And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:3-6)

Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. (Psalm 69:6)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sunday Sermon: The Woman at the Well in John 4, Living Well Water

Below are my rough notes for this sermon on August 4, 2013.  These have not been edited but are simply shared to help the members of our congregation review the teaching for their own benefit.

Living Well Water  John 4:1-26

John 4 is a narrative story- principles, not prescription
            Samaria- reputation/culture  not completely knowledgeable of Old Testament, mixture of cultures and traditions.
Sychar-Jacob’s well (Not mentioned elsewhere but we can find passages that relate to Jacob’s inheritance.)
Jesus is seeking to help this woman, If we really want to help people, we will do so with the gospel.

Read John 4:7-24

How do you make them drink living water?  Feed them salt, open them up to thirsting for what really satisfies.
(Need a passion for God above all else)

7. Came with a purpose “to drink water” need/impulse/routine

9. “A male Jew asking a female Samaritan for a drink?”
            Crossing social and religious norms (tension here, yet an openness)
            She recognized the oddity and responds (the oddity of love?)
            He was willing to drink from her “unclean cup”
            Perceptions were challenged
            Jesus is showing love by breaking through boundaries and relieving tensions
                        Boundaries we face: Racial boundaries, religious boundaries, economic, cultural, social, fear of the unknown, fear of failure, visual differences, and cultural taboos.
                        Common ground for bridging differences: families, childhood experiences, pets, weather, government, holiday traditions,  loss, pain, death, financial needs, recreation.

10. Living Water
            Motive of His life- Glorifying God through the redemptive power to overcome sin with an abundant life.  (Not just getting by)
            Jesus saw people in relation to their need to know the Father.

11.  “Where do you get this water?”
            She was looking for a work, or an experience that would change her life.
            She was seeking to obtain “that one thing” that would change her circumstances
            She was looking for HOW she would gain this change.
            Often, folks do not recognize the nature of the root of the problem.  We get caught up in the symptoms; rather we should be dealing with the heart.
            People, often due to a large variety of reasons, fail to see their helplessness.  Sin blinds us to our insufficiency.  Too often, the gospel is thought of as Jesus and my efforts will gain me salvation.
12. She brings up her religion and beliefs- even if she does not believe it beyond intellectual ascent or has ever acted upon.
            Some folks believe in “luck” or “rabbits feet” to get them by.
Distractions to seeing our real needs
13.  Jesus points out the failings of false hopes and solutions.  Some folks need help seeing the limits of worldly pursuits.  Thus we need to ask questions that will help them recognize the thirst they have for the gospel.
            Why do people have false hopes?
·         Asking the wrong questions of life
·         Wrong goals
·         Believing lies about God and Judgment (PCUSA will not allow their new hymnal to carry “In Christ Alone” as it talks of God’s wrath.)
·         Never thought about it
·         Living by other’s beliefs-failure to investigate
·         Traditions/Upbringings
·         Love of sin drives them to ignore truth
We have the truth that sets them free
            When dealing with failures and false hopes, move to the truth that sets them free.

14. Not one and done but abiding in Jesus
            Cover the gospel as an abiding relationship
            Jesus says “I will give” 2 times
            When received, it becomes a spring of water=ETERNAL LIFE
Jesus is the source- it is He welling up and providing- internally for eternity

The proper message is needed for proper results, thus hope is in Christ.

15.  She wants water- but does not fully understand.  She is thinking the experience of “water” will set her free.
Help us understand, help others along-but let God do the work.

          You can’t deal with sin unless you deal with sin.
16.  Jesus relates to her lifestyle-thus Gospel need to have direct life application.
“go call your husband”
“I have no husband”- “Right, you have 5”
Hope is not your efforts plus Jesus, it is Jesus alone.
Jesus confronts her sin, but does not remain there, He moves to solutions keeping the focus on what the Water does, the Water for Life. G.R.A.C.E.
The solution is Jesus, not Jesus and______________.

19. “I perceive you are a prophet”- He has her attention.
            Work out the elements thus far in getting attention

20. Questions about worship
She brings out her buffet of theologies.  Worldly worship is man centered. 

22 “Hour is coming”- the cross will fulfill the needs of men to worship- the new covenant is emerging. Giving People Hope-In Jesus
MESSIAH= Christos, “anointed”  the anointed one.- supreme deliverer of the promise, the fulfillment of God’s redeeming plan.

23-24 True worshippers will worship in spirit and in truth. (love and zeal & order and doctrine)  God centered living
SPIRIT- the principal of life regarding man. (essence- life beyond the body)  seat of affections and emotions., thinking, zeal.

TRUTH- reality, facts, beyond mere appearances, verifiable, free of falsehood, verity, true doctrine, constant, established, integrity.

Jesus leads the woman to an opportunity to decide.  No one can decide for you.  He has given her a clear understanding of what it is to be filled with Living Water.  No longer with she thirst and be seeking satisfaction from the world’s short term solutions.  She can follow Christ.

Where are you in this story?
Jesus- sharing Truth
Disciples- needing to grow
The Woman- in need of a Savior?

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