which means to seize upon; to keep down or under; stop; to catch up within the sense of to discover or detect. It means that the satanic powers of darkness (Eph. 6:12) did not overcome the Word, but that the Word spoiled (conquered) them on the cross (Col. 2:14-17). In John 8:12 Jesus states “I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

The Prayer of Faith

James 5:13-15 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. 

If anyone endures hardness or afflictions or suffers trouble: Pray! That’s right, talk to God about it, He is the only one that can change, restore or repair lives and situations.  When you are merry – cheerful and happy – sing Psalms! That’s right, praise God for who He is and what He has done for you! If you are sick, two commands are given to receive healing:

Call the elders – someone that’s been serving God for years with a good report of their lives (see 1 Timothy for requirements) – and confess your sin – acknowledge that you have allowed the enemy to destroy (John 10:10) by not heading to all God commands in His word that keeps us protected under His wings (Ps. 91:4-6) so that the pestilence can’t reach us.

Four things the elders are to do for the sick: Pray over them, anoint the sick with oil, invoke the name of the Lord and pray the prayer of faith.

No doubt pure olive oil is meant, as it was customary among Jews to carry such oil with them in all their journeys, to anoint their bodies and heal their wounds and bruises (Luke 10:34). This anointing was merely symbolic of the healing of God by the Holy Spirit (Mar. 6:13). It doesn’t mean that olive oil was a cure for all kinds of diseases. The oil itself did not heal, for one would not have to pray and invoke the name of Jesus Christ merely to anoint with oil, nor would it have to be done by the elders.

The prayer of faith shall save the sick – this is what heals the sick in such cases. When the prayer of faith is prayed and the name of Jesus Christ invoked, the Lord shall rise up the sick and forgive him if he has sinned. This power to heal is promised to every believer (Mat. 17:20; 21:22; John14:12-15; 15:7, 16; 16:23-26). The Lord shall raise him up refers to true divine healing. Healing and forgiveness go hand in hand (Mat. 9:5; 13:15; Acts 3:16).

Swear Not

James 5:12 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest you fall into condemnation. 

Jews and Arabs were notorious for swearing or taking oaths by heaven, earth, Jerusalem, the temple, the altar, and the different members of the body. Even simple affirmatives were always accompanied with an oath. It was this wicked practice that caused this command to see the light. The Greek word for condemnation here is hupokrisis which means hypocrisy. The idea is that those who were in the habit of making oaths also believed that they could make them with the mouth while the heart cancelled them. Oaths were made with mental reservations to annul them, regardless of how solemn they were. This was all done in hypocrisy and fostered searing of the conscience as to what was said. One soon became a confirmed hypocrite in such matters.

Jesus commanded us in Matthew 5:34-37 “Not to swear at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swears by thy head, because thou cannot make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these come of evil.” Don’t make any promises whatsoever, but stick to what you said you will do or not do, thus let your Yes be yes and your No be no. Our word forms part of our testimony and the enemy will do whatever necessary to discount our trustworthiness in the hope to destroy our living sacrifice (1 Pet. 2:21-23).

Riches

James 5:1-6  Go to now, you rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. You have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, cries: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; you have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.  You have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you. 

These verses contain the first and last prophecy in James regarding six predictions concerning evil rich men that awaits them because they have condemned and killed the just.

Miseries will come upon them, their riches will become corrupted and their garments moth-eaten, their gold and silver to canker that eat their flesh and the rust or poison of their riches will witness or testify of their many sins. These riches that are corrupted instead of cankered as gold and silver, refers to crops, flocks, stores of grain, wine, oil, and many changes of clothing in the wardrobes.

Lord of Sabaoth is a term often used in the Old Testament of God who is Lord of hosts, or Lord of armies, who has infinite power to rule the nations and punish the wicked (1Sam. 1:3, 11; 4:4; 15:2).

Living in pleasure on earth – the Greek word truphao which means to live softly or delicately; fare sumptuously; live in luxury; to be effeminate; to be licentious; to revel – and been wanton is the Greek word spatalao that refers to living riotously and in pleasure (1Tim. 5:6; 1 Pet. 4:3); and nourishing of the hearts as in the day of slaughter refers to feasting and surfeiting as men do at the times of their religious feasts.